Monday, April 23, 2012
Infertility: The Middle of Nowhere
I have a confession that I have never admitted even to myself. In the past I have thought about taking my own life. Mostly it was when I was younger and I hope that it was never really serious but definitely those thoughts were in my mind. I specifically remember a time when I was living on my own, I was still drinking, so the shame / drinking spiral was getting tighter and tighter. I was having an affair with a married man, I despised myself my bestie was overseas, I felt desolately alone. I was mixing alcohol and sleeping pills at that time and remember being kind of worried about what I was doing but also kind of daring it to happen too.
It is 15 years from that time, I have almost 10 years alcohol free and I have a fantastic life, I am a completely different person, for the most part, I like who I am now. I have amazing people around me. I have a wonderful husband, the most gorgeous, hard won, precious child in the world, an amazing family and brilliant friends and yet sometimes the journey through infertility reverberates with those same miserable feelings of isolation. It is a different kind of isolation and I have heard many ways to describe it and I think that the one that resonates most with me is living behind a glass wall. For me, the glass wall represents understanding. In my real life, people don't get it. They don't get that it this journey permeates every part of my life, every decision I make. It dominates my thoughts and rules over our whole lives. The wall is so high that I can't see what life would be like without it there, I have hope that I will recover but wounds that cause a person to howl with sadness are slow to heal - thinking about days of negative cycles, negative prognosis and negative outlooks still cause my heart to hurt even now.
I am not saying that I contemplate taking my own life now, wouldn't because I think it is a selfish thing to do - especially to the people that love, trust and depend on me. I do, however, understand how people could move down this path if their IF journey progressed a certain way - things like turning away as a couple rather than seeking comfort from each other, not having a supportive group around them or even not having a blog world full of sisters who are there to hold your hand (virtually), provide feedback and basically to help you feel like you are not alone in this gut wrenching journey that hits at the very heart of what makes you a woman.
Sometimes I feel like I have had enough challenges in my life and wonder if I can take any more. Even finding out today that I am perimenopausal at 40 was a blow but most times I feel like the challenges that I have had in the past have provided me with the tools that I use to deal with this journey. If I wasn't a recovering alcoholic, would I still have hope that I would recover one day from these years in the trenches? If I didn't learn how to self assess my behaviours, would I be able to pass on these very necessary skills to my son to deal with life?
I would like to dedicate this post to the many, many sisters that I have gained on this journey. If it wasn't for the inspirational, courageous words that I have read on posts or comments, the feelings of isolation that I have felt on this journey would be intensified exponetially. Just knowing that you girls are out there reading, understanding, holding my hand makes the days easier. A special shout out to my friend Lifeslurper who pushed me into starting my blog and telling me (very firmly I might add) to connect with the community over at Stirrup Queens, thank you - you changed my life. To everyone else, your words change my life every day. Thank you.