To be authentic you have to be fake

It’s been a good weekend.  I don’t know if it’s the promise of renewed hope, the sunshine, or what but I actually felt like myself for the first time in over a year.  It was great!  I mentioned to my husband how good it was to be me again but that I knew it was somewhat bittersweet as at the moment the good times don’t last and it’s only a matter of time before I lose myself to this infertility beast again.  That was last night and here I am back in the doldrums today, ho hum. 

A shit morning at work and a comment that my moods are all over the place and it’s all over.  To be honest, I could have gotten over the crap at work easily enough but that comment as really thrown me.  I’m sure I’m working my way through SARAH (shock, anger, resentment, acceptance, help) at the moment although I’m thinking it might be a slightly different model (I’m going to run with AIA – anger, inconsolable, acceptance).  Right now I’m fluctuating between anger and inconsolable.  I just want to tell anyone who has a problem with my mood to walk a week in my shoes and then see how happy and stable their moods are.  To be honest if you get a smile and a conversation out of me you’re fuckin lucky, you’ve obviously caught me on a good day where I have some small amount of extra energy to slap a fake smile on my face and pretend like nothing’s wrong.  And trust me it is all fake.  Underneath I’m flat as a pancake.  One thing (of many) that this process has taken from me is my sociability. 

Two and a half years ago I was a chirpy little party bunny.  While never the social butterfly who can talk to anyone, I enjoyed hanging out with all sorts of different people and having a good time.  I partied with my work colleagues and happily chatted about their lives and their families.  Now that’s all just too hard and I struggle even to hang out with my friends let alone people I hardly know.  It’s near to impossible to have a social conversation without some form of kids or family popping up and right now I’m pretty frickin fragile when it comes to those topics.  In actual fact it’s hard to hold any kind of conversation because you’re constantly on edge, constantly prepping for those topics to arise, and working out how you can avoid that occurring.  Let’s face it infertility is the bitch no one wants to hang out with and if you happen to find yourself in her circle of friends you can’t help but pick up some of that bad energy.

Now I know the person who made the comment didn’t intend for it to be taken this way and I’m not at all angry or upset at them.  What I AM upset about is that people think of me that way when I’ve never been that person.  I feel like that’s not who I am or who I want to be but I just don’t have the energy at the moment to invest in changing that perception.  It takes every last ounce of energy I have to get myself to work, slap on that fake smile and make it through the day.  I don’t think I’m depressed, though I know I was a couple of months ago, it’s just that this whole process takes such a physical and emotional investment that there’s just no room for anything else.

So before you judge someone on face value it might pay to have a think about what else could be going on in their lives, and how hard it might be for them to give you the niceties that seem so vitally important to human co-existence. 

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4 responses to “To be authentic you have to be fake

  • newtoivf

    It is so hard to just keep going and being smiley… DH and I were making up after a fight the other day and he asked me if I could try to be a bit less moody… to which I replied “this IS me trying!! If I let myself act how I want to I’d fluctuate between sobbing in bed and breaking everything we own!” xx

  • Kitten

    I know how you feel. I’m a permanently changed woman because of infertility. I’ve regained a bit of my “old” self over time and with the help of my therapist, but I’ll never be the same. I think I’ll always dread meeting new people, because all that introductory small talk ALWAYS includes questions about kids.

  • Baby Hopeful

    Isn’t it funny how glimmers of our old selves come through sometimes to remind us what we used to be like before ttc. I totally know what you feel like though – the “old self” feelings are short lived before the “new self” comes creeping back in (or should I say – hurtling down like a tonne of bricks?).

  • Melanie

    “Now I know the person who made the comment didn’t intend for it to be taken this way and I’m not at all angry or upset at them. What I AM upset about is that people think of me that way when I’ve never been that person. I feel like that’s not who I am or who I want to be but I just don’t have the energy at the moment to invest in changing that perception. It takes every last ounce of energy I have to get myself to work, slap on that fake smile and make it through the day.”

    OMG YES, well said!

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