I have a huge purple concertina file box by the side of my desk which has been gathering dust for the past four years. It contains a mountain of historical research I was doing, and had been doing for four or five years, which stopped - dead - when Ben's eating disorder arrived on the scene.
Back in the halcyon days before ED, I'd pack Ben off to school and - on the days when I didn't have any freelancing work to do - I'd get out that purple file and immerse myself in my research.
Whether it was digging through old photographic archives, contacting people and places to do with the family I was researching, visiting key places, or sitting surrounded by boxes of yellowing 19th century correspondence in various university libraries and archives, or hiring researchers and genealogists to research far away places (cheaper and less hassle than travelling there myself, especially when I had a school-age child to care for) or digging around in cemeteries (not literally!), I'd escape into my research. I was in seventh heaven when I was doing this!
Getting thoroughly immersed in this detective-like research was 'the' thing I was most passionate about in life back then. Flitting from discovery to discovery it thrilled me right through to my core. I had just made a monumental discovery, purely by chance, just as ED arrived on the scene. One of those 'Eureka!' moments that has you hopping up and down with glee when you're into this kind of thing.
But everything stopped there. And the file has been gathering dust ever since.
And I miss it.
More than anything else I would love to re-immerse myself in that file and carry on with the unsolved 'mysteries' and finish piecing together the puzzle.
Maybe when Ben goes to university, hey...
If he goes to university...
If he finally puts up his hands and says: "Okay, mum, I agree to have therapy to sort out those remaining glitches that are still f*cking up my life, making me miserable and hellishly lonely, and possibly preventing me from ever becoming 'me' again."
Because I am fed up of sitting here with the hands pointing to five to the hour permanently when I long, more than anything else, to help nudge them towards the hour, towards the day when Ben is finally fully recovered and back to his old self.
And I can get my own, old life back too.