I was shaking like a shitting dog.
My pupils must have been dilated, I couldn’t stop licking my lips and I know my face was as white as a sheet as I could feel all of the blood that had recently drained from it, sloshing about in my feet as I struggled to place one foot in front of the other, on the road to what was undoubtedly going to be my early demise.
I was probably unintentionally gurning too. It is something I tend to do when I feel overwhelmed.
So basically, had you seen me at that precise moment, shuffling around the supermarket, head firmly facing downwards, hood up and over my ears, looking like Kenny from Southpark, hands seemingly angrily shoved deep in to my parka pockets, you would have been forgiven for assuming I was on my way home from an all-night rave, or maybe ‘stoned off my bongo’s’ and looking to scourge for some munchies.
Hell, you would have been forgiven for choosing to walk down a different aisle at the last minute when you saw me coming.
I didn’t smell though. Just to be clear. I hadn’t been out all night.
I hadn’t slept, but I had showered.
I was ripping off the proverbial plaster.
I was 16 again, my body aimlessly wandering around in circles, immobilised by fear, while my thoughts were otherwise engaged on a merry-go-round of disaster.
I had no idea what I looked like and nor did I have the headspace to care.
I had no idea what I was looking at either as I randomly picked up a huge cereal box, before haphazardly slamming it back down and moving on, moving on to nowhere, with no idea what the hell I was going to do, or how I would handle it, if the inevitable happened.
My body was in Morrison’s while my mind was on a nightmarish sabbatical.
I was paralysed by the fear.
Five days late.
I was five days late.
One thought, running screaming like a banshee, with its hands in the air, through each and every corridor of my mind over and over again, making me relive something, like the exact moment someone jumps out on you in a dark room and scares you half to death, repeatedly.
The blood rushing to your ears, your heart physically hurting as the flight or fight response rips through your blood vessels heading towards your brain.
The Boo moment.
The terrifying fraction of a second before you realise it is only your idiotic husband hiding behind the fridge, not an axe murderer, and lamp him across the forehead with your iPhone 6.
The split seconds before you allow yourself to revel in the delicious relief, the kind of relief that turns your feet to jelly.
You are safe. There is no axe murderer.
But I wasn’t there.
I was immobilised now, stood by the frozen chips, drowning in the quicksand of experiencing that ‘Boo’ moment, over and over again.
I would have to face it though.
I was 5 days late.
I found myself in the clothes section.
Sighing and with a slight internal smile, I picked up a tiny white Babygro and thought about calling Samaritans.
I hovered over tiny socks, nappies, powdered formula, teething gel, wet wipes and blankets, mentally steeling myself for what may be.
I grimaced over huge sanitary towels, huge beige bra’s, oversized knickers and nipple rash cream, mentally steeling myself for the possible reality.
And then I did it.
I took a deep breath, and I studiously walked back to the pregnancy test aisle.
They come in plastic boxes round here, you know, like cd’s.
I didn’t know that.
And there are so many.
Why does it feel like so long ago since I did this before?
Because it was in another lifetime, last time.
My hand shot out of my pocket before I could change my mind and I grabbed a digital one.
With my hands shaking beyond what anyone at my age would consider normal, I paid and left the store, mumbling an incoherent thanks at the cashier who wished me good luck.
Could this really be happening?
I drove home.
I thought I had wanted this.
Even felt a modicum of excitement at the possibility of it all.
At the possibility of it being different this time, of loving, wanting, nurturing, enjoying.
Enjoying little feet and little hands from day one, from conception.
What the hell was I thinking?
The panic smacked me hard across the face again as a tidal wave of fear took over and I turned the car in to a street that wasn’t mine and switched off the ignition.
With my head on the steering wheel I sobbed.
I cried for my little boy who right at the beginning I wanted to but couldn’t love more because I was too ill, I wailed and grieved again for the loss of his first year, I sobbed for myself, I allowed myself 2 minutes of understanding and care.
And then I fell silent.
I need more time. I need more time to think this through. I am not ready. I am scared. Too many what if’s, what if this time it isn’t different? What if I want to die again, what if the voices come back? What if my world changes again and once again I find I am all alone in the darkness? What if I hate myself and my baby, what if I don’t feel the love? What if I get fat again and rip my undercarriage from here to Brighton and can’t poo for a month? What if nobody wants me anymore and Addison grows apart from me? What if I am rejected? Why I am so despicable? Why am I not Normal? Why aren’t I excited? Why did I think I could do this?
I cannot do this.
In that moment, I had never been so certain of anything in my entire life.
I could not do this again.
That was last week.
I sat on the side of the bath with my understatedly (trying to hide it for my benefit) excited husband grasping my hand, gurning like a techno freak and chomping on the acute fear, for the longest 3 minutes of my life.
I saw black dots, stars and reality as I knew it slipping away. Again.
‘Oh well,’ the Irish one mumbled, standing up and throwing the test in the bin, his shoulders hunched as he headed back downstairs ‘at least now we know how you really feel.’
I didn’t respond.
Because what could I say?
I stayed sat on the side of that bath for a very long time after he had walked out.
If I cannot do this again, and I am so sure of it, why do I feel so utterly disappointed?
I could wish for a million things for myself, but if I only had one wish, I would wish for good mental health.