My life has felt like a list of ‘To Do’s’ for as long as I can remember. I thought it was because I liked to be busy, but in hindsight I fear it’s because I am running. Running from confronting something I’m scared of tackling, or something I am hiding from because it’s just to painful to remember, reminisce or speak about! I wonder is this a coping mechanism I have subconsciously and unknowingly carried out.
When I do something, I do it to the very best of my ability, and I apply myself fully, going above and beyond what is often required. Before children I worked damn hard for approval and recognition in a job I loved.
I bought a flat; I worked harder, in my head… challenge accomplished!
I got a promotion; and I worked even harder…challenge accomplished!
I got pregnant, not quite challenge accomplished…but a new challenge!
Louis and Corey died, saddened to the core, I return to work and I fall pregnant again, Challenge accomplished!
Almost 1 year later our rainbow Lilly-Ella arrived into the world screaming, followed 18months later by rainbow Toby and the start of a combination of two very new challenges. Our own business and two children, 18mths old and a new-born little boy.
A thriving business 24/7 and a daily struggle of kids, paperwork, emails, stress and no life, one miscarriage later and beginning to feel like a failure.
A perfect little rainbow ‘Isla’ comes along, and we now have a struggling business with piling debt and a thirty something mother of three little children, feeling like I am on the edge and the strain is becoming visible…. Accomplishment is far from my reach.
Another pregnancy, a folded business and plans for an extension, mission accomplished until………….Elliot grew his wings on 6 December 2012 and nothing will be the same again……. Guilt, pain and failure accomplished.
I ran, I busied myself, I ran, I planned, and I ran some more and I planned even more filling voids and busying my wondering mind.
Ploughing forward with the build of an extension which was only being built because of our growing family, bittersweet was every brick cemented in place. Reminding me of who isn’t here now and in Elliot’s place there is a spare room and agony. I’m wondering if this spare room will ever fill me with comfort or whether to me it will always be Elliot’s ‘empty’ Room.
One Fundraising event after another, and still putting one step in front of other, mopping up tears, and holding my children dear. Survival accomplished.
A new job, which comes with a new focus, a strained and broken marriage and our baby girl starting preschool, a mixture of accomplishment and failure, I feel like I am treading water but my legs are tiring.
Months of planning and preparation comes to an end when I hold a party in memory of Louis, Corey and Elliot to raise money for the Neonatal Intensive care Unit and Improvement to Bereavement Facilities. Mission Accomplished.
Over £3,000 raised and a massive total of over £6,000 since I starting fundraising but I am left feeling deflated and very much underwhelmed after the huge high, and the amazing feelings of accomplishment.
But a deeper sadness taints my fundraising because the dark truth is ‘would I really be doing this if I had all three of my sons here?’ and sadly but honestly the answer is probably no… and that leaves me feeling confused?
I see my innocent children changing, they have seen, heard and witnessed so much for their young, tender age, there is sadness behind their eyes that only a mother can see, sadness similar to the sadness that mirrors in mine. I see I have changed and the life I lived is now a memory of a life I had. I wonder how much longer I can tread water for…. Feeling unaccomplished.