This is Bretta’s first post, As Told By Bretta, and we are humbled to see that Bretta has emailed in again almost a year later with an update. What a joy!
2020 was a hard year for everyone. People lost their jobs, some had to work extra hard the entire time, everyone is fighting online and it seems kindness is just gone.
My 2020 was about the same for the most part. The grief of losing my mother 9 years prior snuck up on me again and it manifested by me drinking a lot more than I should have. I even attempted to end my life in March… after that scary night I knew changes had to be made.
So I started going to therapy again. I started trying really hard to work on my mind… to work through my grief. Some people don’t understand the length of grief, but my mother was my entire world and when she died it quite literally turned my entire life upside down.
Therapy opened my eyes to just how low I had let myself get… I had been neglecting my marriage, I had become a friend I wouldn’t like to have around. I was numbing myself with alcohol on the weekends and even some during the week.
My body felt weighed down. My mind felt heavy. August came, the month that my mother passed, and it set me back again like it always does. It’s always as if it’s happening all over again. I can smell the hospital. I can see the pity in the doctor’s eyes as he tells me there’s nothing to do for her. I can hear the soft cries of my friends around me. I can hear the soft beeps of her heart on that monitor and the overwhelming silence when we unplugged everything.
It’s torture. Every single year it’s torture. I always try to make it a day of remembrance and from the outside maybe that’s how it looks. On the inside I’m always that same 18 year-old girl who just lost the one person in the world who could make everything okay.
I persisted through it, I talked about that day in therapy. I talked about the unhealthy way I dealt with it. I made a plan with my therapist to try better outlets for my pain. Instead of just drowning in it.
Slowly but surely I really did start to feel better. I stopped drinking to feel nothing. I stopped skipping meals. I apologized to friends who I had alienated. In November my husband and I took a hiking trip just us two for my birthday and I started to feel so much lighter than I had in a long time.
December came and I realized my period hadn’t come. This wasn’t unusual for me, however, I felt really ill as well. Christmas was coming up and I knew there would be some drinking involved so I decided to take a test… just to be sure.
I was in shock. We weren’t even trying to have a baby. I didn’t feel nearly ready enough. I had always said I didn’t want children because I didn’t want them to grow up with a mental case for a mother. Yet there it was in bold lettering.
I took three more tests.
I was terrified. Happy… but terrified. Something shifted in me as soon as I took that test. I had still been struggling with getting better, with making sure my mind healed. Suddenly it wasn’t so hard anymore. I wasn’t doing it for myself… I was doing it for this little gift inside of me.
In January I had my first appointment and my doctor told me my due date.
August… not just August but the very day my mother left this Earth.
10 years to the day that I lost my mother. I would be bringing my own child, a daughter we know now, into the world.
I nearly fell off the table.
Maybe y’all aren’t religious and if I’m being honest my own religious beliefs have bounced back and forth over the years.
But sometimes something happens that makes you think maybe we aren’t as alone in space as some might think.
A day that has always been so hard for me… now will be one of joy. One of celebration and I can’t help but think that this was a final gift from my mother.
“You’ve grieved me long enough, Bretta.” I can hear her say in her soft voice.
I still struggle with my mind working against me. I have learned though that I have a strength in me that my depression tried to squash for a long time. My mother gave that strength to me and I hope to pass it to my daughter as well.
I saw a post the other day, I can’t recall the exact wording but it went something like this:
“If I begged the heavens enough, do you think they would send my mother’s soul down into my daughter so that I can give her the same comfort she gave me my entire life?”
I hear you mama.
I love you.
I’ll always miss you.
Thank you so so much Bretta, this post brought is so raw and beautiful. It is an honour as always.
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