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.