This is one of those posts that won’t get many likes, that doesn’t start with a ‘catchy’ phrase to keep people interested like my ‘Write for Online environments’ writing course recommends. I still haven’t completed that assignment – so this post will clearly not be up to scratch!
This is just about me and how I’m feeling. I’m confused and feeling lonely again. I have a sore throat and in a way I’m glad because it means that’s probably the reason I’ve been feeling worse these last couple of days. The night sweats were so bad two nights ago and I was so exhausted, that I carved deep welts into my chest around my neck with the scratching in my sleep.
I was in a private Facebook group with the 6 other mums in my Mother’s group (there were 8 of us originally, but that’s another story) which used to be overflowing with photos and stories from each others lives. In the last year, it’s dwindled, possibly because of their lives getting busy – most of them have second children now – but also possibly because none of us really liked each other. There was a bit of a divide down the middle, and there were two I got on with better than the others, and only one I really could see myself being friends with. But they have been on my mind, and I’ve been wondering if I should try to resurrect contact. My daughter still refers to one of the other little girls as her best friend – even though they haven’t seen each other for 4 months – and I think I should do it for her. So I posted a little message to say hello, and got a luke-warm ‘hope things are better for you next year’ from one of them. I can’t help feeling judged. I feel it through all my circles. ‘Are you still sick?’ ‘Oh that’s right, you’re sick aren’t you?’ Work asked me to fill in an extra shift, a full extra day and change my weekly hours because they needed someone, with no real regard to how it might make me feel, and I haven’t been able to reply yet, because I am left feeling like I’ve let them down already.
My other friends are all so busy. Everyone is constantly on their phones, but what are they doing? The only person I see regularly and have regular contact with, couldn’t care less about me or my health, only talking about himself constantly. not even a ‘how was your day?’ when he comes by, just straight into his own worries and concerns.
Even my daughter, such a little tyrant. Yesterday – this is unusual by the way – she got upset in the supermarket because I wouldn’t go and stand where she wanted me to, so she could run to me. It involved me walking back up an aisle I had just walked down and I said no. Half an hour later we finally drove away from the supermarket. There had been yelling, hitting, punching and screaming as she stood in front of me trying to stop me leaving and then wouldn’t get in the car.
I don’t remember doing this to my parents, although I suppose it’s likely I did, because kids do. My parents always seemed ‘Up There, Being Parents’. There was lots of conversation about worldly things and politics but they were UP There and I was on my own being a kid. Even my brothers were so much older than me and weren’t really interested.
School was the same I suppose, meeting friends and learning about all sorts of personalities and trying to learn my own boundaries. University, I went to because I didn’t know what else to do – and there was a recession, and fewer jobs around. Probably the best time in my life was my early twenties when I got a job, moved out of home with two of my best mates and spent a lot of money on going out.
Then I went overseas and things were exciting for a year and went downhill from there. I got involved in the first lot of London bombings, back in 1999, and lost a good friend as well as my way in life. I’ve probably been trying to get it back ever since.
Life is what it is and you’ve got to make the best of what you’re given, because it can’t be changed. There is no point in feeling bad about things that have happened or things that haven’t been, but life must also be lived and there’s a difference between ‘feeling bad or wallowing’ and recognising you’re a human being with feelings and need time to adjust.
Most of the advice or ‘support’ I have gotten this year has been of the former – don’t feel bad, don’t wallow, just be positive. And not once have I heard anyone simply say ‘hey this must be hard for you’. Not once! And that’s actually what I would love to hear. Because I will deal with it how I deal with it and you need to DEAL WITH THAT! If you don’t like how I’m dealing with my life, keep it to yourself and just say something kind like ‘hey that must be hard’. Kindness seems to have been replaced with Facebook advice in an answering-machine-like response ‘sorry I’m not here for you right now, but here’s a list of 20 things successful people do in the morning to have a great day’.
Mostly, I just want this illness to be over with now, so I can go back to being involved in life and socialising, all the things that allow contact with people to resume. Because it’s clear there isn’t going to be anyone here for me whilst I get through this. And I guess that’s the way life is anyway, some great poet said ‘everyone dies all by himself’ and while I’m not talking about dying, the poem – which I can’t be bothered Googling – just talks about the inherent loneliness of life and that everything we go through, we go through on our own because we are individual, even when we have someone going through it with us. The someone just eases the feeling of being alone I guess.