Me, Myself & ‘A’ return

My hitchhiker and I are back….

You probably didn’t notice but….

I retreated into my shell of armor for a few weeks, everything got on top of me and ‘A’; my unwanted hitchhiker, was screaming at me constantly. There was no peace and quiet, the storm was raging on and the waves were crashing into me over and over and over again, no pause to catch my breath and straighten myself back up.

I was drowning, ‘A’ was laughing.

What use to happen was ‘A’ would become uncontrollable and I’d disappear into my shell for a few days and normally come out past the worst of it but since my mum died and I am dealing with ‘the wanker‘ grief, it seems that both of them twist me from the inside and days turn into weeks, where I am retreating and hibernating.

This time it became unbearable because I couldn’t function. I couldn’t go to work, I couldn’t leave the house and I couldn’t live like a human being. (I was more like a Duracell bunny that had run its batteries low and was just twitching on the same spot until eventually the battery died completely.)

I think the trigger for me was the night I was planning on going out for food with my friend. It had been planned for weeks and I was dreading it. When my friend got here I put on my war paint and pretended I was fine, ignored the knot in my stomach and tried to act like an acceptable human being. (One of the first signs of anxiety for me is going cold and I was shivery cold that night.)

We stepped outside and ‘A’ started attacking, I had a very bad anxiety attack which I couldn’t control and completely freaked my friend out.

She couldn’t understand what was happening to me.

She kept telling me:

“SNAP OUT OF IT!!!

She kept yelling at me:

“YOU’RE BEING STUPID!!”

“ACT YOUR AGE!”

“YOU ARE INSANE!!!!”

I tried to explain it’s ‘A’, my anxiety.

She called me:

“A LIAR…”

“A COWARD…”

She kept repeating that I should just tell the truth, if I didn’t want to go out I should of cancelled, that I don’t need to make up lies about anxiety when I was fine to go out for a meal before Christmas and am perfectly fine now…

(I was completely broken, infront of her, crying, shaking, hyperventilating. I was like one of those old shakey dogs you see sitting outside a supermarket waiting for its owner)

I was telling the truth, for the first time, I was telling someone the truth and I was called a liar for it.

How many times have you cancelled on someone because your anxiety has been too bad?

I didn’t want to let my friend down, I wanted to try and beat ‘A’ but I failed.

Now normally no one would have seen that anxiety attack and I would have been able to keep it on the inside, but the grief doesn’t allowed me to conceal any feelings anymore, it smashes down my walls and allows the flood gates to open.

My friend left me in the peak of my anxiety attack; I crawled into bed with a hot water bottle, turned my phone off and cried until I passed out.

It was a week later that my sister turned up at my home, seven days without any communication with the outside world, seven days of crying, self hatred and lack of nutrients. (This was very new to me because in the past, no matter how crappy I felt I always had to keep going because my mum needed me, without this need I had no strength or desire to fight it.)

On day 8 I was taken to see a psychiatrist and put back on medication, ever since that day I’ve been riding the side effects rollercoaster.

I didn’t want this day to come, especially after being strong and able enough to come off tablets completely in 2016 but I have to be kind to myself and understand I am dealing with a great big loss and sometimes extra help is required.

It’s not forever; it’s just for the now.

One week into my new medication I was having a horrible, vivid nightmare. I must have been moving around in my sleep quite spectacularly as I managed to push over my bedside table, which woke me up from my nightmare. After getting up, picking up the bedside table, grabbing some water and heading back to bed, I noticed a book had fallen out of the draw and had landed open on the floor. I picked it up to reveal it was my mum’s bible and it had opened onto the book of John. I read it, not once but twice, I don’t know how or why but the gospel gave me a small glimmer of hope and so much strength and since that day I have started to gain mental strength bit by bit. Every day is still a test but I am rebuilding my resilience once again, in my own time and at a pace I can manage using the bible as my guide.

I don’t know whether it was the Lord himself, my mum or sheer luck but someone wanted me to pick up the bible and seek guidance from it and that’s exactly what I am doing.

So here I am on this new path, hopefully I will lose my hitchhiker on the way…I definitely lost a friend.

Remembing to breathe, take each moment as it comes and keep fighting!

When everything overwhelms you, what’s your coping mechanism?

Do you also find strength from the bible? Send me your favourite passages 🙂

‘A’ and the public

Before I begin to waffle on about my waffling waffles of life…. (hmmmm waffles) I wanted to touch on breathing.

Breathing you say?

Yes that’s right, the thing that gives us life. The very thing most of us go through their everyday lives not even noticing that we do it.

Breathing in life, breathing out waste.

