Foreword: To any of my friends who read this blog please don’t take any of the below post the wrong way. It’s not you, it’s me.
Good news! I managed to finally pull myself out of the slump. Bad news? I can feel myself slipping back into it. I was doing really well this week, was trying to think positively again and be chirpy and upbeat. I even felt pretty much like myself on one or two of the days. Unfortunately I made the mistake of hanging out with my friends. I know that sounds like the most awful thing to say and it is. I love my friends to pieces and love spending time with them, I just think it probably wasn’t the best move given my current mental state. Stupid me had tricked myself into believing everything was ok again.
Overall it was really nice seeing everyone and catching up on what’s going on in their lives, and the first three quarters of the night felt like old times. I even held it together and happily talked about the latest pregnancies/births without feeling down. It was only when the conversation turned to kids duvet covers that things started to go downhill. It seems like such a stupid little thing but it’s funny the stupid little things that trigger you. Most of the time they make absolutely no sense, I mean I ‘survived’ the baby talks intact, surely if anything was going to trigger me that would right? No, bloody child duvet covers. WTF. I guess it’s something I can instinctively understand, something tangible that highlights the things I’m missing out on, and highlights the fact that I’m the odd one out. And I am the odd one out.
I do love listening to all the things my friends are going through but at the same time it hurts because these are things I may never get to experience. It’s interesting to hear everyone talk about their lives and how different yet similar everyone’s views and experiences are. I do struggle to participate though. I feel bad talking about my own life as it’s hard to hold a conversation without infertility entering into it in one form or another. Let’s face it, infertility is effecting 99% of my life right now. Whether it’s the drugs I’m taking that effect my mental and physical well-being, the multitude of blood tests and scans I go through on a monthly basis, the fact I can’t truly finish my house renovations cause there’s always the hope that we’ll need to accommodate a baby, the fact that all our spare cash is spent on treating this devil so we can’t actually do anything else, or even that I can’t walk outside my front door without running into a pregnant lady or baby. Infertility is my life. I feel like that buzz-kill at a party. Pretty soon it will be “don’t invite her along, all she does it talk about how she can’t have kids”. I feel guilty that that’s all I bring to the table. Although my friends ask questions and seem interested, I always feel like talking about my infertility is an imposition on the conversation, I try to brush it off like it’s nothing, to cover it off as quickly as possible and change the subject.
There is the flip side of course, because nothing could ever be straight forward could it. I often feel like I need to bring infertility up in conversation because a) this is something major I’m going through and I want them to understand (though most never will) what it’s like; and b) I want to raise awareness of infertility in general and stop it being this taboo topic that no one ever talks about. I often wonder if part of the reason I get so down is because it really is something that’s swept under the carpet, that awkward thing that no one’s ever quite sure how to respond to. If the world understood what infertility is and how it affects people, if it was perfectly normal to chat about infertility as if it were the weather (or babies!), if it felt like the fertile world wasn’t some exclusive club to gain access to, or if the infertile world wasn’t that troublesome relation that no one wants to acknowledge being related to, would I feel so alone and isolated in this process? If I felt it were normal to admit that I’m really struggling, or to talk about the stages of treatment without feeling like I’m a stuck record then perhaps everything would seem a little brighter.
I know it’s not my friends fault, it’s just the way things are. I’m sure many of them are genuinely interested (and I know they care), I know a lot of what I’m feeling is self-imposed but it’s just difficult not to feel like I’m boring them to tears. And it’s hard not to feel like I’m the kid without a bicycle being left behind in the dust.