Thursday, July 04, 2013

Hope and Despair

Christy at Searching for our Silver Lining asked me about a comment I made in another post about struggling with the question of hope versus despair.  In his post about infertility, Steve Wiens asserts that it's ok to hope.  But for me, it's not.  For me, having hope just makes the despair worse when I fail, when I am failed by my body.

I've watched The Dark Knight Rises several times recently, and there's something Bane says that captures it for me.  Yes, I'm looking to Bane for philosophy, but it fits.  "There's a reason why this prison is the worst hell on earth... Hope. Every man who has ventured here over the centuries has looked up to the light and imagined climbing to freedom. So easy... So simple... And like shipwrecked men turning to sea water from uncontrollable thirst, many have died trying. I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope. "

That's the danger of hope.  The despair is going to be there no matter what.  But when I still let myself hope before, the fall was worse because it was from a greater height.  The months when I had no hope truly were easier than the ones where I thought something could happen.

I'm glad that other people have hope for me.  It touched me deeply when a friend of mine told me a couple years ago that she would hold my hope for me until I was ready for it.  There are a few other people that I know have hope that I will be a mother someday, and it means the world to me that they do.

But I can't.


  1. I get where you're coming from. What you're describing is rational that I've also used to steal myself when doing something difficult that has a chance of failure. After all, it seems so naive to be so hopeful when the pain can be so great.

    But what I'm learning is that this type of thinking can backfire. That there is a mind/body connection where one's approach can tip the balance towards certain outcomes. With this last cycle, my therapist really encouraged me not to steal myself, viewing it as poisonous to our embryos. I'm not saying that by being so positive equalled this cycle working, but I do know that having my mood be a better place allowed me to tolerate the whole process a lot better.

    I too hold out hope for you for motherhood. I know that in the meantime you have a lot on your plate, but remember there are different forms of hope. Wishing you love and peace.

  2. Kechara, thank you so much for this post. I recently decided to stop treatment for my infertility and have been having a lot of conversations about hope lately. People (even my husband) are saying that they'll continue to hope that one day we'll get pregnant, but I can't move on with my life like that.

    Hope can be a beautiful thing, but with infertility it turned into the single most caustic, crippling emotion in my life. Letting go was life changing.

    Don't ever let anyone make you feel guilty for deciding not to carry a torch that was burning your arm off.