For me ‘A’ has always focused on my breathing. Whether that’s shortness of breath, hyperventilating, day to day breathing and the occasional choke on your own saliva kind of breathing. (I don’t recommend the last one, very unpleasant!)

Infact the very mention of breathing gets me all tight in the throat.

I quite often go through my days watching people breathing and swallowing, observing how their own body is self sufficient enough to breathe without reminder. (I am also aware how strange that is for me to observe but if you have read any of my other posts you’ll already understand that it’s a pretty normal thing for me to do really 😂)

Anyway moving on…..

Are you aware that there are so many different ways to breathe?

It’s the one thing I struggled with when starting my Yoga journey because as someone who was already more conscious of my breathing, to have to focus on it even more, was an anxiety attack just waiting to happen. (It did happen…over and over and over again)

I do however find it extremely useful in anxious moments to take a few moments to inhale deeply filling my lungs completely, holding the breath for 3 seconds then exhaling in a controlled slow manner for the count of 6 seconds. I repeat this until im feeling more in control.

The great thing about it is you can do it in public with ease.

So, have you taken time out of your day to day to breathe?

Try it.

Now we’ve taken a moment to breathe, onto what I originally planned to write about today.

‘A’ with other people.

You see ‘A’ isn’t content to cause anxiety just for me, oh no that would be selfish! ‘A’ also torments me about others. I literally worry my little brunette head off for the sake of others, strangers, passers by and maybe even the occasional animal.

  • Does anyone else?

We live in a techy society now where people don’t even need to watch where they are walking for fear they will bump into a lamp post or human, instead they surf the web using the power of WiFi to guide them. A society that would rather stare at a phone screen than watch the world go by. This saddens me.

How can you live in the now if you’re not paying attention?

How can you be present?

Sometimes I think if I wasn’t present in these situations then maybe I wouldn’t have ‘A’ on my back all the time but if I am looking at my phone screen I am missing the world go by and therefore not in this amazing, not to be missed, limited time only now….

For example…..

If I had sat and surfed social media in the doctors surgery yesterday I wouldn’t have noticed the gentleman sitting opposite me. He seemed like an average person. Nothing stood out to me as strange, except one thing…his shoe laces were un-tided and flopping about like long dog ears.

Off goes ‘A’….

Why are his shoelaces un-tided? Should I tell him? What if he knows they are? What if he has a phobia of tying shoelaces? Wouldn’t he just tuck them inside his shoe? He’s going to trip, what if he trips and falls on me? What if he hurts me? What if he falls on the walk to the doctors office and there’s blood? What if he has a blood virus? What if I get his blood on me? Maybe I should tell him? No I won’t, he must know? He has a wedding ring on, why did his partner let him leave the house like that? Was he in a rush? He looks clean, I should tell him? No I won’t…i should though…he might hurt himself? Why do I care? It’s his life maybe he likes taking risks?

*name gets called by doctor*

“Excuse me, (he surely can’t be aware) your shoelaces are un-tided…”

“….I know”

Oh. Well. That ends that. Idiot!

I spent the next few hours thinking about this guy. Is he ok? Did he fall and trip somewhere? Was he trying to fall and trip and claim compensation? I should have recorded his response incase i see him on the news! Why were his shoelaces intentionally un-tided?! I guess it will have to stay as one of life’s long unsolved mysteries!

Another example….

At the train station I was particularly focusing on this one women because she was going to town on this sausage roll, it was sickening. I have zero tolerance for loud eaters, I won’t hold back. I was imagining shoving her sausage roll up her left nostril when I noticed her handbag on the floor. I thought to myself if she pays anymore attention to said sausage roll she will lose that handbag! Then her phone rang so not only was she inhaling sausage, she was also talking and venturing away from her handbag!

Que ‘A’…..

Is she aware her handbag in under the bench? What if someone steals it? What is she leaves it behind? I should tell her? But she eats like a pig? Screw her. Maybe I still should tell her? What if she has a family heirloom in there or a long lost treasured letter from her great aunts, nephews, brothers, son? What if her purse has cash in it and only cash? How will she get home from the train station she gets off at? Should i tell her? Screw her, she clearly doesn’t care either way.

*train arrives, we all pile on…i wonder if the handbag made it…

Next thing I’m sitting opposite the sausage monster and have front row seats as she slowly realises her handbag is nowhere to be seen. She’s clawing at the window, unable to do anything but watch the train drive away with no handbag in tow.

