Friday, March 18, 2011

Insight or insecurity?

Even though I've been posting happy little tid bits in the Daily Delights, I still feel like I'm just spewing a lot of negativity out into the blogosphere these days. It's not intentional at all. I think it may just because there really isn't anything going on lately. With nothing to really comment on in my life, I turn to my thoughts, which tend to fall on the not-so-chipper side.

I say I'm a realist but in truth that is just a nice spin on being a pessimist. I've always looked for the bad in things, expected the worst, and never hedged my bets on the good outcome. This behavior has only been exacerbated by recent events. I have tried to not dwell on the bad and focus on the good and was doing well for a while. With the help of medication, of course.

I've been battling anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, in one form or another, for as long as I can remember. All the way back in elementary school even. I was an awkward and very shy child, and tended to be picked on by others. Never physically, but the "I'm rubber. You're glue..." trick never worked for me. The words hurt. However, I was unable to avoid being the butt of a joke or some put-down by the more popular kids. From then on, I was a nerd, with great grades, wasn't into fashion or sports, and a late bloomer. Oh, and I had braces and acne. A prime target, really.

I had great friendships through those years and on into middle and high school. Unfortunately, they would move or we moved or someone changed schools. I've never been able to keep a true BFF. I know through counseling/therapy that this is why I guard myself, keep from getting close to other people and letting them in to my inner world. I've been burned too many times to get close to that warm, glowing flame of close friendship, and beaten down enough to think it's not something I deserve anyways.

I was making progress on all these front the last few years. I was making the efforts and seeing some results. I stepped out of my comfort zone, put myself out there and was pleasantly surprised a few times. I was slowly taking down my wall. It felt great! To talk with people, to share things. I felt lighter and happier than I have in years. Things improved even more when we ditched the prevention and started TTC.

Now, things seem to no longer be improving. I find myself retreating more and more. I find myself smiling less and less. While I'm not rebuilding the wall, I've invested in some other forms of armor. I'm not entirely sure why I'm doing this. Sharing the bad, along with the good, made things easier, less complicated. Why am I hiding and avoiding when I know it is not an emotionally healthy thing to do? Why am I withdrawing when I need the external support? Could it be that if I ignore the hard and difficult truths, they don't exist? Pretending that the monster in the closet is just my imagination and when I open my eyes again, thing will be better?

I just don't know.

What I do know is that I'm beginning to experience those feelings of depression and anxiety again, even on my meds. I don't like it, but don't know how to change it. I refuse to let things spiral back down to the point they were 2yrs ago. I don't want to hide in denial that a problem exists. But what else can I do? These feelings are surfacing because of things I can't control and can't seem to fix. Sure, I could up my med doses, but that is just masking the symptoms not curing the cause.

I know so many of you have had these same feelings as you struggle with infertility as well. It sucks and I hate it. I've feel like this after just 9m of TTC, 6m of IF. I feel weak to admit it, but I've been taking my far more frequently than I ever did in these past 2yrs. I just can not deal with situations involving pregnant women, new moms, etc unless my emotions have been blunted by medication or alcohol. It's sad and makes me feel worse to know that I don't have it in me to face these things on my own.

This has probably been the hardest 6m of my life. So incredibly trying. And difficult. And defeating. I don't know how some of you do this for 1yr, 2yrs, and even longer. Ya'll are far stronger than I. I don't think I could cope with these feelings for that long. I'm scared of getting a positive again and losing that as well. I'm scared of never getting another positive. It isn't the disappointment of negatives. Sure, I'm a bit down each cd1, but it is more due to thoughts of it never happening than that it didn't happen this month. I don't know how women can keep moving forward, month after month, cycle after cycle with the knowledge that it may never be something achievable for them. I know in the end "it will all be worth it". I just don't want to be an angry, bitter, and jaded women when I get to that point.

How does one separate their self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy that are so intimately tied to infertility? How does one not feel like a failure when their body fails to do something that women have been doing almost effortlessly for millions of years? I'm sure if I gained some ground somewhere, I'd feel better. I just need something really, really good to happen soon to pick me up. Anything.


