Behind closed doors.

“Smile” they say.

So you do.

All you do is smile, because that’s what they asked, thats what they want, isn’t it?

Society plays on all of our minds, comment after comment about how we shouldn’t carry these looks of “sadness” on our faces, as if we know any different.

Society is messed up, just like we are, just like I am.

Have you ever noticed that when people ask “how are you?”, they never really listen to the answer, so you say “good”. We all say “good”, while at the same time we are dying inside because we can’t bare the thought of suffering through another day, we can’t come to terms with the idea that things may will get better, because what if they don’t. No stranger really wants to know how you are, sometimes even friends don’t want to know.

Society tends to frown upon those that are depressed or sad, associating these terms with   weakness. Yet, weakness has no connection to these deep emotions everyone feels inside.

If we all just stop for a minute, and really think… think about how we would like to answer that, “how are you?”, question.

Today, I asked myself “how am I?”, and finally the truth came out.

Today is one of my bad days I said, today is one of those days where I don’t feel like getting out of bed, where all I want to do is crawl up into myself and never face society again. I am sick and tired of hiding how I truly feel just to make everyone else feel better, I am sick of hiding behind closed doors.

We go about our days, a smile plastered across our faces, a laugh more fake than anyone will ever know, we put one leg in front of the other and we go about our day as best as we can. But at the end of the day, when the time comes to go home, to close the front door and remove that face we have been wearing all day, how many of us are still smiling?

It feels as though two separate lives are being lived, one that society wants to see and another that society would immediately withdraw from.

Behind closed doors we are all different people. Behind closed doors we finally feel as though we can be ourselves.

Over the last 9 months, I have been one of those people who wears a “mask” when the go out, having to remove it every day when I get home. Nobody truly knows how you feel but yourself, is that what society wants? For us to have nobody but ourselves.

From someone with a world of experience, I can tell you how bad this truly is, when all you have left is yourself.

From today onwards, I refuse to abide by those societal rules.

I believe… we can never be truly happy until we are ourselves 24/7. I am sick of being that type of “fake happy” society wants.

So who is with me?

Let us finally break the chain and let everyone know that its okay not to be okay. Its okay to be yourself all the time and if that involves breaking down every once in a while then embrace it. At the end of the day, the only way we can get through life, the only way we can learn how to survive, is with each others help.

“So, how do we do this?” you may ask.

The answer is easy…

…Next time someone asks you “how are you?”, don’t say “good”.

Let your emotions run wild, let your mind run free, let yourself finally breathe in the idea that you are no longer alone, you have now been set free, you are no longer hiding “behind closed doors.”

~MM

Some say you die twice.

“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.”- Banksy

One of my favourite quotes, to be interpreted as you like.

For me, I thought of it the same way many people do. With the idea that we die as a human being in the moment we take our last breath. Yet our spirits live on until that moment when somebody utters your name for the very last time. Heartbreaking, I know.

I believe now that we not only die twice but in fact some of us, the unlucky ones (you could say), die three times.

The first time a person dies is almost more painful than the second. That first time isn’t what people would define as death but it feels almost worse. In order to explain this let me tell you a story.

9 months ago… I had arrived home for my holidays, to be with my Mum (who had terminal cancer) and my sister. Mum was one of those strong-willed independent and oh so clever kind of ladies. So it took me by surprise when she began forgetting simple tasks. Within a week she was almost a shell of herself, forgetting if she had eaten, falling asleep in her food, arguing with me over which pills she was meant to take. Incoherent and unrecognisable… I began going to bed at night thinking horrible thoughts “that women in the other room is not the one that raised me.”

My mother had begun the process of her first death, the one where the person you love slowly fades away and is replaced with nothing but a “robot”, someone who is so lost inside, even they don’t know who they are anymore. Don’t get me wrong this is a scary process not only for family but also for the person slipping away, Mum would ask questions like “Why am I like this” “Why can’t I remember anything” “help me”. That last part is the worst, when they beg you for safety and all you can do is watch them fall.