I should have told her 😭

I then spend a good couple of days what iffing about what would of happened. Why didn’t I just tell her? What if she was stranded the other end? What if it had valuable in it? (Normally at 3am when I’m trying to sleep)

Still want more? Okay, one more 😂…

A night out in my city, a very rare occurrence! I was out with my sister and her friends and I noticed a girl at the bar, tall, dark hair and wearing a gorgeous sequin black dress. (It sounds tacky but I’m a magpie, I love anything that’s sparkly and in the lights it sparkled, so cut me some slack here!) I was revelling in the beauty of this dress when I scanned down her legs to see an almighty ladder in her black tights… (Oh no what a party pooper to my dress ogling!)

Drumroll for ‘A’….

Does she know she has a ladder in her tights? If she does she must be upset about it? Wait she can’t know, if she did she would surely have taken the tights off? It’s ruining her look, maybe i should say something? I’d want to be told wouldn’t I? What if she gets mad at me? What if she punches me? She might break my nose? There would be blood if she did that, everywhere, then my dress would be ruined too. What would we have gained? I’ll leave it. Why do I even care? Stop thinking about it….

*2 hours, a few vodka’s and a bathroom trip later…

“Excuse me? Hi, firstly can I say I love your dress? Where is it from?” Blah blah blah. “Secondly, I noticed a few hours ago (oh why did I have to mention that?) that you have a ladder in your tights, I’m guessing your not aware because you still have them on so…”

“Thanks, I’m aware, I just don’t care and neither should you. Enjoy the rest of your evening.”

Oh. Right. Well yeah she is right. Why do I care?

I then spend the rest of the night convincing myself she has told everyone what a weirdo I am. Why did I care? Why did I bother to mention it? Why didn’t I just wash my hands and keep my mouth shut? Now she thinks I’m a weirdo stalker women. I bet she calls me the tights police or something. I’m a loser.

This is a daily occurrence for me. Literally daily.

Why can’t I just go through my life ignoring everyone and walking by a problem like the majority of the human race do? When I do butt into people’s lives, it’s not well received and when I don’t I wish I did!

‘A’ makes me over care and sometimes it’s not a good thing!!

Will I stop? Probably not, I can’t.

‘A’ makes me….

The annoying thing is I can’t remember what day it is half the time, or even what planet i am on, yet I can remember every single awkward ‘A’ run in!

  • I wonder if anyone can relate?

I’ll probably over think about it for a while now…🙄

A day out with ‘A’

As I grow older and wiser (why is there laughing in my head…) I’ve started to realise that I avoid a lot more of the situations I use to just think ‘Just do it!’ (Not a Nike promo)

Going out is alot more like a Rocky Balboa montage of prep, blood, sweat and tears, and screaming at the top of my lungs from mountains, table tops or wardrobes.

Reminiscing over the days where I freely walked out the house without a care in the world. No ‘A’ giving me what if scenarios, no sweating, hyperventilating or stomach cramps. (I miss those days!)

Roald Dahl said it best:

Easier said than done right? I’m the biggest what iffer there is!

Worst case scenarios are my comfort zone, aslong as I know the worst possible outcome I’ll be prepared….right?

What usually happens is I stress and worry over the worst, most horrendous scenario, really taking my body through a disaster of emotions, then of course the horrendous scenario never happens but at least I was totally prepared….right?

I know what you’re thinking, I’m totally wrong, I’m causing myself such stress for nothing. I know this, ‘A’ knows this, even my sister’s dogs, cats, fish knows this, yet I still do it!

It’s like an addiction to me, I can not stop. It sucks alot of the time but there have been times it’s actually helped me because once I realise the world isn’t going to end I actually feel relief and start to enjoy myself.

If you have a hitchhiker like me you’ll understand that it picks certain concerns for you to worry over. (If you haven’t read any of my other posts my hitchhiker is called ‘A’, which stands for asshole…haha opps…i mean anxiety)

For me ‘A’ makes me fear throwing up, shitting my pants or fainting in public.

Have I ever experienced any of the above in public? No. (I’ve never shit my pants period, incase you were wondering)

It means I can’t take public transport because I freak out over the above mentionables, it means that wherever I go I have to scout out the toilets, (know where every single service station is in a 250 mile radius if driving), a soft patch of land or grass to fall on if I faint or a nice concealed bush with minimal critters. (Exhausting right?)

I don’t discuss this with anyone for fear I’ll end up alone with 17 dogs, 5 cats, a parrot and a pet pig, with a rep as the creepy lady in the corner house that everyone avoids like the plague.

For all my hitchhikers bad points it has ONE good quality (I am not drunk!!), with ‘A’ comes obsession, granted it’s unhealthy obsessions controlled by fears mostly but I also have other obsessions.

