Thursday 24 February 2011
I work as a press officer full-time in the busy campaigns department of a large voluntary organisation. I've been in PR for nine years (how did I get so old?) after starting out as a trainee on my local regional newspaper. My first communications job was for a tiny skin health charity, and from there I moved on to roles with a couple of national children's charities. I've been in my current job for four years and I love it - it's busy, challenging, exciting and every day is always different - but I also enjoy volunteering in my spare time.
A few years ago I qualified as a counsellor, and for the last four years I have been volunteering at a bereavement counselling charity in North London. I go once a week and see a couple of regular clients, and help them work through their bereavement process. The work is completely different to what I do in my professional life, but is as - if not more - stimulating and rewarding, and I often find it very re-energising. For me there is nothing more meaningful than being with a person in their darkest times and playing a small role in their coming to terms with their grief and sadness, and beginning to be able to move on.
I had a session last night with a client that I have been seeing for 18 months, and during the session the client expressed real emotion at being able to feel hope for the first time - that the future could be better and that there could be a happy ending. I was very touched to share this revelation and after a week which has been filled with sad news, I felt a strong burst of hope again myself.
I have been very worried since we found out I was pregnant that I would lose the baby or that something would go wrong. It's been on my mind non-stop that 'I am pregnant' and every time I go to the toilet I expect to find that my lady has arrived, and the baby has been lost. But yesterday, and this morning, there have been times when I've completely forgotten I'm pregnant. I've thrown myself into work and been sociable with colleagues, and by doing that I've managed to relax a little.
I've also managed to have (slightly) more of a laissez-faire attitude. If this baby is meant to stay, it will, if it isn't, it won't. I can't do anything but follow the guidelines and treat the baby and my body as well as I can, and use my burst of hope to pray for the best. I want to relax and enjoy this time, and not feel stressed the entire time that something bad might happen. I have to hope that it won't. And if it does, I have hope that the Boy and I can take care of each other and move on.