This is going to be a hard story to write, and even harder to share because one thing I am bad at doing is sharing my true feelings – especially when I worry that they will make me look weak. I feel though, that by writing this, it will help me in some way. So here we go…
Feeling alone when you are surrounded by love and support can sound incomprehensible, but that I how I have felt for some time now and I have only just started to realise that I need to deal with it before I push everyone I love away.
Mid-November, I lost my granddad and my heart was truly broken. Everything reminded me of him and I couldn’t stop myself from breaking down and howling in tears. It was only a few years before that when I lost my grandmother and I was truly distraught. That was extremely difficult because she was my favourite human and I couldn’t process how to cope with it because at that point I had never lost a close family member.
“…the mum I always knew and loved was no longer here…”
My grandparents were the kindest, warmest and most intelligent people I have ever met – but of course, I am going to say that because they were my grandparents. But, if you were to ask someone who had met them, they would say the same because the truth is… they were. They did more for me in my life than anyone else has – apart from my mum.
Apart of me wishes that this is all I have had to deal with over the last few years, but there is so much more. Several years ago, my mum had a stroke, which later triggered Dementia, and that was the toughest thing I have ever had to accept. The woman who raised me – who had the biggest heart, gave the best hugs, had the cackle of a witch and the filthiest sense of humour – was gone, but she was still here physically.
Not to sound heartless, but the best way to describe it, is that the mum I always knew and loved was no longer here mentally – but her smile is. I can no longer have conversations with her about personal issues because she tunes out of the conversation quickly and can’t absorb the information. I can’t really talk about the memories we share, because most aren’t there anymore. When I have exciting news and all I want to do is call her and tell her, I know that she will just say “Yeah?” and then silence will fill the phone line. Whereas before, she would say something like “You jammy git!” “That’s my girl!” or even “Stop showing off!” laughing with her wicked cackle. I miss hearing that laugh so much.
Now with both my grandparents departing from this World, they are finally together again which makes gives me some peace of mind. I am so happy that their souls are reunited, but at the same time, I selfishly want them to be here with me again because they at least shared some of those lost memories with me.
I have the most amazingly supportive husband and friends who I consider to be family, but still, I feel alone, as I have never really had much of a relationship with my other relatives.
My older sister and I have always had a difficult relationship, where conversations often result in one of us upsetting the other, and then we can go months of not speaking – heck, even years. We have always been “chalk and cheese”; the most opposite kinds of people and we just clash. Since my mum’s stroke, my sister hasn’t been able to visit her so she isn’t as involved with my mum as she would like to be, so a part of me will always resent her for that as she doesn’t understand how hard it is because she doesn’t see it for herself. Just the stories I feed to her once in a blue moon.
I have a good relationship with my dad, but I always feel like I can’t open up fully because since my parents separated when I was a small child there has always been a lot of distance between us. I always feel the need to act like I have my shit together to look “strong” to prove to him – and perhaps myself – that I am okay. When the truth is, I’m not and I have always struggled to admit when I need help. I will always be there for others, but I never want to open up with anyone – even my husband. Any time I start to open up and the tears start, I suck them back up and crack a joke because I use my humour to deflect from what is really happening.
With everything going on in my personal life, I did the sensible thing to help me cope… I suppressed all feelings and threw myself into my work life. I lost interest in the Blogging world, my YouTube channel, my social media and even my REAL social life. Everything else in my life was put on the back burner whilst I burned myself out.
In December I caught a nasty virus, which left me exhausted and I started to drop weight because I had no appetite to eat anything. I found myself crawling into bed when I got home from work and on my days off I just wanted to sleep all day – which, if you know me, is shocking because I am an early bird who can’t lay in bed all morning. I was ill for a little over three weeks and I just kept blaming that virus for everything.
It wasn’t until the bell rang midnight on New Year’s Eve and I had a full-on meltdown on the beach of Stonehaven that I realised that perhaps I did have some issues that I need to deal with. I finally opened up to my closest friends and husband about my thoughts and feelings and I honestly felt like a weight had been lifted off of me. I don’t know why for all these years I have felt like I mustn’t share my true thoughts and feelings, perhaps I didn’t want to seem vulnerable to them. But I am. We all are.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have that feeling of being alone every now and then, but when I do feel that I just take some time out for myself than talk about it when I feel ready to do so. I am just so lucky that I have my husband and closest friends that I can go to about anything because if I didn’t have them, then I truly would be alone.
If you have ever felt this way, I hope that you are surrounded by love and people that you can open up to. If not, then there are other support networks that you can reach out to like the Samaritans (Phone 116 123) because although it may feel like it, we are not alone.