I’m Not Myself?

No, you’re right, I’m not.  I’ve said it before; I don’t know where “old me” is hanging out these days, but I miss her.  She was carefree, positive and always had something funny to say to brighten up the days of others who were struggling (even if she was prone to taking the p*ss a bit?). Some days I wake up and I feel a bit like her;  I feel like I could maybe do a day at work or go to a big event without so much as a single pang of anxiety or panic.   Then there are the other days; the ones when I remember why I feel so different now.  The days when I feel desperate and I miss Teddy so much that it consumes me.

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My Mum was recently asked by a family member if I was ok, because I “didn’t seem myself”.  I know eleven months have passed since Teddy died, but really; am I supposed to be my old, chirpy self, just eleven months after my son has died?  I think my mum, who has lived through every breath of this pain with us, was just as dumbfounded by this question as I was.  I know that she did her very best to explain what we are living through, and that some days just getting up and facing the world is an achievement for us. It just got me thinking; is that what everyone expects?  Am I supposed to just miraculously recover from the death of my son and act as if he had never existed?  Well I won’t; I don’t want to.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know if it’s ever possible for the “old me” to make her comeback,  no matter how much time passes.  Do you know something else?  In many ways I’m not even sure I would want to be completely my old self now.  When you strip away all of the negative effects that losing Teddy has had on me (the anxiety, fatigue, the feeling of loneliness, random bursts of floods of tears), there are great ones too.   I think that having Teddy has changed me, and losing him changed me even further.  I’m more cautious than ever before, more of a thinker than I have ever been,  and less of a planner.  I used to be short tempered, I’d say fiery even, and I used to let the little things really get at me; they just don’t anymore.  Yes Teddy died, he’s not here; but having him has made my heart feel fuller than ever before.  Becoming a parent has made me feel a kind of love I knew nothing about, and we’ve had to learn to “parent him” as best we can without him physically being here.  Sometimes that comes from just talking about him, or raising awareness about his illness.  Sometimes it comes in the form of fundraising.  Many days it is merely me sitting in his room and talking to him, reminding him how very loved he is, by his entire family.

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I often wonder if Teddy have lived would I have changed in as many positive ways? I mean, I know the negative ones wouldn’t have existed, but what about the positive; would I have gained those if he were here?  I’m definitely a better listener, a better friend and I hope a better wife.  I’m less judgmental and I think more about what other people might be going through.  When we were trying for Teddy and I was so desperate to be pregnant, every pregnant person I saw immediately got under my skin; every social media announcement made me want to hurl my phone into another room.  Since having Teddy, and losing him,  when I see a pregnant lady or someone with a pram, I find myself looking at them and wondering.  How long did it take her to get there?  Has she had a miscarriage, or maybe more than one?  Did she have a long road of fertility treatment to get that baby in front of her?  The chances are that “no” might be the answer to all of those (We all know those fortunate women who seemed to be able to pop out babies as easily as shelling peas);  but what if the answer to one of those is yes? Who am I to judge someone else’s situation simply by looking at them?  I often wonder if I’d have thought that carefully about things if Teddy had been here;  I doubt I’d have had time to.

 

I know that as more time passes more people will begin to expect us to get back to our “old selves”, I’m not sure how I go about telling them that’s not going to happen.  Teddy will always be our first born child, the one who didn’t get to come home.  No matter what happens, nothing changes that.  He will always be loved, talked about and we will carry his memory with us.  The “new me” has learned to talk about him more confidently now, honour his memory,  and raise money in his name.  She is trying each day, not to be her old self, but to learn to love the new version; the one that has learned so much from this past year.  Do you know something?  I think I’m starting to quite like her….

Elle x

 

 


28 thoughts on “I’m Not Myself?

