Every day starts up the same. I open my eyes and above me is a blue sheet, with fairy lights. I’m in fort. Beside me is a cat meowing and patting my face because he wants fed and to my left is my phone playing “Troublemaker” by Olly Murs. I turn off my alarm. It’s 7.30am. I think about whether I should get up or spend just a little longer in bed. Berlioz seeing I am awake but noticing I am not moving to feed him walks over to my bedside table and starts slowly pushing whatever is close to the edge off the table (This is how I lost my necklace with Riley’s ashes in this morning) So I get up and I feed him, and let him out.

Then I try very hard not to and usually am not successful in not getting back into bed. Where I put on a song that may help me feel motivated. I stare at my fort, I know every inch of it. I know the pattern on the lights. And slowly I begin to feel like maybe I can make it today. My 8am alarm goes off and I know that it is time to actually get up. I drag myself up, grab my superhero dressing gown and some clean clothes and head to the shower. The usual morning routine commences. Shower, hair, teeth etc. When I get out of the shower I wrap myself in my big spa towel and then without meaning to, I sit on the edge of the shower. I’m too tired to dry off and get dressed and its only 8.20am. Finally I get up and I start to get dressed. How I’m feeling is usually reflected in my outfit. Sometimes I even get matching Bra and Undies. That is always a good day. I move back into my room,  put on shoes, my necklace, glasses and have my medication. Most days I can’t even be bothered brushing my hair. I grab my bag, check I have everything and leave saying good bye to Berlioz.

My walk to work is about half an hour. If I manage to leave home before 9am it’s a victory. The walk to and from work is really the only peaceful time of my day. I put on my big headphones, crank up the volume and ignore the world.

Upon arriving at work, I set up my computer, and have some breakfast (I keep yogurt in the fridge for that exact reason)

The day is filled with emails, builds and in general helping John with what ever tasks need to be done. Most days at some point I end up on the stairs because I need the alone time. Sometimes I’m writing, sometimes I’m working, sometimes I’m crying but for the most part I’m not feeling great. By the time lunch rolls around I am completely exhausted. 12pm and I am ready to sleep for 5 years.

Lunch is usually something small and almost always bought because I don’t have the energy to make lunches. After the eating part of lunch I usually have a lie down on the couch to rest my eyes and zone out. I have actually fallen asleep multiple times.

After lunch is an afternoon of working except for an afternoon wander around the block so I don’t flip out.

On a good day I work until 5.30 and head home. On a bad day I either work till 3pm or 10pm depending on what kind of bad it is. Sometimes it’s the kind of bad where you hate everyone and everything and you just go home and curl up into a ball and cry.

The other type of bad is when you are dreading going home so much that you continue working, telling yourself and others that this HAS to be done tonight. (I have made friends with the cleaner since the death of Riley because I spend a lot of evenings at work so I don’t have to go home)

I usually have something on in the evening that I bribe myself into attending.

On Tuesday I have dinner at my parents, Wednesday I have dance, Thursday or Monday I hang with one of my workmates, Friday I usually drink at Bella’s, Sunday I have my mother and sisters come round and Saturdays I have the weekly event whatever that would be.

Now I love all of the events that I have in a week but by far my favourite is dance. Dancing has always been a passion of mine. I have been learning Ceroc for about a year on and off. Been solidly going since Riley died. At dance I can forget everything else because I am too busy concentrating on not moving the wrong way and elbowing my partner in the face or having my hip collide with his balls (Sorry Nick)

So while it is dumb and cliché, you really do need a hobby that you go to weekly to keep yourself busy. It doesn’t have to be much. Maybe it’s a book club, maybe it’s a widow meeting. Whatever it is try and go to AT LEAST one social occasion a week.

After whatever social occasion it is, I head home (Usually walking, I can’t handle being in a car most days) Where I am greeted with open paws but the only thing in this world I truly love anymore meowing away because he has missed me. I attempt to tidy a little, maybe make some food (living off toastie sandwiches at the moment) But most nights I crawl into bed, put on a movie and cry myself to sleep.

This routine, its normal these days and I have accepted it but it is so incredibly odd and unsettling. I used to have so much control over my life and now everything is falling down around. I have to get my sister to do my dishes for me. If Riley came back to life he would be totally appalled with the state of our home.

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