You, in October

You feel like you’re about to give a speech, naked, in front of thousands of people who all hate you. The fear writhes inside your body. Your organs feel as if they’re being twisted, wrung out like a damp cloth. The tremors in your hands are worse than usual. A cigarette doesn’t calm you down, it makes you feel worse. Your heart won’t stop jumping around, despite you telling her to stop it. You are sick sick sick with nerves.

I feel so nervous
I have no idea
Are you sure that you’re well enough to go out?
Yeah… but something awful is going to happen, I can feel it
What could possibly happen?
I don’t know
You’re meeting S and B, and your brother, who all love you
I know
You’ll feel fine after a glass of wine
And a good laugh
And a catch up with your brother

Earlier in the day you had an overwhelming urge to chop your fingers off. Mainly the thumb, index and middle fingers of your left hand. You didn’t like the feeling of them. Didn’t want them attached to you. Didn’t want them at all. The skin makes you sick. You want them gone.

You do not feel fine after a glass of wine or a bottle of wine or a few double vodkas or a few double bourbons. You should’ve eaten and taken your meds hours ago, but only now do you realise this. You are waiting for your pizza to be made. You confront a man who hurt you. You are drunk and shouldn’t be here. This is a terrible idea. He’s a prick. You receive no apology. You tell him he’s a dead man. You forget to collect your pizza.

The problem with drunkenly packing up all of your shit in a dramatic “I’m leaving you” way is that the next morning you have to silently unpack all of your shit while he watches you knowing that you’re embarrassed and sad and ashamed, knowing that have nowhere else to go, knowing that you couldn’t leave even though you really want to.

You are so tired that in your dreams you are often asleep. You curl up and fall asleep while the action happens all around you. You are completely exhausted. Most of your dreams are bad ones. But last night you dreamt that it was finally the end of the world. The meteor was coming, getting bigger and closer. Everyone was frantic, upset, frightened. You had never felt so calm. It was wonderful. The end of the world was wonderful.

You believe in one for sorrow. The sight of a solitary magpie decides your mood for the rest of the day. One for sorrow, and you are sad. The superstition ends there. You do not believe in two for joy.

You don’t know what you would do without books. You do not want to be in this world so you escape to others. You want to write but all of your writing recently is terrible: navel-gazing. You cannot do crosswords lately either. You make mistakes in them. Your brain doesn’t work properly which makes you very angry. You can’t do much but read and sleep.

Your anti-psychotic medication isn’t working. You see things and hear things that are apparently not real. Your eye keeps twitching. You need magnesium or potassium, you can’t remember which. You try to slit your own throat. Your father’s penknife blade is too blunt. You try to stab yourself in the stomach. Your body stops you from creating enough force. You want to die. You are still alive and you are trapped. You forgot to collect your pizza but you can’t forget receiving that text message that said, “Fuckin die you slag cunt.”

On Saturday it will be 3 years since your dad died. You read somewhere that once you reach the three year anniversary, the death can no longer be referred to as “recent.” The death is re-categorised as having occured long enough ago that grief can no longer be used as an excuse or justification of behaviour. You are supposed to be “over it” by the three year milestone. You will never, ever get over it.

You are so tired, you sleep in your dreams.
You believe in one for sorrow but not two for joy.
You forgot to collect your pizza.
You look forward to the end of the world.

6 thoughts on “You, in October

  1. I didn’t know that…that 3 year thing. Whoever decreed that is a twat. It’s been 3 years since my dad died too (07/11) and it still hurts like a bitch. After just 6 months my mum still cried every day and a friend (who remains a friend despite their lapse in sensitivity) said to her “it’s been 6 months now…you shouldn’t still be grieving”. That hurt her so much and was actually the point where she went onto antidepressants. I suspect she’ll never be over it. I would never suggest she should be. There is NO timeline for grief. Thank you Good Wolf!

    I always feel bad for ‘liking’ any piece of writing that moves me as much as yours always does, but hope that you know you are never alone. There will always be someone who gets some or all of what or how you’re feeling or struggling with or living. Because you write the TRUTH and you are so important and inspirational because of that.

    • Gosh, I’m so so sorry to hear about your dad. It’s strange because grief is a universal experience and yet each individual grieves differently. I truly hope that yourself and your mum are able to support each other in your loss – sod the timeline. Thank you for your kind words, your comments are so encouraging THANK YOU <3<3

      • I’m sorry to hear about your loss too. It’s like being in some kind of maudlin gang, each of us grieving in our own way but having a shit experience of our own too. I’m glad I had my dad for so long. I’m luckier than many xx

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