I had my abortion a year and a half ago, and it was the most agonising experience of my life...

I had my abortion a year and a half ago, and it was the most agonising experience of my life and I regretted it every single day from the moment I left the abortion clinic.

After about six months, I started The Journey (post-abortion recovery programme) but half way through I became very depressed and then that led to being suicidal. It got so bad that I had to go on very strong anti-depressants. I finished the journey while still on them but, now I have come off them, I feel like I am back at square one, feeling lonely and regretting the abortion even more than before and I don’t know what to do.

Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your feelings with us…Unfortunately, recovery from an abortion experience is not pain-free. It involves facing and feeling the pain that is in your heart as a result of what has happened.

Many of us try to avoid pain as much as possible, but the way to relate to pain well is to go through it, rather than prevent it, avoid it or suppress it. Sometimes our fear of pain can be greater than the pain itself.

Feeling suicidal does mean, of course, that you needed extra help to keep your head above water and the anti-depressants would have helped you do that, but this also has the effect of pushing away the pain and not finding a better relationship with it. It doesn’t surprise me, therefore, that the pain has resurfaced and you feel back at square one. Many women ‘loop back’ again and again into the negative emotions associated with their abortion – grief, guilt, sadness, anger.

You are not actually at square one – you have made a brave journey but it has been too overwhelming for you to cope with all at once. You have coped with as much of it as you could, but now it’s time to revisit your experience again and peel away some more layers in a safe and supportive environment.

Dealing with pain isn’t always about taking pain away; healing is much more about growing through pain and relating to it in a positive way, allowing you to be the person you are meant to be.

Think of this now as the next stage in your healing – you’ve done so much already but there is more to be had. It really is a journey! I want to encourage you to go back to the centre; perhaps see a different advisor and be honest about where you feel you’ve got to and where you would now like to move to. Don’t be afraid of your pain – we are designed to heal.

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