Sunday night was the last night I would ever spend in our home. My home.
My best friend Kay had been with me every moment, holding me up or just holding me when I needed to cry and scream. We had made plans the previous week to go to Alton Towers to help cheer me up and after Friday I needed the escape even more. We planned to return to the flat on Monday night to pack some of my things whilst Deakon was still away in Bracknell. At this point we were oblivious to how the day would turn out.
I threw up a little, put on my clothes, grabbed some stuff and left. I couldn’t stand being there any longer. Every moment I was there my heart broke a little more. I didn’t feel fantastic but I thought Alton Towers would be the perfect place to go. I needed a distraction from the reality I was frightened to face. Just the mere thought of packing up my belongings, probably 80% of our home, and seeing an empty shell… I still feel that would destroy me.
I’m struggling to put into words how I felt. I must have appeared zombie like, I felt no fear when looking at the rides. I’ve always loved theme parks, those butterflies in your tum before getting on a ride, the fear of being thrown around. I can honestly tell you I didn’t feel a thing. Nothing, not until I was being thrown around. I didn’t want that feeling, that rush to end. Kay had me in stitches, our photo’s were awful and when she told me she needed to pee after getting on a ride, well! I couldn’t hold back the laughter. I’d blocked everything out, all the pain, the anxiousness, the monster in my mind was locked away. As far as I was aware no-one else in the world existed, only Kay and I.
I had no clue at this point that pushing all these thoughts and feelings aside and playing pretend would cause me so much pain later that day.
My weakest moment
To all of those I love and care for, please know that neither you or I are to blame. As I write these words I almost feel ashamed to have felt how I did. I’m scared to put this out there, I know damn well that others have felt the way I feel and I’m doing this for them too. So everybody out there know’s that they are not alone, and perhaps not being alone doesn’t make you feel as crazy as you have up till now.
I was in Kay’s car, we were on the way home from Alton when my arms went numb, my eyes went heavy and I’m sure I had pins and needles in my ears. I was afraid. I hadn’t noticed if my breathing had been too fast or heavy, I had no recollection of ‘the panic’ which I would normally associate with a panic attack, just numbness. As calmly as I could I told Kay not to panic, to keep driving and if I were to pass out, just keep driving.
I’ve only collapsed once before. I was 16 and on holiday in Mablethorpe with Jess (Sister from another mister) and her grandparents. It was first thing in the morning and i’d just taken a shower. I remember feeling suddenly very heavy and tired but that’s about it. From what I could recall, that was how I felt in the car.
Of course, telling someone not to panic only makes them panic. I kept sipping water and taking deep breaths. I remember seeing that we had over an hour to go until we were home. I lit cigarette and carried on breathing. After that I thought I was okay and told Kay everything was fine. I honestly thought it was.
I can remember smoking another cigarette or two. I kept checking the time to see how long we had to go and it was still over an hour. Then my thoughts drifted back to everything I had lost, my home, my heart, me. The more I thought about it I began to think that I couldn’t live without these things. I couldn’t carry on without him. My whole world was built and centred around him. We lived and worked together, I always tried to show my support with the things he loved like the rugby. I started to ask myself why I wasn’t enough, what I’d done wrong, how I could fix things. Then I thought about going into that office everyday and seeing him. Wanting him to make me feel better, needing him to get through the day.
Before I knew it my hands had ceased up and the water slipped from my grip. I physically couldn’t lift or even move my arms. I could see my hands but I couldn’t move them, couldn’t feel them. Then it happened to my arms, followed by legs, my eyes, face, ears, toes, everything. I could feel my eyes rolling around in my head and I couldn’t control it. It was in this moment that I decided I wanted to die.
I gave into the feeling, I didn’t want to help myself. Why would I want to carry on this way, my mind was shutting down, my body didn’t want to carry on. I started to think of the tablets at my parents, how many of them would I need to take, what I would wear and where I would take them. Would I need more, alcohol? I hadn’t wrote a letter, I hadn’t told anyone I loved them, I didn’t care. I wanted it all to end. I wanted the sleep to come and take me to a better place.
Then I can’t talk, I try to call to Kay for help but she’s driving. She’s trying to get me home, trying to help me, she cares. My vision blurred and I didn’t have the energy to hold my head up for much longer. I wanted an ambulance, I wanted help, help to be put to sleep not to save myself. I needed to get home, I wasn’t ready yet, but I was, I kept fighting it. Every single part of me had given up in this moment. I couldn’t feel my heart beat in my chest, I couldn’t see, couldn’t hear. I wanted to die.
My mum’s voice came over the car stereo. ‘‘Just breathe Paigey, close your eyes and breathe.’ I wanted to tell her no, I didn’t want to breathe mum. I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t strong enough. ‘Just close your eyes and breathe.’
Kay got me home, I’d started to take back some control of my breathing. I could hear my mums voice and I wanted to make it home to her. I couldn’t get out of the car when we arrived home. I was ready now, the world could have me, I was ready to go. My mum grabbed me a shook me a little, I’d scared her into thinking I’d had a stroke because of how my face looked and my eyes rolled. I tried to yell at them to hit me, smack my legs, help me feel something, pull me back. That’s when I heard the words I needed to hear.
‘Get a grip Paige. No-one has died. Stop being so stupid and pull yourself together.’
My mum kept telling my dad to stop shouting and stop being angry but all I knew is that his words had made me feel something. Guilt, upset, anger. My wise and wonderful Dadda. He said the words I needed to hear.
I snapped back out of it. I got out of the car, came into my parents house and with great difficulty screamed at my dad to shout at me some more. I knew I needed him to carry on, I needed to hear the truth.
It was this moment that I found my strength.