Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Written 12/03/10 - Desperation

With the passing of a beloved actor that I grew up with my thoughts go straight to Robin Williams family. As the post pile up on FB the sorrow grows and then come the other posts. The ones remaining people that even the strongest of us can suffer. As an adolescent I struggled to figure out not just where my place was but if I had one. In my early 20's I finally got professional help and learned how to cope with my depression and anxiety. I was fortunate that I had the support of a loving partner and family. An unintended consequence of this was that when Jonathan died I had the tools to cope with the depression brought on by my grief. Even so I had some extremely tough and hard days. I didn't blog back then but I did write. 

A year after Jonathan was taken from us this is how I felt. I can honestly say I have found my place in the world now and I am comfortable with who I turned out to be but back then the thought of who that might be terrified me. Thankfully with the love and support of both my families I stuck around to work out that life as just me is definitely worth living after all. If there is anyone struggling who is reading this please know that no matter how hard  life gets it can get better but sometime for that to happen you need help and that help can give you the tools to cope with anything life throws at you. I'm living proof.


Brandi Snyder once said “To the world you are one person but to one person you are the world.” I have no idea who Brandi Snyder is but the internet assures me that it was he who said this, the quote though I know well. When I first heard it I was at university and madly in love. To one person I was the world and to me he was all that I needed. This is an amazing gift but also slightly terrifying, especially if you are 17 years old. We met young, we fell in love and it was extraordinarily scary. To meet the love of your life at 17 to know that this is the one person you want to make your world and spend the rest of time with. Well you’re 17 so surely it won’t last? But it did. At 22 we moved in together. We were each other’s worlds and we refused to get married. We met young and were together for 5 years before we lived together. We had so much time together that there was no need to rush and we knew that we would be together forever so there wasn’t the need for what was to us, just a bit of paper, especially when the money for a wedding could get us to Australia or Salsa dancing in Cuba. It wasn’t always perfect, we fought, we argued and we managed to slam a few doors but through it all our love was never in doubt. Through the dark times, through the hard times we could turn and say “You love me” and know it would be true. It was an amazing gift I and I thought I knew how lucky I was but there is another saying “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” and I now know that this too is true.

A year ago forever came to an end. A year ago my world was taken from me. A careless moment, a terrible accident and forever was no more. In an instant I was no longer the world to one person I was just one person in a very large and scary world. I have many friends and a large and caring family but I was not their world. They did not live and breathe for me but no longer did he; I have never felt so small.

When you think about grief you think of sadness that a person has gone. You think of regret for all that was not said, or that was said in anger or confusion. Unless you’ve been there you don’t know about the madness. You don’t know how empty life becomes. All you have is worthless and the part of you that cares has gone with the person you have lost. You are nothing and yet there are people all around you telling you to eat, to try to live and carry on. It’s what he would have wanted. Well he died so maybe his opinion doesn’t count? Sacrilege. How could you, who loved him so, ever think such a thing? Because I hurt. Because I am angry. Because it is not fair and there is nothing I can do.  Eventually as time passes I am learning to live with the pain. The hurt of missing him everyday has become my constant and now it is part of who I am then one day I realised that my life is filled with grief. The pain and sadness surrounds me and there is no room for anything else.

A friend told me of a lecture in which they learned that grief will never shrink but we must expand our lives so that it can remain the same but no longer fill our lives. This made sense to me and it is a course of action I can live with but how? How do you increase your world when all you knew has gone? I am but one person and I feel so small. There is a desperation in me. I must belong, I must fit in. I must be who you need me to me. I need you to validate my existence because if you don’t will I disappear? If I don’t tell you that I’m here will you forget me? If you forget me what will I become? If I am but one person how do I go on? Where do I fit in? I must go out there alone and make my world a larger place. I have to travel to explore. The world is so large that surely there is some where for me? A place where I belong, a place to call my own. A time and place where I can say this is me. I am not who you need me to be. I am not who you want me to be. I am just me.

I wish there was a map. I long for someone else to plot my course. The responsibility for my life alone could crush me if I let it, and sometimes I long to let it, but yet I carry on. Somewhere in me, buried deep within there is a part of me remaining; a me I never knew, me without him. I am scared to meet her, afraid to let her out. What if no-one likes her? What if she is takes me places I never wanted to be? Yet...... what if she is someone good. Maybe she can care. Maybe she can be someone, thus me I cannot conceive. I reach out then snatch my hand back. I am so desperate to fit in and desperate to belong but desperation is kin to despair and I know where that can take me. So the desperation must be banished and I must let you go. For though you’ve held me when I fell I now know you cannot pick me up. You cannot plot my course for me. I am afraid but the fear is losing its grip. You held me when I fall now you’re telling me to go. I know that your words come from your heart but there is only so much you can give.

So where so I go from here? A wandering soul. For 10 years I found a home, the place where I belonged. Now this place is gone my soul wanders on once more. 

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