I’ve been away from here for ages. Not only was I without a phone for what seemed like a year, I took a holiday in the Lake District with my family. There were ten of us in total, which meant lots of people to look after The Baby (actually it was just a huge audience for her to entertain daily) while The Boyfriend and I had a much needed rest. We even found time to have dinner together, just the two of us. The last time we did this was before Christmas, and that was because we suddenly realised the last time we had been out together for dinner was the night before I was due to be induced; precisely 17 months previously. The reality of being parents vs a couple.
We had a fabulous week away anyway. We did some gentle walking which involved me having a panic over walking down a slope equivalent to the gradient of a supermarket travelator, due to my enormity and the loss of my centre of gravity, and some of ‘us’ did some more rigorous walking – the fellas climbed Skiddaw while the girls went for a very lovely tea and cake. There was daytime napping (that was me and The Baby), very few tantrums and tears (from me or The Baby), lots of excellent food, relaxation, and plenty of fresh air. Oh, and I got a new phone. All just what the doctor ordered 6 weeks before Little Pea is due to arrive.
Yesterday I finished my counselling sessions. I haven’t said anything on here about these sessions, partly because I’ve had counselling in the past and found it very unhelpful (it may have been the wrong time or it may have been the therapist, but whichever it just didn’t help), and partly because it has brought up a lot of things from the past that explain why I have felt low and disconnected and why I struggle to find myself and who I am, but are so very personal and private that they are completely out of blogging bounds.
However, I will say this. My counsellor has been fantastic. Not only has she listened, she has offered explanations and understanding that has shed an enormous amount of light on my state of mind since the birth of The Baby. This time, I have found counselling to be extremely helpful and suddenly I am feeling almost back to ‘normal’, whatever that may be. It’s a strange situation, and I have spent such a long time not really knowing who I am; catching glimpses of ‘me’ here and there and then losing them again, feeling anxious, panicky, terrified of leaving the house, having thoughts so illogical that even through the fog of depression I can see how ludicrous they are, feeling shrouded in a dark black cloud that is sometimes horribly, violently dark, and sometimes is almost transparent but that has never really lifted, that these feelings of contentment and calm and even happiness are quite alien. I am now looking forward to a time of getting to know what happiness and calm feel like, without the terror that even admitting ‘I feel OK’ will somehow make it all suddenly disappear and I’ll once again be left tumbling down the swirling pit of depression.
I know that the depression will very possibly never truly go away. But I do know, and I know for definite now, that everything is temporary. That each black cloud eventually passes, and even a loss of connection within myself and not knowing who I am, no matter how long it lasts, eventually disappears.
I am now looking forward to a very different time following the birth of Little Pea, and genuinely enjoying and making the most of every second with The Baby. Most importantly, always knowing that I am doing my best, which is always good enough no matter how little is actually achieved. I may be very far from perfect, and my best may be very different to someone else’s best. But it’s me, and as long as I can live with that, nothing else really matters. So here’s to new starts and fresh perspectives.
Images from Skiddaw, Cumbria taken by Harry Rayner @harryrayner
Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to read this blog and vote for me in the MAD Blog Awards. It means an awful lot to me, and I really appreciate your time and effort.