Sunday, 23 October 2016

I want to go home now

This is what happens. Sometimes I'm with friends and maybe I'm feeling ok for a while. I'm chatting about something else, in the world together with other like-minded souls and it's not so bad anymore, this grief malarkey, it's manageable really, just a background hum, a touch of interference, a slight buzz of low level anxiety, like an irritating fly that I can't quite block out, a dripping tap in another room.

And then someone says something. Maybe a friend mentions their partner or their summer holiday plans. Perhaps they ask me what I'm doing for Christmas. Or perhaps someone walks by with the same build as you, the same smell, the same clothes. And the noise is a crescendo building, anxiety rising up from the pit of my stomach and soon there are flies swarming all over my skin and the water is pouring out of the tap and flooding the system. Eventually there is so much water that the flood activation alarm sounds and the building has to be evacuated. So I go outside, take deep breaths and find myself thinking, again, that I just want to go home now. I have done well. I've made it through another day. But now, please, can't I just go home?

It reminds me of when I first had a proper job and I came home every day exhausted. Just finding the toilet or working out which tea bags I was allowed to use was like climbing a mountain. And I felt proud that I'd got through it and then realised, in horror, that this was my new life and that I had to go back and do it again, and again, and again. It was too much for me. I went freelance. But there is no escape from this life of grief, this new life of mine. And though I'm doing well, all things considered, I am so tired of getting out of bed every day and carrying on.

So, I watch the friends turn back towards their lives, pick up phones to send messages, walk towards cars that arrive to collect them. I wave them goodbye and as they retreat into the distance towards their homes, I remember that I am locked out of mine. When they get back they will relive the moments of their day, continue the ongoing conversation of their lives and I will turn towards the gap where you used to be.There is no-one to ask me how my day was, no-one to recount my stories to. Life is a series of unconnected scenes with no plot, no backdrop, no audience.

It is cold outside and I think about calling someone but there is no-one to call for help because you had the key and my mum had the spare. And I know that this is loneliness. And this is my life. So I walk all night, looking for a way back home, even though I know that I can never return. It is tiring, all this walking. And all of this noise. I want it to stop. I want to rest now. I just want to go home.