It’s okay to not be okay.
This post is going to be a tough one to share. It’s about all the things that have gone on inside my head but I’ve been too scared to say out loud. I’m worried that saying them will result in a family member calling a mental health professional and telling them I’ve lost my marbles and need help. Then I remember I’ve already seen my counselor and she ended up crying in my last session as much as I did. Maybe more people have experienced these feelings but they are just difficult to discuss. Maybe all these abnormal thoughts are actually normal?
Distractions have become my best friend and my only comfort. I find it difficult to focus on daily tasks and find myself wondering how things could have been. The only way I can make it through a day is to listen to an audio book, stream a podcast, or play music. These distractions keep the tears at bay and make me feel like I’m normal. More than anything I want to feel normal again.
Talking about my feelings helps. I know the dead baby topic is tough, but I am so thankful when someone asks me how I’m doing and opens the door for me to discuss all the things going on in my mind. I like talking about my baby as much as any mother would!
Death has become a fascination for me. Not in the sense that I’m contemplating it, but that I want to understand more about it. I go to bed every night watching Forensic Files. I stream podcasts about killers, cold case files, and solving murders. Being able to talk about death makes it feel more scientific, and less emotional.
Fear consumes me and I worry that I may lose someone else close to me. I’m always worried that I’ll lose Bill or my family or the kids. I hug people more. I tell Bill I love him so many times a day I lose count. I save voicemails from my grandma and cherish that I have a recording of her telling me she loves me. I find myself checking on my dog while she’s sleeping to make sure she’s still breathing.
Sleep seems more important than oxygen. I crave it all the time. Never enough sleep. And I look forward to a time when my thoughts go silent and my body can rest.
Home is the only place I want to be. There’s a comfort in being in my house surrounded by familiar things. Home is the only place in my life that’s free from emotional triggers.
Emotional triggers limit my desire to leave the house. A couple of months ago, I broke down in a restaurant when I was seated next to a new mom and her infant. Hearing the baby cry sent me over the edge. I began crying hysterically and had to leave the table until they left the restaurant. My sister in law hugged me and held me as I cried uncontrollably. Honestly, I’m humiliated by the incident and terrified it might happen again. I find myself longing to hold a baby, but I am not sure if that will cause another meltdown or if I’ll never want to give it back.
Baby seems like the only answer. It’s so strange for me because I used to think I never wanted a child of my own, and now it’s all I can think about. I’m not sure I’ll ever feel normal again unless I have one. Not that another baby can ever replace ours, but it can make me a mother and I long to be one.
Anxious that another pregnancy could lead to another loss. I’m not sure I’m strong enough to face this again. I don’t think I can lose another part of myself, when I feel like I’ve already lost so much.
I want a break. I wish there was a way to take off work for a while and let myself grieve and heal. It sounds like a dream to have a day with no commitments when I could sleep in, sip coffee in the back yard, and read a book. I’d love to fill my days exploring a hillside during a hike and seeing nature’s reminders that life finds a way. I want to find a way to be okay.
It’s not okay. Previously when people would ever tell me “I’m sorry,” my go to answer was “it’s okay.” The first time someone told me they were sorry about our loss, my instinct was to reply “it’s okay.” I stood there silent, trying to think of a way I could respond. I’ve found that the best thing to say is “thank you” and let myself keep believing that it’s not okay and I’m not okay, but that’s okay.
If you’re struggling with a loss and want someone to talk with, I am here for you. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will always be here to listen to your worries and fears. Sending you big hugs! ❤