  1. Oh sweetie - I feel ya. So much! I have definitely struggled with a lot of the same things that you have over the years. From growing up awkward and teased, to feeling devastated upon starting to TTC and failing. I wish I could give you a hug and be a friend to you IRL, because we have a lot in common. I found the first year of TTC much harder than the second. Well, the second year was more of a rollercoaster because it involved treatments, pregnancies and losses, but it also involved pure joy (pregnancies). And I found it easier to focus on the DOING something - treatments, appointments, research, etc. rather than just trying and trying and trying. The first year, I was simply depressed. And that is why about nine months into it, I found a therapist that specializes in infertility - she went through it herself. And she is definitely a lifesaver.

    Keep hanging in there, and use this blog, your friends, your counselor, as outlets for your feelings. It really helps. And if you want to talk on the phone (I'd love to!), email me - I'll give you my number. Hugs!

  2. I used to think I was really strong person before IF but now I am weak. You can't control anything in IF which makes it so damn hard. All you can do is make sure your relationship is happy and hold onto faith and hope because that's all we have. I do recommend fertility counselors who specialize in this and trying to maintain a life outside of this and definitely never give up. We are all walking the same path and here to help!

  3. This is all familiar. IF can tear down a woman (and man) quickly. I too have pulled away from people, me more because I don't want anyone IRL to see me sad and more so see me 'fail'. This is a tough road and I remember being where you are a few years ago not every imagining being here or surviving this long; but I have. I dont want to be in the place I am, but I am and I keep day at a time.

    Email me if you need anything!

  4. I've been (am?) where you are emotionally. When I started this journey, I remember going to my first support group meeting and watching in horror as a woman told her story of going through infertility treaments for over three years and having had four miscarriages. She was absolutley broken in spirit and I thought "I could never get through all of that. And I will never let myself feel that sad." Fast forward almost three I am still trying. At the last support group meeting I went to, I was the veteran...telling my story of disappointments and crying most of the way through my tale. I had become THAT person. It's so sad. But I think it is also reality. I use a xanax (or two) now and then and see an individual counselor and a marriage counselor. That, and staying busy with infertility friends (really busy...oh, and all that keeps me putting one foot in front of the other. I wish, after all this time, I had better advice, but I don't. What I can say is that I think you are an awesome person and that pessimist or not, you are going to come through this with a positive outcome. Just keep treading water until then.

  5. I'm so sorry you're feeling this way. I know exactly how you feel. Depression had started creeping in even 6 months into TTC, got worse around the 1-1/2 mark and then got really worse the last 6-9 months. That's when I knew I had to do more than blogging and my support group. I went out and got a counselor that Re.solve had on their resources, someone who specializes in infertility issues. It wasn't cheap but I knew it was worth it. I went for 2 months and then my husband and I took a trip, which really, really helped.

    I had realized that we had put our lives on hold for too long and that I had lost my sense of who I really was before all the baby stuff became all-consuming.

    Stuff still bothers me but in general, I'm much more at peace and I really think the infertility counseling helped A LOT.


  6. I've been going through similar struggles. After my second MC I had a total meltdown, which eventually led to anti-anxiety and anti depression meds (yay xanax!).
    But they are, unfortunately, only a bridge to help you get through the rough patches, and I know there are a lot of those.
    If there's anything I learned in the last six months though, is that especially during those rough patches, I have to remember to be good to myself. If you're anything like me, your withdrawal from your friends, and inability to share comes from a bit of a self-destructive streak. "I'm not good enough to share my problems" or "I don't want to burden anyone with them".
    I taught myself to stop it. To take care of myself. To realize that I do deserve to be heard, and to be comforted. Of all of the crap that I've been through in the past year, this was the hardest fought battle. My mantra has been this:
    Regardless of when and how I become a mommy, I want to be a good mommy. And a happy, healthy mommy is the best gift I can give my future children.
    Be good to yourself!

  7. I know it sounds pessimistic, and I don't mean it to be, but the first year of infertility is by far the worse. I think it is because you start with so much expectation that every month is just devastating. Even with failed IUIs and now (probably) IVF nothing has been as bad as that first year.

    Just take care, and hopefully you won't be in this limbo for much longer.

  8. :(... you know I'm here for you. Always. I know I haven't gone through everything you've gone through but I hear ya on the timing, the stress, the constantly being bitter everytime someone announces a pregnancy or has a baby. Just know that when we DO have our little miracles happen, and you KNOW it will ;) that ours will be so much more worth it and be the greatest experiences of our lives! :)