Rediscovery

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I was watching television on a Saturday night, thinking “is this all there is?” and the loneliness enveloping me. It’s what’s made me eat when I shouldn’t, that numbing food addiction that made me say to myself “tonight I’m going to fuck over my body with unkind food choices.” And I get sick and I cry to myself, because it’s not what I want. It’s not who I am…is it? Most days I’ve not been this way since ending the barrage of hormones that is DEIVF, but it’s still sitting there, watching me from the corner.

The dark tunnel of infertility has gotten narrower and narrower and while we think we are just fine because we have each other, my back and eye injuries made me feel like I was even more defective than I already felt, as I could not sit comfortably for so long that dinners out, drinks at the pub, and other situations around other human beings became unthinkable. I’ve not been to a movie since the fall of 2016 and don’t have any motivation to try, as just getting back into the dentist’s chair for a cleaning required a special setup. I’m healing, but my heart feels locked away, to be protected at all costs.

“Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.”

You see, I am terrified. Terrified because I can’t handle it when people ask me if I have kids, because I am nauseous at the possibility that someone might say something ignorant about what we’ve been through. I was full of anxiety going to my ob/gyn last week because I knew I’d have to re-tell my entire fertility history, so much so that I almost didn’t go. Hell, even at the dentist they said “oh last time you were here you were supposed to come in sooner” which was because I was pregnant last time I was there and they recommend pregnant women get cleanings more often because of gum sensitivity. I had to tell the new hygienist that I was pregnant at the last appointment but that I’d lost the baby. No one said anything. They literally kept on working. I didn’t know whether to be offended or relieved.

And lately I’ve been running into people I haven’t seen in years, whether it be in person or online, and I don’t know what to say. I keep it all on the surface, afraid to be vulnerable, afraid of looking weak or being told “oh, it’ll happen” by people who have no fucking clue how to show empathy. So I don’t dig in, and I don’t go into new situations, and I hibernate alone or with my husband. So much so that it doesn’t matter what city we are in. Why not be out in the woods if we wouldn’t be missed anyhow, right? But then again, I’m old enough to know that there’s no such thing as escaping hurt. It will always shadow you until you deal with it.

In many ways, I have been very open. I blog about it under my real name. I mention lack of infertility benefits at my husband’s employer when posting relevant articles on LinkedIn. But my life is much, much more quiet than it used to be. I just can’t go over to someone’s house and be around them with their kids. With a couple of rare exceptions, I don’t even want to hear about other people’s kids. All that I have been denied.

“You cannot acquire experience by making experiments. You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.”

While I’ve never been a “party girl”, I’ve always appreciated the friends I had and being able to go for a drink and shoot the breeze. I’ve always appreciated getting out amongst people and learning something new, whether it be improving at my yoga or taking a new class. And yet, my stomach now turns to think about starting over, making new friends, and approaching life anew, again. When I got divorced in 2005, I threw myself into my social life, and had people around me at work who helped me get my groove back. But when you work from home, and the people who were your rocks when you got married are long gone? When so many your age have school-age children and can hardly remember what it’s like, or are in IVF land and still optimistic and go-team-go (which you need to be when you’re going through it, don’t get me wrong)?

“I know of only one duty, and that is to love.”

So as I mentioned in my last post, I’m thinking. Thinking about what the next step looks like. Finally returning to, finishing, and publishing my book for job seekers. Taking a class in something new and biting the bullet in preparation for all-too-standard conversations about their children and such. Risking pregnant bellies in a town where they literally seem to be coming out of the woodwork everywhere you go. Or going after our dream of buying a plot of land and building our little cottage in a smaller town,  somewhere near the coast…

“All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant’s revolving door.”

Over the next two weeks my husband and I are doing a LOT of talking about the future. Taking day trips to places we have contemplated for a long time. He’s digging in deep with my friend and colleague on career aspirations (I’m not objective, clearly). I’m committing some hours to my words and seeing if, who knows, it could be a revenue source. And we’re thinking big picture. Long term.

