Everything hit stop
By Anonymous

You were meant to go back to work after the weekend.  We couldn’t afford for you to do a phased return if you didn’t.  We thought we’d have a lovely weekend, enjoying our little family.  Then work called.  Everything hit stop.  You can’t go in.  They want you to have seen someone else first.  They didn’t tell you before.  They waited until Friday afternoon.

Everything hit stop

Suddenly, I saw you start to lose your control.  Then I saw you start to slide down into anger.  The wait was coming.  Again.  It’s been over a month; only a couple of weeks ago I wrote about being able to see that glimpse of light.  Everything hit stop.

Everything except your mind.  That control you had built up.  All that work you put in to coping with the stress of work again.  It all disappeared.  Fast reverse.  Quick turn and run.  As that control slipped away, your anger built.  The one thing we couldn’t hit stop on.

You sent us to a relative’s.  We packed up and went.  I cried as I left, and so did you.  We both knew what was coming.

The pain you would inflict

I walked back later, knowing you were no longer sober: your way of preparing for the pain you would inflict.  I hoped our little one would stay asleep.  The transfer to bed went surprisingly well.  I stayed up, in bed, and waited.

I heard the sigh.  I heard the gasp of pain (I’m not sure you know I hear it).  You came upstairs and said it was probably time you went to A & E.  Then I saw the cuts.  Not so deep this time.  We cleaned you up and bandaged you at home.  Better than you waiting for hours, alone.

You were so grumpy the next day.  Your head hurt and I think, deep down, you were so angry that you let not going to work get you to that stage.  So I tried to let you rest.  I tried to hide the sadness that we couldn’t go out or do much that day.  I tried to hide my sadness when you got short-fused with the little one.  Then you said it. “Why are you grumpy?”

I didn’t mean to be grumpy

Everything hit stop.  Again.  I was not intentionally grumpy.  It was hard, dealing with basically being a single parent and worrying about what you would be feeling and how exhausted you must be.

I didn’t mean to be grumpy.  I love you so much more than you even realise.  I’m sad that we had to go through an awful start to the weekend.  I’m glad we got to make up for it since.  We still had a fabulous day today.  It’s almost like it didn’t happen.  Almost.

Let’s get you stronger

Anyway, hopefully we can get some guidance with work from the Richmond Fellowship.  Hopefully we can still keep up the fight.  Let’s get you stronger.  Let’s keep going with mindfulness.  Let’s keep working on getting you healthier and stronger.

1in4 mental health anthology

I know that it won’t be the last time everything stops.  I know that we will still keep having days where it goes wrong.  I know there will always be periods in our lives where you relapse again.

And so, we will keep working with each other.  We will keep loving each other.  We will get everything moving again.


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