I can't seem to find balance in living my life with IF. In some areas of my life, I'm completely silent on it. If you scanned my facebook page, other than maybe some things I like, there is no mention of infertility. I'm the same when it comes to more extended groups of friends/acquaintances, its not something I'll readily bring up, and I'll only discuss it briefly if it comes up. Work is somewhere in between, I have to give heads up about appointments, so I give any need to know information, and answer questions, but that's usually where I leave it. In my personal life, among close family and friend, I have become more open about it over time.
I've gotten some feedback lately from both a family member and a close friend (in two separate conversations) that they feel like I talk about it too much, and perhaps if I don't talk and think about it so much, things will be better. My initial reaction was to be hurt about it. The family member I was talking to is the only person I know in person that has also dealt with infertility. The friend is my closest friend, who I usually talk to everything about, and appreciate the fact that I get honest feedback from her. But, as hurtful as what they both said was, I guess there is some truth to it.
Infertility takes up so much of my life. I wake up every morning thinking about it, and have to take handfuls of medicines and supplements. I make observations for charting throughout the day. I take medicines and supplements every night. So throughout the day I'm reminded about what going on in my cycle, and get anxious if things aren't going right or if I don't know what's going on (which is like, always). Every day I'm dealing with side effects from the various things I'm taking, or wondering if they're working, or why aren't they working. I worry about what I eat, what I drink, what I use to wash and clean with. I'm emotional, hormonal, anxious, and occasionally in pain. That's a day in the life in my head.
I don't know how to turn it off. I don't know how to think about it less. I don't know how to compartmentalize my life like that. I used to. I used to just bottle it all up, avoid talking about it, and just break down when I had too much to drink at wedding, like I mentioned before. But the Hubs didn't like me doing that, it seemed unhealthy. Regardless, when I'm on the crazy pills (looking at you clomid) I don't even have the ability to hold things back. Everything just comes to the surface whether I want it to or not.
I would like to be more normal, though I don't even know what normal looks like with infertility. Like I said, I only know one other person in real life that's dealt with infertility. Her experience was a long time ago and she wasn't childless as long as I have, and her default is to not talk about it. It seems like infertility makes people uncomfortable to talk about, so is it normal to just not talk about it at all to keep other people comfortable? On the other hand, when someone is pregnant or sick, its pretty normal for that to come up, if not briefly, in regular conversations. I don't really understand why that isn't accepted with infertility.
Maybe part of it is because I've been on my own personal crusade against the well meaning but hurtful people things people say. I don't really accept when people say just relax, just adopt, just... anything. I try to (lovingly) explain why those don't work, and are harmful rather than helpful. I guess that could annoy people. But is it wrong to want to be able to have a real conversation, or just to be listened to, instead of receiving trite platitudes? I don't know.
Its not just balance with other people I need to find. I need to find balance with myself, and my life. I feel so overwhelmed and consumed by it all. I need to find a way to acknowledge and deal with the fact that this is a part, a large part of my life, and yet not have my entire life revolve around it, if that makes any sense. I just don't exactly know how to go about that. The Hubs suggested we get more hobbies, or a hobby at least. Get more active, take the dogs for walks, work more on our garden. Maybe that will help, to enjoy things, enjoy life more in general.
He also mentioned counseling. I'll admit the thought of it has been on my mind for a while. Since I've had some trouble figuring this out on my own, or even with the Hubs's help, maybe it is time to seek out help from someone else. Maybe it'll help me develop some coping skills, or at least give me someone else to talk to about all of this. I don't know. I don't know if I 'm ready, or even need to make that step yet, but I am looking into it.
If anyone else has figured out to find balance in all of this, please feel free to share.
It's hard to have one thing on your heart and mind all the time, and rarely have the time, place or person that you can actually talk about it. I know that mine's a little different since it's mostly singleness that I deal with (though I know from charting and my age, I may well have to deal with sub fertility if I get do managed to get married in time to have a chance) but one of the big ways that helped me was having an outlet on my blog. You have to be able to talk about it with people that get it sometimes. I also think that having other things to focus on helps, but it doesn't make it go away. I haven't tried counseling, but looking back, there was a period of time that I really should have!ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry folks aren't being supportive. I do think you need to talk about it. This blog can be a great outlet, but I hope you can find someone who'll listen and support! Sheesh, it makes me so sad that folks are telling you to stop. :( You're right that people complain about other things all the time, especially sickness. And IF is absolutely a form of that. And the only reason it makes them uncomfortable is bc it's really taboo in our culture. I'm so sorry. Hope you can find a listening ear soon! And at the very least, you're always welcome to email me if you need to vent! Hugs!ReplyDelete
Hi, everybody is different but this is what helped me keeping my sanity in time of infertility:ReplyDelete
-vent (in RL or on-line) mostly with other IFs who 'get it' and spare you from annoying suggestions
-don't make maternity an idol (you know when you are tempted to say I will never be happy unless..)
-trust God (His plans may be different from your own plans)
-enjoy the gifts you already have in your life and share them with the world
Hope it helps.
I'm so sorry this has happened to you. Having someone to lean on in this is so important. Granted- it took my mom about 6-8 years of me going through permanent IF before she began to "get it". My MIL is still not even close, and that side of the family is starting to express what you've described. I really hope you can find some real life support! Maybe a counselor would be worth it, just to have an ear temporarily. I know that one thing that has helped me lately is blogging and learning to accept myself and my limits. Hugs :)ReplyDelete