H is for……

On Sunday, with Sarah, we went to Grenoside Crematorium, to sing a couple of Christmas songs at the annual Christmas memorial service, it was our third year in a row and as usual it was a whole rainbow of emotion, we had worked hard on creating the backing tracks to which we would be singing, and we felt a sense of achievement in making them sound individual and professional, not ‘karaoke style’. For both of us, there was a sense of nervousness and trepidation, for Sarah, Grenoside has a significance in that she has been there twice in recent years to say goodbye to loved ones. For me, returning to the crematorium was a reminder of work, and the reason that I reached this point to begin with, it was the first time I had been there since my last funeral, and the familiar surroundings coupled with the occasion made me feel a mixture of anxiety, sadness and disquiet. I saw many familiar faces, and we were greeted warmly by the people who had come along, we performed well, and we shed more than a few tears. Afterwards though, as we stood outside before going in for a cup of tea, we both felt a sense of accomplishment, but more importantly, hope, we have plans for the future, working together to continue to entertain people, but this sense of hope was far more based on the people who attended the service, all of whom have lost people, in the last year, or before, their sadness was palpable, but also, the message of new life that comes with the traditional story, and the fact that there was the most adorable baby boy in attendance, with a shock of black hair worthy of a Beatle, it stood as a reminder that life does go on, however dark the days may seem, there is always light, and always hope.

Afterwards, we picked up Janine and we all went for a meal at our Favourite Indian restaurant, The Ashoka on Ecclesall Road. it’s a place that Janine and I visit regularly, to the point that all the guys who work there are on first name terms, and they can usually guess what we’ll be ordering. There’s something about eating together, talking, smiling, even laughing at times, that fills not only the belly, but fills the soul with a particular kind of shared joy. The surroundings are quirky and welcoming, comfortable, and the food is really good. it was a great way to end the day. one thing we weren’t by the end, was hungry.

Yesterday was weekly weigh in and meeting at Slimming World. After a couple of bad weeks a while ago, I’m back on track and back in control of my eating, and this was reflected in a significant loss of five pounds over the last week, and a new milestone award, reaching a total weight loss of three and a half stones since February. I’m well on course to reach my target, and the benefit has already been positive, with my diabetes being now so well controlled, all my medication has been stopped. I’ve mentioned this before, but it does feel like this is the one aspect of my life and my health that I do have a choice about, that I have control of, and that gives me hope that given time, this journey I’m on with my mental health will bear the same kind of positive result and that I’ll be fully ready to embrace the future, and any changes that take place, specifically over the next few months.

I realise that this is still early days, and there are still times of darkness, despair, and times when the hope seems a long way out of reach, but there are small moments of something that I haven’t felt for a long time, tiny sprinkles of brilliant light like stars in the inky blackness of the night sky, moments of happiness. singing which had become routine and jaded, is now joyful again, and any opportunity I get to do it, I will grab with both hands, it’s as effective as the Citalopram, possibly even more so. spending time with friends is once again more than just a comfort, it’s something I look forward to and relish every second.

Hope, Hunger, Health, Happiness.

they are all within our grasp, and all under our control, if we want them to be.

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