It hurts differently now. 

It hurts differently now. Five years ago my dad passed away so suddenly a blink seemed like a lifetime. It was a wretched pain. It tore me apart from the inside out. My mind became dark and I became my worst enemy. It was a sick,  cold and churning  pain. I was on a knife edge, so close I saw stars. 

But today it hurts differently. It’s like a permanent bruise. Days like this prod at it, causing a dull ache, but it’s soft and the pain dissipates. 

Strangely, I feel sad when I’m at my happiest.

I want my dad to meet my partner, the most amazing man with unbelievable patience and kindness. I want to see them both laugh together as they are the only two people who have ever understood my humour. 

I want my dad to hear my work stories. My ridiculous office and workplace shenanigans. My colleagues, my programmes, my friends, my mundane day to day life. I want him to be proud of how well I’m doing there and how hard I work. He never cared about the outcome as long as I learnt something, tried my best, and was happy. 

And I’m sad for the simple reason this can’t happen. But surrounded by all these people with love and care in their hearts, it would be heartless, wasteful and impossible to stay sad for too long. 

On days like this I reflect.

I miss him. He was unfairly taken far too young, too sudden, but I’m older now too and no longer get want to war with the world because of it. 

I miss him. But when it gets to the point I’m missing my life because of it, I stand up and get out. He’d not want my life to slow. He always wanted me to put my all into it. 

On days like this I’m sad. But it hurts differently now. 
LJ 22 1 62- 30 7 12

Blue #342

It was the dark pastel blue of my art set
the sky and the sea smudging together
it was the blue of years to come
the filter over my nightmares
the blue of bruises just about to fade
of veins under sunburn
of the pavement under rain.

You see, its the blue I always avoid.
It’s the blue your face became.

By Kimberly Jamison

Team Cam: in memory

I still remember.

I still remember the phone call at ridiculous o’clock in the morning. “Cam’s dead.” There was a lot more said but those are the words that rang summoning me permanently from my sleep. Those are the only words I can remember from that awful night. For months I was scared to sleep because I had nightmares and worst of all memories. The memories were all those beautiful memories of my friend, making me laugh, making us all smile, talking about rocks, chanting for Scotland and eating packets of jaffa cakes from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds. When I would wake up, I’d remember that those memories would always be memories and there would be no more made. That kept bringing me crashing down back to my own hell. I cried myself to sleep. I tore at my wallpaper. I hated everyone who was around me for the sheer reason they were not Cam. I felt sick. I starved myself. I took laxitive overdoses. I drank to numb everything. I fell into depression too.

I got better. I was lucky. So lucky.

Depression. It was depression that killed him. Depression destroys the soul so you destroy yourself. You die from the inside out. It may be a “mental” illness but surely when it destroys a person, destroys their family, destroys their friends, it can no longer be just in the mind. It’s illness, that’s all.

When depression causes someone to drink, it is physical. When depression causes someone to cut, it is physical.
When depression causes someone so much pain they decide to take their own life. IT. IS. PHYSICAL.

I had a lucky escape. I was treated. I had a sympathetic doctors and even more sympathetic friends and family. I had luck on my side and I didn’t have the pressure of society telling me to “man up,” or keep quiet about my feelings. I was lucky.

The statistics for men and depression are catastrophic. Society has warped our minds into thinking it is shameful to be ill, shameful to express your feelings and shameful for men show anything other than a stereotypical version of masculinity. Of course not everyone believes this, but when you are already suffering hell everyday from depression, it is hard sometimes impossible to see through these things. If a young man, like Cam, who had everything going for him could fall to this illness, anyone can. No shame.

¾ of suicides are male
It is the biggest cause of death for men between 15 and 45. In 2012, there were 1754 road fatalities in the UK, about 5 a day.
There were 5980 suicides, that’s 16 a day. Why is this continuing?

It’s time to talk gentlemen.

That’s why a group of brilliant gentlemen are doing a trip to Ben Nevis. It’s something Cam definitely would have been up for. He’d be the first one charging forward and when it got tough, he’d be making everyone laugh.
They are raising money for the Cameron Grant Memorial Trust, to help people similar to Cam.

If you want to donate or find out more about the trip, click here.

As for you, Cam, I miss you.

I can write all the beautiful poetry in the world and it will not make it better. It will not bring you back. It will not fill the whole you left in our lives. I don’t have the heart to be angry. I just wish you could have said something. I wish I would have spotted something. The fact you’d been suffering for most of the time I knew you, makes me feel sick. Depression is a horrible, secretive, toxic thing. I’m sorry you had to go through it alone.

We miss you. We want you back. And we know that other people are also suffering the same thing with their loved ones. And it’ll continue. We know change is hard. But we are going to do our damned best to make those numbers go down.

We still remember.
I still remember.

You were loved. You still are loved.

Recently, I have had two friend’s take their own lives. It is a shocking and bewildering thing to find out. The second of the two friends happened to be an extremely good friend of mine who I had known for a very long time. I was left absolutely heartbroken. As far as I was aware he was a lovely funny and happy young man. None of us were aware that he had been battling depression for seven years. That is the majority of the time I had known him.

This made me so sad. I had so many questions for him and all I want to do now is give him a hug and say it is okay. But I can’t. I am urging anyone who feels so sad they want to end things to talk to someone. The help is out there. You are indeed loved.

My friend was loved. So loved. The sheer amount of people at the funeral proved this. Everyone who shared their memories of him proved this. And it is just tragic that someone so loved felt like they couldn’t talk to us.

We will miss him every single day, but after a few hard days, I know now I do have to keep on keeping on. I am allowed to feel sad, and God knows I am feeling sad. I have accepted that I am going to feel bad for a while now,and for some reason that has given me comfort. I am not fighting the grief. I know I will slowly feel better and that voice that keeps asking all those horrible questions will slowly get quieter.

My friend loved us all so much, we all know he would want us to be happy. And we all will be happy again one day. Until then, I will comfort myself with the amazing memories I have of an amazing friend.

xxxxx

Things I learnt from my father

The other day I had to fix my laptop, a mundane task. However, throughout the process I heard my dad’s voice telling me what to do and how to fix it and even to back up everything just before I wiped it accidentally. A lucky escape! This got me thinking, my dad taught me how to fix a laptop but he also taught me many other things that have shaped my view on the world and how I conduct myself. I never really acknowledged some of these things until now but it seems appropriate to make a post just over two years after his death to show how he really did affect and teach me things that would last a lifetime. This is a list of things my father taught me and that I am still trying to use in my everyday life.

Things I learnt from my father:

  1. Never make excuses. You either have a good reason or you don’t.
  2. Don’t bullshit anyone and eventually they will stop bullshitting you. Only do this if you are willing to take people’s true opinions.
  3. Respect yourself completely.
  4. Even the longest and darkest nights end.
  5. Earn people’s respect. Then work to keep it.
  6. Never break a promise.
  7. Prepare for the worst but hope for the best.
  8. You will end up where you need to be, just trust yourself and enjoy the journey.
  9. Don’t tempt fate.
  10. Friends are common, good friends are rare and enemies are earned.
  11. Stand up for what you believe in even if you stand by yourself. The buck stops with you.
  12. You’ll go through hell…
  13. but sometimes life is very very good.
  14. The world doesn’t owe you anything. Work for it.
  15. If you love someone, show them.
  16. Offer no context. The people who matter don’t need it and no one else will listen anyway.
  17. Always apologise for your temper, especially when you lose it.
  18. Love what you do.
  19. Follow your dreams while you are young, while you can.
  20. Stop worrying.

Kimberly