Fluffy animals

The fluffier the better! Alive or stuffed (as in teddy bears)

I particulary love dogs, yes I know many people do but I LOOOOOOVEEEEE dogs, I can not refrain from hugging any dog I come across, I greet dogs before I greet humans and the love I feel for every single one sometimes causes me to cry uncontrollably (whilst I’m in the midst of hugging a dog) because it’s just too damn cute and fluffy. This can then cause the dogs human to quickly become very uncomfortable and start tugging the cute dog away, there’s normally restraint on both sides and everyone leaves feeling abused. I give zero fucks about this. My reasoning is ‘A’ made me do it.

Do I have the potential to turn into Lenny from Of mice and men? MAYBE…

I get tagged daily in posts, videos, pics and events all involving fluffy animals and I love it. Society seems to be able to accept my weird obsession with fluffy bums so I roll with it. I show them ‘A’ in the form of fluffy overloads.

Overthinking

Don’t get me wrong now, there is a side to overthinking that if I could, I would lock up in a box, attach extremely heavy weights to it and throw it out to sea never to be seen again. Those nights of lying awake watching the time tick on as you over think about the way the neighbours squirrel never buries it’s nuts in your garden. Why? Did I offend it somehow? Does it think my mud isn’t good enough? Should I re-do the garden with new mud? Maybe every squirrel hates me, what if all the squirrels in the world are in cahoots to murder me in my sleep?…and so on.

That side of overthinking is complete torture.

The other side however I think is endearing. I care a lot, I put a lot more thought into my feelings and that makes me a very loving thoughtful person. Do I border on the side of stalker at times? Yes. Does everyone enjoy it? No. Am I too much for some people? Hell yes.

If you are lucky to be in my very small circle of trust you will be in safe hands, you will have someone watching out for you and someone who gets you the most amazing presents, presents you never thought you asked for but that I picked up on. You will be loved unconditionally and I will do absolutely anything for your happiness. I will always be there to listen and support you and I will remember every single detail good and bad.

Do I ever ask for the same in return? No.

Over the years I’ve tried to suppress my unwanted hitchhiker, I’ve tried to body slam depression and blindfold grief but what I always fail to see is that my hitchhiker makes me unique in many ways and it makes me warrior. I am trying to accept it because the more I ignore it the louder and louder it screams at me.

Lately ‘A’ and it’s sidekick depression have been kicking my ass and I don’t like it. I want to be able to sit down without a pain in my ass, I want to be able accept me for who I am which includes an unwanted hitchhiker.

If the world can accept my obsession with fluffy bums surely the world can accept ‘A’ to? Right?

I’m going to try and obsess over the things I love about myself, not the things I hate. Have you ever tried that?

Wish me luck…..

The hitchhiker’s journey continues

I’ve been fairly quiet in life, not just on my blog but in all aspects. I have continued to retreat and lick my wounds whilst ‘A’ takes more victims inside of me. (‘A’ has now taken over the part of me that didn’t fear venturing outside)

‘A’s sidekick grief has been quiet, I’m not sure whether they split up to cover more ground and grief got lost. (Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining, I hope the ugly thing stays lost forever). I’m also not stupid and know that it’s probably morphed into a bigger predator and is stalking me silently, awaiting the perfect moment to spring back onto me.

I’m currently not an early bird or a night owl instead I am a permanently exhausted pigeon.

If they cut my brain open they would find it filled with jelly and blancmange.

I’ve made a pact with myself though, tomorrow is a new week and aslong as the Vikings (NFL) win (probably even if they don’t but I’ll be less enthusiastic) I will be getting up early every day and starting my yoga regime.

‘A’s bodyguard depression is kicking my arse and it’s about time I started to fight back. (At least then I can be a ripped exhausted pigeon!)

It’s so hard to motivate myself to get going when I already feel I’ve run a 7 day marathon in my mind.

  • Anyone have any tips?

I’m either a dribbling tired mess or an irritated grumpy crab at the moment. I have no tolerance for life.

For example……..

Last week my laptop decided to go at a snail’s pace when starting up (this irritated me), then Windows spent an HOUR doing updates (bloods boiling by now) to then be welcomed by the blue screen of death (patience meter explodes). I tried EVERYTHING to recover it but in the end I lost my temper and launched it out of my top floor window (yes you read that right…insert eye rolling emoji here).

I then spent ages researching a replacement to find that the one I want is sold out in the entire universe so I retreated back into my shell and gave up.

Why are small tasks that should be easy such hard work?! Urgh!

When my sister asked where my laptop was the other day I calmly told her I’d thrown it out the upstairs window (then proceeded off the subject and offered her a cup of tea as if it was an extremely normal thing to do) her face was a Kodak moment and actually made me smile (inside). That aside it also alerted me to the fact that it wasn’t a normal thing to do ‘re-enforcing my self hate. (‘A’ revels in these moments!)

