Tuesday, 24 February 2009


It is very strange. Before my daughter died I had had four of five bad bouts of depression. And even when I wasn't actually suffering from depression I often lived in a fairly depressed state. Now I'm not like that any more. I go around cracking jokes about this. 'I used to suffer from depression but five dead babies cured me entirely.' But the point is that this is only partly a joke. Something has changed. I'm often grieving, numb, miserble, in pain, angry - but none of those things are depression. I just feel now that depression is an indulgence I can't afford. But even as I type that I hate myself for saying it. I know perfectly well that depression isn't an 'indulgence' and I know that it isn't something which some people can 'afford.' And yet it is true that I just can't allow myself to be depressed any more. Life is already too difficult without being depressed as well. I used to find all sorts of little things too much to bear. But now it seems that, because I know what a real disaster is, I can simply rise above the minor disasters. But even that doesn't adequately explain the change. I can't work it out. It is very strange.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Another uncertain mind

A lovely person called C. wrote a comment on her blog called 'An Uncertain Mind' about whether to continue trying to have another baby or not. I wanted to leave a comment but the technology didn't seem to allow it. But what she wrote really has resonance for me. It's so hard to give up trying. But I did give up and I know when it happened. It was when we were trying IVF. I was in hospital, lying in bed, recovering from the egg collection. I felt like hell - full of drugs, exhausted, in pain from the operation, tearful. I had just shouted at one of the nurses (with good reason). And as I lay there I looked up at the window. There was nothing much to see - just a few branches of a not particularly attractive tree. But some how even those few branches made me think, 'There's a whole world out there and I'm not seeing it.' And suddenly it was as though I was way above myself, looking down, and I could see myself lying in that hospital bed. And there I was, a youngish and healthy woman, made ill and pathetic and ugly by a medical treatment which I had chosen to undergo. And suddenly I thought, 'That person lying there isn't me. That is not who I am.' And for a moment I saw myself as I was when I was younger. And I was travelling in some distant place, on a boat, with the wind in my hair, staring out at the ocean, going somewhere. And that was when I gave up. At the moment when I couldn't stand the person I'd become. And I thought I was through, I thought I was finished. I thought I could start finding my way back to the boat, the wind, the joy of going somewhere. But it seems like it's never finished.