Thank you for the kind comments on that last post; my manifesto. Feel free to link to it or send the url anonymously to anyone you need. When I wrote it, I was so frustrated. Frustrated by the commentary of others and frustrated with the situation itself that brings out the tendency to need to turn temporarily inward. Women are raised with the word yes tattooed on their tongue. Yes, I will take care of that. Yes, I will attend. Yes, I will bake it/sew it/buy it/bring it.
I want to teach my daughter to say no when she needs to say no. It's a hard word to say. I really dislike turning someone down when they've invited me or asked me for something. Possibly turning down an invitation in order to do IVF? It makes me feel like shit.
Treatments sometimes feel like a giant mountain that is casting a shadow on everything else. You can't move it, it's exhausting to go around it, it is constantly in your field of vision.
We're still two cycles away from starting treatments again and they're already shaping our winter--making us work all plans around the possibility of a monitoring appointment or the timing of an injection.
Thinking about it sometimes makes me feel frozen. The closer we get to that appointment, the more emotional ground I'm uprooting. That imaginary soil has turned out anger, jealousy, and not a small amount of anxiety and indecision.
I think the best way to describe it is that I have arthritis of the soul and sometimes my thoughts just become frozen. What if? I am so paralyzed by the choices and not knowing what will happen next: do I take a chance with my first choice which isn't necessarily the best choice? Do I hold off and wait? Do I go to my second choice, which makes me feel sad, but is probably the better choice? That sort of thing.
When I was applying to grad school, I would go home every day after my last class and go to the mailbox to see if there were any acceptance letters. When the mail contained nothing, I would be so overwhelmed by all of the anxiety I had been carrying around all day and the disappointment of the mailbox trip and the uncertainty of my future that my first thought always was just to stop. To go to sleep. There are few choices with sleep and what will happen next is pretty much a given: you will close your eyes and you will be unconscious. I started calling this time of day mailbox narcolepsy.
I am feeling the pull of mailbox narcolepsy as I consider choices. They don't even have to be life-changing choices. Just getting all of the day-to-day stuff complete. Should I clean the house first or start the hummus? Should I say fuck-all to the cleaning and do some work? I guess the best way to describe it is that I feel like I'm on one of those people-movers at the aeroport. I hate to fly. Those people-movers, they bring you closer and closer to the place you need to be. But the place I need to be--whether it's on the plane or in the stirrups--just sucks. It's necessary and it has to happen. I have to fly if I want to get from point A to point B. And I have to go back to the clinic if I want to have a third child.
Unless I want to go with Plan B. With driving 8 hours instead of flying or adopting instead of treatments. The Plan Bs have their own issues.
They make me tired too.
I've always made quick, decisive choices. I don't look back. I've always been the type who has had little patience for those who are wishy washy when it comes to decision making. And now I'm stressing about whether or not to make a salad for lunch and eat it because you can't unring the lettuce bell once the salad is consumed. And what if something else would have been the better choice?
I have rarely experienced writer's block--when it happens, it is usually because I am out of practice and need to get back into the thing I am writing. It takes a day or two, but I usually find my groove. But for days, I've wanted to describe this state of feeling frozen and I haven't been able to do it. It has felt too overwhelming--not the act of writing, but the act of writing something specific. I've sat down at the computer and started this many times. I have Microsoft Paint drawing in wait and diagrams explaining this emotional state.
I'm happy; I'm fine. When I look at all on my plate right now, I feel like I have a decent meal. I like to be busy. Right now is much better than when I was starving and the plate was empty. Or when it was entirely filled with trash. But you know those dinners--when everything is fine and the day was okay and you were even happy through most of it? But, inexplicably, you're crying into your spaghetti and vegan meatballs? That state of crying when you can't even really put your finger on why you are crying or why you are frozen. That's what was happening at the beginning of the week.
To the untrained eye, they would read that last paragraph and say, "I'm worried about you; you sound depressed." But I know that you probably understand what I mean--how you can be laughing, having a perfectly normal dinner, and then the topic of a future event comes up and somehow, you end up in tears. It passes, you move back to laughing, but...well, you know how it feels when you glance out the window and see the mountain.
I feel like I am becoming more unstuck. Tonight, my best friend from college is coming. We have been friends for 15 years; this fall was our 15 year anniversary (yes, Jill, if you're reading, I'm talking about your SIL!). I met her the first day of Hebrew class. And I knew the moment I saw her that we would be those friends that grew old together.
Can I just talk about her for a second because she makes me so happy? One day, we were having breakfast and she told me that she was going to leave her job and bike through Southeast Asia. And she did it. She just picked up and left with her bicycle and went on this incredible adventure. This trip was preceded by similar trips through Central America and a half-a-year in Mexico. Travels through Europe and the Middle East. She has been everywhere.
When I'm with her, she reminds me to grab onto everything in the moment; to take chances, to put myself out there, to risk stability for great rewards. Everyone should have a friend like Amy to kick them in the ass from time to time with her sassy, adventurous foot.
You know how you feel when you enter the house and you close the door and you can completely be yourself? That is what it is like being with her.
Back to cleaning. And cooking. And preparing. And becoming unstuck.