When To Go Back To Work

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After we lost our baby I did not want to face the world and resume real life for some time. I wanted to hide away and shut out everything that represented normality. That included work. I deliberated about whether it would be best to go back so that I could take my mind off our loss or whether I needed time to return to my usual self. At the time those around me kept insisting I went back. I felt a lot of pressure. It resulted in me going back too soon and having to postpone my return for a while. I learned that you have to trust your own instincts and that other peoples advice, while well-meaning, is not always right. When I did go back I found it to be a very positive distraction, but I had to be strong enough to manage it. I was extremely fortunate as my boss and all my colleagues (many of which I consider friends) were endlessly supportive and understanding. Their kindness made all the difference.

During this pregnancy, which has been fraught with worry, work has been the best thing. The summer break I had from work was awful as I was bored and had too much time to think about everything. Having a busy, productive day is far better than letting the situation consume me. I like to be busy and feel like I have a purpose to my day. Who knew work could be such good therapy!

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BFF

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“Tragedy happens in everyone’s life, everyone’s circle of family and friends. Be the person that others can count on when it does. I think that between 30 and 40 is the decade when a lot of shit finally starts to happen that you might have thought never would happen to you or those you love. Parents die, spouses die, babies are still-born, friends get divorced, spouses cheat… the list goes on and on. Helping someone through these times by simply being there, listening and not judging is an honor and will deepen your relationships in ways you probably can’t yet imagine.” (Rebecca, 40)

NE, JB, MB & GB

You’ve certainly done this for me.

Thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you xxxx

Girl Power

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Forums, blogs, social media  – the internet certainly feeds my obsessive, anxious soul. I have googled every imaginable aspect, question or concern about fertility, conception, infertility, IVF, pregnancy and pregnancy loss. I have read it all. I have an insatiable appetite for information on the subject. While it can be highly addictive it is also unbelievably comforting.

The kindness of strangers has been astonishing. I have found blogs and forums, particularly Mumsnet, incredibly supportive. Women from all walks of life connect over their shared desire to be a mother. They talk about every possible topic imaginable. I have, over the last 18 months, participated in numerous Mumsnet talk forums. They have included, in this order, conception, infertility, pregnancy, baby names, antenatal tests/choices, miscarriage/pregnancy loss and bereavement. What a journey. Only once did I receive any negative comments and immediately hundreds of women came to my defense. Mumsnet even apologised.

At each stage of my journey I have met women who have shown incredible interest, empathy and kindness towards me. I have seen such compassion as women share their deepest emotions – fear, pain and loss – with one another. I have read posts where I feel as if women are writing my exact thoughts. They are in the same boat. They understand. While our friends and family can listen and support us, these women really feel the same way. They offer reassurance, endless sympathy and good wishes for the future. It is girl power at its finest. Ultimately it makes you feel that you are neither mad nor alone.

Therapy Is Not For Everyone

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When we lost the baby everyone was insistent that we, particularly me, should go see a psychologist or therapist to deal with the trauma and loss. Previously I had never had any desire or reason to do such a thing. In fact I felt it was a fairly self-indulgent past-time for the LA celebrity kids and the real crazies of the world. However I also realised that it couldn’t hurt and it would reassure my worrier of a Dad. I decided to be open-minded.

I began weekly sessions with a lovely woman. Never one to be the ‘feelingsy’ type I found it surprisingly easy to talk about everything. I had a lot to say. However, in retrospect, I don’t think I ever got emotional. I don’t like to cry in front of others or show vulnerability. She listened and told me reassuring things which I constantly challenged. I didn’t want to hear clichés. She told me all my emotions and the way I was coping was entirely normal considering the emotional roller coaster. We agreed that my depression, anxiety and fears were a direct result of the circumstances, rather than due to a pre-existing disposition for mental health issues. We eventually agreed that I didn’t need to continue to see her as I basically had something shit happen which I was dealing with. And that was that.

The thing is I am so lucky to have the very best of friends, and husband, who I got better therapy from. One of them is an actual psychologist! They know me, they are available when I need them, they feel emotionally connected to me and they don’t charge! Who needs a therapist when you are blessed with such great friends! I hope I never need to be there for them in this way, but if I do I will stand beside them like they have for me. Never will I take for granted the support, kindness and love they have given me.

Best Friends and Colouring Books

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My best friend is amazing. Fact. For the last 4 months she has been endlessly loyal and supportive. It made the world of difference.

Today she continued her kindness by sending me this gift. A colouring book!

Supposedly colouring is a stress buster.  I love it. Art, drawing and painting have always been relaxing and therapeutic to me.

Best go sharpen my pencils!