Yesterday

Yesterday, I cried in the street.

The Beatles – Yesterday

Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be.

There’s a shadow hanging over me.

Oh, yesterday came suddenly.

 

Why she had to go,

I don’t know,

She wouldn’t say.

I said something wrong,

Now I long

For yesterday.

 

I was overcome with grief for my mum, and I couldn’t stand it.  I am a 36-year-old man in the prime of his life, and I miss my mum.  I am a 36-year-old man and I cried in the street because I wanted my mummy.  Tosser.

I miss most of all that she missed me when I wasn’t there.  That she needed me.  That she cared.  That I mattered to someone.

I walked along the road, crying, and there was no-one to see, or to ask me how I was, or to care.  And I came home to my flat, and I cried again, and there was no-one to see, or to ask me how I was, or to care.

I can cope with the isolation.  I can cope with the fear.  I can cope with looking over my shoulder all the time for the thing that is never there, but is always almost there.  I can cope with the loneliness.  I can cope with the despair.  But the not mattering, the fact that if I disappeared tomorrow there would be no-one to notice, or to care – that I don’t know I can cope with.

This is my fault.  It was my choice.  I chose to isolate myself.  I chose to stop seeing my friends.  I chose not to take the drugs.  I chose all of this.  There is no one to blame.  This is me.  This is my fault.

I am trying to be strong.  It’s what I do.  Head-down, gritty-jawed, flint-eyed determination.  But why do I bother when there is nothing left, and no-one to be strong for?

 

REM – Leave

I suffer dreams of a world gone mad,

And I like it like that, and I know it.

But I know it well, ugly and sweet,

And temper madness with an even-in streak.

 

That what keeps me,

That’s what keeps me,

That’s what keeps me down.

 

I want to start drinking again.  I want the sight, smell, taste, feel – everything – again.  I have denied myself this for so long, because it makes me worse.  But why should it matter if I get worse?  Why do I fight to stay normal, when there is no-one and nothing to be normal for?

I am 36 years old, and I have achieved nothing.  A string of lost jobs, of failed relationships, of dreams for the future that failed to happen.  I am the ghost of my past, haunting my own future.  I will never have a future because I am permanently stuck in my past.

 

Chumbawamba – Pass It Along

A happy future is a thing of the past,

And there’s always another repeat.

Shut out the world, it’s getting worse,

Save yourself, don’t leave the house.

 

But then again, there is a way out.  Always the same idea of the same way out, the old stupid, sweet, seductive escape.

 

REM – Try Not to Breathe

I will try not to breathe,

I can hold my head still, with my hands at my knees.

These eyes are the eyes of the old,

Shivering and cold.

 

I will try not to breathe.

This decision is mine, I have lived a full life –

 

But that’s the thing about trying not to breathe.  It doesn’t work.  Always in the end the breath comes.  The body wants to live, and there is no simple escape from life.  If there was an easy route into oblivion I would take it like a shot, I would jump at the chance, I would cut to the chase, I would swallow it hook, line and sinker.

But there isn’t.  Between the thought and the expression falls the shadow.

 

So.  This is what is left.

No hope.

No happiness.

No peace.

No future.

No escape.

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12 Responses to Yesterday

  1. abysmalmusings says:

    Hey mate – here’s a hug. I know – useless, but well-meant. You could have described me up there. But the future is always there – new people new jobs new ideas new things. I’ll be damned if I let the countless mistakes of my past define me.

    Two quotes from the glummest old stoic of them all:

    “Perhaps it’s done already, perhaps they have said me already, perhaps they have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, it will be the silence, where I am, I don’t know, I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”

    and

    “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

    I was talking with my cousin today. About wanting out. About having had enough. He gets it badly too. I told him that to escape from a pointless existence is also pointless, therefore don’t bother, but enjoy, endure, suffer what we’re given because it’s better than the alternative.

    It will pass. Do you know the anglo-saxon poem Deor?

    Here’s a translation: http://www.kami.demon.co.uk/gesithas/readings/deor_me.html

    Enough. Take care eh? D x Get in touch if you need an ear.

  2. cb says:

    I’m sorry things are so difficult. I’m 37 (I suspected we were about the same age..) and I still cry for my mum sometimes (in fact, I’m welling up as I write this now) – I don’t think I’ll ever stop.
    I know it’s probably not terribly helpful but you have created this place – this community and it’s an amazing thing when you think about how different a world we are in now than we were years ago when it wouldn’t have been possible. It isn’t the same as ‘real’ people but it is still people who care.

    Take care

  3. abysmalmusings says:

    People who care. I wish I’d been as succinct. Fighting Monsters (we both come from the same aphorism, how silly is that? – sorry, just still trying to raise a smile) has nailed it. cb/FM – you’re a very wise woman.

    As for you, young Aethelred, says me Mr Abysmal at the grand old age of 37 shortly to click onto 38, we do care. I haven’t met a single blogger-person since I started blogging, though have met a few online friends from beforehand. I look forward to meeting you one day.

    I just wish I had had more than a total of one night’s really good sleep this month so far. If my tone is all awry, blame it on the May and the 12 hours kip.

