The Anxious Storyteller and the Missing Stage of Grief

The Anxious Storyteller and the Missing Stage of Grief

I sit here writing these words in one of my local coffee shops. With COVID all around us it’s a rare treat to the leave our home for an adventure other than for food shopping and dog walks.

My anxiety is kept at bay as I lose myself into my creative mind.

Since Naz passed away I have been forced into learn how to keep myself company and slowly make friends with the new enemy of the peace… anxiety.

My anxiety has now reached the age of puberty and has progressively found new, often surprising, but always unwelcome ways of asserting its position in my life as the alpha dominant character.

In the first five years after Naz passed I was consumed in grief and pain. An overwhelming burden of guilt, sadness, emptiness, loss and confusion. This raging ball of fire was so intense I hardly ever slept, and when I did I hoped I would dream rather be dragged kicking and screaming into the pits of hell that existed when I was awake.

My body and legs permanently lived in a state of pins and needs. My heart was already broken in pieces. My mind barely hung together. I was lucky to get through a whole day without occupying at least one emotional or mental breakdown. Crying was the norm. Poker face was my way presenting a facade that falsely let everyone know that I might be okay.

In 2019, after the five year anniversary of the losing my darling Naz this pain started to subside. The sense of urgency – a daily race to get somewhere – started to diminish. I’d made a film that documented part of our journey. We’d celebrated Naz’s life in a truly uplifting event for called ‘An Evening to Find Acceptance’ in London’s iconic Cinema Museum. We’d also launched Out and Proud Parents Day on the same day. An incredible annual event, held on 30th July (the same day that Naz passed away) that challenged the very reasons why we believe my Naz sadly took his own life.

But as the pain in my body receded, I was left to exist within a scarred shell of a body. An empty shell that was void of any feeling inside, part from a feeling of numbness. I’m now left with a seeming impossible target of finding any experience that will give me the opportunity to start feeling something inside again… providing that feeling isn’t anxiety.

Anxiety is a b*tch. I wished I’d never met them. Until recently they were the destroyer of my dreams. A bridge that didn’t want to be crossed. A friend I did not want to have. A relationship that needed a divorce.

But now there is there is light upon the horizon….

In the future I’ll write again about my battle with anxiety in the hope that talking about it will help someone else, and one day will lead me through to the other side.

Anxiety is the missing stage of grief that not enough people talk about.

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