Must. DO. Something.

December 29, 2011 at 10:25 am | Posted in Crazy Talk (aka: Therapy) | 5 Comments

The one thing my almost-a-year in therapy has shown me is that I will do almost anything to escape emotion.

It’s never been more clear the past couple of days.

I have been itchy, wanting to DO something epic to change up my life.

Monday it was thinking about going to another clinic and meeting with a doctor who might have the magic bullet – the very thing which will net us a real live single baby in one cycle.

The next day I fantasized about quitting my job an working part time for my gym so I could have a free membership AND get to work out all the time while O is in school.

Yesterday it was talking myself out of signing up for the Chicago Marathon when registration opens.

On my way to my therapist appointment yesterday, I was so frustrated with myself.

Because, intellectually, I KNOW that I can’t do anything to fix this.

And we talked, my therapist and I, about why I felt the need to do something else. And the only answer I could find was that I needed to prove that I wasn’t a failure, that I either needed to work harder at getting pregnant to overcome it… or do something completely different and epic to prove that even though I was a failure at getting pregnant I was a success elsewhere.

And she asked me: What would happen if you allowed yourself to fail at this?

That’s the thing. I DID fail. 14 embryos. One success. In statistical terms, we’re looking at less than a 1% success rate.

That number is sobering. I can’t go back to another clinic and keep trying. Not for 1%. I respect my husband’s need to move on and the strength of my marriage too much to even consider that argument.

I CAN go off and do something else so that I can bury the pain and focus on something else in the short term, but then what? The dull drumbeat of Fail will follow me there too, and no matter what I do, it’ll never be enough.

Somehow I have to learn how to separate our failure at building the family I so very much wanted from my self esteem.

Because intellectually I know that it was nothing I did or didn’t do which caused all the Fail. I recognize that getting pregnant isn’t up to me.

I just don’t believe it yet.

So that’s what I need to work on. I just am not sure how I’ll get there.



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  1. So many parts of me are ok with not being able to have another child. But the part of me that equates failure of my body to get pregnant easily with my self esteem? That part is still SO not ok. And I don’t know how to get there either.

  2. I know it won’t make the pain of infertility go away, but doing something else to make you feel successfull or fulfilled doesn’t sound like a bad idea. That’s what you’ve done with running, isn’t it? I guess the key is not expecting it to make the negative feelings go away, just to balance them out a little.

  3. You are in my thoughts and I am willing you from afar to pull through this time of SUCK.

    However, I happen to believe that the work lies in re-framing your IF experience and moving away from the dichotomy of failure vs. success. As long as you consider the experience as a failure (even if you want to go to the dictionary and harp on the literal definition of failure), you will be dogged by feelings of ‘less than’, guilt, shame, and pressure to excel somewhere else to off-set your view of this as a failure.

    I see hopefulness, stick-to-itiveness, tenacity, determination, will, Herculean effort, desire, but I do not see failure.

    • IIWII: Yes. EXACTLY. That’s where I have my work cut out for me, I think. But yes. That’s exactly it.

  4. It is what it is has wise words indeed. I met someone who had decided (in advance) that success, for her, was doing twelve embryo transfers. If they didn’t work, that was just not her responsibility. She would have tried and the rest was just out of her hands.

    She was a doctor, so I guess she had practice in letting go of responsibility for things beyond her control. If she had been defining success as cured patients, I’m sure she would have cracked it early in her career as bad luck and poor patient compliance kept getting in the way day in, day out. She must have been used to seeing “reasonable efforts” as the ultimate proof of a job well done.

    I’m not sure her story helps you think your way through to, essentially, the same conclusion. But I tell it anyway because it seems relevant to where you’re at now.


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