The alarm goes off in the morning, or in my case, my son jumps on my face, it’s time to get up. New day and all that. Let’s get going! But alas, no, it’s not that simple. The thought of being awake, the thought of being up and aware of the black thoughts in my head and the utter numbness of my body, the sheer lack of any trace of energy, makes my stomach drop and the day in my eyes is already ruined before my feet have even touched the carpet beside my bed.
It’s time to eat, to clothe and to clean. To engage, and teach and play. What shall it be today? Letters or numbers? Shall we go to the park? Can we bake a cake? Alas no, I won’t do any of these things, I’ll stay in my pyjamas, I won’t get dressed, I won’t get Noah dressed. We’re not going anywhere. We won’t see anyone, because I don’t want to see anyone. When the postman rings the doorbell, or the window cleaner knocks, I’ll tell him to be quiet, like a game.
Noah will ask for jam on his toast, and when I give him the plate of little triangles, he’ll say he now wants peanut butter. I won’t say anything, I’ll return to the kitchen and cry quietly while I stick the fresh slices of bread in the toaster, and the worst part is I don’t know why. I don’t why everything is so difficult. No one else finds it this hard, do they?
A little later, Noah will ask for me to play with him, or say he wants to paint. But there’s always an excuse up my sleeve, there’s something else more important I must do right now. A phone call, an email, putting out the rubbish. Anything. And I’ll feel horrendous that I can’t just sit and be with my son, that I’m denying him well, me. I’m used to blocking everyone else out, but my son?
I’ll promise myself that I’ll save the day by making a family dinner, so we can all sit down together, Noah likes it when we do that. But I won’t. The good intentions will fly out of the window, and he’ll eat what he always does, at the table with his toys.
I’ll give him his bath, and put him to bed, and he falls asleep while I read to him quietly, I’ll watch him sleeping. My beautiful boy, my beautiful beautiful boy. My boy that deserves so much more than I can give him. My boy that I love more than I can ever put into words, hasn’t got a proper mum. A mum to play with and teach him, to run around with and give him everything he wants. I’ll sit and watch him sleep, and the tears will prick my eyes and I’ll promise myself – promise him that tomorrow will be better.
But will it? Will it? I’m not in control here, something much more powerful is. Something I have no control over. My family, my friends will say what a good mum I am, but I’ll know different deep down, swimming amongst the darkness and all consuming nothingness, that I’m not. I’m really not. I’m everything I told myself I wouldn’t be. My baby is sleeping upstairs, alone, and when he wakes up, I’ll be with him and watch him and make sure he’s safe and fed. But I won’t be here, not really, I’ll be lost in my own selfish thoughts, pointlessly fighting against the blackness that engulfs me, and my baby will still be alone.