And so we get to a painful, painful day. While friends around me are celebrating birthdays, I’m just left to think of the empty shell in my heart and soul, unable to celebrate without the love of my life.
I’ve come up against a brick wall. I’m fully on-board with not seeing her again, that I need to move on and carry on with my life. It’s something I’ve been focusing on, getting the bills paid, getting a date, getting a job, getting on with life.
Yet this morning, once again, that familiar feeling of my heart being ripped out of me. It doesn’t help that, in the middle of a heatwave, it’s been so hot and humid all night. I finally went to sleep just before 7am, the night spent fruitlessly trying to sleep and my mind tormenting me of the love I lost, with it being her birthday week.
I rise, though, at 11, too hot and too miserable to get anything other than fitful dozing, and vivid, troubling dreams, full of aggression directed at me and revenge, which I then regret. I guess depression has got a hold of me big time.
Nevertheless, the day has to be met full-on. A meeting with my employment advisor awaits. I would’ve had breakfast but there’s simply nothing in the pantry. I’ve £1.12 in my account to get through the rest of this week and the weekend. I’d better get used to an occasional meal for the next few days. Hello hunger, my old friend.
As I look out to sea, a beautiful walk into town, on a beautiful day, it’s the same old feelings. I seem to go against the grain. I think positively in dull or bad weather. When it’s as lovely as this, the darkness pervades my thinking.
Maybe this time, however, I could be forgiven. Around this time last year, my ex and I were celebrating her birthday at a place equally as beautiful, but many many miles from the Magnolia Tree house. We just wanted to be together, away from anyone and anything, a long long away from everyday life.
I treated her to an ironic lunch and we spent the afternoon on the bank of a canal, cuddling, watching the world go by, and loving each other. This time round, though, nothing, just a black empty feeling. No wonder I was cursing how nice the day was. Couldn’t the weather have done the decent thing and be miserable with me?
When I get to the advisor, he’s more than helpful. He can see, clearly, that although it’s paying no dividends, I’m out traipsing the streets, applying for the jobs, wanting desperately to earn a crust, to provide for my family. Believe me, these JobCentre people can pick up on just about anything you can do these days. At least they acknowledge that I’m doing the right thing.
I also drop by the Sally Army, when an employment trust are also trying to help me out. I let the kindly woman know how I am, what I’ve been doing, how I’ve been feeling. It can’t be much fun for her, listening to me, I’m thinking.
She then dropped a bombshell. “Remember that woman who helped you with your cv and job searching?” I do. She was youngish, helpful, friendly, and attractive. The sort of person you notice if she walks into a room.
The shock, I could feel course through me. It seems so impossible. I keep thinking nobody that young can pass away. The truth, as ever, a sheer folly of that thought. But a heart attack at that age? If depression seems so, well, unfair, then taking someone like her, at such a young age, someone who helped so many people, is downright cruel.
We wisely agreed to reconvene the appointment for next week. Not before another token of kindness passed my way. I’m given the train fare home as it was so unbearably hot to be walking miles.
Yet, to my shame, with an empty fridge and vastly reduced larder, I instead invest in some bare food essentials to get us through to next week. I genuinely feel rotten about it, and regretted it as soon as I left the store. Hunger and depression does strange things to you.
So I get home. My lesson today? Life really is too short. All this time I’ve spent mourning a loss, tending a broken heart, letting it take such a grip of my mind. Yet I was lucky enough to love, to have fun, laughter and wonderful times, with someone who truly loved me as much as I did her. Strangely, as I write this, there’s a glimmer of a smile on my face. For the first time in days.
So, wherever you are, I hope you had a happy birthday. I still love you, for sure. But life moves on and so must I.
With a smile on my face.