Career – family – home – planet (in any order. The next fifty (or sixty?) years.

What’s going to tick off those boxes on our bucket list and what’s simply chaotic background noise to be avoided at all costs?

That’s what is ahead of us. I’ll let you know how it transpires, as I always have since I started this blog just under nine years ago. Nine years ago. Almost a decade of writing, soul-baring, creating, figuring shit out.

I was a thirty-something woman preparing for the death of her father the day I kicked off blogging. These quotes here throughout this blog post, all from Albert Camus, mentioned on that very first post in the fall of 2008, just before the election of Barack Obama, A week after that post I announced my father’s death and shared memories of him in a series of posts. The year I began my blog was, unbeknownst to me, the beginning of the unraveling of my biological family, and would also be what brought me my husband, my true family. Today? I am 43 and change, not even close to the same as who I was then. And still muddling through the best I can.

“Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears.”

 

Southwest? Northwest? Right where we are? It’s all up for debate.

  One thought on “Rediscovery

  1. July 27, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Oh honey this sounds so honest and hard but also positive. I can’t say I’ve been there because I haven’t but I know last year when our fourth FET turned into a second chemical and I was also down from getting illegally discriminated against and sacked in a horrible way (which I nearly went to court over) and I lost friends and felt so lost and alone here in Italy without even the ability to speak the language fluently (after 4 years here) I felt like I was broken and damaged and it was a horrible sensation. My husband and I decided to book a holiday and learn something new together (kitesurfing) and it was such a cathartic experience. For one week we were too busy focusing on this new (quite hard to grasp) sport in a beautiful location in nature. There was no talk of babies r comparing ourselves to bother couples….it was like the old days in my 20s learning to snowboarder. And when I stood up and started riding first time (much to the surprise of our lovely instructor) I afterwards burst into tears and told him that this was the first time in years that I felt ‘good’ at something (with infertility plus moving to Italy where I’d been struggling to get a job for years and then got fired from one, after a very successful career in the UK). He was totally floored by what we had been through and said he’d seen us as a strong couple but now even more so. Anyway sorry for long post, but I wanted to say that this sort of experience really really helped us when we were down. I know you have back and eye issues still so this sort of sport isn’t an option. But maybe a course of something new for both of you in a new place with new people would help? Sending lots of love XXX

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  2. July 28, 2017 at 12:10 am

    I hear you. We’ve had a similar week confronting the shitty feels and trying to find a way forward to creating a new life that’s satisfying too – but that takes energy and if you’re like us you’re exhausted an all levels from all you’ve been through, and often just navigating the day, avoiding those situations that push painful buttons etc takes all the energy available….so finding a new plan will no doubt take time as energy allows. I’m rambling, but what I most wanted to say was what you’ve written feels like you’re describing how I’ve been experiencing life xo

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  3. July 28, 2017 at 12:17 am

    Such a powerful post! Il sorry you are feeling this way at the moment, hopefully talking about the future will do some good for you! Especially if you get your teeth into something like building a house which would take up a lot of time and thinking space for siren maybe that’s what you need!
    Anyway! I hope your doing ok and looking forward to the weekend!

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  4. July 28, 2017 at 3:04 am

    I can identify with parts of this so much (as i’m sure so many woman can) the changing of social circles, the idea of having to make new friends (how the hell to do this) finding a new path. It sounds like it’s been quite a 9 years since starting the blog and it means alot to so many to read your experiences xx

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  5. July 29, 2017 at 5:13 am

    I wish I could make it all better for you, but I have no magic wand. I always appreciate your honesty, the depths to which you dig inside yourself, the courage it takes to put your truth out there for the world to scrutinize. Sending you (((hugs))), because I have no constructive words.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. July 30, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Just want to add this one:

    “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”

    ― Albert Camus

    Sending love xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 30, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      One of my favorite quotes as well! (Although ironically summer is my least favorite season, haha)

      Liked by 1 person

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