Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

It's Time To Talk

The 5th of February was Time To Talk Day 2015. Led the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, it was a day dedicated to challenging the stigma that still surrounds mental illness. A day to take 5 minutes to talk to somebody about mental health, a day for people to have the confidence to share their stories and struggles. 

It is no secret that I have spent 4 years and almost 8 months struggling with my mental health in one way or another. I've been through counselling twice in that time. I'm in no doubt I'll see myself there again in my future, in one form or another. An intense grief I carry with me daily has spilled over into bouts of anxiety, post-traumatic stress and depression. It isn't constant, but a fragile mind, a fragile heart is never far away. I've often questioned where grief as a standalone ends and where struggles with mental health take over. I still don't know; the Grief Life puzzle is complex and oh I miss my girl.

Sometimes the overwhelming pain of living without her threatens to destroy me. Sometimes I cannot bear it. Sometimes, still, the very physical heartache, when it comes, crushes my chest until it feels like I cannot breathe. 

Time to talk. Time to change. 

Sometimes thoughts filter into my mind. Intrusive. Sometimes I'm plagued by intrusive thoughts.When I'm having a bad spell, my intrusive thoughts drift to the reality that the only real escape from the pain of living without my daughter will be death for myself.  I don't think I've ever quite admitted it like this before. Sometimes I think about what a relief death might be. For the record, I am not, nor have ever been suicidal. I don't want to die, not for a moment. I just wonder where, when the pain will otherwise end. I wonder where it is within myself to beat grief and all its complexities. 

I say it before and I say it again. I have a life also full of blessing. There is much happiness. My wonderful wonderful boys. Oh how I can't bare to contemplate how much worse my broken self would be without them now. Thank goodness for those rainbows. But frequently I'm plagued by obsessive and intrusive thoughts; my rainbows being taken away from me, either by death or kidnap or social services. Anxiety very often reigns.

There are times when my mind does not feel at all well. June 2010 irreparably changed me. Shattered. I think the blog had its alarming glimpse of this in June 2013 when my broken heart, my broken mind was triggered to so vividly relive much trauma and it felt like my entire being was threatening collapse.  PTSD. 

There are times when I feel tortured. There are times when I feel as tortured by life as I do by grief. Sometimes things that happen in life feel like a knife is being twisted in my already mangled wounds.  

Sometimes it frightens me that parts of me feel more fragile then ever rather than healing as times goes on.  Time heals is a myth. There are healing experiences, but some wounds never completely scab over. 

There are times, despite everything I have, that when I still cannot bare the thought of a lifetime without her. There are times when I'm plagued by guilt. I've explored it before. Guilty that her absence effects me so deeply, guilty that she died at all and I failed her. Guilty that being an earth Mummy took over and the time we don't spend in her garden now compared to before, guilty that I find going to her garden so difficult these days. Guilty that intrusive thoughts sometimes outweigh good and make my heart very heavy. Guilty that my boys are exposed to that. Guilty that I have intrusive thoughts at all when I adore everything I do have with those boys. 

There are times I just do not cope. There have been times when I have unravelled spectacularly, there will be more times when I will unravel spectacularly. I fear June. I'm almost paralysed by fear that another spectacular unravelling is coming. 

I've come to realise that is the nature of the beast. And it is a beast, it is a demon when it rears its ugly ravaging unforgiving head. Grief unlike no other grief, with its elements of subsequent anxiety, PTS episodes, depression. The grief life puzzle rages on.  

Sometimes life is so very very good. More than sometimes. More than good. But sometimes it really really isn't. Sometimes it is both at the same time. Sometimes I don't know what it is.

Extreme spectrum ends.

My soul is still patching its gaping hole.  I'm working on it. 

Saying it out loud.

I'm Caroline and my mental health is clearly not intact following the death of my darling baby girl. 

Supporting #timetotalk 

Being brave and pressing publish. 


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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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