When I decided to run a marathon back in 2011, I signed up for a running clinic through what is now my running club.
The first workout – 200 meter repeats – I was struck with the strongest feeling.
I was made for this.
Over the years, I’ve wondered about my focus on running, mostly as it relates to me emotional, mental, and physical health.
Charlie put it best, recently, on a day where I was getting antsy because it was late and I still needed to get miles in that day.
Always, the running, he said. Obsessed.
I am NOT obsessed, I replied. I do things other than running. Swimming, for example. Weights. Yoga. Cycling.
… So you can run MORE! he replied, laughing.
We both laughed, knowing that he was exactly, 1000% right.
My silence these past couple of weeks has been a function of processing through layers and layers and layers of emotional baggage.
It’s like I finally decided to go up into the attic to clean it out… and was confronted with a room, packed to the brim with 37 years of hoarded Memories and Denied Emotions. There’s been little space to even navigate. So I’ve just been sorting through, processing, moving things around, letting go.
And with all the work I’m putting into sorting through all the crap I’ve never managed to get through, patterns are emerging.
For example, I’m starting to see that I have very little clarity about what really makes me happy.
Said another way: the person I am now is a function of many, many years of trying to fix my many weaknesses. I’ve found gratification in working around the faults my parents found in me.
I’m an excellent Finder of Lost Things, for example. Because I ALWAYS lose stuff.
I’m also an amazing Project Manager. Because I hate being overwhelmed by everything I have to do and not knowing where to start. I also know that if I think a task will take me, say, 2 hours, I should budget 4-6; even more if it’s something I don’t actually like or want to do.
Because I’m easily distractable, you see, and will end up using that extra time.
Last night was the second week of my spring running clinic.
The combination of weight loss and consistency in weekly mileage for the past few months has turned me into a very different runner than I was last year. And I’m working with a coach who has always told me I was capable of more than I’ve done thus far.
One of the benefits of hiring a coach is that it takes ALL the guesswork out of building a training plan. He’s stayed on top of my weekly mileage in the weeks where my ankle has flared up and I couldn’t run through it. He’s scheduled me for strength training when I mentioned my IT band was becoming bothersome again, way up at my hip.
And a couple of weeks ago, he planned a speed workout for me. And this time, he told me to hit a certain pace for each interval. I hit them, easily.
And when I got home and plugged in the distance and time into the computer, and saw the average pace, I was completely gobsmacked.
I never thought I could actually run that fast.
I WANTED to, of course. But wanting and actually DOING are very different things.
So last night the workout was three miles of intervals. I ran them strong and fast – at the pace I never thought myself capable of.
I don’t know how running does it, but the act of running somehow distills me into my very core. Everything falls away, and I’m left with just my essence, my hrdaya – heart center.
My runs lately have been moving meditations, where all I have to do is listen and something will well up from deep inside me. They’re generally phrased as questions, and they’re said with a voice that is quiet and full of knowledge; so much different than that nonstop chatter voice of my mind.
Last night’s thought? The universe has given me a gift.
A good friend of mine asked me yesterday, just before clinic, if we were definitively done trying for another baby.
She knows about our struggles, and she knows that I was pregnant last fall and lost it.
So I told her the truth: that I was 99% sure we were done, really done, but I was having a hard time closing the door completely. We don’t have any hope left. I can’t even consider walking back into that clinic, doing the shots, the medications, the transfer. And the life I have now is pretty full; I get baby time through my family and friends, and I am starting to wonder if that’s the universe’s plan for my life – if I’m just not meant to have more than one kid. And if I can’t have a house full of kids and chaos, maybe I should focus my energy into finding a career I love and making the life I have NOW better.
She asked me if we had considered a surrogate. We have, I said, but the cost is staggering and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it.
Late last night, she texted me and offered to be a surrogate for us if we wanted. I know it’s a huge thing and surrogacy isn’t like a simple fix. But, I know it’s really expensive, and if a uterus is the thing you need, I mean… I don’t know, it just occurred to me.
