Most people will tell you the best day of their life was the day their kid was born. For me the day our baby was born was the worst day of my life… maybe that further puts my life into perspective for you. Seems like a morbid way to start a blog post, but hey I’m here to be honest not to sugar-coat life. I had to get that thought out of my head before I could share about one of the happiest days of my life and what it now means to me.
Phones do this neat thing now where they recap what you were doing this week a year ago. It’s neat unless a year ago you were happy and now your not.
Last night my phone shared this picture with me. It shared the whole reel of photos taken from that night. The night we found out Ben would be Ben and not a girl version of him.
All I can think about when I see the photographs from our gender reveal party, Will we ever be that happy again? I don’t even recognize those people in the photographs.
I can’t get myself to watch the actual video. The screenshot of our reaction is enough to fill my eyes with tears. It is enough to make me go into a spiral of questioning everything over and over again. I remember that day so well. I remember my mother-in-law pulling together an amazing night with little direction from me on such a short notice because we didn’t want to celebrate anything until we got the confirmation that we had made it through the first trimester, 10 days prior. I remember going around the office Friday, a year ago, making a sheet of tally marks of what my coworkers thought we’d be having. I remember going through all the old wives tales to see which ones would come true at the end of the night. I remember leaving work early, picking up the cake from a friend and being nervous that the cake might get destroyed during the car ride and ruin the surprise. I remember wanting the middle of the cake to be blue, but also preparing myself for fact that it could be pink. Something I will never care about again. I remember feeling so grateful that we’d made it this far & we’d finally get to celebrate with our close friends and family. I remember throwing around names with everyone that night, knowing all along we’d probably go with Benjamin. I remember getting home, laying in bed with Scott, and asking each other if this was even real, all our life long dreams for our little family were finally coming true. I remember waking up the next morning and still not even believing it. I remember being happy, maybe even more than happy.
Trying to find happiness during these times is hard. It’s hard to see everyone getting what you want every other day. It’s hard doing things knowing we should be somewhere else right now. Feeling like we should be in a different stage of our lives. It’s hard to feel happy. There’s good days of what seems like happiness intertwined in the bad days, but sometimes it feels like we just have to fake it. It is hard to admit, but I am depressed.
My depression doesn’t look like the typical Hollywood version of what you’d likely expect it to be. I function. Mostly because I have to keep providing for the dogs and people in my life who depend on me. I get out of bed every morning, I go to work every week, I work out regularly, I eat healthy, I don’t drink every night, I don’t use drugs or medicate, I take my vitamins, I play with my dogs, I clean the house, I practice self care, I hang out with friends, I go places, I smile and laugh. But at the same time, I also feel empty. I feel like something is missing from my life and I feel hopeless about the outcome of this situation. I feel like there is no remedy to this heartache and I continuously wonder if their will ever be an end to this deep feeling of despair. I’ve tried a lot of different things to cope with our loss, some of it helps but never completely.
Even though I don’t want to admit it, I know I’m depressed because everything could be going right in a given week and I still feel like I am having a terrible week. My usual mental clarity isn’t there right now. I have to take frequent break from social media to reduce my feelings of bitterness towards people I love and care about. Everyone out there is so happy. You might say, “everything isn’t what it seems not everyone is as happy as they’re pretending”, well it isn’t my fault they’re doing a terrible job at being honest. They’re making the rest of us feel worse about our problems. Recently, I feel myself retreating inward, not wanting to talk or interact with people if it isn’t completely necessary. I find myself canceling future plans in my head to guard myself, coming up with all sorts of excuses of why I shouldn’t have to participate in other people’s lives right now, but not actually going through with any of it because I know deep down that I have to push through this. I fear that if I don’t push through, I risk losing even more than I already have.
One of the first things I said when I went sifting through so many similar stories like ours after losing Ben was, “I don’t want to be like these women. I don’t want to be talking about my dead baby a year after it happened. I don’t want it to be the story that defines me.” What can I say now besides quoting one of my last posts. Here I am. Eight months later and I’m still here thinking about it every single day. I’m still trying to process the reality of our situation. I’m still here repeating myself in each blog post with a small twist in perspective each time. I’m finally starting to feel like a twat for judging all of those women whose stories I read. I get it now. It’s hard to be happy. It’s hard to see past this.
I don’t want a dead baby to define me, but right now it does. I want to write about something else. I want to write about something that is inspiring me like I use to be able to do. But right now I have nothing. Right now I can’t see past this. Right now I can’t feel real happiness. I can’t feel it for you and I can’t feel it for me. Please bear with me while I continue to recover from this disaster.