I am struggling to find ways to stay grounded. Our loss in September left me with a clear path forward: to try and become pregnant again right away. Now after this second loss, I am so much less sure of the future.
Writing has been an outlet for me. I joined an online 30-day writing community on grief. Each day I am emailed a prompt with instructions to “just write”. I don’t know yet if I’ll intermingle the writing with my regular posts; we’ll see where I am led.
I don’t have a name.
I don’t know what to do.
The only thing I know for certain is that I must begin to heal. Just like every time my life was re-created, I had to begin restoring the foundered part of my being: the lost relationships, the familiarity of a neighborhood, the sense of the person I might have been. There is an algebraic term for the technique for distributing two binomials, called the FOIL method. It stands for first, outer, inner, last. And that is exactly how I have learned to repair myself time after time: from the outside in.”
-p. 233 “The Girl She Used to Be” by David Cristofano
I used to be a writer. As a child, if you had asked me “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I would have responded “A writer.” Somewhere along the way, I became overtaken by practicality: that I did not have enough talent, drive, whatever to make an actual career out of writing.
Then I lost my babies. Now it seems I don’t know how to do anything but write. Words are one thing I can control when everything else is beyond my control. So much does not make sense. Even the simple act of driving my car, I find myself often bewildered, thinking “How did I get here? I can’t remember.” I can’t find the connecting thread between one action and another.
I used to be a writer. Then I was everything else. Now I struggle to define myself, but I am a writer again. How do I define my relationship with my children? The question “How many children do you have?” used to be easy: I have two children. It seems an inadequate response now. “I have given birth four times. I have two living children.” But that type of response would elicit discomfort when all I want to do is recognize my two babies that lived.
I used to think I was strong enough to handle anything on my own. That was before I was struck down by grief. I have come to rely on the support of others. I have come to rely on therapy. I have accepted anti-depressants to keep me functional. I am learning to be comfortable with the external forces that I need and not shy away from saying “I am in therapy” and “I am taking anti-depressants.” I want no misconceptions about how I am healing and that I cannot do it alone.
Healing the outside is easier. I return to work. My kids go to school. Our calendar fills up with activities. The world picks up and moves on so easily and I am forced to keep moving with it. Inquiries into how I am coping will become fewer and far between. Outside is one thing, inside is another.