I’ve always tried to be a ‘glass half full’, ‘live your life as you don’t know what’s round the corner’ sort of person. To the outside world anyway. What happens inside your own thoughts and emotions is a different thing sometimes.
I’ve let very few people into the inner workings of me. It’s never felt a safe or good thing to do. I’m also used to dealing with things myself, my mess, my responsibility. When Elliot died I guess that all started to unravel. Not as much to people around me as I felt I had to keep it together for my kids, my work and to see Elliot’s charity grow. Plus I also knew if I stopped for the slightest of moments to recognise how I truly felt – I would probably just crash and never come back from it – I couldn’t risk that.
But I learnt that I didn’t have as much control as I thought I had. Bob and Elaine were life savers I guess. I let them in, eventually, over a long period of time. But it’s like I had three separate worlds going on at the same time. My day to day life of trying to show everything was ok and I was coping – home, work etc – life as normal – whatever normal was. Then a world in my mind where nothing had changed, Elliot was still here – part of my life. That when I’d pull up on the drive at home and in my mind he would be there, waiting. Waiting to tell me about his day in his usual excited way. He had the most amazing blue eyes and cheeky smile. Sometimes at night I’d pretend that he was asleep upstairs in his bed – I just wasn’t prepared to able to accept he was gone.
Then my third world was the painful reality of what was really going on inside me. The darkest of dark thoughts, a past that came back to try and paralyse me and a slow slow realisation, through hours and hours of talking, that my little boy wasn’t come back. At the time going through all that – it felt unsafe, a huge risk – talking is something you shouldn’t do. But I did and I realise it wasn’t risky or unsafe – in fact it was the safest place I could be.
But now they are gone, Bob and Elaine and I’m struggling to have the confidence and hope that I can build on everything I started with them. Being positive is a powerful weapon but it is also so hard to keep going when your thoughts push out doubts and fears and what if’s. It’s like those thoughts are tennis balls that keep coming at your time and time again and your racket is the one positive thought you keep hitting them back with. You feel good when it works and the thoughts stop bouncing around in front of you, but the times when more and more of those thoughts are there it becomes exhausting to keep batting them back time and time again. But you know you don’t want to let even one ball past you – you can’t take that risk. Daft analogy I know but can’t describe it any other way.
I miss my little boy so so much. I miss the life I just naturally presumed I would have with him. Sometimes its the small things that hurt the most, one less plate for dinner, one less pile of washing to fold up, seeing other mums do the school run that I will never do.
Being positive is key for each step forward but sometimes you feel like you need a back up plan to keep that going. I’m not sure what my back up plan is.