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Journal Entry 814/09/21

Babystepping the Yippee ki yay Way!

It’s been a hard month so far with everything going on – it’s been a kind of brain strain too – trying to fit everything into life here in Willow. I have had to baby step Suze and her recovery – bring her back from the very edge of that dark chasm some know as ‘major breakdown territory’. She hadn’t completely broken – but she was close, and so l have gently pulled her away from that cliff top and told her that there isn’t any need to step off, l can help. And so, l have done that.

I’ll not deny my confusion at times with the events – all of the events which have led us to this point in time. From everything in 20, or even the close calls in 19 to the days of 21. But those years were not the years of trouble alone, whilst ours was always a loving relationship and above everything we were friends, it was never truly easy living with post menopause Suze in a relationship anyway. She was always seeking balance as only true Librans can understand and not always achieve. I am a Taurus Aspie, it is said that autism is difficult to live with and l don’t think that is always entirely true – NOT untrue, but l have come to learn that there are some things which are even more awkward.

Thankfully Suze didn’t step into the darkness, and thankfully l got to her in time. I had my offer on the table to her months ago, l said ‘Don’t let this issue of your loneliness become a major problem, because it’ll be harder to come back from, trust me on this!” But she had her pride, well that’s the problem with pride, some can take it too far, they don’t like to show their weaknesses, their vulnerabilities – and her pride told her she didn’t need help, and so here she is in a mess….. I understand pride all too well, but this is where autism can make things easy for me … l tend to counter with emotional logic or rather – clinical emotional logic. I can detach from my emotions – some call that an inability to express empathy and that is rubbish – it is mere clinical emotional logic in play – to walk away from the collapsing parts of your brain and start looking at it from the outside.

I have gotten better at that behaviour in the last year alone – l have hardened up and become more cynical – life and the burnings of life award that cynicism as your reward – it hardens you, again autism comes into its own, because it makes it possible to enjoy that cynical learning curve and see it for what it truly is. A gift.

Everyone is different, and this becomes all too important when you look at things like mental health – individuality becomes a true form of its own. Suze’s mental health ‘glitch’ or ‘blip’ was very different to my glitches and blips. Between the ages of 24 – 50 l experienced many blips and glitches and some real doozies too. Following the accident in 87 well that changed me forever really, but l was broken before that, the parting gift alone of leaving the family home behind and escaping the so called maw of madness only to see it in full force so young. it took me till l was 28 before l completely broke physically and mentally from that massive disaster in my life. By that time l had already lived four years of hell on earth – haunted daily by my past. That was the main break, my internal structuring would take years and years to get back to any kind of normality.

It’ll break anyone once their guard drops and mine did eventually. It would be the start of a different life for me. If l thought 24-28 was hard, and if l believed 87 to be the impossible year – l was wrong, because l would then start to live a life of decadent debauchery without a care in the world for the next few years .. so poor mental health and l became almost bed buddies.

I would continue to break till l was fifty and then finally l would start to settle down. I would sometimes during those turbulent years ask – HOW? How was l still alive with so many mental breaks, glitches, blips and self suicide attempts to end my days? Some called my inner strength true grit, dumb determination, or more recently mental yoga, although l tend to call it the Yippee ki yay way. I would always find a way to bounce back from the horrors. But of course l was mostly younger and l have since learned that you can’t keep breaking something and expect the integrity to remain bonded. Things start to break again …. thankfully it’s no longer mentally, but physically l am starting to feel the effects of my life lived.

Suze’s health is not great, but she is NOT like she was three weeks ago when she did break, turning into a blubbering mess. Let’s be honest, Suze has had a tough year, the cancer was stage 4 throat cancer – many might not understand that stage 4 of that type is a killer a life ender and for someone who never smoked or drank to excess to get it, is a real bitch slap in the face and a knock to a person’s confidence. That’s what happened to Suze, her confidence was knocked for 6 – but she survived it and all that is happening now is the mental stress and duress or the aftershocks of surviving a cancer that kills more than survive it even with treatment has hit her like a volcanic tsunami filled with bricks and stones instead of water and lava!

I managed to bring her back from the insanity using my own experiences of walking in the shadows for so long. You learn stuff about people and more importantly about yourself and your strengths, weaknesses and vulnerabilities, about life when you are walking in the darkness. It’s good that you can then help someone with it – to make them see that life doesn’t need to have true purpose, but you do need to have a direction. There isn’t any grand point to life – except your desire to make this life as good as you can because there isn’t anything else afterwards. If there is, well cognitively you are not going to be able to enjoy it like you do or don’t this one. So live your life.

Survivors need to really live their lives, because they have had close calls. I never fully understood that until recently – it was when Suzanne was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer that l realised how very short life truly was, and l was dumbfounded how it took someone else’s break to make me see the reality of that. It affected me in more ways than one, this year especially it affected me – the impact on my thoughts reflected in the blog here – it changed my direction, it made me challenge all of my beliefs and shake them off.

I have had a lot of very close calls with death, way more than l have fingers and toes and that is a fact – some out of my control, like 1987 and the devastation that caused me, when my mind broke but my body took a long time to realise that and carried on. But growing up l had close calls with death, and during my teenager years, my adult years and so on. My yippee ki yay strength is now pretty good, pretty determined, but all of this year, and last and now, and yesterday has made me realise many things.

Things will get better for Suze, she has help from friends and support, she’s not alone in her recovery – l never had any of those things and l was very alone which is why my recovery took me years, but l guess l had my autism even when l didn’t know it which made life more bearable.

We just need to get through this month, then we can start October – she’ll not have the same stress and pressure load and neither will l. I have felt the strain, l can’t deny that – but baby stepping recovery is the way forwards and we are nearly there, thank goodness. Another few weeks and we can start to chill.

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