  1. You write so beautifully Elle, I love reading your blog. It sounds like you’re doing an amazing job honouring Teddy’s life and who’s to say that the new you isn’t better than the previous one. When you become a mother you’re never the same person as you were before, I imagine everyone would agree on that – I’m sure your husband is different since he became a father as well.
    Much love ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a beautiful post Elle, your strength is a real credit to you, discovering and developing. I can truly appreciate your thoughts and sentiments as we lost 3 babies on our IVF path and finally after 5 years were blessed with Harry.
    I too was very judgmental and hated any pregnant woman, Teddy is with you, always. xxx
    Love
    Emma
    xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good because you really should like her – why? Because she’s utterly amazing. Despite not being able to face the day sometimes, she makes funny little insta-stories which brighten the day of 1000s of her followers. You should like her because she has taught so many people about baby loss – people who didn’t give it a thought before. Not only should you like her but you should be immensely proud of her 💙

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is beautiful. I can relate to this so much. I am a completely different person since losing Evalyn in November. I have changed in so many ways and even though I have been at my weakest at so many points, I feel I am a stronger person because of her. I know it won’t be instant. Maybe it will take months or years. But I feel that Evalyn will make me a better version of myself. . .

    Thank you for your words and for making me feel less alone.

    Lyndsey

    x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I totally relate to this, although my story is so far apart from yours, when my daughter was diagnosed three years ago our world changed so much in a short time frame that I didn’t recognise myself anymore. Three years later and I’m still not the old me but that’s ok with me. I don’t think the old me could cope with the stresses of our new world after diagnosis so it’s probably best if she keeps out of the way for a little longer to be honest 😘

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  6. Your love for your dear baby shines through in every word you have written. What a courageous, thoughtful and adoring mummy you are to Teddy. Thank you for sharing your feelings, you should be very proud.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Have just read your blog and your heartfelt words. It’s not surprising you don’t feel yourself it’s still such early days. You don’t have to be crying and rocking in the corner to be depressed and grief stricken it’s something that can take so many different forms. The way you have turned your loss into something inspiring is just amazing. My parents lost their first baby 65 years ago. They never really spoke of him as it was too painful for them and to be honest it wasn’t in those days but we knew he had been born. After 4 years they went on to have 4 more children of which im the youngest. I think in some ways I’ve always known I was lucky to be here because maybe I wouldn’t be had things been different.The reason I’m telling you this is because you will never be the same again but you will feel better than you do now. Dont expect too much from yourself and don’t worry about what other think you should be like. You are truly amazing to have been so honest about your beautiful Teddy. My parents are now reunited with their baby son and knowing this comforts me with their loss. Xx

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing with me Helen. I don’t think you ever forget, I am sure your parents just learned to live with the loss of your older brother and carry him in their hearts. I am sure you do too. Sending love and light. xx

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  8. I know it’s not the same at all, but I can relate… I lost my darling Mum just before Christmas and the ‘old me’ left with her. What you went through… I cannot imagine. But you come across as a strong, magical human being who is making her precious boy proud every day!
    On a selfish note, i found comfort and reassurance in your words and emotions; just to know I’m not the only person out there who has lost her old self because somebody so precious was stolen way too soon.
    Cuddles for you, Elle.
    Danielle xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my Goidbess!! I said I can ‘relate’ and I remember reading your other post about people saying that! By ‘relate’, I mean in losing myself and becoming a totally different person – not relate to the type of grief and loss. It’s very different and I am very sorry if I caused any offence! Xx

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  9. Your strength of character shines through as I read the most heartbreaking story of a young couple trying to pick up the pieces of their lives after losing a most wanted and loved little boy. I have not been blessed with children but I can empathise with your loss. You are right, Teddy will have changed you both in so many ways and I’m afraid you won’t go back to ‘the old me’. You see when things happen to us that completely changes our world as it is not what we planned, hoped for or expected then we have to adapt and change and yes get used to this new person we have had to become. In time you will be able to move forward without the pain you have right now.

    I have experience of loss in a very different way and yes I have changed and so I can say without doubt you will like person you are becoming because after all she is you.

    Be kind to yourself (both of you), have no expectations of when you should feel ok but most of all talk to each other as only you can now the depth of feeling you are experiencing. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My younger sister was born and died over 30 years ago, my mum has never been the same, how could she be? Life goes on, but it is never the same. My mum told me recently she still struggles with her loss at times. She has seen her other children marry, she has grandchildren, but there will always be someone missing for her, and probably all of us.

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