After the sense of anxiety due to the thought of starting therapy, I am pleased to report that I have been to my first session – and I have lived to tell the tale.
Well of course I have lived to tell the tale – it might seem melodramatic, but not after sessions where I have been told that I just have to get on with it; been asked to tell my and Hugo’s story in great detail and then sent on my way; or, my ‘favourite’ to date, that “God will give me another baby”.
Fortunately the person with whom I had the appointment yesterday is kind and empathetic, and told me repeatedly that I have been through a lot and that my reactions are not surprising. To be taken seriously is invaluable.
I gave a brief precis of the story of me and Hugo (the problem with HELLP syndrome is that no one has ever heard of it which means it is difficult to avoid going in to some level of detail to help others understand exactly how dangerous and traumatic it is) and the impact the trauma and grief is having on my life.
I hate hate hate recounting the story and I hate hate hate how it makes me feel. It makes me feel hopeless, helpless, all over again. It is exhausting – I went home and sat on the sofa watching rubbish telly. This morning I still feel worn out, wrung out. I suppose it is kind of like climbing up an escalator going down. The progress will happen, but it’s an arduous journey requiring lots of tenacity, determination, and extra stores of energy.
I was given two pieces ‘homework’ during yesterday’s appointment. The homework is designed to get me out of my self-imposed zone of control, expand my horizons, and so feel like I am ‘living properly’ again. The homework is the purpose of today’s post: I have been asked by my therapist to blog about it so you, dear readers, can hold me accountable.
Homework Task 1: Get up at 7.30am most mornings.
I’ve been finding getting out of bed in the morning really difficult, even with an alarm (part of this is medication drowsiness). I just go back to sleep. My aim this week is to get up and going at 7.30am. Being as I used to get up more than an hour earlier every morning I know this is doable, technically.
This morning I woke up at 7.20am and had a cup of tea in bed but didn’t get up until about an hour later. Still, it’s progress.
Homework Task 2: Go Swimming
Swimming has been something I have loved ever since I learned to swim when I was little. Not only is it a great way to keep fit, it’s a good way to clear the mind, too.
I went swimming a couple of months after Hugo died. The changing rooms at my local pool is a huge room subdivided into little cubicles. There happened to be a session on in the baby/children’s pool and the little ones were making all sorts of fuss in the changing room. Really they were no more than toddlers’ whingeing but in that space the sound echoes and is amplified, and with my raw grief I found the sound unbearable.
Even though I keep saying I will go swimming again, and with my sensible head on I could check the timetable to make sure I go when there are no children’s session on, the barrier for me is the memory of the babies and children crying. It seems bonkers that a grown woman could be prevented from something because of that, but there you go. There isn’t much sense around these things.
Where does the accountability part come in to all of this? Fear not, dear readers, I don’t expect (or, indeed, want!) you to make sure I am up in the morning, or shove me out of the door with my swimsuit and towel. The idea of the accountability is to report back next week to say how I have got on.
Watch this space…