So, since the capers of the April ectopic pregnancy and going back to work and pulling myself together (caveat: ha! within reason) countless people have told me that I should be a writer. That I should maybe write a book.
But I’m like, apart from being honest about the IVF, endometriosis and our cervical ectopic pregnancy, what else is there? I’m pretty sure I don’t want to do live updates on my fertility or indulge too much in that subject through fear it could do me more harm than good. But what people have said, is that subject aside, my writing makes them feel how I feel. They can taste it. Their words, not mine. I reckon of late it would’ve tasted rank.
So here I am, day 4 of a much anticipated holiday with the husband to Majorca (note: not because I’m a Love Island fan, I’m a Love Island virgin in fact) thinking ‘I wonder if there’s anything interesting to say from this sunbed in the shade from a pale, prone to sun coldsores owner of brand new thigh cellulite?’
Let’s start with the therapy shall we? Seems like a good a place as any.
I’ve had 3 sessions so far with a counsellor after my employer told me to go and see my GP during a bit of an unexpected blubby session with HR. I found a local therapist via a link a colleague of mine (who incidentally enjoys a weekly therapy session and has done for years) sent me a link to find certified counsellors and after my initial 2 sessions mine has seen something in me that has prompted her to request authorisation for another 7 from my health insurers.
Counselling’s weird at first. Session one was me literally retelling the story from endo to ectopic, details easily rolling off the tongue from where they’re forever etched in my memory. I recalled them in a matter of fact way and didn’t cry which was odd. I was just telling a story. I told of my struggles at work since the trauma and how I feel like a burden, guilty all ways round and unable to cope with the unexpected or to perform how people are used to me doing so. How I feel derailed, permanently on edge and at the flick of a switch very, very sad. What struck me as she smiled and nodded along was every now and then she’d say something like ‘but why do you feel so guilty?’ and I’d be like ‘huh’. *Shrug emoji*. New fave.
Why do I? Simple enough question. Because my focus just isn’t career just now? Because I want to start a family? Because my body is letting everyone down?
Reading those first two simple statements makes them seem completely reasonable actually doesn’t it. I guess as we all meander through the different stages of life with things perhaps not going to plan or as hoped the priorities flag themselves like bright beacons, their light gathering intensity…’over here, over here! Don’t lose sight of me….’ and on the chosen path we have to stay.
But that last one about my body? Well that’s just me being a bitch. To myself. But I’m not the first and won’t be the last woman to do this to herself.
I’ve lost count of the times I’ve stared down between my legs and seen blood when I really thought that maybe, just maybe we’d cracked it (including just last week) and where I have subsequently tried to bore into my pelvis with my eyes to see what the fuck the problem is. Hate hate hate. Why don’t you work? You’re a woman for fucks sake. This is what you’re supposed to be able to do. There was definitely enough sperm up in the place for heavens sake.
But there really can’t be space for inward hate at times like these. That takes me to an even darker place. And it’s just downright mean. Why do some of us do this to ourselves? The sum that never adds up to a positive outcome…
Pain + worry + fear x self hate and anger = more pain and worry and fear plus anxiety and guilt and…
On the second therapy session before the timer hit the 50 min mark, the therapist asked me to fill in a questionnaire. Totting up the scores associated to each question, I came out as severely anxious which was no surprise but also moderately depressed.
The GP, prior to me starting counselling had printed out a prescription for some antidepressants which I haven’t yet cashed in. Because I don’t feeeeeel it. I get sad and teary yes but I get up each morning, make myself good food, walk, yoga and am about to complete an 8 week mindfulness course. I’m really not bad on the self care front. I’m bothered about it. I’m really bothered to look after myself even if that’s at the detriment of other things just now. And this is how I know I’m not hugely depressed, or it’s how I see it at least. Anxiety is one thing, but reading people’s accounts of depression is something I can’t relate to.
The therapist is helping me rationalise the thoughts and feelings I went in thinking were completely irrational. She’s making it OK for me right now, to focus on the things that are truly important to me. Right now. Not in a year or 5. Now.
And number one is my emotional health. I know I also need to up my exercise game but that will come, when I am less concerned about nurturing a calm environment inside my body. Right now I want a peaceful mind and more empty space. More nothing time. Because nothing time is everything.
I’ve just started a new book called Wellth and its reminding me of a time when work was everything to me. Working at a record label, or my first few years in TV. I’d be glued to my blackberry (a sorry what?) on the train to and from work, I’d check the emails at the weekend if only to ‘clear the deck’ before Monday morning so I wouldn’t have to waste a precious 45 seconds doing that then.
I’m not sure when the turning point was but I stopped all that some time ago. And nothing has suffered. The more emails you send, the more you’ll get back right? Less emailing, less planning, less striving = more empty space. For you. The real you.
I was wondering when I started going to weekly counselling that once I’d spoken through my current fears and situation that I might then quite quickly run dry of…content. Ha! No no. I’ve awoken to the fact that there’s always something. A new twist. Big and small. Good and bad. Sometimes frightening. Maybe there really is something in this regular therapy thing. It contains it all a bit. I enter and for 50 mins it’s me time, for thoughts and worries to tumble out in to someone else’s space. After the session, I leave and the door is closed behind me, trapping those concerns just there as I contemplate the rest of the day. I find that once I’ve talked for that session I am sort of done.
And as I’m sat on the beach looking at all the different shapes and sizes of the women in front of me (behind mirrored glasses, I don’t want to be that weirdo), I’m just struck by how glorious they all are. The lean ones, the fat ones, the ones whose top bodies don’t match their bottom bodies, the freckly ones, the olive skinned, the ones who you wouldn’t think had oodles of confidence but who strut their shit on the sand to the waters edge. How unique we all are, both in appearance but also mentally. Some are at peace, others not so.
I was dreading the bikini thing this holiday. This last year my cellulite has taken a tumble, literally to just above my knees. But alongside a pink ice cream pool float, I also packed a pinch of ‘just let it go’ this holiday. Because I’ve had years of being self critical. That mean voice. I’ll get back to her in time, when I am the version of me that wants to work on my physical fitness. That’s the future.
Right now, a long walk, a yoga class and meditation are my form of fitness. And talking things out, my new therapy.