Sitting here at 03:19 in the morning in bed, I can’t stop thinking just how much of my life I have missed out on because of my OCD and Depression.
At 21 (almost 22), I should be thriving. Living like there’s no tomorrow and not looking back until I see a photograph 10 years from now that brings the memories of these times back. But I’m not. Given, most days I’m happy. A good week for me is that 4 out of the 7 days I’ve spent enjoying the wonders of this world. Is that really something I should settle on though?
Songwriting is my greatest love (along with writing prose/poetry) and yet, the other day, I had a really good song idea and just felt a total sense of apathy towards the whole thing. And very quickly this spiraled into me becoming wholly depressed about life in general. To feel like that about the one thing I could rely on to get me through and get my feelings out was just horrible. It felt like the one thing I could do to help myself was taken away from me. And it sucks. Big time.
One of the biggest regrets I have is that I didn’t go and see my Grandad or say goodbye to him before he died. He suffered from a version of Leukemia and this, along with several heart attacks and his age (89) led to his death. He died as peacefully as could be, in his own bed holding my Nan’s hand as he passed on.
My OCD stopped me from going to see him in the months leading up to his death. When my Dad told me, it was one of those surreal moments you know? I was in total shock. I remember saying, “You’re joking aren’t you?” and I could feel the tears stinging my eyes. We held each other as I cried uncontrollably into his shoulder. On the day of the funeral, I remember not crying, even at the service. I felt guilty. Why am I not crying? I was upset but I just didn’t cry. Maybe it was because I was being strong but maybe there’s no reason at all.
I’ll never forgive myself for letting my illness stop me saying goodbye to the man I have so many fond memories of. They had a cat called Pepper. A lovely tortoise shell she was. And me and Max (my grandad) used to sit at the table and peel prawns for her. A massive big plate. And we’d sit there for hours and hours whilst my nan poodled about the house doing one thing or another. And Pepper would patiently sit on the floor beside us just waiting. He always had a smile on his face whilst we did this 🙂 and my Nan and Grandad used to take me to the cafe for a sandwich and a milkshake on Monday and Wednesday (or Friday I can’t remember) mornings and I used to get a sausage sandwich with tomato sauce because that’s what he got. He was also a tank driver in WWII and he only ever talked to me about it. At a young age I didn’t know any better and was curious so I asked him questions about it all the time. And as I grew up I used to love hearing his stories, thinking how this now frail, elderly man was once a proud, brave and strong young man with his whole life ahead of him.
His ashes were buried amongst the roses at the local cemetery where my great nan is also with the roses. I went and visited him, just the once, and told him the football scores. Arsenal and Charlton Athletic I think I spoke about. He always wanted to know how ‘The Arsenal’ got on. I told him I was sorry and that I loved him and missed him. And that my Nan and my Dad missed him too. And I know he heard me. I felt it, y’know?
Anyway, the point is, my OCD stopped me from saying goodbye. And I’ll always hate myself for not being strong enough back then to overcome it.
I know (and hope) deep down that I’ll be strong enough in the future to beat anything that gets thrown at me and overcome anything I need to. I have to keep hoping, otherwise what’s the point?
Life is too precious to let it slip through our fingers. Hold on to Hope (#HOTH let’s try and get this trending!). Never give up.