Many people have to endure this first death, the death of loosing who they are, and for that I cannot apologise enough. I truly hope you get through this, I know its not easy but here I stand at the other end, having gone through it, I may not be thriving but ohhh how I’m surviving.

Closely following the first death comes the second, the physical death, when your loved ones heart stops beating, when their brain stops thinking and when their lungs  finally stop breathing. Now you must mourn again, first you struggled with the mental loss and now the physical loss has come , far too soon and you must learn how to deal with this.

Both these first two deaths are almost as bad as each other. The only saviour – the third death. The one thats preventable ~ a third death occurs when somebody says your name for the last time. When all the people who loved you slowly forget, or when the hurt becomes too overwhelming they cannot bare to say your name. This death, I believe is preventable, at least for some of us.

We endure too much in the first two deaths that we must do everything we can to stop the third. We must continue to remember the people that we held so close to our hearts. For as long as I live I will never stop talking about my Mum, I will continue to tell stories of her, I will yell her name over mountaintops if thats what it takes. For my heart has taken enough, already holding on by threads – slowly will I sew piece by piece back together. Healing means remembering and remembering means enduring things that are painful, obstacles we must overcome. We once loved that person with all our hearts, so don’t we owe it to them, don’t we owe them the right for their names to be heard over and over again, don’t we owe them absolutely everything we have left in us.

~ You will never have to endure another death Mum, for I will never stop saying your name.

~MM

Home.

“Sometimes home isn’t 4 walls, it’s 2 eyes and a heartbeat.”

I have found myself missing home more and more these days. Craving that sense of belonging.

Today as I stared blankly into the sky I wished I could go home, I wished more than anything to feel that warmth home brings. Home is meant to be a place where you can set your boots down and finally breath, feel your rib cage rattle as you finally feel that sense of home in your lungs.

I find my heart beating faster and faster as I dream of going home, walking through those welcoming doors into a place my mind can finally be free, where I can be whoever I truly want to be without the eyes of strangers judging me.

The only problem… I no longer have a place like that, a place many refer to as “home”. I realised recently that home to me was never a materialistic thing, it was never 4 walls and a roof, it was you. You were the one person that felt like home to me. What I was craving wasn’t home after all… that overwhelming want… overwhelming need to rush back home, to run through those doors slowly disappeared as I noticed your absence.

Never again will you be waiting there for me to return. Never again will I have someone to call my “home”. Never again will I feel that sense of joy, relief, happiness that you provided me with.

I still go home… back to the same place, where I enter through those same doors, but lying on the other side is nothing but emptiness. Almost an overwhelming darkness, welcoming me back, introducing me to this new space, filled with nothing but an overwhelming grief, almost as if I could fall into this darkness any moment and never come back. This home is anything but a home, because without you there its nothing more than a house. A house I no longer recognise.

So here I stand, once again, craving home. At this moment I feel myself wanting to book a flight home, then I stop and catch my breath, so conflicted and confused. Now I walk around with this pain in my chest, this want to go home more than anything else in this world. Yet with the knowledge of knowing I no longer have a home. None of it makes any sense to me. For what I want is you, the only thing I will never have.

Mum, I miss you. I miss every little aspect of you. You were my home. You were absolutely everything to me. I will never stop missing you, I will never stop loving you and I will never forget that feeling of being “home”.

~MM

Jealousy.

“Jealousy often consists of a combination of emotions such as anger, resentment, inadequacy, helplessness and disgust.”

Jealousy…

An emotion I never experienced much of. Yet, over the last 8 months, it has been one of the strongest emotions I have ever felt.

This overwhelming feeling of jealousy, they have something you don’t, they have something you would kill to have, they have their Mother.

I found myself sitting with a group of people I barely knew last night. Chatting, laughing, smiling… I was enjoying the company. One girl sat up and began chatting about her Mum. How she never listened to her advice…

“Ohhh my Mum always tells me to do that too” – another girl chirps up. I sit there absorbing their comments. It’s my turn I decide, as I am overwhelmed with jealousy, I open my mouth… “I don’t have anyone to tell me that.”