I don’t know what’s next.
I think we are done with trying for kids, even with my friend’s generous offer to act as a surrogate for us.
I think I might quit my job for a bit so I can allow myself the space to think and feel, in the hopes that my next career might spring up organically.
I think I might keep sorting through the room of emotional baggage in the attic and let go of what doesn’t help me anymore.
I think I’m going to try my best to qualify for the Boston Marathon when I run my marathon in the fall.
I think I am finding out that no matter what is next, the life that I have now – my friends, my family – EVERYTHING that has led me to this point – is a gift.
All I know is that last night, I felt THANKFUL. Thankful for infertility, because without it, I wouldn’t be in this place I am today. Without infertility, I wouldn’t have met my friend D on a TTC board and I wouldn’t have been introduced to the idea of running a half marathon.
Because of infertility, D is one of the most important people in my life. Because of infertility, I found running – and my therapist. And ran a marathon. And found the motivation to lose 35lbs.
I have always tried to find the good in our IF; it’s been really, really hard on days.
But last night, it struck me.
Our IF is a gift, too.
It was a random thought that struck me yesterday.
If I had stayed pregnant, I’d be close to hitting my third trimester.
I don’t know why it came as such a surprise – the idea that I’d still be pregnant. Maybe because I feel like so much has changed since the D&E. Maybe because being pregnant was only a couple of weeks, and months have passed since then. Maybe because I have no hope of having another baby left. I don’t know.
What I do know is the emotion: I was surprised to think that if things had been different, I’d be pregnant. I’d be feeling our son or daughter move around inside me. (I’d probably be uncomfortable and tired and short on patience and achy, too.)
It’s interesting; my grief seems to ebb and flow with my cycle. Each month when I get AF, I’m struck by the passage of time. Another month gone by; a reminder that there’s no hope left of things being different than they are now.
I know, it sounds morbid and depressing and awful. And on CD 1 and 2, it IS enough to make me ache.
But honestly, the idea of being pregnant seems so foreign to me. It was a long time ago – 5 years now – where I was pregnant with Lucky.
And yes, I’ve been pregnant twice since then, but never for more than a few weeks.
It’s just different somehow, now. I’ve stopped planning for the next baby. I’ve given away most of my maternity clothes and Lucky’s baby and toddler clothing. I’ve donated all of my own clothes which are now 3-4 sizes too big, whereas before I used to hold onto it, you know, just in case.
I can’t imagine my life being different than it is today.
And where most of the time I am used to this reality – the idea that this IS our family, there’s no real hope of having more children – it’s hard those first few days of a new cycle. For some reason, whenever I’m about to get AF, I dream of babies; in them my heart is full with thankfulness that my deepest wish has been granted. On those nights, I grieve when my alarm wakes me and I realize, it was only a dream, Serenity.
Ebbing and flowing, the grief comes and goes.
And my therapist tells me that it’s possible to be happy, overall, even while grieving. Always, when she says it, I wonder how it is possible.
But I’m curious to see if it’s possible for me to feel that way someday.
Because the one thought that has popped into my head recently, too, is this idea. Maybe I’m supposed to find fulfillment elsewhere. Maybe I’m not meant to have more than one child. My nieces, my nephews, my friends’ daughters and sons – they’re all part of my life.
So maybe, for me to heal, the definition of ‘my family’ needs to change.
I don’t cry very much.
I DEFINITELY don’t cry in front of people.
You see, that would mean I’m being vulnerable.
No, it’s far more easy to be angry, to develop a hard shell over the soft places, to never show anyone how bruised and battered those places get.
When Amy died, I couldn’t let myself cry in front of anyone. I told myself that I had no right to cry, because my aunt and uncle and cousins all lost far more than I had. So instead, I crept off into the funeral parlor bathroom to cry – I snuck off because I didn’t want anyone to know I was off crying. And I sobbed into my pillow at night, muffling my grief as best as I could until the burning of my eyes hurt too much to continue.
Eventually, I stopped crying over Amy. Because I was choking on my grief, and I didn’t know how to get through it without dying myself.
