I realise most people got over that beginning of autumn/new term feeling about a month ago, but due to two weeks of post-ERPC hibernation followed by an actual holiday in the sun I’m a bit behind.
Last week was ‘back to school’ for me. Back in the office, back in the gym and, well, back to reality.
I’ve done all those crisp autumn air, new term-ish things. Cleared out my wardrobe. Dug out my black tights. Polished my boots. Booked a haircut. Planned meals for the week. Marie Kondo-ed my sock drawer. Basically everything shy of buying a new pencil case.
As if a new diary and taking my shoes to be re-heeled will somehow fix everything. As if it will change how I feel.
I do feel better, though.
Being back in the office was trickier than expected, admittedly. Tiring. And I’m still not sure what to say to those people who don’t know the whole story. I don’t know if honesty really is the best policy when some well-meaning person asks if I’ve had a nice break.
I usually wimp out and stick with a mumbled ‘yes, fine thanks’. Which, given that I’m always over here waving the flag saying we must talk about this stuff, makes me feel a bit cowardly.
I did manage to tell one colleague the truth in the loos, after they asked if I’d been ill, and we had an awkward hug. Which was nice.
But on the whole, things are slowly picking up. We’ve got a date for our first appointment at the recurrent miscarriage clinic, and the charity run next year, so that’s given us some structure; something to point our lives towards.
I no longer feel like crying at toddlers in coffee shops or scowling at women pushing prams
I’ve also given up all the borderline bonkers things I was doing/avoiding pre- and during pregnancy (E.g. not wearing nail varnish or perfume or eating or drinking out of plastic for fear of what the chemicals might be doing – totally unscientific, of course, but you get a bit desperate). And I’m not tracking ovulation or anything like that for the first time in about a year and it is as if a hulking weight has been lifted, I’m surprised to say.
I still feel sad, of course I do, but I no longer feel like crying at toddlers in coffee shops or scowling at women pushing prams (For the record I never actually did this second one, I’m not a completely terrible person. I just *really* wanted to.)
Mostly, I think I’m doing a passable impression of a functioning human being. (Though one thing that still kills me is seeing a pregnant woman stroking her bump. I can’t explain why. It just makes my insides turn to oil.)
What else has helped? Probably not one a doctor would condone, but I got drunk. Properly drunk. We went Out Out (the kind of Out that requires a taxi home and 2am cheese on toast) and I was rewarded with my first hangover in 18 months. Hangover aside, it felt good – a reminder of a different, simpler time. Even if I know I don’t live there any more.
Because while I’ve called this post On Getting Back To Normal, in truth I think I know that there’s no use searching for the person I was before all this. I won’t be able to find her at the bottom of a bucket of wine or by scrabbling through my sock drawer. But I can at least feel like less of a shell.
And who wants to be just ‘normal’ anyway?
What do you do to feel better/more like yourself again? What helps/helped? Do share in the comments below, I’d love to know.