No one told me I’d look in the mirror and not recognise the person staring back. That overnight I‘d become a stranger in my own body, a body I could no longer trust. I felt completely hollow and although I was breathing, i wasn’t sure if I was living.

I smiled and laughed for our living children and carried on as normal for them, adding every activity and fun thing we could do into our week to try help brighten their days. But I felt like I was a robot on auto pilot, going through the motions while I dragged my heavy heart around struggling to breathe. I dyed my hair black trying to make myself look different because I felt different. I got my hair cut, bought new clothes and painted our house hoping another change would somehow reflect how much I had changed. It didn’t help. I just had new hair, new clothes and new colours on our walls but I still didn’t have my baby and I still didn’t feel any better.

So many things suddenly felt pointless, so many priorities changed, so many passions I had before no longer brought me enjoyment. I couldn’t explain how much I had changed, I couldn’t even explain the ways in which I had. I knew though, my spark had gone.

Thankfully over the last 19+ months I’ve regained a lot of colour into my life. I now only have the occasional day where I feel completely empty. I have found joy again in some things I used to love. But I’m still not the person I was and I now know I never will be and that’s ok. I hold tight to those who still love (and like!) me even though they also know I’m not the same person i once was.

I’ve spent a great deal of time soul searching and have realised this journey is not only about learning to live with the hole in my heart but also about self discovery. I’ve always been an impatient person and I hate I’m not at that comfortable place where I know myself again. I have to tell myself that just like grief, there’s no rushing this. So slowly and gently I go. Bit by bit I regain, accept and let go of parts (and people) of the old me and bit by bit I embrace new ones.

One day I’ll look at my new self and say again “I know you” and I hope when I do I’ll also say “I like you”.

Artwork @liveinthedetails

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