    Take care (never an empty expression) D x

  4. The Chuckle says:

    Hi A – just read this post an wanted to let you know that as CB pointed out you’re not alone. If there’s anytime you need an ear drop me a mail. I’d quote REM Let Me In back at you as a response – glad that you posted about this, stay safe

  5. The Chuckle says:

    doh! here – mattyclarke73@yahoo.co.uk

    take care, chuckles

  6. Alex says:

    I care. I don’t know if that helps much, or even at all, but I do. I care, and I’m so sorry that you feel like this.

    ‘This is me. This is my fault.’
    Bollocks. This is not all that you are. Not even close. You are a good person. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. That’s no-one’s fault, least of all yours.

    Anyway, cb has it right. There’s this whole group of people who care about you and understand what you’re going through. To a certain extent, I’m not even sure it makes a huge difference whether they’re online or off.
    Something I said to la, a long time ago:
    I’m not an internet boy any more than you’re an internet woman. Having to preface it like that is unnecessary – just because we don’t know each other in the real world doesn’t mean either one of us is committing some kind of faux-pas by admitting to caring about someone else’s welfare.

    ‘I chose to isolate myself. I chose to stop seeing my friends.’
    Bollocks. In the face of that kind of mental illness, there’s no choice there at all. Yeah, maybe you could’ve forced yourself to keep pretending everything was OK, but you’d have had a nervous breakdown. In that situation, your choice is either to fight and lose, or to give yourself the breathing room to work out how to fix things.
    If you want to talk about choice, why not talk about the choice to keep going? Choosing to get up and do something with your day when it’s a Herculean effort to get out of bed – that’s a difficult choice, and one you should be proud of having made so many times.

    Two more things. There is always a future. Sooner or later, it will be better than the present. As such, there is always hope, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

    I’m going to stop trying to berate you into feeling better now (apologies if I’ve said anything hugely patronising or offensive). Just take care of yourself, Aethelread. You’ve got my email if you need to get things off your chest.

  7. la says:

    That happened to me too yesterday – I was walking to the train station, using the cover of rain to let a few tears out, and the thought came from nowhere ‘I want my mum.’

  8. aethelreadtheunread says:

    Thanks for all the comments. I’ll maybe give a fuller reply in due course, but for now i think ‘thanks’ covers it – the sentiments are appreciated.

    abysmalmusings – i’ve approved the version of your 1st comment that includes the link (it got stuck in the spam filter as you guessed), and deleted the version that seemed to be a duplicate, but minus the link. Hope that was ok.

  9. cellar_door says:

    Nothing much (at all, in fact) to add to what everyone has said, but wanted to send my hugs and good thoughts. You didn’t choose to be ill, no-one does. You are dealing with it the best way you know how and you deserve total respect for that. People do care, and I for one would miss you very much if you weren’t about. I feel a bit daft saying that about someone I’ve never met – and I know it probably doesn’t mean as much as a ‘real’ person saying it – but it’s true.

    Incidentally, I have cried in the street over much stupider things than missing someone I loved. Babies and puppies have me in tears just by being there at certain times of the month….

    xx

  10. Lucy McGough says:

    “…the not mattering, the fact that if I disappeared tomorrow there would be no-one to notice, or to care – that I don’t know I can cope with.”

    WE BLOODY CARE!!!

    *ahem*

    We care. Honestly. I care. Email me if you want to. I’d miss you if you weren’t there. Nobody else on the internet is like you. You matter. You are a part of people’s lives. You’re a part of my life. (I once dreamt I met you… you were playing in a rock band. It was really random.)

    I swear to God, if you wanted me to I’d come and see you in the flesh tomorrow. (If I knew your address.) YOU MATTER.

    ((((((((((Aethelread))))))))))

    P.S. I burst into tears all the time and I keep thinking ‘this is pathetic, I’m a grown woman and I’m at university so I shouldn’t be crying.’ But it’s the people who never cry who are weird.

  11. J.Wibble says:

    There’s nothing wrong with crying. Everybody cries, even if they don’t admit it or they don’t like it, but they do. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be sad and scared, it’s okay to feel. Crying isn’t weak or pathetic, it’s human.

    You do matter, and there are people who care about you. I wouid miss you if you were gone, even though I’ve never met you. If you can’t deal with people in the flesh that’s not your fault, sometimes it’s just too much and I get that too. But you do make a contribution, even if you don’t feel it’s significant. You write, and people come and read it – people who haven’t met you, people who live far away, who read what you’ve written because it captivates them, and who keep reading what you write because they’re interested in what you have to say and interested in hearing about your life. You read and comment on what other people write, offering your valuable input and advice and support. That’s far from worthless.

    I hope you don’t start drinking again, because you know it doesn’t help. If you dissolve all of your coherence and self-awareness in vodka (or whatever your poison of choice), you really will be stuck. Please don’t throw your life away in pursuit of the almightly bottle – I would be very sad to see your wit and intelligence and empathy and vibrant passion fade away because all your life revolves around is drinking. Whatever you might think of yourself right now, you’re too good for that.

    I hope things start looking better soon. Take care of yourself. *hugs*

  12. lsnduck says:

    You do matter.

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