I have thought about writing so many times in the last few weeks. I’ll have to catch you up another time though, because I’ve got too much to say about right now. In brief, I had just over 5 months sober, and after our second cancelled IVF cycle in June (I failed to produce any eggs), I drank on the evening we celebrated our third wedding anniversary. I’ve drunk about 5 times since then.
I keep thinking about various quotes to help me turn everything around. To live a better way. One of which goes something like;
You can be messy, complicated and afraid. Show up anyway.
Well I tried this yesterday. I’ve had a couple of crazy-busy weeks, and I’m tired, which probably exacerbated my feelings of having made no progress whatsoever since last summer. I’ll explain: Last night was our department’s end of term night out, and it prompted me to cast my mind back to the same event last year. I remembered that a colleague was heavily pregnant at the time, which I found pretty hard to deal with. I remembered a conversation about baby names, and another colleague catching my eye and mouthing ‘are you OK’. At the time, I was waiting for surgery. We were stuck on our fertility journey, and I was powerless to move anything forward. It was merely a waiting game, beyond my control.
Fast forward to this summer, and I am in pretty much the same situation, waiting for surgery, for what could be months. This caused an unexpected fresh wave of emotion (I’d been doing fairly well recently), but I pushed through to go to my appointment at the beauty salon. Where I ended up bursting into tears whilst telling the beauty therapist all about it. She is lovely and knows where I am with fertility treatment. That must be the reason they call it beauty therapy; it almost is like therapy with a bit of waxing thrown in!
So I showed up anyway. I was messy, complicated and afraid, and it was OK. It actually helped. She asked if there was any way to avoid going out, but I explained that I actually did want to go because one of the teachers is leaving, and I wouldn’t want to miss his leaving do. And they are great people, I’m lucky to work with them. A few who left last year and even before still come out with us, too.
Off I went for my evening out, which I really enjoyed. Again, I was messy, complicated and afraid, and I showed up anyway. I drank soda water, and drove myself home at 11:30pm – stayed the entire evening. I was proud of myself.
Today, we had a wedding to go to. I made it as far as getting ready, and I was writing the card. I signed it with our two names, and happened to make a comment that I was fed up of signing cards with just our two names. I want to be able to write the names of our children too. But of course we’re not there yet. I was just venting to no one in particular but it caused an argument. He said I should stop going on and on about my feelings on the subject, but I wasn’t aware that I was doing that at all. I nearly didn’t get in the car, but we set off eventually. Mr W was making an attempt at apology after quite a lot of shouting on both our parts. But by the time we got to the venue, I just said, I can’t go in.
I was messy, complicated and afraid, and I couldn’t show up. Trying to get through my seventh sober day, with lots of other couples who all have children. These are people we know through my husbands part time job. Whilst we were fairly close with lots of them at one time, my sobriety and our infertility seems to have made it harder for me to relate to them. Plus my best ally amongst them all wasn’t able to go, so I was already feeling vulnerable. I was very shaky, and there was just no way I could go in. We stopped, he got out, and I drove home.
Which brings me to where I am now. With another couple of quotes that have been on my mind:
“Start from where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can”. – Arthur Ashe
“You can start out with nothing, and out of nothing, and no way, a way will be made” – Rev Michael Bernhard Beckwith
As I said, I am trying to turn this all around. To really work on my recovery, and to find a better way to approach all of these challenges. I’ve also been focusing on the idea that everything I want already exists – it’s just waiting there for me to attract it into my life. On one level, I am convinced this is the case.
I had a conversation with my acupuncturist the other day about life appearing to be more traumatic as soon as you make a conscious decision to change your way of thinking, or change your approach to some aspect of life. She says it’s as though we are moving through water, in a particular direction. If we decide to change course, the stopping and changing of direction will cause turbulence as the water is disturbed, and eddies around us. That makes a lot of sense to me. She said I should try not to pay too much attention to the turbulence, and continue with my new trajectory. Which isn’t the easiest thing to do when I come home alone, in my cute outfit and red nails, and I just want to fall to my knees and ask God what more does He fucking want from me??? (please excuse my language. I am somewhat near the end of my tether).
Where is my way? I know I’m not actually starting out with nothing; I have many resources available to me to create my life afresh and –somehow – re-energise myself (even though that makes me feel exhausted just thinking about it). How much more of this must I push through? How many more fails, how much more anxiety, how many more arguments with my husband, how much more thinking that ‘we’ by ourselves are inadequate as compared to couples with families.
There is a part of me that knows this is what God wants from me – to be grateful for all the blessings I do have. To know that I am in no way inadequate, and my life is abundant as it is now, and I do have everything I need.
But this is where I am; in between two states of mind. In between two potential futures. Feeling adrift in some weird parallel time zone that opened up when I decided not to go into that hotel to the wedding today. Kind of alone. So I hope you don’t mind I wrote to you.