Monday, January 21, 2008

I started something I couldn't finish

There are a great many things that go unsaid.
One of the biggest and most thorny issues facing couples going through IVF is mental health. Talking helps a great deal with your mental health. You can get things off your chest, you can get answers to questions be it good or bad, its good to talk.

What happens when you don’t want to talk? The hard shell that I had around my emotions had softened somewhat over the past 9 months.
I can feel it hardening again.

I hit my rock bottom in May. A series of misdemeanours caught up with me and delivered an inevitable turning point in my life. I was broken, desperate and peering over the edge. For the first time in too long I began to talk.
It all came out with such a force that I didn’t know what was coming out next. Sentence after sentence, constant streams of consciousness poured from me.
Everything I said I meant and it was all too true.
I spoke of my thoughts and feelings for the first time in too long. Maybe this was the only time I’d been honest with myself in years.

To mask the feeling of inadequacy and general self loathing I’d indulge in copious amount of alcohol to mask anything that laid beneath my veneer.
It turns out that I suffer from depression and anxiety. Depression is a fear of what has happened and anxiety is a fear of what is to come.
Fucking brilliant huh? My therapist is excellent and has taught me some coping strategies as well as allowing me to talk.
My real fear is that I don’t know who I am and if I knew me would I like me?
I’ve tried so hard to be all things to everyone, every thought, every word uttered, every action, every overheard conversation is processed carefully to ensure that I am prepared for every outcome and possible response and most importantly of all to do the right thing.

I've set the bar so high that it is very difficult for me to acheive the goal of doing the right thing by everyone. Which means I fail far too often by my standards.
As a consequence this fear and inertia does a great deal for my confidence.

I’m defiantly on the mend since the birth of my son and there are times when I feel nothing but joy;
-When you are in bed and wake up at 4am look across at your other half and you snuggle into them. Its warm, you have time on your hands, nothing is more important than that cuddle in that moment of time.
- After giving my son his last feed at 11pm I scoop him up and hug him, Squeeze really tight, gently pressing my cheek against his, the room is dark and again there is that feeling that fills me to the brim with warmth and nothing else matters.

I’ve stopped pretending to be someone else and I’m an awful lot happier. My relationship with my wife is excellent. By not getting pissed out of my head every weekend I’m a better husband and hopefully father. I want to spend quality time with my family and will only have a couple of glasses of wine on a social occasion and not a couple of bottles.

Don’t get me wrong I’m far from fixed I still have feelings of deep guilt and have panic attacks on a regular basis. I’m still scared and I can’t forgive myself for nearly fucking things up. I’ve been really busy at work since the new year began and when I’m at home I’m very busy with the family. All of which are positives but just below the surface something is still bubbling.
Without the support of my wife I’d be long over the edge and who knows where and in what state. If I could give any advice it’d be: keep talking.
I nearly lost the most precious thing in my life and I’ll never take for granted the love and friendship I have with my misses. I love you babe x

Tomorrow is my first therapy session for a month, I can’t wait because there are some things that should never be unsaid.