These last few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’m handling the loss of our precious daughter. How I’m handling the most difficult time in my life, the time I thought I would never have to experience. I can only say, that I’m doing the very best I can. But I also realize, that I need to work harder, I need to do better. I ask myself why this happened, over and over again, knowing there is no answer. I torture myself speculating which tiny event of the past months would have caused a different outcome, one with a healthy and living baby in our lives… I’m frightened that I’m not strong enough to live this “life after loss”, I’m terrified that this might ever happen again. And that’s where the work needs to be done.
Grief will be my life companion, as will my love for Sahar, but I will not let it define who I am. Grief has impacted my life, my personality, my character, my priorities and my ambitions. And that’s okay. It’s the way it’s supposed to be. It’s part of living a life after loss. The grief is so great because the love is so great. And since I will love Sahar for the rest of my life, grief will be a part of my life for as long as I live. I welcome the tears and the sadness, I accept grief in my life and invite it to walk along my path. But I will not allow it to define me, I will not allow it to control my life and decide what should be my choices.
When I reflect on the past few weeks, I see that fear and anxiety have been controlling too much of my life. And it’s very normal that they do in those first raw, hard moments when you meet these new players in your new life after loss… But there comes a moment when you have to show grief and fear its place. I will always grieve, and like I said, that’s okay. But fear is not welcome to stay, I know I have to show it the way out of my life, and never let it back in. Worry on the other hand, will always be in my life, it will always cloud my heart a bit, but there is no room for crippling fear.
Fear is a nasty thing. It makes you see things in black only, while we live in a world filled with millions of colors and shades. Just a few examples of fear talking:
I will NEVER find bliss again. I DON’T deserve to feel happy again. I will NEVER recover from this pain. I will NEVER believe in life again. My body has FAILED me. I CANNOT have healthy children.
The never’s, the don’ts, the cant’s and the fails, aren’t you talking. It’s fear talking. And you’re in a very, very dark place when you believe all those fears. Because fear is a crippling thing. It leaves you with nothing but a shadow of the person you once were, the person you have the potential to be. It keeps you from reaching your goals in life, from achieving true bliss and happiness. And it is possible. I can be happy again. I can reach my goals again. I will find bliss again. I will believe in life again. My body will be able to birth healthy living babies. I will provide my little girl with healthy siblings, that will remember her with me.
And although I’m writing this all beautifully on “paper” here, I don’t always believe what I’m telling you here. I believe it when I’m able to use my common sense. But I stop believing it when fear clouds my heart and takes my common sense out of the equation. That’s where I need help. So after very long consideration, second guessing what I should do over and over again, I finally picked up the phone and kept calling therapists until I found someone with whom I already felt a connection over the phone and is available to help.
Although I haven’t visited her just yet, although I haven’t met her yet, although she hasn’t helped me yet, I feel better already. Because I know it’s coming. I will have someone in my life, that will listen to my story, to my thoughts, to my feelings, over and over and over again, no matter how many times I repeat myself. I will have someone that can not only listen, but also guide me to healing. Someone that can give me tips, tricks and guidance in handling fear, in showing it the way out, and kicking it out of my life forever.
Therapy could even play a big role in my future. And I’m thinking about a rainbow pregnancy here. No matter how you look at it, another pregnancy (hopefully I will be that blessed someday) will be an anxious time for me. I will be worried about the new life growing inside me every single day of those 40 long weeks. Sticking with therapy throughout a next pregnancy will help me get through it with less anxiety and more confidence. Therapy will hopefully guide me into trying to enjoy the many joys that come with pregnancy, and help me put all my worries about this new life into perspective. It will help me learn how to control fear so that it doesn’t harm me, nor the new life growing inside. And that makes me feel better. Because I will need all the help I can get. No doubt about that.
So that’s it. That’s what I wanted to say. Losing a child is one of the hardest things a person can go through emotionally. It’s a process that’s very damaging, and it’s very important to look after ourselves, take it easy on ourselves and do everything we can to help our aching hearts heal.
If you’re experiencing any of the feelings above, if you feel drown in fears, loss, in grief… If you can’t seem to find your way out… If you feel it’s consuming every single cell of your being, then at least consider a therapist. And if you still think you don’t need one, think about it the way a very dear friend explained it to me when I was reluctant:
When you fall down the stairs and break a leg, what do you do? You go to a doctor right? Obviously, that’s what you do… You rush to the hospital, doctor or whatever, and get your leg fixed, ASAP! You go the physiotherapist for weeks, so that it can heal properly. So why is it, that when you go through a devastating trauma like the loss of a child, when you go through unbearable heart break, you don’t want to consider looking for help? You’re hurt, and your hurt and pain is much more serious than just a broken leg…
If you would like to seek the help and support of a therapist, but are unable to because of financial reasons, try looking for other solutions. Ask your doctor if he can subscribe you therapy (sometimes that makes it more affordable), ask around and compare prices, consider doing it just for a few sessions. Read books about grief and self-help, create your own set of positive affirmations and read them out loud to yourself in the mirror every day. For inspiration Google around a bit and browse Pinterest too. Also, keep this blog in your favorite links or subscribe. Although I am nothing close to a therapist nor do I aim to be, I promise to share any insights I might learn along my journey, and hopefully you will find help in them somewhere too.
I know this has been a very long post, thanks for bearing with me. It took me a lot of effort and courage to write this one out, especially since we live in a country where therapy still remains in the shadows of taboo. Seeking help doesn’t make you weak, it’s quite the opposite. And now that I got this off my chest, I’m proud I did. So thanks for reading!