This is my Infertility Manifesto. DH encouraged me to write this tonight after something clicked and he was able to understand more of what I've been trying to tell him for the past however many months.
I AM NORMAL. You won't usually see/hear me say that, since I usually take pride in being (at least) a bit eccentric. But when it comes to dealing with infertility and wanting to be a parent, I am normal. I'm not just pulling this out of thin air, I am basing this on what I have been told by my individual therapist, our couples therapist, and other infertile women that I have connected to through the internet and this blog.
When I am proud of myself for being able to walk past a magazine announcing another celebrity pregnancy and not tear up, I am normal. When I have trouble watching my favorite tv shows because they have pregnancies or infertility, I am normal. When I feel bitter or angry about other people being able to get pregnant so easily, I am normal. When I have a hard time making it through a day because of the pregnant people all around me, I am normal. When I weigh for the umpteenth time whether staying connected with friends and family via Facebook is worth the emotional slaps upside the head when yet another person announces their pregnancy, I am normal. When I feel happy for a friend and at the same time feel bitter and hopeless, I AM NORMAL.
Do I like feeling angry and bitter and hopeless? Of course not. Do I like flinching mentally when I see people that I like and care about? Of course not. Do I like feeling like I may never feel better if I don't become a parent one way or another? Of course not. Do I like that friends have lost out on things because of what I have and have not been able to handle? Of course not, and knowing that people lost out made some decisions much harder for me. Do I like that some of my friends end up in the situation of trying to figure out how to break the news to me? Definitely not, although I appreciate VERY much that they care enough to do what they can to make it easier. Do I like that DH feels pressure because of my feelings? Absolutely not. At the same time that my feelings cause problems for myself and others, they are normal and I AM NORMAL.
Some people have said that they don't think therapy and medication are helping me much at all because they don't see any improvement in my mood over time. What people who think that do not realize is that the amount of pain I have been feeling over the past 3 months is probably about double what I was experiencing in the months before that. So, if people haven't noticed much difference in me in the past few months, that actually means I have gotten significantly better at managing and not showing the stress and pain. You may not like that it's that way. I don't like it either. But that's what it is.
To add to Virginia Satir, I AM ME, I AM NORMAL, AND I AM OK.