...My brother rushed over with a gas grill, three coolers full of beer, and an enormous Fuck-It Bucket--a plastic pail filled with jawbreakers and bite-sized candy bars ("When shit brings you down, just say 'fuck it,' and eat yourself some motherfucking candy."). There was no electricity for close to a week. The yard was practically cleared of trees, and rain fell through the dozens of holes punched into the roof. It was a difficult time, but the two of them stuck it out, my brother placing his small, scarred hand on my father's shoulder to say, "Bitch, I'm here to tell you that it's going to be all right. We'll get through this shit, motherfucker, just you wait."I loved this essay so much not only because it was hysterically funny but because it felt like such a great attitude. The first time I heard this essay, I felt like that attitude was entirely within my reach and it was a great mindset where things didn't weigh you down. You rolled with the small disappointments and knew that there was always a light at the end of the tunnel. And if not, there was, at least, a handful of candy. This is the attitude I've been trying out for the last week or so.
When I heard this essay, it was at a point in my life where anything really horrible that had happened in my life up until that point was in my past. Time has a way of dulling emotional pain and making it seem more manageable. The reality was that I had gotten almost everything I had set out to do. I had gotten into college and grad school easily. I had my share of crappy relationships, but those were all in the past. I was dating this fantastic guy who had already told me that he wanted to marry me. Yes, I was anxious until he actually proposed many months later, but I also knew that it was more likely than not that I was with the person I would marry.
It was easy to be appeased for a day or two with a handful of candy with the kind of disappointments that popped up during that time period.
Last night, as my new attitude was lagging (attitude--not planner usage. I am still fully committed to the planner and being organized), I was thinking about this essay and I can't decide if the Rooster has weak-assed problems or a more enlightened attitude. Candy may have cheered me up a bit during those first months of trying-to-conceive, but it wasn't going to make a dent in the depression that occurred during treatments. When I'm told bad news, the last thing I want to do is eat.
Infertility makes me want to grab an RE by his lab jacket lapels and shake him continuously while I scream, "just help me, you motherfucker, get me pregnant now. Make me your number one priority. Look at my chart and research my blood work and sonogram results as thoroughly as I do. Find the problem. Fix it, you motherfucker, fix it." It's like those what ifs you always dreamed up when you were bored in math class. What if I jumped up on my desk right now and started high kicking everyone in the face who came near me? Would I be sent to the principal's office? Would I be ostracized by everyone for the rest of my time in high school? Would people talk about my nervous breakdown in the lunchroom that day?
Am I the only person who thought of these what ifs in math class?
I want to behave in the irrational, emotional manner that only seems to come out in dreams. I'm always rational Melissa who nods while the doctor is talking and asks sensible questions. I want to be dream Melissa, who shouts obscenities and lashes out and screams until the words are unintelligible because I am so frustrated. I am so completely frustrated that I can't make my body do what I want it to do. And I'm frustrated any time I need to depend on another person in order to get what I want or do what I want to do. No one takes care of me like me (except maybe Josh and my parents). And I get to a point where I'm just done. I am so finished. And I would walk away if I thought it would bring me any peace. Except that I know that in exercising the little control I have by walking away, I'm not winning anything. I'm certainly not gaining peace. I'm only gaining a sickening, "what the fuck am I doing?" feeling and a greater frustration that I still need to return even if I do leave because I still haven't achieved what I want.
How is candy going to fix that?
Last night, I was getting more and more frustrated, using fertility and my wonky cycles as a jumping board to vent on a long string of unfairnesses. People who don't return phone calls. People who string other people along without regard to the emotional damage in their wake. Broken promises. A inability to walk away. Time that is still moving forward, ovaries that are continuing to age, children who are growing up, and every month less hope rather than more hope. Or different hope. And at the core of it, every option looks like it contains the potential for frustration and disappointments.
In this moment, I am just done with the ups and downs that are supposed to be smoothed over by the Fuck-It Bucket. The common disappointments in life (because if it wasn't fertility, it would be something else) are making me want to throw my hands up in the air and scream "I quit." Except that I can't quit because this is the only life I get to live (until proven otherwise, this is what I have to work with) and I would feel deep regrets down the road if I walked away from any one of the number of spinning plates right now. If I let them crash on the floor, I have a feeling that I would always hold those pieces of broken china and say, "what if." What if I had just plugged away and tried something different or tried something again or kept putting my heart out there. If you're sitting around eating candy, you're not in the game. I want so badly to not care so deeply. To just say fuck it and not try so hard. Because it hurts so much--all the downs. Especially when they pile onto one another (another BFN? How about insurance woes too? And let's throw a new diagnosis into the mix.). But what can you do?
Either you're eating candy or your mouth is full of bitterness but you're moving forward to some resolution inch by inch.