Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Day to Day

This is one of the longest breaks I’ve ever taken from blogging, but it’s not for lack of things to say. But by the time I figure out how I am doing my mood has shifted. I’ve moved on, and my earlier thoughts seem irrelevant and out-of-touch, or worse, forced and ringing false. I’ve started two other posts, only to abandon them the next day. It’s not that I’m on the DL or out for the season. It’s more that I’m day-to-day, with no idea what tomorrow will bring.

What’s more surreal than spending two years in fertility treatment? Stopping. You would think that the daily hormone changes of an IVF cycle or the thrice-weekly, ass-crack-of-dawn visits to the RE would make life seem other-worldly, and they certainly do. But it’s even stranger––once you get used to having such a single-minded focus in life––to go back to “normal.”

Part of what makes this normalcy seem so odd is that I never expected it. Even though I think of IF as a temporary phase in my life, it is supposed to “end” with the biggest disruption of all: the introduction of a child into our home. (Sort of like when I got bogged down in law school and all I was thinking about with desperation was finally graduating, then realizing that oh shit, oh shit oh shit, then I’ll have to actually be a lawyer! Out of the frying pan, or so the saying goes.) When I started TTC, I figured that life as I knew it was over. Even more so when I started treatment. My life plan was clear: for an undefined period of time I would be in treatment, then I would either be pregnant or in the adoption process, both of which also involve major life changes. Then, of course, I would have a child, the most insane life change of all. It’s just so strange to get all geared up for big changes in your life and then not end with any change at all.

I remember when I was in my early 20s and used to run for exercise (a short-lived period in my life), that I once was running on a trail, and going pretty fast, when I tripped over a tree root and fell. I was a little scraped up and not badly hurt, but I remember the moment with startling clarity. It wasn’t the fall that stunned me, but the abrupt stillness in the instant afterward. In the 20 minutes or so I had been running I had gotten hypnotized by the forward motion––the ground moving under my feet and the scenery rushing by and the vibration rocking through my body with every footfall. But in an instant I was lying on the ground, listening to my heart pound in my ears, while the world stood perfectly still. It wasn’t upsetting. Just disorienting.

So I guess that’s how I feel right now. For 3 ½ years I’ve been pounding my way toward an ever-moving target (I am not a light runner) with what can only be described as grim determination. Even when I haven’t been in a cycle (and I do almost always take a cycle off between treatment cycles), I’ve been planning out the next one, making arrangements for drug deliveries, working out insurance or, later (when the insurance ran out), rewriting contracts with the doctors, or having surgery and focusing on healing so we can go forward, press forward, move, move, move toward that ultimate goal. Then someone ripped the ground out from under me. The world is standing still, and I don’t really know what to make of it anymore, or where I fit in.

The weirdest thing is that this analogy makes no sense. I haven’t even been on that long of a break. I am exactly one and a half cycles out of my last IVF cycle. And our forward movement is far from stalled; we’re taking a break so that J can take hormone shots (which he’s already started) to see if we can jump-start our sperm production. But, if history is any lesson, my feelings often have little to do with the reality of the situation.

I’ve been rocketing between what looks and feels like clinical depression and a fairly upbeat outlook on life. Mix into that desperate escapism into any TV show, movie, or book that has sex or romance, anything that will give me that burning-in-the-gut sensation that makes me feel like I’m actually still alive. Add in the anxiety and obsession with the upcoming election. Oh, and don’t forget that at the same time I’m finally standing still the entire planet seems to be spinning out of control. It’s all just so fucking surreal. Sometimes I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread. And I want to blog—I don’t want to lose touch with the people in cyberspace. But I don’t know who I am or what’s going on in my life or what to say about this crazy world we seem to be living in.

So I’m just going day to day.


Ally said...

Sweetie, take all the time you need. Just know that we're here and we're listening whenever you are ready to talk.

kate said...

I hear you on the day-to-day changing. I, too, have been in write-delete-write-delete hell. I relate in a much more limited way, only because I haven't had much stability over the last three years or so, and so even though I've been aiming for/pursuing this scholastic path (for 14 damn years now...), I'm suddenly much less sure of where I'll land. Part of it is the natural up-vs-down crap that I deal with, but part of it is that I know that I can't do anything about ANYTHING until (1) I take the LSAT and (2) I finish my undergraduate degree and (3) H and I get to go on our long Germany trip and (4) until we're more sure of H's income for the next few years. Taking the LSAT will answer the question of whether I have the aptitude for studying law, and will also help determine what kind of debt I'll be going in to in order to finish law school. Naturally, I can't go to law school or any other school or any other job for that matter, until I finish my degree. Can't focus on babymaking until H and I go to Germany this summer (though damn if that doesn't sound like the ideal place for a "we-just-relaxed-and-it-happened!" baby...). And though H did get his promotion, it hasn't come with the associated salary increase yet, and so until we know what that increase will be, it will be difficult to plan whether or not we will be able to keep up the single-income lifestyle. And that doesn't even take in to account the fact that smart, dedicated people sometimes don't pass the bar once they finish, as I have been gently reminded of with our sweet Io's recent experience.

So FEH. Too much shit. TOO EFFIN' MUCH.

