Every now and again there is a point in my life where I really truly have to choose.
I have the option to wake in the morning or not.
I can get up, or not.
I can paste a smile on at work and encourage other people’s positivity, or I can just get through it.
I can keep up my sports and hobbies, or call off sick.
When I’m out and about I can meet new people and try to be interested in them, and their lives, or I can duck my head and hope to avoid superficial banter.
It seems easier to plead grief. To mutter that life is really hard right now, and that I have nothing to give.
The truth of it is that when you feel like your world is empty because you are dealing with loss; whether it is a break up, health issues, having to move, the death of loved ones, or watching someone slip away in old age. You HAVE to keep fighting.
Otherwise you miss the point where things start to get better. One day someone or something lovely happens but you miss it because you are under your duvet smelling like three day old pizza.
Before a family member’s funeral a long time ago, mum caught us kids playing cards and giggling in that over-stimulated tired way kids do when they are beyond it.
We must have looked shamefaced at being caught in a moment of happiness at such a sad time.
She sat down and quickly reassured us that we were allowed to be happy.
“it’s really hard at the moment, but if you feel happy, or good things happen, you are allowed to enjoy it – you need it even more at the moment.”
She joined us in our playful little group, our bubble excluding all the other crap outside the door.
It was an awesome lesson in the fact that life is never 100% sad or 100% happy. We have little pockets of both in times of great extreme, the trick is to find them and use them.
So things have been really horrible recently for me. (Take each of the examples from the above and every. Single. Fucking. One has happened in the last month). But I’m still here. And I‘ve realised, that the horrible things may not stop. And I either need to give up completely or try to enjoy the life I have. Because bad stuff isn’t going away, but the good stuff might.
People eventually stop reaching out if you aren’t there, and I need them. People have been AMAZING. I’ve been out for dinner, had people around, gotten drunk, stayed sober, sat quietly, talked for hours, sobbed uncontrollably and sworn endlessly.
My sports buddies and work colleagues have respected that those are my “safe” places and I don’t want to talk or think about things there and we are all doing an awesome job of pretending I’m hunky dory when I’m there. I’m so blessed in so many ways.
The least I can do is give everyone the respect they deserve and let them help me the ways they want to.
So thanks to those twitter buddies who send me messages of support and respect that I’m not ready for drinks yet.
Thanks to those of you who have messaged to check that I’m ok, since there has been such a gap between posts.
And here’s to anyone who is choosing to live. Really live – get your smile out and kick ass.