Fix You

fix you

Stretched out on a lounger, soaking up the sun and twiddling that circular bit on my IPod mini, I came across an album I’d not listened to in a while, Coldplay X&Y. Now I know not everyone is a fan but for me this album evokes many poignant and still very tangible emotions. It would be safe to say that back in the day I hammered this album. The car, the kitchen and drunken nights slouched on the sofa absorbing each and every melody and lyric.

The album release date was June 6th 2005, no I’m not that much in love with the band or in any way a geek, I Googled it. The exact date may not be etched on my mind but the events of my life at that time are. Following painful exploratory surgery for my husband, we had discovered that we were going to be unable to conceive our own children. My husband was broken, and into my heart a wrench had been placed and sadistically twisted. Although we had suspected it to be the case, the knowing for both of us was a deep and choking pain.

Some months later I was sat in the car, navy blue VW Polo if you must know, radio tuned to Jo Whiley on Radio 1, she was bosom buddies with the Coldplay boys. She had first play of their new track “Fix You”. It began, piano cords tinkling through my car stereo and I gasp audibly at the emotions it stimulated within. I could feel my teary existence of the past months lodged in my throat, pushing its way to the surface. My skin pimpled with goose bumps as I cupped my hands over my mouth and my breathing became laboured and obvious.

When you try your best but you don’t succeed,
When you get what you want but not what you need,
When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep,
Stuck in reverse,

And the tears come streaming down your face,
When you lose something you can’t replace,
When you love someone but it goes to waste,
Could it be worse?

Each word and phrase spoke to me, I felt the meaning of every lyric tunefully twisting and turning through my own existence. The tears did start streaming down my face. It was the message I wanted to convey to my husband, through the pain and loss that we had been suffering.

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will fix you….

Tink was on occasions a real nightmare on holiday. One morning, not long after rising he approached his brother about playing a game with him, one which they had discussed and agreed on the night before. Stig’s refusal to participate cut Tink with a sharp knife of rejection. I didn’t realise until we later talked and reflected, but this sent his self esteem spiraling into a pit of self loathing.

The rest of the day was filled with angst riddled behaviour, provocative interactions and a lot of damn awful rudeness. Nothing appeased him and at one point whilst trying to remove him from yet another confrontation he spat at me and attempted to bite me. My displeasure with him grew and his awareness of this fed his belief of being unloved.

Towards the end of the day, I saw some sense beyond my annoyance and realised that the confrontation between us was not getting us anywhere. Often Tink refuses to discuss how he feels or admit to an emotion but I threw caution to the wind and went with. I purposely opened my body to him and softened, messaging a truce with the language of my limbs. “I can see you look angry and I don’t think that feels very nice for you”.

His eyes welled ever so slightly; only my seven year study of those steely eyes would have spotted the subtle change, the minute lowering of defence. Slowly and cautiously we unravelled the events of the day, right back to the planted seed of doubt. My insides lurched at the sudden realisation of his fragility, how a message of self doubt is so easily delivered and then built on, creating the self hating monster we had spent the day with. I soothed as much as he would allow and small droplets of tears stained his sun kissed cheeks. Realising he needed down time, to exist in switch off mode for a while, I offered up some Sky TV (a major advantage on more than one occasion of the accommodation we had).

With relief in my bones I stretched out on my sun lounger and pressed play, X&Y pulsed forward from the portable speakers and I settled into my book, peace. Fourth song in and suddenly the hairs on my arms are standing to attention. All the strain of this day and every day before is wedged in my throat again, all the stress and anguish of seven years bubbles and simmers just below the surface once again. I can’t help it, I cry.

The tears stream down your face,
When you lose something you cannot replace,
The tears stream down your face
And I …,

The tears stream down your face,
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes,
The tears stream down your face,
And I….,

My tears are not for me, not for my husband but this time for Tink. The broken little boy, that’s “lost something he can’t replace”.

“Could it be worse?”

And as I taste the saltiness of my sobs, I think about the boy that often “feels so tired but he can’t sleep”, unable to sooth himself, give comfort to his mind and release himself from his day.

“I promise to learn from my mistakes”

I will try to see the hurt more and not the behaviour.

