You know what it is right?
(The ‘right’ at the end of that question doesn’t actually need to be there, I know that, but it is the Mancunia in me. You know what it is RIGHT? Is just how I speak… can we move on?)
I have been stamped with a tag, (not an electronic one just to be clear. I am from Manchester yes, but I am not someone who behaves so atrociously that she would end up being electronically tagged, although the Irish one would probably disagree with this statement for five days of every month. The very same five days of the month when he has every right to fear for his safety) and now that I have worn that tag for a while, looked at it full on in the mirror, glanced at it a couple of times out of the corner of my eye in the reflection of the huge shop windows I pass on the way to the supermarket and back, and see it clean as day glaring back at me, sometimes hidden behind or underneath something, like a sleepless night, or a cheerful weekend, but still there somehow, it just seems impossible to disconnect from.
Like even when I am feeling happy, the underlying tag reminds me not to get my hopes up, not to give myself any credit and certainly not to take any of this, this happiness, hope, wishful thinking, belief in a greater good and joy for granted.
It almost feels like now it is written in stone, it’s sinister grin will always be watching from behind a corner mocking the very person I am trying so desperately to become.
Suits in the living room, drinking coffee, making plans to change my world.
Dark mornings, the smell of toast and an overwhelming fear leaking from my heart in to the very pit of my stomach that at some point soon, this happiness, this love, this dream I seem to be living in, where everything is ticking along tickety boo, that these moments almost pleasurably seeping now in to sepia never forgotten memories, will come to an irreversible end.
I am actually waiting for something to happen to kill me off. (It is like living in a Scream movie.)
I am anticipating it, knowing that it will prove the way I was living, isolated by choice, frozen in time and very much alone, was actually very sensible.
I can feel it watching me, a shadow lurking at the edge of my life, like an unwelcomed sinister guest at a party for angels.
I will be kidding about, catching myself laughing, catching myself living and getting to know the new me and the life I am still learning to live, and somehow seem to be enjoying, and my stomach will flip over with the realisation of how mellow things have become.
Sometime soon, a dirty great big rock is going to land with great force in to the middle of this serene little man made lake I have been working so hard on and I am dreading the sound, the feel, and the shock of the splash of cold water that will no doubt douse me in misery from head to toe.
This is the pattern of my life, this is why I haven’t allowed love to break down my door. (Not my back doors. Just like, the front door. Look I am trying to be poetic ok? So can we just be serious for a moment please?) This is why I have spent my life pushing people away, anyone who came too close, anyone who wanted me, needed me to need them in any way at all.
I am scared that something horrific is going to happen now that the door has been opened.
Now, that I am in love.
Now that I am allowing myself to be loved.
Something is going to happen.
Something is coming and this feels like a warning.
My fingers flying over the keys of the paper sat in front of me, a warning to batten down the hatches, to prepare, to stock up for the winter where everything will once again change irreplaceably.
I can feel it coming.
Is this happiness, or is it the quiet before another storm?
Is this real, or is this the old me, struggling to bring me, the real me back within my comfort zone, whispering at me to push everyone away again.
Reminding me over and over again that nobody cares, that none of this will last and that ultimately, I am worthless.
Is this me?
Or is that me?
I know people care. I care.
Who the hell am I now?
Can I live with the old tag all the while creating a new tag?
Can someone with clinical forward slash postnatal depression recover?
Or is something about to happen.
Notice how I do not think this is a question.
Because for me, it is written in stone, something is coming.
Happiness is not safe.
Or is it?
Agghhh I just don’t know.