Commence mantra and march on…

  • Keep fighting
  • Keep moving forward
  • I can do this
  • I will do this
  • ‘A’ WONT keep me down

(One day I’ll start to believe this…until that time I’ll keep repeating it to myself…)

P.s VIKINGS, VIKINGS, VIKINGS, VIKINGS!!!

‘A’ charges as I retreat

The past couple of weeks have been tough for me and my battle to win over my hitch hiker. (It’s being very hormonal!)

I seem to have fallen into a very deep trough of worry, pain, fear, guilt and insomnia. (Someone please throw me some rope?)

Christmas was tough but I knew it would be I was armed for it with energy reserves, grenades and weapons at the ready. 💣💥💪

What I wasn’t expecting was that going into 2018 would bring me such pain. Without any resources left to surge forward from, I feel like I am drowning in mud right now. (Think mud in an eternal bog of stench)

It’s been a very long time since I felt such exhaustion; even when my mum left me I had some fight in me to battle on.

Right now?

Right now I feel completely defeated simply from going into 2018 without my mum.

I’m just hoping something will click back into place soon and I’ll pick myself up. 🙏🤞 (Will accept being picked up…)

It’s so hard to digest because I feel like I am broken into 3 separate pieces, all clawing for my attention. (Not like a cute puppy, more like a pissed off wasp)

Piece 1questioning life, not wanting it. My own mind giving me ideas on how to end it

Piece 2 petrified that I will die too soon, petrified to leave the house for fear I catch this deadly flu going around.

I am weak, I won’t survive it, I want to survive, I need to live my life

Piece 3telling me that others have it worse than me and I’m being completely self centred.

  • How can I have such conflicting parts in me?
  • How can I hate feeling so lonely but have no desire to change it?
  • Why won’t ‘A’ let me sleep when I am exhausted?
  • Why is shit so hard? 😭
  • Why can’t I pull myself out of this?
  • Maybe I can’t do this without medication?
  • Maybe I’m not as strong as I thought I was?

Oh ‘A’ doesn’t just have her bodyguard grief, (oh no that wouldn’t be as much fun) it brings along that annoying friend who no-one likes called SELF DOUBT.

‘A’ is charging forward with it’s best soldiers and I’m just curled up in a ball bracing myself for impact. (Every now and again throwing a limb out in hope I hit something)

I had a counselling session over the phone this week and my counsellor thinks that the reality of going into this year without my mum by my side has finally hit me and I am now feeling the grief.

To be honest I was hoping I’d just skipped the majority of it. I had some terrible days in 2017 and the flashbacks have been the worst part but they were days separated by days I could handle – this is constant.

I forced myself to the supermarket on Wednesday and whilst looking at toothpaste (toothpaste!!!), I had a flashback in the middle of the aisle of brushing my mum’s teeth in the hospital and how thankful she looked at me. I literally froze in the aisle for some time, managed to keep it together walking back to my house and as I walked through my front door I simply dropped down to the floor. I couldn’t control the sobs and of course ‘A’ came out to play. (Bitch)

  • Why can’t I have the constant numbness and denial I felt when my grampy left me?
  • Why has it taken me 8 months to feel this pain?
  • If you’ve experienced a loss, how did you survive it? 😦

I’m literally waving 77 white flags at ‘A’, her bodyguard grief and sidekick self doubt. Hoping that for once they are kind on me. (I won’t hold my breath, I know how sadistic ‘A’ can be.) 🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳🏳

I’m taking advice from memes in hope I gain some strength from them.

I’ll keep trying to survive, might just set up camp under my duvet and master human hibernation……………………wish me luck.

When ‘A’ met Grief (Part 2)

This blog post continues on from When ‘A’ met Grief (Part 1)

In the previous post I wrote about my experience of grief from losing my grampy, that it took a whooping 8 years to finally accept it.

The extract at the end of the blog was:

I had two years after that of some normality and at the end of 2015 I had convinced myself that the asshole hitch hiker was a result of not accepting or acknowledging the loss of my grampy and against the doctors wishes I came off my bipolar medication.

Against the doctors wishes meant that if I came off my medication I gave up the help, the support of the mental health team and I was on my own. My mentality at the time was screw them and screw the asshole hitch hiker. I felt it was safe to be able feel again.

Queue the return of ‘A’….drumroll please…

‘A’ came back, pissed I’d disrupted its vacation time but I could manage it. I started Yoga and meditation to become more mindful and it helped. The meditation side was a lot harder to master because my mind was always racing but I did 10 minutes everyday and persevered. Eventually I was finding I could sit for 20 minutes with a peaceful mind allowing my thoughts to come and go.