So I buried it. And over time, it got easier – the not crying. I turned them around – made tears into motivation. I was going to SHOW someone I wasn’t weak, I would prove to them that I was strong, and capable.
And, eventually, I went on the offensive, pre-emptively turning those tears into anger or criticism or annoyance before I could get hurt enough to cry.
And here I am. Nearly 20 years later. When I cry now, it’s mostly from anger – when I’m impotent with rage and my throat closes up and there’s nothing I can do but let it out.
It’s rare, though.
I can count one hand the times I’ve cried about losing my pregnancy last fall. Even when I felt completely shattered, even when I was being kind to myself, even when I told myself I NEEDED a cry – it was never for long, and never in front of anyone.
Never the release from the pain I hoped it would be.
I am now part of a family of criers – my sister in law, mother in law, and even my father in law will often cry when telling a story that moves them. Charlie’s cousin S, going through treatments, told me, tearfully, I cry all the time now.
I am so CURIOUS about it. I’m amazed by their ability to open up and allow themselves to be vulnerable in those moments when their eyes well up. I wonder if crying is a release for them, or if they’re embarrassed by it.
And I’m envious of the freedom in which they feel their emotions. I wish, sometimes, I was as free with my emotions as they are. I wish that when I cried, it wasn’t entwined with anger. I wish I wasn’t angry so much, come to think of it. I wish I hadn’t spent so many years building up this shell around my heart.
Dismantling it is such hard work.
For those of you who have read this blog for years, or know me in person, my next statement won’t be too much of a surprise.
I have a really hard time managing without a PLAN.
Back in the day, in the suck of trying for Lucky, I took great comfort in having a plan for the next cycle. Knowing that we were going to try again at X date made the breaks we took bearable, made the pregnancy – and birth announcements – easier to handle. I felt like my RE clearly couldn’t guarantee us a baby, but everything we did and planned on doing in subsequent cycles would lead us to the goal of a live baby.
The thing is, now. Our truth: Treatments are not a panacea.
We do more treatments, we risk more negatives and more miscarriages. Yes, we might get lucky again, over time, and one of those embryos might implant in the “right” place in my uterus, and result in a live birth. But it’s a product of LUCK, not of planning and work and foresight.
And it could – probably will, actually – cost us a lot more heartbreak.
I’m not sure I’m willing to endure more. I’ve already suffered enough on this path. Every time I think about going back and using up our final two embryos, my heart constricts.
I can’t do another miscarriage. I just can’t. It’s too much for me.
But I can’t walk away yet, either.
And it’s interesting: I feel like the idea of ending treatments forever is a loose tooth. I’ve been pushing it around with my tongue, sucking on it, wiggling it until it’s nearly out… but the damn tooth is still connected by a string. And I know – a quick yank, a pull, a tug will make it come out of my mouth, but it’ll hurt. And maybe bleed.
I can’t walk away, but I can’t do more treatments.
So I’m doing nothing.
Which, in itself, is a decision. Except I am not comfortable with not having a plan, with not knowing what we’re going to DO next. I don’t know if we’re going to walk away, or if we’re going to screw up the courage to go back and do another cycle.
And it’s silly, really. Because there’s no earthly REASON why I NEED to have a plan, a decision made. Those embryos are not going anywhere. Lucky and Mythical #2 will already be nearly 6 years apart in age – we already forfeited the “playmate sibling” timing. What’s another few months, a year? It really doesn’t MATTER.
So I’ve been spending my time trying to figure out why I am so anxious and uncomfortable without having a plan. I don’t really have any ideas, either. I just know I don’t like the Not Knowing what we’re going to do, and I really want to DO something.
Except I can’t do it right now.
I have this sense that it’s really GOOD for me to be in this place. Because always, with my life, I’ve always planned what’s next, and you know, life doesn’t always work that way. The best laid plans, and all. And the fact that I’m uncomfortable suggests to me that there’s something that’s deeply rooted in me that drives me to manipulate my life whenever I feel uncomfortable.
