6

Lay your head down a while

It’s 1 year today. 1 year when everything went topsy turny overnight. I’ll be posting about how I dealt with today’s challenges in a new post tomorrow.

Today though we have Mr Braingirl with his words (and music choice) on the past year. He’s a shy fella so didn’t want to say much but I wanted to express how difficult it’s been for him as a carer and who better to do that than the man himself. He thought he was getting a brand new girlfriend and instead ended up with a broken person. He stuck around though and became perhaps the most important person in all of this. My rock with an inexhaustible supply of support and hugs and tea.

Anyway, without further ado, here it is:

 

“Time has a strange way of standing still sometimes. Hours feel like weeks, weeks feel like months, but then at the same time a year can pass by in the blink of an eye.

Nobody ever asks you to do what you do. When something like this happens, you just assume the role of a carer. You don’t question anything, you just knuckle down and accept these responsibilities. Parts of life still carry on, the world keeps turning, but everything seems a little unreal, there’s a little less colour to the world.

I think maybe only a few of my friends and those close to me understand all that is going on. People don’t realise the toll looking after somebody can take on you. I wouldn’t expect them to, the patient is the most important thing, and all focus has to go on that fact. You spend your days worrying when you are away from the house, and reassuring when you are home.

The things you did and the places you went a year previously don’t seem to have much purpose anymore if you can’t share them with someone. You struggle not to cave in under the stress and disappear into a bottle. Music helps you to keep your head above water while your legs flail below.

As the months go by you see changes, you see the progress that is being made and you know that everything will be okay, the hardest part is not knowing how long everything will take.

You keep going because you know there’s a light at the end of it all, a respite for you and the one you love.

You only care because you love”

1

Along with everything that was lost and won

It’s Autumn now. The nice part of Autumn where it’s still crisp and sunny and bright, not the soggy fart back end of Autumn that leads into the misery of Winter.

I’ve just spent 4 weeks in bed. Now when people normally say I’ve spent all day in bed what they usually mean is they got up and watched TV at some point or maybe nipped to the shop. When I say I’ve spent 4 weeks in bed, I mean IN BED. I got up to go to the bathroom and occasionally snatch some toast from the kitchen. And that’s it. I’ve been on another downward spiral, the Post Traumatic Stress is strong and I cried, panicked and generally felt hopeless. Despite being told I will come through it I didn’t believe it, I thought I’d be like this forever. When I have an episode of such soul crushing depression my brain tells me to stay in bed as there is only one thing that will keep me safe:

duvet of safety

This duvet protects me from everything. I’m tricked into believing that anything outside of it is dangerous and must be avoided at all costs. This duvet repels ALL danger. There is no telling when the urge to burrow will arise, it comes out of nowhere and overstays its welcome. During this phase I mentally and physically deteriorate, I get aches and pains, I panic and get the worst fatigue you can imagine.

But then, out of the blue, it lifts. Again there is no warning for this, I just wake up one morning and all of a sudden I can go outside, I wear a bra and I feel a strange thing called ‘hope’.

I’m currently riding a nice phase, I can keep my obsessive thoughts in check, I can believe I’m healing and I can look forward to going out the door. I hope these phases last longer each time, it’s great being able to think clearly. Don’t get me wrong I’m aware I could drop again any day and begin another phase of hopelessness but I have to take these good days as they come and breathe in their sweet sweet scent to fill my lungs and brain for as long as possible.

I still meditate every day and I think I’m finally beginning to understand ‘living in the moment’. It really helps, I recommend meditation for everyone regardless of whether you are ill. I also started Tai Chi to socialise, to roll out my stiff neck, back and shoulders that occur after a stint under the duvet. Life is still not 100%, I still get the shakes in the morning, I still cry out that grief but it’s easier to cope with when I don’t need the duvet to save me. I want to save myself, I want my life back, I want it back with a desire I cant even describe.

My next post will be an anniversary post. 30th Sept marks 1 year on. As it’s a special occasion it will be written by Mr Braingirl. He’s been there through all of this so you will be getting his story.