My last few posts have been a little bleak at times, to say the least, and I have laboured on a some of the points to get across exactly how I am feeling but I am pleased to say that there is a light forming at the end of the tunnel.
I said right at the beginning of this process that I wanted to be honest with myself as well as anyone who took time out to read my posts and as I scan back through the thoughts I have put down I believe I have managed this so far and from the comments I have had it seems this honesty has been appreciated.
Throughout the pregnancy, and the first 8 weeks of his life, there have been some extremely low points for me, as anyone who has read all my posts will know, and it has been extremely therapeutic to be able to put all my feelings on here, it somehow makes sense of my thoughts if I try to put them into some order in my blog.
A by-product of me writing this blog was to try to reach out to anyone else who feels the same. Whenever you tell anyone that you don’t want kids you can become very isolated and will find it difficult to find anyone that thinks the same or will empathise with your choices, as I found very early in life when I realised this was how I felt, so if one person reads this and feels less alone then it has done its job. It would seem that this has happened and I have received some fantastic feedback from other parents who also felt despair and loneliness, in different ways and situations, but felt the same type of emotions without feeling they had people to turn to. There have been some powerful emotions produced by some of the feedback you guys have given me so for this I am truly thankful, not just for your thoughts on what I have written but for your return of the same frank honesty in describing your own situations. This blog has become the sympathetic ear that I needed all along and hopefully it can be the same for others.
In my last post I mentioned I was going to seek professional help as those closest to me were worried that I was sinking into depression. I am pleased to say that the local doctor was extremely helpful, thorough and professional in her approach and, although she doesn’t feel I am depressed, she felt it was the right thing to go and see her and that I should go back in a couple of weeks to see how I am getting on, monitoring me to make sure I don’t go down this route in the first place. She felt , as I do, that I had just burnt myself out by doing too much, possibly over compensating for my initial fears of fatherhood, somehow trying to reassure those around me that I was not about to run away by throwing myself into the daily tasks head first.. This has then backfired by leaving me drained in a very short space of time.
All of the above culminated into one disastrous day where I could no longer cope and, by all accounts, just broke down.
Luckily some good then came from this, it opened up a dialogue between me and my partner that hadn’t really been there previously and made her see how hard I was finding things. It also made her realise how honesty was what I most needed from her. You see, whenever I would enquire about her well-being I would always get “I’m fine” but this wasnt always truthful, so when I was away from her, be it in the spare room , or at work etc. I could never really relax because I didn’t know whether she really was or was just covering up and trying to not make me panic. By her being honest I can differentiate between the good and the bad, know when she really needs my support, but then I can be confident when she genuinely is fine and take that time to recharge my own batteries.
By talking she has relieved me of some of the daily tasks. I don’t mean that I am not taking an active role, I didn’t suddenly become hands off overnight, but we both realise now that by burning myself out and trying to be some sort of Superdad I will eventually be no good to either of us, so the balance of tasks has now shifted more fairly.
I also managed to get out of the house! After the last disaster of a social night, we planned this one with military precision and made sure reinforcements were in place in case she got stressed, or worried etc. and this meant I could relax knowing that she was looked after and that I wouldn’t be called on to come home at the drop of a hat. It was a great night, my head can certainly vouch for that today, and I came back home to a relaxed, peaceful atmosphere. Bliss.
Since taking more of the load off me we have both been more relaxed, our little one has been more relaxed and seems to be settling into a routine, things are starting to look a bit more positive.
I know this is just the beginning of a very long road but the last few days have shown me that with meticulous planning that we can have some normality in our lives, the next step is for us to get out as a couple and that is coming soon.
I am also aware that there will be highs and lows but can now accept, what I couldn’t before, that I can be a dad without losing my identity completely and that this mountain may not be easy but it is not impossible as I previously thought.
I do want to say thank you to everyone who has commented so far and also to my new-found friends that I have met via Twitter, it’s only because of your encouragement and feedback that keeps me wanting to do this and has been a great help, I only hope I can help others in the same way.
Thanks for listening.