After 9 months of Yoga and meditation I felt a lot stronger in my mind and body, I was starting to feel in control. I even travelled to California by myself which was the biggest achievement to date. I was smashing ‘A’s ass hard!!

Jan 2017 saw me starting a new job, one I was excited about, one that would kick-start my long-awaited career.

I was finally in a good place.

March 30th 2017 was when it all came down with an almighty bang.

Every day before and after work I would visit my mum; I’d do anything she required, make her breakfast, sort her medication out, make her dinner, monitor her drinking and make sure she washed.

My mum was in her 10th year of battling alcohol addiction, it was at the stage now where she didn’t even enjoy drinking but had to because without the alcohol her body hurt, her mind tormented her and the withdrawals were too intense. She had been to rehab 5 times; 3 times forced by me and 2 times at her own will but the demons in her mind would always win because withdrawals were tough on her. She was awaiting her 6th rehab visit but there was a waiting list; I felt like this would be the last time, that she was ready to conquer it, she seemed different and more determined.

On March 30th I went round as usual in the morning but my mum didn’t look very well, extremely pale, very confused, and was in pain so I rang an ambulance and we were taken into hospital with sirens on. (I remember feeling excitement at this moment, what an adventure we could laugh about at a later date)

She was diagnosed with a water infection and started treatment alongside a detox due to her withdrawals.

‘A’ brought out the attacks with force, it felt like if i let go and succumbed to the pressure that an almighty attack was there waiting. I was always tinkering on the edge of an ‘A’ attack, it was waiting in the wings for an opening to present itself.

Of course the many years of masking this hitch hiker I was an expert in hiding it. I was the only one that could ever make my mum laugh; we seemed to get each other and were very similar. I stayed by her side every single day and hid the pain my hitch hiker was causing from my mum. We even had a few giggles and I saw my mum smile.

In reality though I was struggling.

I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t relax

Every new day the only goal I had been to get through it, win that daily battle and not worry about the next until I was faced with it.

Over the course of 5 days she started to get better, back to herself again. I went home on the fifth night for a shower (my mum forced me, said I needed it!), it was the first time I had left my mum’s side in 5 whole days. (I remember walking back to my car with a smile on my face: everything was going to be fine)

However,

On day 6 I woke to see my mum had started having breathing difficulties, this escalated extremely quickly and by day 7 my mum was diagnosed with pneumonia.

My mum was allergic to Penicillin and because she wasn’t well enough to answer for herself so I had to decide between:

  • Trying an alternative medicine to fight the pneumonia which my mum wasn’t allergic to but may not act fast enough
  • Give my mum Penicillin which would fight the pneumonia but could potential cause my mum further harm and ill-health

My mum was severly allergic to Penicillin which meant she could potentially go into anaphylactic shock so it was a no brainer for me to try the other medicine.

The alternative medicine wasn’t acting fast enough and the doctors were talking about intensive care; putting my mum to sleep for a while so her lungs could repair but my mum begged me not to let the doctors take her there because she wouldn’t wake up from it.

At this point my other sisters were in the hospital visiting which was helpful because every 5 minutes I had to leave the room to control ‘A’, at one point I even had to have oxygen because the attack had started to aggravate my asthma. I remember feeling annoyed because i would leave to get ‘A’ under control and my mum would ask one of my sisters where I was.

I hate myself for feeling agitated that she needed me.

This also started a feud between myself and my oldest sister, she barely saw my mum, infact, at that point in time the last time she had seen my mum was Boxing day 2016. (26th December)

I stayed by her side that night, the nurses wouldn’t dare to kick me out to the relative room. This made ‘A’ taunt me; did they already know she was going to die?

‘A’ was constantly pumping adrenaline into my system with the mini relentless attacks so I was wired anyway and unlikely to sleep. My heart was constantly racing and the amount I perspired wasn’t human. (Even my butt cheeks sweat, whose butt cheeks sweat?) It was crazy.

My mum fought so hard to breathe, I prayed so hard that night. My mum was trying with all her might to keep breathing. I was so proud of her.

She would fight this.

The next morning my mum went into respiratory failure and was taken to the intensive care unit. This time it wasn’t a choice, it was life or death.

The next 5 days I sat by her bed all day and night while a machine breathed for her. I talked to her, told her about Oscar (her beloved dog), I told her jokes, sang to her, played her music and held her hand. Sometimes her eyes would twitch and I knew she could hear me.

The doctors would continuously ask me about my mum’s health prior to this infection, they couldn’t understand why she wasn’t getting better. (I didn’t tell them about the 10 year battle with alcohol or the constant ill-health she suffered because I wanted them to keep trying, afraid if they knew that they would give up)

April 14th, 2017 (Does the date ring a bell to you? Apart from it being Good Friday, it was the same date 10 years ago that my grampy died. SAME DATE!)

