Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A little dip

I haven't updated this blog for a while, life goes on and learning to live with the loss of Simon I think means gradually not feeling the need to write both about him as a person and about how I'm dealing with his death. When I first started the blog I didn't have any sort of a plan, just a desperate need for some sort of pressure valve, a way to free my head from the thoughts that overwhelmed me, day and night.
So those first few posts were almost a necessity, in the months following his suicide I remember needing to tap my fingers against my thumb to try to distract myself, to stem the tears when they threatened to fall again. Crying is cathartic at times but I was washed out, scared to walk into town in case they started to fall in front of strangers. I was fortunate to receive so many messages of love and support, I wasn't alone yet so often felt it as I struggled to verbalise my thoughts - the words so often stuck by the lump in my throat. Eventually I realised I needed an outlet and so began to write, of the grief, the confusion, the fear, the anger... And it helped, slowly my head felt less full, the intensity of those early months of grief passed. No doubt that would still have happened naturally as time went on but I believe writing helped ease that time a little.
I needed to write about Simon too, to remember the person he was. For a while I was consumed by the thought that he would be forgotten, there is no grave to mark that he was once here as we scattered his ashes. I've reconciled myself with that now, those of us who knew and loved him won't forget him ever and a few words on a headstone won't tell people in the future of the kind, funny, infuriating, opinionated and flawed man we knew and he doesn't need to be remembered by history. More recently I've written posts I hope help other people, both those feeling depressed and suicidal and those bereaved by suicide. This isn't entirely altruistic, I need to feel something good can come from losing Simon, that his death wasn't the end of our relationship but a catalyst for me to achieve something positive in his memory.
Recently though I've not been able to write, I've thought about it but the words wouldn't come. For a few weeks I found myself waking every morning with a deep sadness, not necessarily thinking of Simon, but  feeling that a heavy weight was on my chest. It wasn't depression, I'm not going to suggest my few weeks in a dip comes anywhere near what people who suffer depression for weeks, months and years go through. It was however, a reminder that nobody should feel they're immune to depression, my low mood passed but I'm not naive or vain enough to believe that it won't happen again or that it won't develop into something more. It wasn't an inner strength that lifted me, I was just fortunate that it was nothing more than a short period of the blues. What I have been struck by though is my reluctance to tell anybody, I often write of how depression isn't shameful, and the language used when discussing the illness isn't helpful - nobody admits to cancer or confesses they've had a migraine after all - and yet I struggled to try talk about even my brief low. Partly I think that's because I didn't (still don't) want to compare what I felt to true depression but also because it felt frightening to say out loud that I was struggling a bit.
The crushing feeling has gone now, I'm back to normal (whatever that means!) but perhaps this has been a reminder that I still need this outlet now and again. For all those of you who have ever read my jumbled thoughts, thank you, I genuinely appreciate the time you take to read and comment on my posts.