Well I’ve hammered in the overtime over the last few weeks and have left myself a tad shattered. Yesterday was the worst I guess, 2-10 on Friday, followed by a swift pint and then 6-1 Saturday. There’s not much left of me at all now! It seems I’ll be likely out of a job come August as there’s going to be a 50% reduction in staff which, given there’s only 83 in our depo means I’m reasonably certain I’ll be one to go as I’m the last one in. Not looking forward to the whole drag of finding and starting something new again.
I’m tired mentally too though it seems. Someone decided to mail me that my old best mate is still in contact with my ex wife, and asserted that she’s trying to lure him over there using my old DVDs as bait. I dismissed it as someone with a wooden spoon but it’s dwelt more on my mind than it should do. It’s well over 3 years since I spoke to either so it’s irked me that the brain is letting it slop around my head. Until then I barely gave the ex a thought save for Facebook throwing up memories here and there (and lest we forget, there’s only half the amount as she deleted all of hers) and frankly I’d not care if she were alive or dead but I’ve shared most of my life with my mate and I know he’s vulnerable at the moment.
It’s funny. I stood up at work in a big ole meeting and placed myself in the firing line by attempting to speak that which others might be too scared to say, or unable to articulate, and was thanked for it by about 13 people. I know it left me looking like “Al’s the bad guy” or “Al’s making waves” etc etc, but it was the right thing to do. It’s a theme that’s followed me for years. I do what I think is the right thing to do and suffer the consequences afterwards. I left the UK to do the Jack’s dad thing only to be left with nothing afterwards. I moved to Holland to do the relationship thing… and then left because it was going to cost me my life if I stayed because there was no support for my spiralling into despair there. It was the right thing to do, even though it left me with nothing, and cost me all that I’d put my life into. The lack of understanding of this cost me my mate too. You don’t have to “get” why I needed to leave, you just have to understand that I did and accept it because… you know me and know it’s not something I’d just do on a whim. Hells teeth I survived 9 years there nearly and while it wasn’t all bad, all I need to do is scroll through the “on this days” and various blog entries over the years to see the constant struggle I had to cope there mentally.
I guess a best mate and a wife are who you trust to have an eye out for that. Your mental health, An investment of years surely earns it? But the wife never noticed as I cried daily, sometimes even with my head in her lap, and then later.. my mate sat and told me about how good I’d had it over there after i’d left her. And there’s the thing. From the outside no one even registered that there was an issue. No one looked deeper than the nice shiny surface. Even Esther I suspect! But they should have.
There’s an absolute abundance of memes etc telling stories of how “invisible illnesses are stigmatised because you can’t physically see symptoms” and there’s just as many about mental health issues and how there’s no shame in saying there’s a problem. As the Therapy? song says… “It’s ok not to be ok .. when you’re living through this” and damn was I not ok over there. It wasn’t an illness though. It was a constant mental assault, eating at me. I’d fought for something that the other partner wouldn’t fight for. I’d given all of me while she.. she did nothing. I fed and nourished her and supported her mentally… but I needed that back up too. “You wanted me to be your anchor … but I never realised that meant I had to drown”. And man.. I came so close to drowning. Depression so very nearly had me beaten. But it never progressed to the illness part. I still had the facility to choose to change my environment and thus I won, even if the consequence was the loss of both of those I’d spent such time on. “It’s time wasted on your rose which makes it important,” Ain’t that the truth!
But, I’ve survived. Even prospered. 2 new countries and capital cities. All my bills paid. Hell I’ve even a credit card! But that absence of something I’d had for years makes things that should barely create a noise… they echo now within the void which now exists there. I wonder if it’s a wound that won’t heal?
It seems mental health is not unlike physical. For the most part now I’m fine. But every now and again I ache, be it in the cold wind, or the gust of words that spark reactions. I’ve looked into the void and the void has looked into me. We’ve reached an impasse I suspect.
This is not a piece written in anger. It’s not a blame thing either. It’s just a cathartic release into text of what’s been cooking in my head over the last few days. Written for me. My audience these days is limited anyway. But for now I’m done. The football won’t watch itself! I’ll leave you.. and me.. with this… because it’s such a good tune.
It’s ok not to be ok!