The beginning of last week was…well, what can I say? The word “awful” just doesn’t seem to sum it up well enough. After everything that happened I did, however, give the mother of the girl the opportunity to voice her side of the situation and having done so I have decided that I wasn’t told anything I didn’t already know, I haven’t changed my mind about anything and I stick by my words here. After those events, I took matters into my own hands and have, in fact, wiped my hands of the whole miserable affair.

Since then…

Last week I couldn’t eat. I was hungry and my stomach growled angrily because it wanted food. However, every time I put food of any description in my mouth…I felt so sick. After only a few mouthfuls, I felt full and knew that if I continued to eat I’d be sick. Because I wasn’t able to eat much, I actually lost 4kg in two days.

Sleeping became just a word. Whilst other people slept soundly, I lay awake worrying and feeling angry. Being a person who needs eight hours or more sleep every night, this took its toll and I eventually had to take sleeping tablets. I only took them for a few nights, but it was better to do that and feel somewhat human during the day than not sleep at all and want to rip people’s heads off.

I felt a squeeze of pressure around my chest. Stress has a way of making itself known and the fact that I could not seem to take a deep breath because it felt like someone had a firm grip on my heart didn’t help. This is a warning that I will not ignore.

And then there were the other things, such as the headaches, the lack of motivation and the withdrawal. I’ve found that I don’t want to be around people…and their problems. I don’t want it and I can’t handle it. I’m going to work, but I’ve basically stopped doing everything else.

And now…

I’m eating a bit better…as long as the portions are small. At least I don’t feel sick when I put food in my mouth now, but I still can’t eat much.

I’m sleeping much better too. I’ve stopped taking tablets to help me sleep. I’ve never been much of a “pill popper”, especially when it can be avoided. I do admit that I’m sick and tired of the setbacks I keep experiencing with my sleeping patterns. I guess half a night’s sleep is better than nothing, but I’ll be glad when I can sleep soundly like I used to.

The pressure around my chest is unchanged. I’m acutely aware of this and will be making decisions based on what’s best for me from now on, not what is best for other people.

As for the “other things”, they are unchanged too. I’m looking for a peaceful place to settle in. No, I’m not going to move. I’m talking about mental peace. It seems that when I’m away from people, I’m closer to finding that peaceful place, so this is another area where I’m going to put me first.

The immediate future…

In three weeks it is Christmas. This year the family is coming to our place. That was my choice. I have been given the option to back out of this arrangement, but have decided that I will not do that. Last year, Christmas was a terrible time for our family. Barry was missed like you wouldn’t believe. Immediately after Christmas I became suicidal. This year, I plan on doing things different. Old traditions will be put aside and new traditions will be born. I believe it’s the only way forward for me and, besides, maybe keeping busy will help distract me too.

This doesn’t mean Barry will be forgotten. That will never happen. On Christmas Eve I will visit the cemetery and will “decorate” Barry’s niche. On Christmas day, a single candle will be lit in memory of the son I love and lost.