The doctor sat me and my younger sister down and told us that there was no more they could do for my mum, her kidneys and liver had now failed. We had to turn the machines off.

I didn’t get to say goodbye, I didn’t get to say I love you I more time.

Now if I had been alone at this news I would have dealt with it better but my younger sister was hysterical crying, which allowed ‘A’ to creep through and I had one of the worst attacks id ever had. So bad infact that I thought I was going to die myself and I ran, before I realised it I was running down the stairs, through the hospital and into the fresh air before collapsing onto a patch of grass and violently throwing up my insides.

At around 5pm on 14th April I watched my mum take her final breaths surrounded by her daughters and brother and then I lay my head on her chest for the next 5 hours until they took her to the mortuary. I went over and over what had happened, feeling like I had failed her, feeling like I could have done more.

Why didn’t’ I just take her to the doctors for the water infection? She wouldn’t have caught pneumonia from the hospital then.

Its my fault she had died like this.

I don’t remember to this day when everyone left, I don’t really remember the 5 hours by her bedside just when the nurse interrupted me to say they had to take my mum away. I then walked home at 1030pm from the hospital; even though I had driven.

My mum died 14th April 2017 around 5pm – the exact same time and date as my grampy.

To this day that blows my mind.

So here I am in the cycle of grief again. This time its different.

The next couple of weeks I was possessed with something, I had this strength from somewhere. I organised the funeral, I organised all my mum’s affairs and I made sure everyone was ok. On the day of the funeral I stood up and read a poem I had written about my mum, I never cried.

After the funeral my dad (who I wasn’t particularly close with) came up to me and hugged me, for what seemed like a lifetime. He told me how proud he was of me, that to him I was the weakest daughter mentally and physically but somehow I had become the strongest and was holding everyone together. He thanked me for writing such a beautiful poem about mum and keeping everyone strong.

Everyone was thanking me, I didn’t understand it. I wasn’t doing it for them, I was doing it for my mum. I didn’t want any thanks.

Two days after the funeral I was sacked from my job, I hadn’t been back yet and they felt I wouldn’t be back for some time and felt it best to let me go. (Thanks a bunch!)

I had lost my mum, my routine and now my job.

So since then I have literally been surviving, day by day, with ‘A’. The doctors constantly trying to put me back on medication but I refuse. ‘A’ is crippling me but I want to beat it.

What better way that in a place of complete defeat? I couldn’t break any further.

Eventually the strength disappeared and I pleaded for the numbness like with my grampy but I didn’t get it. What I did get though instead was crippling flashbacks when I least expected them, moments replayed in my dreams over and over again, night sweats, night ‘A’ attacks and completely uncontrollable emotional outbursts.

By day I felt physically sick, exhausted, random outbursts of extreme emotion and constantly fearing I was going to die from something. The tiniest thing could make me either want to kill someone or cry uncontrollably.

By night my heart would race, I would sweat everywhere, id had flashbacks and horrible dreams and I would sob my heart out until I was sick.

Everyday through the sickness, the headaches and the extreme exhaustion I would force myself out of bed and do some Yoga and then walk to my youngest sisters house to see her.

The days I’d think I had a handle on it finally then like a wave in the sea it would all coming crashing into me again, harder than before. It would suck the life and strength out of me.

I’d pretty much given up, ‘A’ had convinced me I was going to die soon anyway so there was no point in trying. I was ready.

Then just like before with ‘A’ when I was younger, something clicked in me and I found some inner strength. I got a new job.

The job has been hard, everyday is an uphill battle to even get to work, then I have to tolerate people who irritate me, have to pretend I am normal (and without my hitch hiker) and try to act as if I care. I don’t care, I am constantly tinkering on the edge with ‘A’.

Christmas hit me hard, my younger sister went away for it and I was left here alone. I put a brave face on through video chats but I felt dead inside. I rang in sick for the first week back in work and I cant bare to go back, almost at the mindset of quitting. ‘A’ is winning the battle, day by day and this job has worn me further down than when I was unemployed.

I don’t want to go through another 8 years of my life not committing to anything again, feeling detached and isolated but I don’t feel strong at the moment, I feel like I’ve gone backwards. The flash backs are back, the lack of sleep and the emotional outbursts.

I guess it would appear I missed out on skipping the different stages with my grampy that this time I’m being taken through every stage several times a day. (Except numbness and denial which seem like the jackpot right now!)

Loss, hurt, emotional outbursts, anger, fear, fear, fear, fear, emotional outbursts, hurt, disorganisation, guilt, guilt, fear, guilt, guilt, fear, emotional outbursts, hurt, loneliness, isolation, isolation, isolation, loneliness, guilt, fear, fear, fear, anger, guilt, loss, emotional outbursts, depression.