So I’m sitting with this anxiety. Not happy about it, mind you, but I’m curious.
What happens if I just sit here and don’t decide?
A few years ago, I joined a fitness board called dailymile. At the time I used it to log my miles, my training for my half marathon. I liked the idea of having a place to keep my training online.
Over time, I realized that it was kind of like Facebook for people who loved to run and cycle and swim and work out. And I started accepting friend requests, then sending them out myself.
There was this one girl, though, who I felt a real kinship with. She ran HUGE mileage every week, because she was anxious and type A and needed the release of a run. And she was honest about it; talking about how she had to get on the treadmill at midnight to keep away the anxiety.
Turns out she was going through a divorce, and though she never talked about it until after it was over, all those miles were to keep the pain at bay.
I said in my last post that all my coping mechanisms weren’t working. Which isn’t fully true. The release I find in physical exertion is very real right now. It’s the one thing that can right my world when I can’t handle the anger or pain anymore. And I’m happy to find that it’s not just running right now; it’s cycling and strength training and stair climbing and running and swimming.
Which is good, because I am not the kind of runner who can only run and not do anything else – otherwise I get injured. I need the crosstraining and strengthwork if I want to run the kind of miles I want to.
Anyway. This girl on dailymile has been blogging lately. And her post today was about waiting.
And the brilliance of it can be captured in one sentence: I know that healing happens in the waiting.
I know this is a revelation to most of you… but I don’t have a lot of patience.
(yes, that was said with sarcasm.)
It’s just because I’m tired of feeling like shit and I want to move on. I want to find a place where this doesn’t hurt so much, where a question – only one child?- doesn’t hurt so much. I want to be in a place where I am truly at peace with the life I have now, IN the here and now. I fear a future where I look back and regret not being more present because I was hurting.
I am so tired of feeling Stuck, of longing and wanting for something I do not have.
That’s my overwhelming feeling, honestly. Tired. Tired of waiting. Tired of trying to cope. Tired of the whole battle against infertility. Tired of hurting.
And it’s because I’m tired that I’m trying to DO something to Get Over It. Like, you know, there’s something I can actually DO to cope, some training program where I can run my miles and do my exercises and get through the Suck of it all.
But the thing is. Healing happens in the waiting.
So I wait.
And a note to you all, my dear readers. I loathe the posts where I pour my grief into the computer. It’s why I’ve been quiet, because I keep telling myself I need to post about ALL of my life, not just the stuff I don’t have. I do have moments of love and happiness and contentment, where I really do believe that I’m going to come out of all of this Suck a stronger person for it.
It’s just overwhelmed with all the stuff I’m trying to work through – it’s a lot to process all at once.
Anyway. I wanted to acknowledge – and thank you all – for abiding with me, especially since I’ve been a not-great blogger and an even not-greater commenter lately. I love you all and want you to know that your comments, emails, texts, and presence have helped me immensely since the fall. So. Thank you.
For those of you who have checked in, thanks.
I’m not sure how many times I’ve opened up a new post, seen the emptiness on the screen, sat here and TRIED to write something, and then clicked away.
I wish I had something brilliant, wise, deep, emotional to say.
Truth is I’m struggling. I am up or down, with little middle ground.
I have days where everything feels easy and light and I am HAPPY I have no hope of another child left, because how could I want more than what I have? I have my son, my husband, and I get my baby time with my nephew and my best friend’s son and I get to give them back and go home to a blissful night of sleep. I go away for the weekend to the Bahamas with my husband, on his company’s dime, and we reconnect, and I rediscover the myriad reasons I married him in the first place. I run and have lost weight and feel amazing – the first time I’ve actually LIKED seeing myself in a mirror.
And then we get the question, at the company party. How many kids do you have? And then people are talking about how HARD it is to juggle schedules with so many kids, and how they gang up against their parents. And I want to shut them up with the bitter truth: we’re done with one, but not by choice. I want to stab them with our reality: all of the cycles, the Fail, the losses, the fact that as much as we WANT to bring another soul into this world, it isn’t going to happen.
