0
Browsing Tag

Hope

Letters To The Other Chair

Dear me…

If you could go back to the old you, what would you say?  What words of wisdom and compassion would you try to impart?  What snippet of the future would you dare to share?  With any loss, there is a ‘before’ you and an ‘after’ you. They are both the same and undeniably different.  There are secondary losses to navigate but with time you may learn to notice some gains. Some shards of light in the rubble. Old you may not believe this could be true.  But the seed of hope is a powerful one.

In this poignant letter to her past self, Emma Hartley shares the things she wishes she could have told herself when she received the devastating news of her daughter Eilys’ terminal diagnosis. You can find Emma on Instagram at @hashtag_emma

______________________________________________________________________________

Dear Me after we got our daughters terminal diagnosis,

I know that you feel like the weight of this diagnosis is going to crush you. I know that you have no idea how to begin to process the things that you have just heard. I know that you were expecting the worst but I also know that you really weren’t expecting the worst at all. The mind plays funny tricks on you in situations like this. 

I know that your brain will struggle to process a terminal diagnosis. How could it be true? Eilys is so full of life, so happy and so present. But then if you look a bit closer, you can see it. She stopped hitting milestones; she is 6 months old and she can’t support her head very well any more, she barely moves her legs and she has never sat up or rolled. The battle inside your head will keep striking painful blows but it will get easier. You will eventually come to terms with it. It will just take time. And don’t feel bad that you aren’t accepting things, you are just protecting yourself and that is fine. You will keep doing it. You won’t see her deteriorate because you will always try to put a positive spin on it. You will know deep down but at the same time you won’t allow yourself to dwell on it.

Continue Reading
Mental health and wellbeing

Me, thee and PND

“I think you’re depressed”

The words that still ring through my ears when I think about the day that the perinatal mental health nurse turned up at my door.  It had been a difficult morning; baby refusing to sleep, pacing the house wearing the sling.  Much like many of the days that had preceded really.  I was tired. Emotionally more than physically, although my body had certainly been through the mill too.

It’s something that I still struggle to accept sometimes, and something that I have fought hard to overcome.  But I think that this term – depression – has gradually become more of a friend than a foe. Although deep in my heart, I knew that this was what was going on, hearing the word spoken out loud and directed at mestung.  A verbal slap in the face.  I denied it could be true.  I tried to argue that I was just stressed.  But when I struggled to answer one of her questions, I realised that this was why I felt so heavy and why each day had become like I was wading through treacle.

I felt stupid: ‘How could I not have known?’  I felt ashamed: ‘Why couldn’t I prevent this?’  I felt guilty: ‘What kind of mother – what kind of person – are you to become depressed now, when your arms are full?’
Continue Reading