I want to provide the light that ignites his bones with a love for himself and a belief that he his loved and wanted. To fill him full of all the love I have for him, to “fix you”.


  1. Suzanne September 2, 2013 / 10:15 pm

    Well I for one believe he’s a lucky boy to have you for a mummy. You clearly love him deeply and that gives him a fighting chance. This post got me singing – Fix You is one of my top 10 favourite songs – so emotional. Hope you had a good holiday all in all x

    • thepuffindiaries September 3, 2013 / 7:15 am

      Thanks Suzanne, it is an emotional sing for a lot of people I think. X

  2. Heather @betamother September 6, 2013 / 12:26 pm

    What a beautiful, heartfelt post. So perfectly expressed.

    I have a deep respect for what you’ve written about and for how you are thinking about your children, their hurt and your role as Mum. Your words have inspired me to push that bit harder at mothering once again – thank you – that was important to me this week.

    Fix You was in my orbit a lot as my Mum was dying in late 2006/early ’07. I identified with it so strongly too. It’s so gentle and simple, an echo of so many people’s different pains and struggles. Love Coldplay.

    • thepuffindiaries September 6, 2013 / 12:35 pm

      Hi Heather, thank you for your thoughtful and kind comments. It is so easy to lose focus on how we are parenting, I know it happens for me often. Sometimes a song, a blog post can just give us a gentle nudge to see things again. x

  3. ThreeBecomeFour September 6, 2013 / 12:37 pm

    What an emotional post Sarah. The song is very emotional and I’ve certainly resonated with it over the years. I, too, have had a moment of clarity amidst the arguments and felt the tears well as I read how Tink was feeling. We can miss so much of how our children are feeling when there are arguments and distructiveness. Well done for helping Tink with his feelings. I hope you had a lovely holiday xx

    • thepuffindiaries September 6, 2013 / 1:15 pm

      Thank you, seeing beyond the anger is sometimes so hard, especially when you see so much of it. x

  4. Helen September 6, 2013 / 1:08 pm

    Sometimes we find a song that just resonates so completely with our emotions. I have one too. It’s good to think, to wallow a bit, and to cry. You are clearly a loving and patient mother, and I know that the rewards will come

    • thepuffindiaries September 6, 2013 / 1:16 pm

      Thanks Helen for your kind comments. I cry quite a lot, surprising I don’t dehydrate myself.

  5. Jemma September 6, 2013 / 1:49 pm

    That was an incredibly powerful piece of writing…there are so many things in the world that need to be fixed but can’t really be. And all we can do is keep trying and trying again and opening our hearts and hoping.
    Thank you for sharing such deeply personal, emotional stuff.

    • thepuffindiaries September 6, 2013 / 5:20 pm

      Thanks Jemma, I agree it’s hard to completely “fix” things but we have to keep on trying to make things the best they can be. x

  6. Sezz September 6, 2013 / 2:05 pm

    Beautiful post Sarah. It’s made me think about a few times recently when I could/should have realised why Missy was having a tantrum.

    I love this song, it means a lot to me too. In fact just reading the lyrics you typed out made me shiver and a tear well up in my eye.


  7. Three Pink Diamonds September 6, 2013 / 8:23 pm

    Moving and thought-provoking blog – thank you for sharing.

  8. Lindsay September 7, 2013 / 3:16 am

    Beautiful! I too get hooked on this song, there is something so emotionally evoking with it. I find it so hard to do what you did with Tink and when you are so irritated the last thing you want to do is open yourself up but it’s so often exactly what they need. What a good mama you are!
    PS the song that is getting me these days is Firework by Katy Perry. I can’t stand any of her other music but I cry when I hear that one thinking of all the potential in Jonathan;)

    • thepuffindiaries September 7, 2013 / 9:54 am

      I don’t always manage to see it clearly, not at the moment anyway. Thank for considering a “good mama”. That Katy Perry Record is a favourite of mine too. x

  9. Suddenly Mummy September 7, 2013 / 10:58 am

    Music is so powerful and evocative – you have beautifully expressed that here. I love the bridge of empathy that this song was able to create between you and Tink. Lovely.

    • thepuffindiaries September 7, 2013 / 11:34 am

      Sometimes signs or messages come from the strangest places and almost when you least expect them. It made see a little clearer. Thank you. x

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