It’s a rare thing, to have a conversation with yourself. To ignore life’s distractions - the ping of emails, a fear of missing out on social media. I’m told it’s the best conversation you can have but it is one I don’t have. If I’m alone, I’m not alone, because I have a dog. Another beating heart in my home was necessary after IVF failed and the reason I ended up at the rescue looking for the dog that would love me to the ends of the earth in a way that nothing else could.
See, I’m almost writing to the dog, not me! That happens a lot. I also call myself a rubbish human being a lot. I’ve done that slicing action across my neck or wafted my hands around my waist to show how futile and pointless this body it. When I began to move those hands up to my head and knew that all wasn’t well in my mind, that was the time when my doctor asked why I hadn't got a dog yet, knowing that a distraction from the selfishness of infertility might give me a new identity and purpose.
I do this thing. The iceberg. Serene, cool and beautiful (well, not really but you know what I mean), on the surface. I cope. I get on with it but I’m conscious that there’s a global change and I have to adapt to that. Around me is this pronatal world in which I’m being isolated, my climate crisis if you will tolerate the analogy. So I’m feeling myself melting, disappearing into the sea as the feelings I hide away from rise up. Tears, chaos, empty thoughts, looking at my husband and wondering if this is our life and is that all it is? Days catch me unawares, situations that chip on my icy exterior and fail me.
Periodically I rise up, I study, find peace in the garden or by the sea. I’ve adopted the values I hold dear. This has made me invest in my body, been healthier and kinder but it’s not constant. The truth is that we have to be a bit kinder and find the language to communicate with us and each other.
I’m a flawed human being, not a rubbish one, no more than anyone else is. My dog seems to think I’m rather special, faults and all!
World Childless Week champion and our website designer, Full Stop Podcast presenter and founder of Walk In Our Shoes.