I am still so angry. Angry at the universe, angry at Charlie, angry at myself, angry at everyone who gets to complete their family, angry with the people who have found peace in their family building, angry with my mother, who must have done SOMETHING when she was pregnant with me to create the deformity in my uterus. Angry at everyone and everything.
The difference now is that I can see clearly: this anger is useless. It’s protection, my shell. And it doesn’t help me anymore. My old habits, the ones who helped me cope over the years, aren’t working any more.
I hate being so angry, I hate myself even worse for lashing out at people. And every time I dismantle my Inner Critic, I’m left with nothing but grief. Sadness. Longing. Pain.
Only way through it is through it, my therapist keeps telling me. So I’m wading through it as best as I can: being kind to myself when I need it, being kind to my family when they need it more than me, running and working and hoping that I’ll eventually work my way out of this place.
We will likely never have another child.
I need to find peace.
I just don’t know how.
When my cousin died and I went back to school, I spent most of that next semester in bed.
I cried a lot. I smoked cigarettes, I leaned on friends, I ate too much and drank too much and didn’t go to class.
I did badly enough in two of my classes that I didn’t bother going to the finals – because even if I had gotten an A on the final by some feat of strength, I STILL wouldn’t have passed the class.
My low point was when I got that report card in the mail over winter break. That 1.73? Shamed me.
And I decided that since Amy couldn’t live, I was going to live for her, and make up for my gaping weaknesses.
Since then, whenever something’s pulled the rug from under me, be it an ended engagement 13 years ago, or unemployment, or infertility, or Death – I’ve tried to Make Up for Things. Be a different person, work on getting better.
Like it’s MY fault, somehow, that my cousin died. That my aunt died. That we’re infertile. That I lost my job. That I broke someone’s heart.
I’m a Doer. A fixer. I crave ACTION whenever I feel uncomfortable.
I’ve done it with my friends, when they’re going through tough times. I want to FIX it. And maybe I can’t. But I can be there, all the time, ready for them to talk about it. I can show up at their house with a bottle of wine.
I do it with my husband, too. He’s in a bad place? I tell him to go for a hike. Or take a mental health day. Or drink more water, or get more sleep – whatever. It’ll HELP, I think. Just go DO something.
I’ve been so used to action, to being actively WORKING on things, that I don’t know how to sit with my broken pieces.
I know I keep saying it, but I feel like I have to acknowledge it here again: October’s miscarriage shattered me.
And my first reaction was to go DO something. Which, you know, I did. I got a running coach. I ran 106 miles in December, my largest monthly mileage in all 2012. I joined myfitnesspal, changed my lifestyle, and lost weight.
But I can’t really DO anything else. So I decided, you know, I need to sit with the pain. Because the only way through pain is to sit with it and really DEAL with it, right?
Except, left to its own devices, my mind has turned last fall into this whole STORY of pain – how I’m a big fuckup, my uterus is completely jacked, and how could I have possibly not figured it out by now? Oh, and by the way, Serenity, you’re fucking up as a wife, mom, runner, AND worker, too.
In a way, it’s DOING something, just in the negative. I can’t fix myself, so instead I just allow my mind to run rampant over my self-esteem.
Which is what I posted about yesterday.
It’s funny: yesterday’s post wasn’t SUPPOSED to be my internal monologue. I felt myself slipping, sliding backwards into the black funk, and the title “No Good” was supposed to be about how I still had no blogging mojo and the self-kindness was doing me no good, because I was still miserable.
And then all of THAT came out, and I started to realize, wait a second, I have this voice that’s been convincing me all these years that I am No Good. And holy shit, it has a hold on me that’s deep and wide. I’ve been feeding it all these years.
I think the fix, if there is one, is doing what I’m doing. NOTICING, first, when my thoughts take a bad turn (which they inevitably do). Realizing that my mind has nothing to do, so it’s making something bigger than it is.
