I’ve been thinking about sharing an update on how I’ve been dealing with the miscarriage, and as today is World Mental Health Day, it feels appropriate. Of course miscarriage itself is physical, but it has significant impact on mental health. Like all grief, it can so easily slide into depression.
It has now been just over 2 months since my miscarriage completed, but I think it’s still appropriate to say that I am learning to cope with it, rather than coping. How can it be anything else? I have never experienced it before. And if someone happens across this post when googling for blog posts about miscarriage, I don’t want to give the impression that I have moved on. Because in all honesty, I haven’t yet.
Life has been tremendously busy recently, which I’m grateful for as it means I don’t have time to think about the miscarriage. But it means that when I do think about it, I am caught slightly off guard and can’t stop thinking about it for the rest of the day.. It’s funny how many things remind me of different parts of it. There’s a brand of water that makes me think about it because it’s the one the nurse brought me when I found out & almost fainted. It’s stocked by the NHS, which means I see it at least 2 days a week while at work. We share a library catalogue with a women’s hospital, so when I had to search for a book about bleeding patients, one of the first results was about bleeding during the first trimester. (This may have been the hardest moment so far.) I was okay with spending time with babies and pregnant right afterwards, but I’m now finding it more difficult for reasons I can’t explain, so there are certain blogs I avoid now. I don’t have any resentment or jealousy as such, it just makes me sad. Seeing friends’ kids is mostly fine, but seeing cute families out & about in public is still awful. Because how can I stop feeling like I should still be pregnant and comparing myself a little bit? I mean, my body reminds me at least once a month. The rational part of me knows this isn’t the healthiest way of thinking, but then the thing about mental health is that it has nothing to do with rationality.
So those are the hard things. There are a lot of them. Life doesn’t feel like hell anymore, but it still sucks. But from a mental health point of view especially, I’m proud of myself. I genuinely thought I was going to get clinically depressed. There were days I couldn’t stop crying, didn’t want to leave the house, felt like there was no point in life (this last is partly because of the political climate this year). But here is the silver lining – because of my friends and family, I was able to pull through this time without feeling suicidal. Maybe a little bit of suicide ideation, but I am grateful that what I have experienced as a result of the miscarriage has not been as severe as my previous depression episodes. The only good thing that’s come out of this ordeal has been that I’ve been in contact with all of my dearest friends again, and there have been phone calls and Skype sessions and emails that sometimes take a backseat to life. It has been such a relief to talk to them, and a joy to hear about the happy things in their lives. They have helped me feel less alone, a crucial step to avoiding/finding your way slowly out of depression.
Find out more about World Mental Health Day here. If you think you might need support with mental health, do have a look at Mind’s website. It’s always okay to ask for help, and always try to remember that you’re not alone. You don’t deserve to suffer, so please, please make use of the organisations that have been set up to help you.