Trigger Warning: Discussing self-harm.
If I could wish for anything in the world, it would probably be to rid my body of all the hair I didn’t want, permanently. I’m so over shaving my legs now. I’m dying for winter to come again, just so I don’t need to shave my legs as much. Hey, I’m in a long-term relationship now. It’s cool to let that slide. It’s one of the many reasons I love Bear and this relationship. He absolutely loves the fuzz. My summer dresses, on the other hand, don’t make me feel quite so cute n’ girlie when I have yeti legs.
(Personal preference. I’m not bashing you if you want to go au naturel.)
In other news, I’d best finish the baby story. It’s not much of a story really. I did a pregnancy test when my period was eight days late, after absolutely convincing myself that I was pregnant. I actually managed to convince myself that I felt everything a pregnant woman would have felt. Nutter.
The test was negative. The whole fucking experience was negative.
My period came on the 10th day.
Funnily enough, it came just as I sat at my desk, crying, the second test from the pack anxiously clutched in my sweaty hand. You hear of false negatives all the time, don’t you? The internet seems to be full of stories of women who experienced a negative pregnancy test but actually ended up being pregnant, and for the two full days between negative test and actual period sighting, I was adamant that was going to be me. Sadly not. I felt a twinge, popped the test down on the desk, went to the bathroom, and there it was. It.
The oh-so-familiar sign that I wasn’t pregnant.
My period was what tipped me over the edge I think.
It was a million times more painful than it had ever been before, and a thousand times heavier too. It felt like I was being punished for being half-excited, for daring to dream about that stupid fairytale ending. An illegitimate fairytale ending, yes, but I’m all for breaking rules.
I’d really tried not to get my hopes up, but they were up. The negative test made me cry. The actual period sighting, though? Yeah, that killed me. I cried like an actual baby. Alone. Sat with my back to the couch, butt on the floor, arms curled around my knees, I cried.
One after the other.
I grieved for a pregnancy that was never there in the first place. I think I accidentally grieved for months, a little bit more every month.
Everywhere I turned, women were getting pregnant.
It was on Jeremy Kyle in the morning. There were babies on This Morning. My friend fell pregnant with her fifth kid. Yes, fifth. FIVE FUCKING BABIES. She’s a couple of years younger than I am. Bit selfish don’t you think? Leave some for the rest of us.
Everywhere. Babies and pregnant women were everywhere. On the rare occasions I left the house, I always saw a pregnant woman or a couple with a newborn baby. In the shops. Getting off the bus. Walking right towards me.
Baby announcements were on Facebook. Instagram. Twitter.
Bloggers were getting pregnant.
Digital friends were getting pregnant.
Celebrities were getting pregnant.
Even Brigitte Nielsen was getting pregnant. Fifty-fucking-four-year-old Brigitte Nielson.
Everyone. Everyone except me. It was started to feel like the universe was trying to goad me into cracking. It worked.
I did crack.
The stupid digital pregnancy test advertisement was on the TV 150 million times a day and I cried every single time I saw it. And then, one day, when I was all alone, I lost it. I thought about cutting myself. I picked up a knife. I put it back down again because a knife was never my weapon of choice, but then I picked up a razor and thought about pulling it apart, just like I used to. I screamed. Out loud. Really loudly. I’m surprised someone didn’t call the cops. I threw the razor across the room in dramatic fashion and the buggering thing shattered into what looked like a bazillion and one different pieces, all of which I then needed to pick up and dispose of. If Bear saw broken razor blade bits around the place, he’d know for sure what was going on. I’d have to answer questions, and that would really piss me off since I didn’t actually do it.
So, there’s me scrambling around on my hands and knees, desperately trying to find and throw away every single piece of stupid, pink plastic, and I realise how fucking stupid I must look. It makes me burst into fits of giggles. Because that’s what depression does to you, isn’t it? It drives you from sodding great tears to fits of hysterical laughter in less time than it takes for you to say the word “antidepressant”.
And that’s it. That’s when I think I realised I was depressed and that I actually, truly, really did want a baby. And not having a baby, even though I wasn’t even really trying, had been getting me down a lot more than I’d been willing to admit.
I’m an embarrassment.
Thankfully, I didn’t add to the embarrassment by actually doing anything to myself. The razor went in the bin, wrapped in plenty of layers of old newspaper, and my skin remained unharmed. I’m still an “ex-self-harmer”. I can’t remember how long it’s been, but I definitely know it’s been AT LEAST two years. It’s definitely not a habit I wish to pick back up.
I went into full recluse mode instead. I muted, unfriended or blocked everyone around me who was pregnant or had recently had a baby. I stopped going out, not just because of the baby thing, but because the baby thing added to what was already a pretty serious anxiety/depression problem. And then I stopped eating. Not totally, but my relationship with food right now is definitely far from healthy and it has been getting progressively worse. I’m attempting to address it. I genuinely didn’t see the weight I’d lost until I tried to put real clothes on for the first time in about two and a half months. (Rather than just bouncing from one pair of pyjamas to another.) My size 12’s were enormous. That was a bonus. I didn’t mind being a size 10. That was my goal anyway. My size 10’s were enormous too, though. Shit. I hadn’t planned for that. I have absolutely ZERO clothes that fit now. My closet is filled with old size 14/16 clothes that I keep in case I ever put on weight again, something that has become an absolute fucking fear of mine; or size 10/12 clothes which now require a belt to keep up and make it look like I’ve been dressed from the lost property box.
I had curves once. I was most proud of them. I wished to be skinny for most of my adult life and now that I am … I fucking hate it. I have no body confidence left. I had some fake oomph for a while because it felt like I had to (I got the size 10-12 I’d always desperately dreamed of), but it’s all gone. Used up. Depleted. No fake oomph left. I have nothing. I can’t stand to look at myself unless I’m pointing out all the little things I’d change. It means that Bear isn’t allowed to look at me either. It’s all a bit of an embarrassing mess really, but it’s about time I was honest with myself … and you guys.
And that’s that. The baby story. It was never a baby story but it still drove me cranky anyway. Just for the record, there’s been no sniff of a ‘scare’ since. Periods all regular like clockwork, but after those hellish ten days, I should probably be thankful for that.
All a load of drama for nothing really.