We’ll always be together.
A blog about writing. A blog about mental health (sort of).
I’m very sorry that I haven’t posted for AGES!!! It’s been a shitty couple of weeks and I’ve had to take a step back and concentrate on my mental health.
The first couple of weeks I was starting to fall into a bit of a dip, mentally, as my anxiety was building up which in turn meant my writing too a bit of a hit. I’d lost all inspiration but also I really struggle to concentrate when I’m like that, which is usually an early warning sign that I’m maybe on a downward spiral. As I felt that I might be ‘turning a corner’ I received a phone call that I had known for a while would come at some point but it still broke my heart.
My Gran, in her early 90s, passed away after her health took a quick sharp downward turn. This came not much more than 18 months after her husband, my Grandad, also passed away. The previous day we’d been told that she wasn’t well and to prepare to say goodbye, but even when the next phone call arrived (from my Mum) it still shattered me. It’s not just my own grief, but also understanding (or, should I say, imagining) how it must feel for my Mum. Firstly, having to tell me over the phone but also it’s both her parents and that changes the landscape; this is now another phase of our lives.
As a write this my cat has jumped up on me. It’s amazing how animals seem to know when you just need a friendly face.
For someone with recent and new mental health difficulties, dealing with grief is proving very tough. Not just because, well, it’s fucking shit, but because my brain mixes it all up. The wires get crossed. It triggers my anxiety and depression, swirls them all around together until I get a lovely mix of “what the actual fuck is this” going on. Every day is an ongoing, hourly battle of self check-ins and using my inner monologue to untangle those crossed wires and make sure that I accept the grief and don’t let the anxiety take over.
Guess what? That’s seriously tiring, which also doesn’t help my anxiety. So when I get tired I still have to do the same thing…..and on, and on, and on…..
I miss my grandparents deeply. There are large parts of who I am that I owe solely to them. I can almost hear my Grandad talking to me when I think people have been treated unfairly. I can hear my Gran laughing to herself as I make smart-arse, sarcastic comments to my Dad.
“Oh you’re your father’s son” they’d both say when I told them about some stubborn thing I’d done at work or how I wasn’t letting a complaint drop until I got what I wanted.
It was my Grandad who first rented me Die Hard on VHS from the video shop over the road when I was off school for the day. “Don’t tell your mother” he said, “but the man in the shop says there’s some swearing in this so don’t repeat it.” I was 10 years old. Fucking genius. That film will forever be my favourite. It’s not even a debate.
My Gran would sit, patiently, politely, with me whilst we played games when I was little. We’d play Pairs and she’d be baffled as this 6 year old could remember everything in the blink of an eye. “How does he do it?” she’d ask my Mum with a quizzical look on her face. I used to ask her to play with my toy bikes and one time she said “no, you always give me the crap ones” and laughed, then played anyway. To her I was perfect, could never do a thing wrong and to me both her and my Grandad were perfect too. Perfect people. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a person say a single bad word about either of them. I always got annoyed when she called my ‘Action Man’ a doll though. “It’s not a doll, it’s Action Man!!”
To top it off, I found out that my Grandad left my Gran a love letter when he passed away and he’d asked that only she read it. Sealed in an envelope with masking tape, hidden away with his underwear. When my Mum told me I couldn’t hold back my tears. It just summed him, them both, up perfectly.
I won’t ever forget them and I will smile as much in remembering them as much as I did when I was with them.
Next week, when I promise I will post again, I will actually talk about my writing again. However, this week is dedicated directly to my grandparents. I love you, I miss you and I hope that I do you proud in the future.
This one’s for you both Frank Sinatra – Together
Thanks for reading x
My Life, Less Ordinary