It appears, having just flitted over to the CF Trust’s message boards, and by looking through my inboxes, that I’ve had people rather worried by disappearing from my blog for the last few days. Oops.
I assure you, everything is fine. Certainly improving.
To tell the truth (not sure why I needed to add that, since it hardly pays to lie to oneself on your own blog….) I was bumming myself out, which is why I stopped for a bit.
Far from reminding myself to Smile Through It and keep on finding the positives in the darker times of life, I found that every time I started writing a post on the blog in the last few weeks, it’s only been to say either that I feel like cr*p or that nothing’s changed for the better. Even the times when things had changed for the better, the change seemed so infinitesimal and pathetic that it either wasn’t worth mentioning, or served only to lower my despondency about how I’ve been doing.
It’s been weird to find myself trapped in a vicious circle of negative thought, and not something I’ve been used to in life. Most times, my dark periods inhabit the odd spell of a week or so before things conspire to kick me up the butt and show me the way to carry on. This latest down-turn has been different, though.
I don’t know if it’s the increased fear of mortality (or, “Am I gonna kick it?” as I prefer to call it) or the impairment to my quality of life inherent in having sunshine blazing through the windows but not enough energy to leave the apartment and enjoy it, but I’ve been lost in a mire of negativity for the last few weeks from which I seemed to have lost the map that usually provides my guide.
Sure, I’ve had good moments – I’ve managed to share Easter with the families around me, I’ve shared a little laughter with friends, I’ve even managed a trip to Borders (hurrah!), but there has been an overwhelming sense of good, old-fashioned, Dickensian melancholy hanging over me throughout.
It’s not that I entirely lost perspective on the whole thing: last week I was sitting a the funeral of a young girl who’s been an almost constant fixture of my working life for the last six years, since she’s been coming to the MK Youth Theatre sessions since their inception. Sitting in the packed church among many young people experiencing their first distressing taste of grief, I realised that the very day I hit my lowest point – Sunday 1st April, as documented here previously – her Mum, Dad, younger brother and Grandparents were waking up to a new world without their beloved daughter. How could I complain about pain in my life when held up against the pain of a parent outliving their child?
I’ve still appreciated each day I’ve been given, but it sticks in my proverbial craw (I’ve never really known what that means, but it seems to fit here, anyway…) that “making the most of it” is limited to sitting in the chair at the bay window using the bright sunlight to read by, as opposed the to dim interior light all through winter.
Finally, though, after weeks of dragging myself through the rough parts of every day and persevering in ways I wasn’t even sure I was capable of, I seem to have made it out the other side.
That’s not to say things are all bright and rosy, but I have at least got the energy to pop over to my ‘rents and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine if I want to, or to sit in the study and surf the ‘net a while without completely exhausting myself and having to collapse into bed.
I’m able finally to contemplate looking at the next issue of CF Talk, which has been sitting unattended on my desk for nearly 2 months now and is in dire need of completion. I’m able to think about the other writing projects I was looking at before and see if I can rekindle the spark that was there before. I’m able to focus my mind on something other than how my chest is feeling or whether or not I should stay in bed rather than move to the sofa.
I’ve one more negativity-hurdle to overcome, and that will be over after the weekend.
This Sunday sees the Activ8 Youth Theatre show at MKT take place, an event which was to have been my first opportunity to get stuck in to directing a short piece for the Youth Theatre and to benefit the CF Trust. If I’m honest, I saw it as something of a swansong with them, acknowledging as I have to the likelihood that my involvement is being compelled by my chest to end.
Rather than a happy ending, though, it’s going to be an extremely tough one to get through. Not just physically, although I can’t pretend that that’s not going to be a challenge in itself, but because I’ve ended up having almost nothing to do with the finished product. Three weeks’ of rehearsal in a 12 week term doesn’t amount to a contribution, in my mind, and the work I had hoped to see up on the stage is now more likely to bring me down than uplift me.
I wanted so much to make this something to remember – an event that showed the Theatre’s support not just for the CF Trust, but for the whole Youth Theatre, and a true showcase of the talent which has been nurtured through Activ8 over the last half a decade. And don’t get me wrong – it is still very much all of those things.
But it doesn’t feel like it’s anything to do with me. I feel like a passenger, an outsider, something akin to a “consultant” who’s seen parts of the process leading up to performance and had a little input, but not someone who forms part of the “team” whose talents are being showcased.
I know that people will shout me down and will be quick to try to dissuade all of my fears and make me feel a part of it, but I can’t get passed the fact that I’ve not been there for them or with them for pretty much the entire term. This is their show and their showcase, and it’s nothing to do with me any more. That saddens me, and it’s going to be hard, but nothing will stop me being their to support them.
I am trying to keep my air of positivity and move forward from here – and I know I will continue to progress – but I also know that this weekend is going to be a really tough one to get through.
Thanks to everyone for your good vibes, your love and prayers over the last few weeks. They really do make a difference, and they have helped me enormously. I shall endeavour to keep up with my more regular out-put of the past, as I will endeavour to keep myself looking up and not down, forward and not back.
Keep on truckin’.
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