So, like you, for months and months, I've been building up, doing all these misc. tasks, hurry-up-and-waiting, etc., and now, I'm forced to pretty much take a break from the incessant task-doing. I mean, life still goes on, but if I'm not chasing some sort of school related deadline, then what am I doing? And, not too unlike you, it seems that my target might be moving again. For the last 6 months, I've been convinced that I had found the answer in pursuing a legal career, but it just really hit me this weekend that it is unlikely that I will ever leave this place (barring strange circumstance with H deciding that he wants to leave his current job) and that being in the legal field in this area pretty much sucks. And what makes me happiest seems to be writing (even though I'm not that great at it, I think it's a skill that could be honed with further study). And this doesn't even begin to address the voice in the back of my head that has gone from a whisper to a scream that I need to reconsider my family plans. Grr!

So, basically, what I'm trying to say is that I think I can relate. And through that relating, I am empathetic to your surreal feeling of stepping off the carousel and taking a pause to see what the world looks like when it's not spinning. And it's a sucky feeling. And I'm sorry, 'cos I like you and you don't deserve to have the spinny confusion. You deserve Zen-like peace during your break.

I think at times like this I understand the attractiveness of twitter. Send a line to share what you're thinking and then, if the feeling is gone by the time you sit down to write a real post, you don't have to feel like you are being deceitful about your true state, right? But then again, it's just one more thing to take care of, so maybe not.

I don't know. Peace, my friend. Just wishes for peace and clarity. (Er, and wishes for klo.nopin and xanax if the peace and clarity don't do the trick...).

Jaded Girl said...

and day by day is certainly ok. when ever my worries get ahead of me, i have learned to focus on taking things day by day.

Shinejil said...

Day by day is the only way to play it. You've been through a lot, dealt with more in the space of a few brief years than many people do in decades. I say go with what your feeling, whether it's depression or elation or distraction, and savor those moments of red-hot life. There's no particular way you have to feel or be right now.

Ms Heathen said...

My dear babychaser. In the past three and a half years, you have been through more than I can possibly imagine. It's hardly surprising that your feelings should go back and forth in the way you describe. Be kind to yourself, take things day to day, and know that we are all here for you - even if you don't feel like you have anything particularly coherent to say, we're still listening.

Lisa said...

Sometimes day to day is the best we can hope for. A break is a break and it doesn't matter the length. A break means you're not moving forward towards your goal, and that's hard. The ever-changing emotions are, unfortunately, part of this game. I totally understand swinging from depression to "everything is OK". Hang in there!

Ms. J said...

What you said, and are experiencing, actually makes perfect sense to me. Scarily, perfect.

I remember those exact feelings all too well. One minute you feel fine, capable, even in control of yourself/feelings/surroundings. The next you are a basketcase, full of sadness, rage, anger, resentment, feeling as if you are just bargaining to trade one abyss for another.

It is SO what I was experiencing. And AM experiencing on this side of the so-called "goal line." You are spookily correct - its trading one set of insanity for another.

Please, please, please keep blogging about it. You don't know how many times in the past few days I have begun an email to you, wondering how you are doing, only to delete it so as not to intrude. Your crazy is "our" (IF-challenged folks) normalcy.

Wuv you.

Me said...

"But it’s even stranger––once you get used to having such a single-minded focus in life––to go back to “normal.”"

You took the words right out of my mouth!

Nikki said...

And what is normal any more? My normal now is way way different than my normal before this whole drama began! I'm finding myself emerging as a bitter and serious person. I sort of feel people are scared to talk to me because like you, I too am rocketing from being depressed to being perfectly upbeat, and people are hesitant since they don't know which part of my persona their going to reach!

Yes - what you say is very true. The stillness and silence of the day, after cycles and cycles of chaos is eery.

Take it day by day, and I hope some day the days will become less difficult. We like to hear from you, so know that no matter what you want to say, there are people that will be able to relate, and will be there to support you.

Take care!

Lorraine said...

For a while, stopping seemed normal to me - it felt so good to have my life back. But it didn't last...

These are crazy-making efforts, the chemistry alone takes over and you lose yourself to the cycle. And then it seems like you are so close to everything you have been hoping for! One day you think maybe, possibly - and then it's just over. It's impossible to remain on an even keel over the long haul. After 3 1/2 years, it would be weirder if you weren't swooping between upbeat and drastic!

Malloryn said...

It must feel like someone has thrown a bucket of cold water on you.... suddenly stopping and having to go on with a "normal" routine after three and a half years. Your running and tripping analogy was perfect.

I hope you're able to enjoy the good moments when they present themselves to you... it's a crazy f'ed up world right now, that's for sure! I also hope that writing helps you deal with some of this. We are always hear to listen. ::hugs::

Barb said...

I think they are very apt analogies. Hang on and keep venting.

peesticksandstones said...

Wow. I LOVE this post. Can relate to so much of it. Also been feeling really ambivalent about blogging lately, and out of touch with reading other people's blogs. Not feeling inspired or comforted, just kinda left out somehow.

People also have started to tell me I sure am "persistent" when it comes to our IF treatment journey. And I keep vacillating between being insulted and being proud. It's weird. But yeah, there's got to be a big, big, wonderful ending. Right? Right?

Anyway, blah blah blah I am babbling. But taking things one day at a time, too. Thinking of you!

Dreamer4agift said...

Day to day is all you can do when you don't know what else to do. And that's okay.


Lisa said...

Hey, I'm glad you came out of hiding to comment! Yes, re: dying breed - there aren't many people who have done this as many times as we have. It either makes us incredibly strong or incredibly stupid.....my thoughts change almost daily!