Loss.

I have been feeling pretty stable lately.

I am working full time, I get to see my friends when our schedules allow, and I’d say that in my life is going in a good direction.

I’ve got a couple of things going on right now though, and they are causing me some problems.

Firstly I lost my grandpa last weekend, I was at work when I found out. My husband didn’t want to tell me until I got home, he thought it would be best for me to get work out of the way and then sit me down when I am at home and tell me. Someone else got the news to me though and it shocked me. 

I knew he wasn’t in great health but I don’t think you ever expect the news.

I left work and went to see my family, to help where I could and to provide support. The problem is, I didn’t stop to take it in, so I didn’t get to feel the emotions I should be feeling and to start to process what was going on.

Then this week I started my new job.

I say new job, it’s the same job I’ve had for the last 8 months but I’ve just got a permanent contract working slightly different days.

So I go in for my first day of my official permanent job still feeling a complete mess from the events of last weekend.

Over the course of the week I have began to feel better, but there is something else going on too.

I am glad this is an anonymous blog because I’m not really ready to share this with people I know yet, especially because we don’t have a full picture of what is going on,

My husband and I want a family but we came to realise that we might not be able to have children.

We decided to have some tests done and although we haven’t seen a doctor for the results yet we know there is something wrong.

We don’t know what or how serious the issue is but we know now that there is likely to be a reason why we will struggle to have a family.

The thing that scares me is that it might not be a possibility at all. This itself feels like we are losing out. 

On a possible future we could have.

On the lives we could have created and the things we could provide to make their lives the best they could be.

I know we don’t know for sure yet and I know things might work out ok.

I just feel like I’m mourning right now.

Both for the loss of my grandpa, a solid family figure who has been here my whole life, and for the possible loss of my potential children, a future which I dream of.

Sorry to complain and to only write when things aren’t going right, but that’s the time when I need to share.

I know that some of what I have written about is uncertain and you may think I shouldn’t worry without the facts, but I can’t help the thoughts from creeping in.

I think I am going to take some time out in my safe place with my compassionate image and try and process everything that is happening right now.

I know how important it is to remember my therapy, and the tools it has taught me, when times are challenging.

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Loss.

Compassionate letter #4

Hello old friend,

How are you doing?

How is your sister?

She will get better you know, I promise you she will.

I know you are worried about her but you can’t let it rule your life. You need to remain healthy if you are to be of any use to her.

Look after yourself and then you can help to look after her, and the rest of your family. Supporting your mum and dad at what is a challenging time.

Don’t do too much though. It isn’t your responsibility to look after everyone, as much as you think it is. They just need your support, you don’t need to do every little thing for them, they are adults too.

Make time to do what you enjoy and have a break from all the worrying.

It takes time to recover, you of all people know that, given the journey you have been on yourself.

Have patience and good things will come, she will get better, and she will thank you for any support you gave her, she will understand that you couldn’t be there every day, and she will appreciate that you did what you needed to in order for you to remain healthy too.

Don’t be hard on yourself, I know it’s difficult to see someone suffering when you can’t do anything to help them but other people had to do the same when you were ill and you don’t feel resentment towards them for not finding a magic cure, so she won’t feel that towards you. 

You are doing all you can.

Stay strong and look after yourself and everyone else will follow.

With love,

Your compassionate friend. 

Compassionate letter #4

It’s been a long day.

So today I got up at a reasonable time, made myself some tea and breakfast and then headed to my mums house.

I took her to the doctors because she has cellulitis and needs her legs dressed every other day. The appointment lasted an hour and then we popped to the shop to find some sandwiches for lunch.

We then headed to the hospital, it is nearly an hours drive, and I don’t know about most people but I find driving can be quite tiring.

We then got there and went to see my sister. She seems to have improved a bit because she is talking slightly more. They have recently put her on some anti psychotic medication and hopefully it is helping.

It is draining being around someone when they are ill though, I love her dearly and so seeing her being so unlike herself is hard. Trying to talk to someone when they can’t find the words to form a sentence is really difficult to watch.

I feel emotionally drained from putting on a positive face so she can’t see how worried I am about her.

I fear that she won’t be well enough to come to the wedding and as much as I’m excited to be marrying my best friend it will put a cloud over the day if she can’t make it.

Everytime I see her and she isn’t her normal self it really upsets me, I wonder what she must have gone through to put her in this situation; and what she must feel like now that she is living it.

It’s hard watching someone you love suffer, it’s hard watching anyone suffer at all.

I just want to fix her.

Then we had to leave her, leaving her is horrible, she wants to come home badly at the moment so when I got up to leave and gave her a hug she told me in my ear that she wants to come too.

Having to tell her no, and then leave without her, wasn’t nice.

I can’t wait until she is feeling better again.

Then came the drive home. It’s getting dark and there’s a lot of traffic. By the time I dropped my mum off I was really tired.

I’m meant to have netball tonight but I just feel too tired, maybe it would pick me up but I just don’t feel like I’m in the right frame of mind.

