Reinforcement and clarity

Each time I sit down to add to this burgeoning blog, I over-analyze my chosen topic.  I’ve done it since day one, and, as the posts pile up, I’m doing it even more.  Right as I was beginning to get so deep into my head that I worried I might never come out long enough to post again, the ALI (adoption/loss/infertility) blogging community came to my rescue.  Thank you, dear strangers, for the much-needed reinforcement and clarity you likely have no idea you gave me.

Looking at the small collection of posts I’ve completed, there isn’t much range in the concepts, emotions, and themes discussed.  Anger.  Jealousy.  Frustration.  Bitterness.  They are, for the moment, the four corners of this blog.  Each day as I put virtual pen to paper, I wondered what these cornerstones said of me, said of my journey, said of my worth as a blogger, said of my suitability to be even one of the many voices of infertility.  I am infertility, but am I the infertility that should be out there for public consumption?  No matter how hard I tried to self-affirm my point of view, I still felt like a whiny, self-indulgent, infertility stereotype.

Then, I found this Tuesday’s tandem posts from Cristy of Searching for our Silver Lining and Josey of My Cheap Version of Therapy.  The posts discuss the stark differences between healing and finding resolution from infertility and developing infertility amnesia.  I’ll leave you to peruse Cristy and Josey’s fuller discussions on your own; their thoughts are far more developed than mine.  But, I will add that two very important observations jumped out at me from their posts that I find worthy of repetition and further elaboration.

First, Cristy writes,

The truth is, those who are unresolved (in the trenches, so to speak) are going to have a very hard time distinguishing between healing and infertility amnesia. I know I most certainly did. After all, you’re in survival mode and one rarely is at their most reasonable and rational when they are fighting for their family.

Perhaps this will come off as yet more uncritical self-affirmation, but this comment resonated with me.  It went a long way toward granting me peace and helping me recognize that – as I sit here very much still in the trenches – my options are limited.  Yes, my current self-reflection rests on a bedrock of negativity, but, no, that doesn’t mean it always will.  I owe myself no expectation of rationality today as the battle rages, but do hope that time will bring greater clarity once the war is over.  I can strive to achieve what Cristy calls, “a genuine effort to move beyond.”

Josey hit even more to the heart of what I’ve been feeling when she reflects on the act of blogging/journaling itself.  She observes that,

[Posts of substance] are easier to come by when your life – your world – is full of turmoil and pain. At least for me, it has been easier to sit down and write deeply about the times that have made me cry in life than the times that have made me rejoice. I don’t know if it is because as children we are taught that gloating is bad and we shouldn’t rub it in, or if it’s simply because I often feel the need to work through my painful times with words and journaling but during the joyful times I tend to just revel in the moment. For whatever reason, I have to make a conscious effort to chronicle the good times as well as the bad, and slowly by surely, that is becoming easier.

It’s not lost on me that the moment I decided to go through with starting this blog was the moment we learned I’d be in for yet another drawn-out wait to try and conceive again.  We’re in a total standstill, and that standstill brings greater pain to my life than my miscarriages, my diagnoses, and my infertility.  When there are no daily injections, no trips to the doctor, no hard decisions, no second opinions, all that remains is the worry and the what if.  Is it any wonder that my daily self-reflection in this time of inactivity rehashes the same themes again and again?  With nothing new to add to the conversation, I just keep picking the same old scab.  I hope I find it in me to also reflect on the good, but for now the bad is front and center and it seems disingenuous to pretend it’s not.  Unless I want this blog to become a thing of fiction, I think it’s best to continue on in the current trajectory.

Yesterday over breakfast Mr. But IF and I realized that, should we ever get the all-clear to return to treatment, some hard decisions will have to be made about my blogging behavior.  Do I continue on with these grand highfalutin substantive posts alone, or do I provide nitty-gritty play-by-plays of the current cycle?  As hard as it might be to believe, when I started this blog I never considered that question.  I was so in need of an immediate outlet, a one-click venue to vent my anger and frustration at another delay, that I never considered that one day the delays might end, the realities of our lives might change, and the purpose of this blog might evolve.  For an aggressive over-planner like myself, this mental blind-spot is astounding.

Seeing as this blog was created in a moment of base raw emotions, why should I step back from those raw emotions solely because they might reveal a pregnancy or miscarriage in live time?  I will blog our journey as I need to blog it, safe in the knowledge that these acts of sharing might likely be a long first step on the path to healing.

10 thoughts on “Reinforcement and clarity

  1. Phew, this post was AWESOME.

    I hope that you will begin to realize in your heart that you are NOT alone in your current four cornerstones of anger, frustration, jealousy, and bitterness. My blog most certainly contained a LOT of that just 2-3 years ago. That’s real – it’s what’s going on in your life, and TTC is sort of all consuming. The breaks are almost harder, too, like you said. I know when we finally started seeing an RE and DOING something, it just felt like I had more control somehow (Ha!).

    The content of your blog will evolve as you evolve, and that’s okay. Mine started as a weight loss blog that usually ended up talking about my latest hangover. Now those posts are more rare, but they’re still there. 🙂 There is more to you than the ALI journey, and that is awesome, even if it’s hard to see when you’re in the midst of it.

    Best of luck on your journey…

    • Thank you so much for both your blog and your comment!

      (And, come to think of it, this hangover is a bit of a downer right now. “Come out for just the first set,” he said. “You only need to survive one more day of work,” she added. “Don’t you want to support a local band?” they asked. Where’s my coffee??…)

  2. What a fantastic post. It is very hard to self reflect when you are still fighting a hard battle. But you just did an amazing job. It is even harder when you are in limbo land not moving forward or back.

    It is a really really hard thing to do – blog about pregnancy and parenting when for three years you blogged about only infertility and dreaming of the former.

    For me. I don’t know. When I was hurting it helped to write and vent and get my frustrations out. Now sometimes it feels silly to write about the good times. Like, why? Josey’s point reminds me that it is ok to chronicle the good and the bad.

    I know what it feels like in the depths of infertile hell. I don’t think you ever really forget. However with the fortuitous benefit of hindsight I can say at whatever stage you determine when your IF journey will end it does start to get better.

    Good luck!

    • Thank you, and I really appreciate your final comment. It will get better, I know it will get better, and that’s a huge comfort. I think for so many of us we come in wondering if it will get better. Only recently have I been able to step back and accept the if, so now I just battle with the when and the how. But, that’s still one question down, and only a couple more to go.

    • It was just sooo odd to me that I never even considered that question before starting the blog. I mean, in the time since we’ve been trying I’ve obsessed over every last what if, but this big flaming question mark never occurred to me.

      I think you’ll have to find a balance between respecting his opinions, while also ensuring that your blog continues to be a productive way for you to work through everything you are going through. That’s not going to be an easy balance to find, but the payoff will be great if you do!

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