Sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down, sometimes you've totally got it (all), sometimes you feel like you've lost your mind, and any which way you don't really feel like you? You're not quite sure if you can remember who you were before, and anyway, you're pretty sure you'll never be that person again?
You are not alone, these thoughts and feelings are perfectly normal, this is grief.
It's a normal reaction, to a totally abnormal situation.
All of those things that you think you may have; anxiety, depression, bi-polar, that is your grief playing out.
The 'coping' REALLY WELL, you might find that's an avoidance of your grief if you really thought about it? And, other peoples need for you to be doing that? Well, that might say more about them and their inability to cope with your loss than anything else?
What you've been through is truly devastating and that's because it goes against the expected natural order of life. We expect to be able to have children AND for them to outlive us.
The loss of a baby is also the loss of a whole lifetime of plans and dreams and your identity as their parent.
With limited memories, you are left with a lifetime of what ifs and wonders about who they would have been and what you might have done and how you would be together.
Is it any wonder you feel lost and overwhelmed?
This just isn't the way you imagined your life would be and it's overwhelming.
Decisions you were totally sure of at the time, because you totally believed you were doing the right thing by your baby are now played over and over and used as reasons to blame or hate yourself?
You can vaguely remember who you once were and part of you just wants to go back there. The other part knows that you will never be that person again, and going back there would mean losing the little time you had with your baby and you wouldn't ever let that go, regardless of how you feel now, EVEN if this lasted forever.
It's grief, all of it! It won't always feel this way. I'm not saying it will ever go away entirely, there will always be anniversaries and triggers and things that just blow your mind and take you straight back there before you've even noticed and that's fine.
Because, following a loss there is so much to do and with baby making time is of the essence, so often trying again is on the agenda fairly quickly, you may actually feel you've coped really well following your loss and be randomly hit by all these feelings later (sometimes much, much later). When this happens it can be really difficult to recognise it as unresolved grief, but if you are recognising yourself in what is being said here . . .very likely that is what it is. As a therapist, I firmly believe we all have our own answers.
I also believe there isn't a person on the planet that couldn't do with an hour a week all to themselves to offload and re-assess using the neutral, confidential ears of a trained non-judgemental professional.
So, when I say I think counselling is the answer, please don't take it personally or think I am saying there is something 'wrong' with you. It is not that at all, I think you need nurture and care.
With the best will in the world, all the people around you have experienced the same loss and will be having their own reactions to it, which may impact their ability to deal with you effectively? And you all have pre-existing relationships, which come with their own rules and may be too complicated to navigate right now?
Sometimes this means you don't tell people, or you have to be 'OK' in their company, and absolutely none of this is necessary in the counselling room. You can fall apart, scream, shout, learn to laugh again, learn some better ways of managing the overwhelming emotions. Whatever it is that you need.
After all, perception changes everything and right now, you're just stuck in your own head, a good therapist can gently challenge what you're thinking so you can start to see it differently.
In time you will be able to move positively forward with your life accepting your loss as part of it. This won't happen immediately, and sometimes it gets worse before it gets better, but it absolutely does happen for our clients.