I used to go to therapy, group therapy. It was very helpful during two very difficult periods. My therapist was excellent. I’ve wanted to let her know how I’ve been getting on for some time. And to send some support to the members of the group who are there now.
This is my letter.
There have been a number of times over the last eleven years when I have thought about writing to you, and whoever is in the group now, to let you know how I have been doing. Usually the urge to write comes when I have achieved something or made a momentous change or decision in my life. Unsurprisingly the desire to write is wrapped up in the wish to send you a letter explaining how everything has turned out successfully.
I realize now that it would have been better to write little and often, to keep you and the group informed of an ongoing process of rebuilding and living life fully. A few weeks back the timing for a letter seemed perfect and although recent events have thrown that emotion upside down, it still seems absolutely right that this is the time to finally send a letter.
After my mum died, and once I had left the group, it was a longish route back into life. My girlfriend at the time and I (who met when we both needed some strong support) progressed in our relationship until the realization arrived that, while we loved each other, it was not forever. It no doubt seemed strange to many that we decided to split up and move in together! Bizarre but ultimately logical, we were then able to be the friends that we needed to be to one another and for my part it helped my resolve to remain single rather than slip into another intense relationship that would ultimately fail.
After some months K returned to Australia, where she needed to be, and I continued with the certain belief that I would not be committing to anyone for some time until I eventually found “the one”. When she appeared I didn’t recognize her at all, at first. She certainly didn’t fit whatever picture I had in my mind. G however was the one and despite trying to find a negative, or an unsuitable characteristic, I failed!
Anyway she’s close to perfect and we got married in a perfect ceremony in France. We sold my mother’s house and bought one of our own, got it as we wanted it and then realized we hadn’t thought beyond that moment. We had the home but no future. I did continue with my acting but my heart wasn’t in it and I was tired of trying to sell myself as a product. I’m surprised every actor isn’t in therapy.
So we made a plan, we wanted to start a family and knew it couldn’t happen in London. Similarly our jobs, working backstage, were rapidly starting to crush our spirit. I wasn’t fully conscious of it at the time but I had become a heavy drinker which as you can imagine wasn’t brightening my outlook.
We made the radical decision to leave the UK and start a new life! We left in April 2006 with the plan to try things out for six months. Well we’re still here and it has been an incredible and challenging time. I won’t go into every detail but we run an internet business and we have been blessed to have made lots of great friends which seemed so unlikely when you consider we moved to the back of beyond. I guess we drew them to us!
Two things worthy of note. Firstly my drinking came to a head after we made the move and with some help from AA and G I have been sober for 21 months, it has lead to an incredible change in my life and I believe I have turned a corner. Secondly it took us a very long time to conceive our first child which took us on a further journey of self discovery. When G did finally fall pregnant and I started to consider fatherhood I finally understood some of the things you were trying to help me with, most importantly I came to realize what my parents must have gone through with my sister death and how that would have affected me.
So that’s where this letter should end, with the imminent arrival of our first baby. Unbelievably though we seem to have drawn the short straw and we lost our baby girl, Roxanne, who was stillborn two weeks ago. Losing any pregnancy is hard but to lose her at 38 weeks is devastating. We were so ready, so prepared and G had taken so much care of herself that it’s difficult not to feel like this is some sort of punishment. I had worked so hard at learning acceptance so that our baby wouldn’t be born into an atmosphere of anxiety. It will be so hard the next time to keep that fear at bay.
The support we’ve had from our friends, family and from the hospital has been amazing and there is some cold comfort in knowing that, while this is rare, it does happen enough that we don’t feel completely alone.
Obviously I am still feeling very raw at the moment but I wanted to let you and the group (whoever they maybe now) that I have traveled too far down the road of recovery to let this sabotage me now. I pray it is at least another ten years before I have to go through any more suffering like this. More importantly I hope it won’t be too long before we get ourselves back on track and try again for a family.
Sorry to be the bearer of a mixed bag of news but that’s the way of things isn’t it.
Filed Under: Thoughts