It’s been a week since I last wrote. I think that’s a record!
Generally speaking I think that is a good thing, whilst you cross my mind quite frequently, it doesn’t linger so much. Sometimes I have a brief wallow in self-pity, anger, sadness. I try not to let it last. We’ve still had no direct contact — you’ve liked a few things indirectly that I’m tagged in, you barely post on Facebook so that at least spares me the dilemma of whether to react or not to things.
You did update your profile pic, which I didn’t react to, although yesterday you posted a pic of your Dad with a KFC bucket as you thought he looked a bit like Colonel Sanders. Given I’ve always thought that the Colonel looks a bit like Rolf Harris, and back in the day your Dad’s favourite wind up for me was suggesting that I looked like him, I couldn’t resist a cheeky comment that pop some glasses on him and he’d be Rolf. You did a laughing react.
It’s not prompted any direct contact though, when I do lapse into over-thinking I wonder if those tentative reacts to things I’ll see might be an invitation to reach out. I suspect not. Rational Bert realises that in truth you seemed to find finding time for me a chore even before all the unpleasantness, so you’re probably not missing that contact as much as I do at times. These are only occasional ponders now, not consuming every minute.
Work has been quite busy, and I’ve been going into the office more — that’s a good thing. I do worry that am still not particularly optimal in my working, but my boss is looking out for me. I’m sure it will be fine. Outside of work I did finally end the procrastinating and buy the van I’d been looking at, I absolutely love it — I stayed in it by the river the night I got it near Aunty B’s as I was off to see her on Sunday.
Unfortunately since then there seems to be a problem with the bed/seat mechanism so I’m having to take it back to be fixed on Wednesday, I’ve booked the day off work. That was stressful, worrying if I’d bought a lemon — I don’t think that I have, so I’m reassured it’s going to be sorted out. It’s D’s belated 50th on Friday so I definitely need somewhere to crash by then. To be honest, if it comes to it I’ll just hop in someone else’s van!
But yes, beyond this little hiccup I’m looking forward to having the flexibility to be able to stealth camp or go to festivals and stay without having to resort to tenting. I’ve not decided whether to get rid of the car and just use it as my daily drive yet — on one hand it makes sense, as it’s small enough and my miles are well down with shorter commutes and not having the long drives to and from you (not a dig, before you say it, just a fact!) — but then the car is nippier, more fuel efficient and as the van is still registered as a panel van has slightly different speed limits.
I think I’ll see how it goes — my car is low cost to insure, zero tax and it’s all paid off so as long as it doesn’t sting me for major maintenance it probably makes sense to keep it.
Outside of the van stuff Sherlock Bert has been really quiet — I’ve pretty much stopped even thinking about looking at signs of your other life on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or Twitch. I do still use the former two, but you’re blocked on them, I’ve long since deleted TikTok and don’t miss it (although as I did discover a while back it’s relatively easy to simply go to someone’s profile via a URL — I’ve not done that either!). I only ever looked at Twitch to support you anyway, so that’s not a miss at all.
All in all, I feel a lot better. I’ve been a lot less dogmatic on the assorted steps I’d been consciously taking. Whether that’s indicative of forming better habits, or the initial sting of what happened fading I’m not sure. I’m mindful of maintaining the positive things outside of wanting simply to recover from depression/anxiety — the healthier diet, the exercise, the self-care. Perhaps a bit more balance is good too though.
I’ve been in contact with your Mum a fair bit — we’ve been much better at not taking about the stuff, though. More like friends, which is ace. She was curious about whether it was me in the music video, which it was, we talked about the family, general stuff. Of course in a few weeks I’m popping down to see them to see if we can get Loki’s claws trimmed or at least get a travel cage there for a future trip to the vet to do it.
I’m really looking forward to seeing them, if a little uncomfortable in the omission of you knowing about it. Maybe she’ll tell you — there is a legitimate reason for the visit beyond of course retaining enormous fondness for your family. As far as I’m aware your Mum hasn’t confided any of the unsavoury things to anyone else though, so it will be interesting to see how the visit plays out in terms of you finding out. I’m not going to worry about it. I’m going to try not to anyway.
Other than that I’m just looking forward to more socialising — D’s birthday gathering this weekend, or just finding a pub in the countryside with A. that will be happy to let us park our vans in the car park overnight so we can have a few beers, food and then go for a nice walk the next morning. A few gigs and things on the horizon too, I actually went to one last week and it really did help remind me of some of the positive things I’m a part of when lockdown lifts.
When the band released their single they put on a small private gig and invited the folks who’d volunteered to be in the video as well as a few others. It was so nice to see everyone, it was a weeknight and I was knackered, but I couldn’t resist popping to the pub after to spend more time with people. We made tentative plans about going on a tour of the Netherlands when the band head out there in December. That’s exciting!
I have drastically cut down on my drinking lately, and to be honest, feel a lot better for it so whilst I don’t consider myself tee-total I don’t really see the need into getting back into drinking heavily when I get the chance. If I do indulge to the levels I was once capable of I’ll probably be paralytic and very ill indeed! So yeah, having a van isn’t an excuse to go and get hammered all the time — just a convenience factor.
Last week I’d forgotten to dial into my therapy call (but did catch up with the recording), this week was the last one. I did remember this time! It was short as it was kind of summing up things and signposting resources etc. There is the possibility of a follow-up call and further sessions via 1:1 — I exchanged emails with one of the therapists last week as — as ever — my responses to the questionnaire raised red flags for them.
I might see if they reach out this week, I really should have logged my responses to these things to trend out the data myself, but I never did — but I don’t think there’s been a step change this week so I imagine the same triggers will be hit as before. I have often wondered if it would make sense to talk to a therapist 1:1 and point them at these letters, they probably offer a good insight into my state of mind.
Not that everything I’ve gone through is purely down to you, Alexandra, I hasten to add. Things like T. being killed, Mum having a stroke, worries over Aunty B., the small matter of a global pandemic and associated restrictions — all of these things are probably stuff I’ve just tried to ‘cope with’ — then losing Frankie, Digby, D. and then finally you in the space of a week was just the tipping point.
But yeah, I feel cautiously positive. I hope you do too, your new hormone injection should be kicking in now, maybe that’s helped level you a little. As I’ve said before I don’t buy the hormone excuse in what happened between us, but I’ve seen first hand the very real impact it has on your mood and state of mind — hopefully that at least is quietened for you. It’s a little frustrating that the end of lockdown has been delayed another month, but not surprising.
Having said that, we have a lot more freedom to do stuff than we have done in the last 16 months. By the time Lockdown is lifted now I’ll have had both vaccinations — I’ve had the AZ one and that supposedly gives me 90%+ protection against the virus. Can’t grumble at that, really!
I hope you’re doing okay, Bert