You almost died. Words ringing in my ears as I order coffee and search for a seat. I don’t remember the walk from the hospital to here. What I do remember is nodding, smiling and trying to carry on my appointment like being told I almost died is the commonest thing in the world.
“Maybe now it will actually begin to feel real. We actually did it.” I type, not for the first time. Clicking “send tweet” as the tears begin to fall. Opening Facebook, I type a similar message. The Kerry for Choice WhatsApp group is next, followed by an expletive laden text to P. My phone is buzzing so much it scares Arwen (the dog).
President Higgins signed the Thirty-Sixth Amendment of the Constitution Bill into law. The Eighth Amendment has officially been Repealed. Yet, the joy I expect isn’t there. Relief and exhaustion are all I have. They are all I’ve had since May 25th.
“You left Dublin? That must have been some change for you?”
“Yeah, it took a while to get used to. I miss footpaths, street lights and living within the delivery zone of takeaways.”
I focus on the practical things because I’m afraid to admit the truth; it didn’t take me long to adapt to living in the country and, apart from friends and family, there is little about the city that feels like home. It stopped feeling like home while I was living there.
In sickness and in health; five words which seem obvious until they’re put to the test. This isn’t what either of us signed up for, except it kind of is. Who knew what would face us? That bipolar disorder was waiting in the wings, desperately trying to turn my mind into a battlefield neither of us is equipped to deal with.
Grief is a strange thing. It can sneak up on you, even after time has passed. Sometimes out of the blue, sometimes you know the reason. Today is my nanny’s twentieth anniversary. I knew I would feel it, but I wasn’t prepared for the amount of sadness and loss that hit me yesterday. I miss her. I know I’m not the only one who does. This makes it a little easier, but doesn’t change the sense of loss.