My grampy use to always say “When nothing goes right…go left”

  • Maybe I should go left?

Quit everything from 2017 and start a new life in 2018.

Me and ‘A’

Change is good right? (or should that be left?)A’ doesn’t think so….

When ‘A’ met Grief (Part 1)

I have had quite a few face offs in my life already between grief and my hitch hiker ‘A’.

I know that its a right of passage as you get older that people will pass away and leave you.

Grief is associated with losing something or someone where a bond or affection has been formed.

You can grieve for many different reasons and because of this you can not define grief in one way.

I’ve felt grief when every single one of my hamsters, rabbits and guinea pigs died (there were alot!)

I’ve felt grief at the end of a relationship. I always struggle with the concept of relationships. You give yourself to someone, you are in eachother’s lives everyday, you share affection (and bodily fluids) and you trust them then one day – GONE (there haven’t been alot of these!)

The first time ‘A’ met the loss of a parent it buggered off on a long vacation and the asshole hitch hiker was sent in ‘A’s place. (The Affair )

The second time ‘A’ met the loss of a parent it brought reinforcements and went kamikaze on my ass and the only option I had was to surrender. (Current situation)

The doctors have recommended I have bereavement counselling, that there was a 3 month waiting list however I have been on the list since April 2017 and the last time I chased it up I was number 23 in the queue so I should get seen around April 2018. (I find this absolutely unacceptable)

My grampy died of lung cancer when I was 20 years old; up until that point in my life the only people I could depend on were my grampy and my mum so this was a hard time for me. (My previous blog post The Affair touches on this)

My grampy got diagnosed in the November but we quickly found out it was very aggressive and chemotherapy wouldn’t help, it was simply about quality of life now. Looking back I never asked or was told how long my grampy had left, he would say he would fight it and not to worry and I would believe him.

My grampy had never let me down in the past.

I trusted him 100%.

Sadly by the following April he had got a lot worse and everyone was saying there goodbyes. (I wont share what our goodbye was because its a personal, precious memory between myself and my grampy)

On April 14th at around 5pm my grampy passed away surrounded by all his children and me. He wasn’t dead for more than 10 minutes before the witches were stripping him of his jewellery. (A gold necklace that I had handmade a ‘D’ on, a gold wedding ring and a gold ring with the initial ‘D’ on it)

Stage 1 – Shock & Denial

I feel like I set up camp in this phase for 6 years. My asshole hitchhiker joined me and ‘A’ went off on vacation. I felt numb and detached and that was my personality for over 6 years. I felt a lot of fear about how I would cope or survive without my grampy’s hugs and strength. I felt weak. There was definitely no normal functioning in this stage.

Stage 2 – Anger

Zero time in this stage. ‘A’ had disappeared completely and I never felt an ounce of anger.

Stage 3 – Depression & Detachment

This is another stage I camped out in, my neighbour was stage 1 and I literally moved from stage 1 to stage 3 to stage 1 back to stage 3 over and over and over for at least 6 years. I was numb, tired and lacked any sort of enjoyment or happiness throughout that time. I was medicated and treated for Anorexia and Bipolar at the same time I was flitting between these two stages.

Stage 4 – Dialogue & Bargaining

I never met this stage until 6 years later.

I never reached out to others, I never told my story (anyone new I met over the 6 years I would talk about my grampy as if he was still alive) until I met a guy at the end of the 6 year battle and for some reason I told him about my grampy. That was the first year in 6 years I visited my grampys grave, I spent the 14th April visiting my grampy’s favourite places with this guy telling him about the memories and every year thereafter we did that.

Stage 5 – Acceptance

I owe a whole lot to my boyfriend throughout that time because if it wasn’t for him I would probably still be in denial about my grampy’s death. After another 2 years something lifted in me and I felt I accepted that my grampy was gone finally.

8 WHOLE YEARS?!?!(WTF!!!!)

Throughout that time I was never treated for bereavement because I had a whole different mess of disasters stirring inside of me. The anorexia, the body dysmorphia and the bipolar. The asshole hitch hiker really did a number on me.

I had two years after that of some normality and at the end of 2015 I had convinced myself that the asshole hitch hiker was a result of not accepting or acknowledging the loss of my grampy and against the doctors wishes I came off my bipolar medication.

Against the doctors wishes meant that if I came off my medication I gave up the help, the support of the mental health team and I was on my own. My mentality at the time was screw them and screw the asshole hitch hiker. I felt it was safe to be able feel again.

Queue the return of ‘A’…drumroll please…