Hemingway. Maybe the only quote I could ever see myself having for a tattoo. We are all broken...that's how the light gets in.:

Following my post about Hannah, a couple of beautiful people
in my life have had the courage to ask a little bit more about my story.  I understand that it can be hard to bring the
topic up, and that the conversations can be hard sometimes.  But I admire their courage in asking,
listening, empathising.  A common element
in these conversations has been my friends wondering “so how did you get
through it?  How did you move on so that
you could go on to have another baby? I thought if they were wondering, you
might be too, so here’s my attempt at answering.  Maybe by sharing, I might reach and help
someone else who is struggling. 
The short answer is, it is complicated, but you move on one
minute at a time. 
The long answer is…..
It is a complicated process. 
In the early days, there were a lot of times where I just wanted to curl
up in my bed and never come out.  Some
days, that’s what I did.  And I was so
lucky to be able to do that.  My husband,
parents and best friends stepped up and helped out so that if I was having a
day like that, I could.  They took care
of our son so that I had the space that I needed to grieve. 
My OB’s surgery referred me to an excellent psychologist I
worked with for quite a while.  It was in
those teary sessions that I came to understand and accept how I was feeling and
developed some tools that allowed me to focus on the present and ride the waves
of grief until I was able to cope better on my own. 
Even with that work though, there was a part of my grief
that had turned into a very thick dark cloud that wouldn’t shift.  I thought it was just my “new normal”, that
this was how life would feel forever from now on.  But then I also started having panic
attacks.  I convinced myself that I was going
to die, I would get this terrible pain in my chest, and have no breath and the
world would close in on me and the noises overwhelmed me and I just couldn’t make
it stop.   One day my GP gently asked me if I thought it
might be time to have some help with that. 
He explained that this didn’t need to be my new normal, and so I started
on some medication that has stopped that cycle of anxiety and depression.  And I am so grateful that he helped me make
that choice.  It gave me the breathing
space to clear the fog in my mind and start to work on coming back to life
again. 
I took them up until the second trimester of my pregnancy
with our daughter and slowly weaned off them so she wouldn’t experience
terrible withdrawals when she was born. 
But, the panic attacks started coming back after she was
born.  So, I am now back on them
again.  I recognise the signs in myself
now that point to me needing some help. 
And now, I’m not afraid to ask for it. 
The help and support of those close to me really had a big
effect on my recovery.  I have a
beautiful circle of chosen family who never strayed far and are always there
when I need them.  Often just turning up,
or doing things that needed doing.  But
sometimes I would need to ask for help. 
With practice, that gets easier to do. 
People are always happy to lend a hand if you are struggling.  No one likes to know that anyone isn’t coping,
and I’ve found that their support was probably the biggest factor in me being
able to move on. 
I have learnt so much about myself, my family, and others
during this journey.  I have learnt that
I am stronger than I think I am.  I have
learnt that if I can get through that, I can get through pretty much
anything.  I have also learnt that I am
vulnerable, and that is ok, because with my chosen family around me, together
we are strong enough.  I have learnt that
there is a place in my heart that will always belong to my babies.  I have learnt that it is uncomfortable for
many people to acknowledge our losses. 
It is also uncomfortable for many to be close to someone who is
grieving. 
These types of experiences are, in a strange way, positive,
because when you hit rock bottom, when you are cracked right open, then your
light can begin to shine through.  I
believe there are two types of people, those who choose to be cracked and
broken, or those that allow their light to shine through the cracks.  I chose and continue to choose to live my
life in the light.  I know and lovingly
accept that we need to allow ourselves to feel grief, sadness, despair at
times.  But we also need to find a way to
keep living.  I was so lucky, because for
that time where my light went out, those close to me shined theirs so I was
never in total darkness.  When I had no
energy to go on, they were strong for me and let me lean on them. 
There is no one else that can share your pain.  You have to go through it.  You have to ride the wave of grief.  Each person experiences the pain a little
differently, and that is ok.  We need to
accept that and allow each other the space to grieve how we need to. 
There was a scene on one of my favourite TV shows recently
(Call the Midwife), that I think sums it all up nicely.  A grieving woman asked a trusted friend how
she might move on from the death of her fiancé. 
The friend said “my dear, you just keep living until one day you are
alive again”. 
And that’s pretty much what happened for me.
So if you, or someone you know is struggling through some
sort of grief, depression or anxiety, reach out to them.  Let them know they are not alone.  Be strong for them on the days they can’t
be.  And be close by so that when they do
start feeling alive again, you can help them start building happy memories to
fill the big empty hole in their heart that has been left by the grief. 
Until next time,

E xx