Beyond that, I don’t really know what to do. Thing is? It’s not something I can just fix by hiring a running coach or logging my calories.
But I feel like this is Important Work I’m doing right now. Not fixing what’s broken; but not allowing my mind to create stories about myself that aren’t truth.
And maybe, MAYBE, this is the start of figuring my way out of this place I’m in.
[Tap, tap] Is this thing on?
Man, January is a rough time to lose blogging mojo. It’s cold and dark and I’m full of complaints.
Like about the fact that Charlie got me the best birthday present ever this year – an electric blanket – which I can’t actually USE because it makes my poor husband too hot. Even though the heat is only on MY side. I use it at night to warm the sheets up just before bed.
But I find that writing more increases the chance I’ll get my mojo back.
So, uh. Updates.
Ones that aren’t complaints.
(I have them. I’m sure of it.)
Running, right now, is awesome. I’ve worked back up to 25-30 miles a week, and since I’ve lost weight (10lbs now!) my runs are easier and lighter and faster. Which is good, because it’s dang cold out so I can get them over with sooner. But man, I feel SO good. I’m not sure I’ve felt this good about running since the summer I was training for the marathon.
And physical Good totally correlates to emotional Good, too. Mostly. Running is my zen: it smooths out my thorny parts. And good running equals zen, especially lately.
Also; having my therapist back has been AWESOME. In combination with the mindfulness and self-kindness meditation stuff, I feel like a veil has been lifted. Holy cow, have I really THIS awful to myself for this many years? What’s the POINT?
I’ve been working to understand the reasons for my anger, which always seems to be prevalent. Huge breakthrough today: I realized that I get angry at Charlie when *I* am feeling insecure. I apparently go on the offensive in order not to get hurt, or something.
Work, shockingly, is actually, uh. GOOD. I’m working on a new client, which is good, and since I am working from home and boss-lady had her son three weeks ago, I have a measure of autonomy and distance. And so the work is better (marginally, of course), the commute is GRAND, and it’s nice to finally feel like I can enjoy my work, a little. I’m sure I’m doing things All Wrong and when boss-lady engages I’ll be told that, but for now I’m enjoying it.
Lucky is equal parts completely adorable and batshit crazy. I can’t believe we’re thinking about kindergarten right now, but we’re thinking about kindergarten. The elementary school in our district has a lottery for full-day kindergarten slots, so we’re trying to think about other alternatives for him should he miss out on full day kindergarten. We’re going to apply to a Montessori school in a neighboring town that we know does standard full day kindergarten, just in case, but we’re not counting on it since they prioritize town residents.
It’s kind of ridiculous that my kid, who has been in full day daycare since he was 6 months old, might only have 3 hours of school a DAY next year. BUT. Trying not to get ahead of myself, though. We register him for the lottery in March and from what I understand, are told at the end of March if he’s got a full day slot or not. That gives us time to research other options.
Also: it’s been fantastic to have Charlie home for the past few weeks, too, for both Lucky and I. The sleep issues we were dealing with back in December have mostly gone away; I think having his Daddy gone made him more needy, and whenever he woke up early in the morning he had to come into our room and bed for comfort. I did find him in our bed this morning when I heard him up, but for the most part, he hasn’t asked to come into our bed or gotten up at some ungodly hour or needed us to walk him back to bed in the cold of the middle of the night because he’s feeling scared.
Not only that, but family dinners again. Awesome.
So really, it’s not all doom and gloom at chez Serenity. Things are starting to look up.
This summer, I heard from my cousin that my uncle is getting remarried.
His wedding is happening as I am writing this, actually.
I found out from my cousin’s post on Facebook that the wedding was today.
I recognize that I am still grieving the loss of my Aunt Judy, and I’m sure I’d have mixed feelings about this day no matter what. But hearing about his wedding via social media? It just put in sharp relief just how far apart our family has grown.
There was a time when I spent every DAY at my aunt and uncle’s house, when I was a child. My mom and Aunt Judy were best friends, it seemed. We had weekly meals and ALL holidays – including birthdays – at our house or their house. And in fourth grade, as an act of desperation with my academic (and emotional) struggles, my mother asked my Aunt Judy if I could spend time at their house after school, because she was my favorite and I was “happier there.”
