A full 4 months after her I am finally leaving the Shire. Im leaving the Mausoleum and everything in it. I am apprehensive as hell and I’m not looking forward to the bus passing her town on the way to the airport. I will close my eyes. I have tried to plough on through the darkness and depression but it’s not working for me. Thankfully I am able to change my situation. I have resigned my job and given a friend the keys to empty the place on a moment’s notice, thus allowing me the freedom to not return for some time if it takes that long. It will take as long as it takes and I can only plan one day at a time right now.

I’m heading intially for Bangkok and from there to Pattaya. After that I might finally ride a motorcycle along the Vietnamese coastal road ‘Top Gear’ style. Who knows? Who cares?

I’m not excited about going. I have a fear my mental illness will be worse further from home. But what is home anyway? If it’s a place full of friends, family and love then I am already homeless and have been for some time. But I tell myself better to have a breakdown in the tropics and away from the depths of the British Winter. We have never got on but this year I’ve had more on my mind than SAD to bring me down. 

I don’t know when I will be back, if ever, to the Shire. I have no reason to return whatsoever. My life is a blank page. That’s quite worrying at 50. But this is a journey that starts with the first step. And I am taking that today. I should have left ages ago but life always seems to be shaped by the little things, like innocently installing a chat program that shows instantly that your ex has not only moved on, but is as happily in love as she is blissfully unaware or interested in my downfall. She said she had done everything she could to ensure we could both have a fresh start. But she didn’t. The one thing that would have kept me from this was to not feel that abandonment she knew was vital to my mental health. We spoke so much about this and she had seen how totally awful I took no contact on the 4 previous occasions she had left, before returning. 

It’s not her fault what’s happened to me. It’s mine. For allowing myself to be treated so badly for so long. I was worried her leaving would kill me, and I was very nearly right. But I’m still here, and just starting to fight for myself.

As I leave the Shire for maybe the last time, the sun has come out. I hope it’s a sign of a brighter future and better times ahead. 

They honestly can’t be any worse.