I messaged the leader to tell her I’m not coming but I will be back in the next few weeks.

I just can’t wait for my sister to start her recovery, the journey may be long but at some point you will reach your destination.

It’s been a long day.

From the outside.

I’m at the hospital today, my sister is poorly. She came in with an infection and now she isn’t herself anymore. 

She’s hardly speaking, hasn’t been eating, has been seeing and hearing things and is just really struggling.

It is so strange viewing a mental illness from the outside.

I’ve never watched this happen to anyone before.

My mental illness was very different to this but I at least share the experience with her of having a lack of control over your thoughts and your mental function.

I always saw it from the inside though, where you know every thought that goes on and every option you are giving yourself.

Where you know the things about your illness that no one else does, things you can’t share because it won’t allow you to.

Now I’m seeing it from the other side. It’s scary being on the outside, not knowing what’s really going on in that persons head. What thoughts they are fighting with, what they want to say but can’t. 

I do know how desperately she wants to get better though, that is something I can share with her. She keeps saying how much she wants to come home, and it’s horrible telling her that she can’t, not yet.

I really want her to start to heal and get back to her usual self a bit more.

I have no doubt this will be a long journey, mine was and still is really.

Now I know just how difficult it is for those that have to watch you lose control and not know what your next move is going to be. 

Mental health is so unpredictable. I just wish we could understand it a bit better so we could help more people.

From the outside.

The importance of making plans. 

I find I really struggle on my days off from work. 

If I don’t have plans I become really unmotivated and struggle to get out of my bed. I need something to get me out and into the world.

I don’t have a standard weekend, I work Wednesdays to Sundays so Mondays and Tuesdays are my days off and everyone else is at work.

On top of this all of my close friends live quite far away.

Luckily I have family thar are available sometimes but I don’t want to have to rely on other people all the time.

This week I am going to see my sister I’m hospital,  this isn’t a particularly good distraction for me as seeing her in the state she is in now is something that I struggle with but I know that I do need to go and see her. Tonight I am going to play netball which should be quite good as exercise is a bit of me time.

Tomorrow I have booked in to do pilates and yoga so this will be a great help in getting me up and out, although there is quite a big gap between the sessions and I don’t know how I will fill it.

When I was off sick things were far worse, I never had work as a distraction so every single day was me trying desperately to find something, anything, to do.

Things are definitely better now but I know I need to make a conscious effort to plan ahead to avoid having down days.

The importance of making plans. 

Love

I rely a lot on love.

The love of my partner, the love of my family, the love of my friends, the love of strangers who appreciate the things that I have got to say.

Love encompasses so many things, it can be caring for someone and looking after them, it can be fierce and passionate, it can be gentle and warm; it takes so many forms.

I crave love, any love. I am weak and rely on it to make me feel worthy.

But we all deserve love, every single human being has loveable features, little quirks, individual features that make them who they are and someone will love that about them.

We should give more love, look out for you friends, your family, your neighbours, strangers in the street. Smile at someone and make their day, give someone something they need, it doesn’t have to cost anything but it can mean the world to someone.

Love has so much power and we can all wield it, share it with someone.

I love to be loved but I also want to give love to the world and watch how my contribution can give someone something that they need.

I want to spread love and make more people happy.

If we all gave a little more love we could achieve so much.

I love love.

Love

Family 

I feel like I have two families.

My own family, related by blood and forever loving and supporting each other through all times, good and bad.

Then there is my fiance’s family. They stand by me through choice, they don’t have to, they aren’t duty bound to, they have no definite ties to me yet they love me like I am one of their own.

I love my family, both my mother and father try to be there for me and to support me when I need them but there were times as a child where I needed more than they gave me. I don’t blame them for this, they tried their best but there were things that I needed that I didn’t get, but I must remember that they aren’t just my parents, they are individuals in their own right with other things on their plate besides their children and so mistakes can be made and things can be overlooked.

I still love them though, and I always will.

Then there are his parents, they look out for me in a way I never expected them to. They provide me with support and care for me and love me like I am one of their own.

I rely on both families to provide me with a loving and safe environment in which I can focus on my recovery.

I am thankful that I have two families which love me.

My parents have never had mental health problems so when I became ill it was foreign to them. My fiance’s mum, however, has suffered herself with mental health problems as she is bipolar and therefore her husband understands what it is that my fiance is going through. Having people around that understand these things is such a significant help and I am so grateful that they were there during this time to understand what it is we have been going through.

Family is so important and it has a massive impact on your life depending on how understanding and supportive they are in times of trouble.

I wouldn’t change my family for the world but I also wouldn’t ever want to give up the bond I have with his family too.

It has taken both families to get me to where I am today.

Family isn’t all about blood, it is about a mutual love, respect and desire to care for those people and I am so happy to say that I now have one big family that is there to support me.

To all of you I love you and I thank you all for the support you have given me. Related or not I love you all.

Thank you for showing me that family means so much more.

Family