You know, I started 2017 with nothing but hope leading the way. We were in a solid relationship, my anxiety was well under control and work was going OK. Things felt good, and we were on our path to fertility help so the only thing missing was to create a family we both were longing for.
And BAM, in January 2017, Wednesday 18th, we found out we were going to get just that. My girlfriend was pregnant after 15 months of trying and an “unexplained” diagnosis. We were completely over the moon, absolutely gobsmacked and flying high. Sadly, after 5 short days we found out that it wasn’t to be, and my girlfriend began the slow process of losing our little ball of hope, or poppy seed as we began to call it, through a bio-chemical miscarriage (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean). We were devastated.
To be honest, this then set the scene for the rest of the year. After a difficult time at the hospital, I suffered my first panic attack in months, and sadly this seemed to trigger some kind of relapse behaviour and my anxiety began to affect me more. I managed to get myself on holiday but couldn’t enjoy it and work was slowly getting me down. Home life was OK because we’re a strong unit, but I think individually, what had happened affected us both more than we knew.
Mid-year wasn’t so bad, things seemed to be settling, we’d begun fertility treatment again after a break for 6 months (due to the pregnancy), and things seemed to be settling anxiety-wise, until my boss arranged a meeting with me to say that the company was struggling, may go under but in the interim we’d have to lose two members of staff. This hit me like a brick wall and anxiety again came back to haunt me, only this time in ways I was unfamiliar with.
So I was 6 months in and had already lost a baby, was slowly losing my battle with anxiety and it looked like I could be losing my job too – sounds good eh??
Well, I’ve always been quite stubborn, and I wasn’t going to go down without fighting, so I knew I had to try and take some kind of control back, which for me meant aligning myself financially so that should I lose my job, I would be sustainable with minimal work which I did successfully, and with that I began setting myself up with freelance work.
Next up was my anxiety. I’ve been living with anxiety every single day for around 5 and half years now, and it’s something that I know is and will always be a part of my life in some way. With this, I know when it’s bad and I now know when to get help, so contacted several therapists and found one who said she could help. I’ve been attending regular sessions now for around 4 months which not only include tackling anxious thoughts but also look at my history, my past and ways I can move forward and let things that trouble me go.
So I guess the only thing left is the family thing ay? Well, sadly we haven’t had any luck as yet naturally, though we are currently going through fertility assessments and the next appointment we have is to begin a less invasive form of treatment than IVF which will hopefully give us what we want. Sadly, the result is out of my control, however we’ve both agreed to just submit to it, and just let it happen – what will be will be.
So yes, this year has been absolute dog shit for me, but what it has done is helped me build strength as I head into 2018. Someone messaged me today and their words were “2018 will be your year, fuck it, lets be positive for one. When, not if.” and that stuck with me today. I can’t dictate or control anything that’s going to happen over the next 365 days, however I can completely control how I react, deal and cope with it all.
I know I’m not the only one who’s struggled the last year through one thing or another, so I want to take this time to thank everyone for their support and conversation over the last year. The community continues to grow and I think it’s amazing to be a part of. I wish you all the very best for the new year, and please know that I’m only a tweet or DM away if you need help, support, guidance or just someone to listen.