A couple of years ago, many times over the course of nine months, I saw a therapist. I went because I felt stuck, and even with regular prayer and sacraments I couldn’t get un-stuck. I was disconnected, unable to feel much joy, and very very sad. Infertility was an overpowering presence of sorrow in my life, and it bled into everything else. I was a ball of repressed feelings. I hated who I had become (dramatic much?), so I went to see someone.
I am proud of myself for that. And I got un-stuck, praise the good Lord. I’m so un-stuck now that I feel every damn thing. So many feelings.
I’m so happy. Achingly happy at times, most especially when I’m home with my boys. I feel searing gratitude on a daily basis. Cisco and I laugh again. You know about that. Pretty much all the feelings go to eleven.
It’s sort of awesome and sort of awful, but a lot more normal than I felt before. Mostly, it’s tiring. The more time goes by, the more I wish I had a better record of things: particular rough patches, what they were like and what got me out of them; graces received; prayers answered. I think it could help in the future, because infertility seems to be a never-ending recycling of the stages of grief. Thought you weren’t angry anymore? There you are saying something bitter and small you didn’t even know was in you. Thought you were done being kicked-in-the-gut sad? Nope. You are crying in mass like a weirdo again, and Cisco looks dodgy.
And acceptance? Well, that’s a minute-to-minute challenge, isn’t it? Much as I’d love to have one great cinematic moment of heroic surrender (I would be wearing an enormous red dress), the soul is stubborn and lazy, and has to be redirected time and again.
There’s a reason why infertility blogs don’t often gain followers among the fruited, and I think it’s the same reason why infertility has been silently labeled an unacceptable conversation topic: it is way too loud and sad and uncomfortable. Most of the time I am feeling something (or many things) intensely: Guilt with a side of self-pity, anger laced with envy, joy ladled with fear (I must be hungry), sorrow seasoned with shame (that was just to mess with you). Lady Feelings Management (LFM) can be a full-time job, and a serious bore to read about. I’m a little bored writing about it. And forget trying to act normal with all that crap happening inside.
(On a side-note, I read an article the other day that said that women in fact do need more sleep than men on average, because we use our brains so much more. I think they said because of “multi-tasking”, by which I assume they meant worrying, and panning for emotional-and-people-problem nuggets.)
As much as I hate to admit it, suffering does bring gifts. One of them is a freakishly heightened awareness of one’s own good fortune. But all those heightened feelings can make a person twitchingly intense; a Mrs. Bennett. Someone who cries at flash mob videos and laughs way too loud. Maybe even someone who throws things. (Have I ever told you how badly I want to throw dishes? Is this normal? Ever since I had a second-floor balcony in college, I’ve been dying to throw a stack of plates. Crash. Cisco says I should just do it already, because everyone needs to have a throwing-stuff story. Isn’t he um… supportive.)
People (not men – ha) say that feelings are better out than in, but they do come out all spurty, don’t they? It’s so much better than being stuck and depressed, though.
Well, there it is. Dipping a toe in the writing waters. Sort of murky in here.