The Fuck-up. The Question. And the Risk of a Bill for Dry-Cleaning.

So the big fuck up came on the 12th. Well, the 11th but it carried on over. Christmas came and went, with all the love and apprehension, all the nervousness and joy that Stainless Steel Buckets to Slippers predicted. What I hadn’t predicted was the range; the highs of the highlights and the depths of the dips into sadness.

Nieces and nephews were introduced to retro gaming and my old Super Nintendo gained fans. Even the adults in the room got competitive. Brothers and sisters took turns to stay a while, bringing with them distractions and kindness. There were big family meals cooked by none other than yours truly and I perfected Wales’ best roast potatoes. It was the whole family, bar one.

Each day and twice a day sometimes, we or some of us at least in whatever combination went to the care home where Christmas collapsed. Within seconds my dad, in his new living limbo, knowing but unable to partake, switched from bight eyes and smiles into tears. Water streamed down his face on repeat, features crumpled and desperate and heart-broke. So yep. Christmas had highs and had lows. Tethered together and weathered by family.

Sure there were mini fuckups since, and probably a good few before. But that time with support and people around, everything just flowed a little easier. And just as I lifted as people arrived, I dropped when they left one by one. Now cue the blues and bring on the chimps. They’d been waiting for piggybacks anyways.

The fuckup is always the same. The same cursed course of action with a ‘what’s the point’ placed square and centre. A worthlessness that won’t drown or listen to reason is tough thing to try to ignore. Back to late nights and self-imposed isolation, back to staying in bed as long as possible, back to hours glued to that favourite computer game. Nothing of any worth getting done ‘cus if it had worth, it would get done tomorrow. At the same time as I pushed away happy I was pissed off it never came knocking. So much for new year’s resolutions.

Then we get to the 12th and a question is asked. With sincerity from a someone who cared. There’s a huge amount of support for me just on my doorstep if only I’d let myself see it. When she asked, that can of worms got blown open. If you’re reading then I’m sorry about your cardigan, I should have reached for the Kleenex much sooner. A shoulder to lean on was taken too literally and out came the fountain of waterworks. I should have offered to pay for dry cleaning.

Yes it was hell, but at least I was honest as I went through my litany of pitfalls. And for two days I’d never felt lighter. At least not for a good few months minimum. I wasn’t constantly trying to cram a truth in back pocket always frightened it would spill out on show.

Maybe there’s a good time and place to fuck up, I was lucky to fuck up there and then. But there’s no luck in finding a good time to talk. Lesson learnt: Always open up sooner. If I had it might have not got so dark.

          (And just how we got to this post, right here is where it all started….)