Disjointed thoughts on the path towards healingAugust 6, 2009
If you are struggling with loss and infertility you should read Peggy Orenstein’s book Waiting For Daisy. Not only is her book awesome she’s awesome. After my first miscarriage I wrote to her thanking her for telling her story and she wrote back with wonderful words of encouragement and perspective. We wrote back and forth for a while and then after miscarriage #2 I e-mailed her again asking for advice on how to get through this tough moment. She responded with great advice but one thing she said truly affected me: Treat yourself as you would a super close friend who was going through this. That one statement threw me. If I treated a friend the way I’ve been treating myself I’d have no friends. Cruel and hurtful thoughts even if towards oneself constitute emotional abuse which I don’t deserve.
Yesterday I came home early from work and flipped on Oprah for the first time in two years. The episode was about people coping with serious health issues. One person, a former ice skater, talked about surviving testicular cancer years earlier and then finding out he had a brain tumor. He said the first thing that came to mind was God, haven’t I done my time? I nodded as so often this thought comes to me. Wasn’t the infertility struggle enough? You have to shove my lollipop into the dirt after I worked so hard to get it? Twice?! Yet the man who is certainly in a more difficult situation than I am, is coping, dealing, living. I must learn to accept the waves of grief and uncertainty surrounding myself but I must teach myself to float and not sink to the ocean floor.
One of our friends almost got divorced recently. It was horrible with the little boy dragged into the mix in ways that will certainly yield therapy bills when he’s older. They’re back together now. They still resent one another but they don’t want to leave for the sake of their son. Another friend of ours is divorcing after fifteen years of marriage and four children. Through tears he told us, In the past ten years there is not one memory I have of a happy or peaceful moment with my wife. I looked at Jack and considered his recent words where he told me he wanted his wife back. He missed the girl he married. Life is difficult, but I must appreciate and not push away the only things keeping me afloat. Even walls crumble if left unmaintained.
I’m lucky for many things. More things than I can name. Just as lucky as I am to have those good things, I have to accept that the flipside of lucky also exists in all our lives including mine. Yet even in the misfortunate of infertility and miscarriage I’m lucky to live in a day and age where infertility treatments, and medication exist to diagnose and possibly treat what ails me. I look at blog rolls like Baby Loss Directory and Stirrup Queens and am overwhelmed with the fact that the majority of listed links are those who are now parents. The odds are in my favor and yours that we will be successful one day and get the thing that feels more dear to us than anything. I must tunnel vision towards hope with the determination to block out darkness as best I can. I know there will be times of darkness to come in this road but at least I’ve made some realizations that will hopefully help me bounce back faster when I stumble and fall.