It’s been a while since I last put pen to paper (figuratively speaking seeing as this is clearly digital 😉). I stopped because I felt like I had reached rock bottom and I felt an overwhelming sense of shame and failure. Moving house and solving our financial issues wasn’t the saving Grace (pun intended) I’d hoped it would be. I expected to feel relief and happiness, excitement even, at moving on with our life finally. I just felt empty.
Negative feelings ate away at me and I couldn’t pull myself out of this dark hole I found myself in. I survived through the week so I could go out with friends at the weekend, self medicate with alcohol and escape from the situation I found myself in. I started to resent Finn even though I still loved him. I projected my anxieties and low mood onto him, making him the enemy when he was far from it.
I waited a year to get help. One year on a waiting list to access Cognitive behavioural therapy. By the time I got there I’d gone from having moderate depression and anxiety to having suicidal thoughts. I decided to pay for private counselling in the meantime but many people out there can’t afford that privilege.
I had no purpose in life. I’d completely lost who I was and became merely Finns wife and carer. Meanwhile we had been trying to get pregnant and every passing month without those two blue lines sent me further into a depression. I felt like a failure. I had no career, no baby and I wasn’t even being a good wife or carer to my husband.
The beginning of 2020 was when things started to turn around for me. I’d been doing CBT for a few months now, I’d stopped going out all the time, cut down on the alcohol and we were getting fertility tests which meant I would have some answers one way or another. However it wasn’t until March, when the country went into its first lockdown, that I really started to improve.
Lockdown for many people was an awful time. Worrying about jobs and finances, praying that family members would be OK, trying to figure out working from home and juggling home schooling. For me I empathised with this and of course hoped that my loved ones remained safe. However Finn and I experienced the feelings related to health scares and instability back in July 2017 when he had his stroke. We’ve done the worrying about jobs and money so thankfully we had a fair amount of security this time around. What lockdown gave me though was freedom. It created time and space for me to sit back and really think about what I wanted. The pressure I felt to decide what my next move was in terms of career or family disappeared. It didn’t matter for the next 6 weeks because no-one was going anywhere anyway.
So I grabbed life by the horns and I made changes. I stopped drinking altogether, I made sure to meditate every day, I did yoga several times a week, I went for walks, I ate fresh organic veg and made all my meals from scratch. I lost a bit of weight and I felt happier than I had in a long time. And it worked. In mid June we finally got that positive test, the day after being informed our chances of conceiving naturally were extremely slim and that we would need IVF. Miracles do happen!
Pregnancy was crap. I wish I could say I was one of those women who loved being pregnant. I’m just not. From the (should be called) all day sickness to the back pain, pelvic pain, interrupted sleep and water retention I just feel like it was the least glamorous and most uncomfortable nine months of my life. But it was a means to a very much loved end.
In February 2021 we welcomed our beautiful son Leo into the world. Thus starting our new chapter and giving us both new purpose in life. It’s because of him (kind of) that I’m writing this post. It’s because of him that I’ve really started putting myself back out there into the world. Having met new people, one of them encouraged me to pick things back up where I left off with my writing and so here I am giving a whirlwind tour of the last 2 years.
I’m happy to say that although motherhood is not easy, I love it. I feel great and I’m keeping busy. We are settling into family life together and Finn is still constantly striving to improve his speech. I will try and post again with more on his recovery and what new challenges we face with a young baby and a stroke survivor.
I saw a post on Instagram yesterday by @behindcanvas that said
“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful”
I couldn’t agree more.