It has been one year since the worst day of my life: the day that honestly changed my life completely.
I wish I could say that I knew I was better for it but, in all honesty, I imagine that my baby is with me every day. I look at what I’m doing and think of how different my life would be right now if that heartbeat was still going.
In the year since my missed miscarriage, I have:
- Been diagnosed with depression
- Had grief counselling
- Self harmed for the first time
- Undergone CBT
- Had a PCOS (polycystic ovaries syndrome) diagnosis confirmed
- Suffered from stress so badly I wasn’t eating.
- Been diagnosed as prediabetes.
It has been one hell of a year. However, in that time I have also:
- Become an auntie
- Seen 5 friends/family members get married
- Seen friends become parents
- Made lots of new friends, including some who will definitely be forever friends
- Performed music live again
- Completed two charity swim events, raising £1000.
- Rebuilt my relationship with my sister
- Opened up about my problems to my family.
That last point may not seem that important because I open up on here but, in person, I keep my problems very much to myself. I have become much better at knowing that it is ok to show weakness and need to get support from people. This has partly helped rebuild my relationship with my sister. That and her supportiveness about the miscarriage all while she was pregnant herself. She has kept me as involved as I want in my nephew’s life, even giving me permission to come round and cuddle him whenevers I want because he is the thing that is guard to make my face light up again.
This year has caused an incredible transformation. Do I wish it had never happened? Of course. But I also recognise that I cannot change what has passed. If I let myself try, I will go insane. I remind myself to be thankful for the things that I do have and hope that everything has happened for a reason.
What would you think if you met me today?
Would you be sad or happy to see me?
So affected by your loss have I been that
You might not recognise this being.
My mind has been fractured, destroyed by the pain
The grief, the anger, the heartbreak
But my body only bears one scar
From when I tried to end it.
If you could see how you’re loved
And how your death has wrecked me
Maybe you wouldn’t have gone.
Your life could have saved me.
I need help.
I can say that now.
I am well on the way to getting help – I have acknowledged that I am not well.
Like many people, I grew up with a stigma about mental health. I was always told that grit and determination will get you there but that isn’t always the case. I wouldn’t describe myself as having had a tough childhood but there was a lot of pressure on me and I often didn’t let myself come to terms with things that I should have come to terms with. When there was turmoil, I became the pillar caught in the middle, trying not to let everything crumble. Now, I’ve finally cracked.
I had thought of self harm often as a child/young adult but I thought that if I did anything, I would seem weak and people would notice. The other day, I self harmed for the first time. I didn’t want to do it and I kept trying not to but the aggravation within my skin was so intense that I couldn’t not do it. I didn’t penetrate the skin because, thankfully, the knife was pretty blunt, but that doesn’t detract from what I did. It helped relieve me, whilst at the same time showing me how truly fragile my mental state was right now. As I described to a friend, my miscarriage seems to have triggered my historic issues and won’t let me cover them up anymore. As scary as it is to accept, I can now admit that I have a problem and, just as I would if I was physically hurt, I need to do all that I can to take care of myself.
I have shared all my poetry with the hope that it will start to reduce some of the stigma around miscarriage. I have written this as I want to do my part to reduce the stigma around mental health. You will see from some of my future poems that there is a darkness that has stemmed from my mental health rather than the miscarriage – please do not be afraid to acknowledge if some of it resonates with you. Please do not think that you are weak if you need to seek help to stop yourself doing something harmful. You are the strong one for wanting to help yourself and, in turn, the people around you. My husband is worried about me but some of that worry has been relieved by me saying that I have opened up to select people and that I now have counselling arranged. When I feel unworthy of help, I think of him and how I want to be healthy for the both of us. His patience, love, and devotion deserve it.
Where to call for help in the UK