Everyone froze, looked at me, and simply unaware asked “why not?”.

“She’s dead” I replied.

The words taste bitter even as I say them, and I resent them almost immediately. But the damage is done, the overwhelming “I am so sorry” begin to come in. I’ve had enough, I want to explode, I am sick of hearing these people complain. I want to shout. I want to cry. I am so angry, so I sit there and take a breath.

“Don’t worry about it.. its okay.” These words don’t even feel like my own, I am so disassociated from my innermost thoughts that I shutdown and say something generic, I say something that will allow everyone else to feel better. That’s what I do, immediately guilt takes over and I find myself apologising for things I should never be sorry for.

Over the last 8 months I’ve listened to my friends laugh and smile along with their Mothers… the endless phone calls and texts to make sure they’re safe. Phones always lighting up… just as mine used to. But now I am stuck… all alone, complete darkness all around with not even the light of my phone to save me… because the light only goes off for those that are cared for. For me that light stopped going off the day she passed, and now I sit here surrounded by this awful feeling of jealousy, one I cannot shake… I may not ever be able to get through this feeling. I may never stop looking at those smiles, those laughs, those lights on their phones and feel endless amounts of jealousy.

The only choice left is to shut down… numb my emotions… turn off that bright light inside… turn my mind to darkness.

And now I see… not only is my room always dark but so is my mind. Trust me, I tried to keep it going… I gave it everything I had… yet at the end of the day all our phones die just as our minds do.

Now, I will numb myself to this feeling of jealousy, numb myself to the outside world… numb myself from ever feeling again.

Tonight… I will receive no “I love you”, “be safe”, “I miss you” texts. Tonight my phone will be filled with darkness. Tonight I will watch my whole body shut down, bit by bit as those lights turn off, as those emotions fade, as the light turns off… until we are left with nothing but darkness.

 

~MM

Struggling.

“Never underestimate the pain of a person because in all honesty, everyone is struggling. Some people are better at hiding it then others.”

As time ticks on, I am pulled further and further away from the memories I once shared with you.

With each second, minute, hour even month I begin to realise I’m never going to see you again. No more memories will be created, no more to be shared. To me this is heartbreaking and I struggle, I struggle to deal with those dark thoughts, I struggle to continue living each moment, I struggle to create memories without you… today, more than ever, I am struggling.

As I lay here now staring at the clock I think of you and how you struggled. Day after day I watched you get weaker and weaker. To see the one person I love more than anything struggle, is nothing I would wish on anyone.

I would describe struggling as the constant inability to continue with every day activity, something I’m sure everyone has experienced at some point in their lives.

So when does it get to that point of no return? When do you go from struggling to breaking point?

~ When all of a sudden you can no longer stand the weight of the earth. When you have no choice but to give in, to give up, to let go, to die.

Thats what happened to you. In that last two weeks, you went from struggling, to all of a sudden dying – with no warning. I looked into your eyes, demanding for you to continue struggling. Selfish I know, but I didn’t want you to go… because I too was struggling, and without you I would reach breaking point.

So here I stand today,
Me, no longer struggling… because the day you died… the day you stopped struggling, I reached breaking point.

~MM

Drowning.

This is the post excerpt.

” You don’t need water to feel like you’re drowning, do you?”

One day it hit me… not in small waves as I expected, instead it was like an ocean, roaring at the edges as it dragged me under. I felt breathless, helpless and hopeless, the more I fought the harder it became to breath.

The only choice you ask?

Stop fighting. Let it consume you. Let it take away everything you once had, stop fighting.

That to me is what depression feels like. In this moment, all I can see is water above me… and with each stroke I am being pulled further and further to the bottom.

Life has thrown me wave after wave… and until now I kept swimming.

Until that day when everything changed… when you took your last breath, when I forgot how to swim…

Drowning. Breathless. Broken.

Seven months later and I have only realised now that you weren’t the only one that took her last breath that day.

~MM

post