My cousin Amy and I were best friends and worst enemies and best friends, often in the same day. She was as close to me as my own sister.
It changed so many years ago; first with my grandmother’s death, and then Amy’s death, and now Judy’s death. A slow pulling away, time and distance coming between the people who used to be my childhood lifeline.
I used to lay in bed at night, dreaming about my aunt becoming my guardian in the event that my parents died. What it would be like to be a part of their family? My aunt made me feel loved and happy and how good I felt whenever I spent time with them.
I didn’t know how much of an anchor Judy was for me until she died.
I have felt, from the moment my cousin called me to tell me she was brain dead and on life support so that my uncle could see her one last time, this strange sense: I am not part of their family.
That day? I really, really wanted to drop what I was doing to drive down and see her before she died. I wanted to cry, hug her, and tell her I love her. I even asked my cousin, under the guise of wanting to be helpful. New Haven wasn’t that far. But he didn’t want me to, and I wanted to respect their privacy, because how much loss he has suffered over the years.
And honestly. I am not part of their family. The memories I have, those feelings of being part of them, was all in my head.
And 30 years ago.
I wish my uncle and his new wife happiness with my heart and soul. My uncle, my godfather, is a good man, and he deserves to spend the rest of his life with a companion who will make him happy. From what I can glean from social media, his new wife makes him happy.
And she’s my new Facebook friend, so I suppose that’s something.
It’s just really hard to let go of the past.
Ack! I didn’t mean to vague-blog about the book – actually had intended on linking it into my post and forgot.
The book is called “The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion.”
I caught a cold in Florida; a tickle in my throat which hasn’t turned into much, but it’s there. Congestion in the mornings. The awful tickle in my throat, which is soothed by tea and honey.
I don’t often take NyQuil, mostly because it either makes me antsy and I can’t sleep, or I sleep really well until I STOP taking it and I can’t manage to fall asleep on my own. But last night, the tickle in my throat was driving me batty. So I took it.
And inevitably I found myself awake at 2am, the medicine worn off and insomnia staring me down.
So I went downstairs, and I made myself some warm milk. And added honey (which, as an aside, is delicious. Milk and honey. Who knew?).
And then I went back upstairs, and as I was laying in bed, I repeated four phrases:
May I be happy.
May I be at peace.
May I live with ease.
May I be free from suffering.
And sure enough, before I knew it, my alarm – Lucky – was waking me up in the morning. And when he came and snuggled with me in bed, I felt better. Mostly.
Now, see, I don’t KNOW if we’re going to walk away from treatments. And this idea that it’s kinder to walk away from treatments for now doesn’t assuage the longing whenever I hold my nephew, or see pictures of my best friend’s son, or look at his smile.
It’s so hard. So fucking hard.
I wish I was still pregnant. I long for another child with a deep part of me that I can’t explain.
But I also have lost hope in the process. I thought, when we went into this last cycle, we were hopeless. And I came away with even LESS hope than before.
I’ve felt for a long time now that, for us, ART is like running into a brick wall. On paper, we look amazing. I respond so well to medication. We have fantastic embryo quality. We just either don’t get pregnant, or when we do it ends early (the last two times I’ve been pregnant).
It seems to me kindest to step away from it for now. Do other things. Not make any choices, not real ones anyway.
Really, it’s about not forcing myself to make a choice right now. To allow myself space, and Not Know What’s Next.
I feel like part of my need to always have a PLAN is because it proves I’m working hard to get to where I want to be. What would happen if I just let myself live a bit? With no agenda, no PLAN, no end goal? What kind of person would that make me?
I have regarded myself as fundamentally flawed for so long now, tried to do everything I can to overcome my Fail, that maybe I should just stop FIGHTING it so damn much and see what happens.
May I be happy.
May I be at peace.
May I live with ease.
May I be free from suffering.