I’ve been unable to post for a couple of weeks. Call it a ‘dark cloud’ or just plain ‘depression’ it’s all the same thing and it is debilitating and thoroughly exhausting.
The blog was always designed as an outlet for me to express the stuff that is plaguing my head, just to liberate it from my sub-conscience but as time has gone on it has become less practical to say all that I would like to say. I’m always very particular about what I write, tending to allow the really bad episodes to pass so that when I try to piece together what is going on, it’s with a clear head. Even with that said, I undertake a healthy dose of self-censorship as I’m aware that what is being said is very public. I neither want to come across as moaning about every facet of my life, nor do I want to distress anyone as to the meaning of the words that appear here.
But the initial purpose of the blog, at least once it got going, was a kind of therapy for me, to act as a sounding board. I did try to write down a post last week to do this; it was a post that was never intended to be published, and it never will. Not that it made particularly interesting reading, but it really was an exercise in off-loading, or at least trying to offload.
I guess the main question is ‘why is all of this happening’ or at least, ‘what has triggered such an intensely negative episode this time’?
It’s safe to say there are a number of triggers which are likely however as per the above comments, will remain in the unpublished realm. However perhaps the most significant is that I have spent a lot of time in Mark’s bedroom in recent weeks and I’m going to share that journey with the blog.
It all started out with the project to replace the ageing boiler and as part of that the radiator in Mark’s room came off the wall so I could improve the insulation. The room itself has never worked that well, with a huge bed filling most of the space but not in a good way. Due to the storage in the room, the bed could only fit in one way and pretty well became an obstacle to navigate, rather than being a place of general tranquillity. Having a plasterer fighting his way around the room to try to get to the area needing skimming was probably the catalyst.
The reality is that room hasn’t changed in any way since Mark was last in it. And the risk was that it would remain that way, a physical and a psychological barrier.
During the boiler sorting out, I’d decided that the room would be patched back up and left as it was. But the dawning feeling of groundhog day in that room was becoming a reality.
In many ways, I acted on impulse. I dismantled the bed. And sold it days later. Physical obstacle gone. Link with the past gone. It felt strange to see it being collected and taken away but it was also a good feeling. The object which had become a stumbling block (both words literal) was starting a new life with a new person without the history. Both people and the object in question are in a better place. A Win.
I was bordering on obsessive whilst cleaning the room. I had barely been touched in the last 2.5 years so was very dusty, something that the building work in there had only exacerbated. It was the only room with the original carpet remaining from when I bought the house, and it had never been changed because, well, change in that room had become too difficult. Slicing the carpet into strips with a blade so I could take that away felt good.
But despite all this good feeling going on, it was constantly and completely offset by a deep sadness. I was getting rid of furniture that knew Mark. The grim reality that within the carpet would be molecules of him, in the dust and I was removing this from the house. It’s a totally pointless and irrational thought, but actually hurt like hell.
The room had always felt dark to me, I think because when Mark was here he tended not to open the curtains. So with the re-birth of the room light was a big part to me. Actually the curtains were a casualty in the changes to help further the transformation. The walls are white now, there is new furniture in there, a new light fitting. The whole room has moved on. Even the awkward corner at the end of the wardrobes has been turned into a shelving unit for bedding. And a few hats.
I still need to put the pictures back up, but to be honest, that’s the story in much of the house. Since I had all the alterations done in late 2012, few of the rooms have anything on the walls as I’ve not managed to do this yet. It all takes time, and I want it to be right.
I’m hoping that now Mark’s room is all but re-done, that things will settle. I have had some of the worst nightmares I’ve had in years in the last week, all graphically violent and unspeakably unpleasant. But I’m dealing with it, it’s territory I’ve come through before and intend to come through again.
So that’s it, that’s where my life has been these past few weeks. I’m getting there, I have the support I need and I see it still as part of a very long healing process.
I have a few races booked over the next few weeks, so you can be sure that they will feature in the forthcoming updates. Running is my escape when I can leave the complicated stuff behind me and live in the moment, even if it is only for 13.1 miles. I guess it’s always going to be a challenge whilst the weather isn’t great and I can’t get out and do the same amount of running that I can in the summer and coupled with the darker days and generally grimmer weather (accepting that Manchester does grim weather with gusto at any time of the year!) there are a lot of reasons to not be a fan of the winter.
I’m not out of the woods yet, but I’m feeling that I’m going in the right direction.