Infertility, Stress, and Inner Narrators

3 years ago
Cooper on his Couch
I’m sorry everybody, I thought I would be feeling better today. It turns out that, nope, I feel worse. Apparently the cancelled cycle hurt more than I expected. I definitely don’t feel any relief this time, I just feel disappointed. I also feel sad. I feel kind of scared too.
I don’t know what it is like to go through a full cycle and not end up pregnant. I imagine that is pretty disappointing. I know it has been disappointing to me in the past, before the fertility treatments, when I thought I might be pregnant only to find out that, no – I wasn’t. I suspect that at least a few of those were very early miscarriages. I’m not sure if it even “counts” when it is less than a couple of actual weeks old – but I do know that it is still disappointing. I imagine that it might be even worse if you go through a whole cycle of medications, shots, mood swings, and other side effects just to find out that none of it worked.
 I have to imagine because, unfortunately, I haven’t even made it that far yet. I was cancelled mid-cycle last month because I had too many developed follicles and I was cancelled right away this month because I have one large cyst and too much estrogen. If I had gone ahead and taken the Clomid then the medication would basically just fuel the cyst more.
This is actually, apparently, fairly common. Cysts are aside effect of Clomid. Basically they develop because they are follicles that didn’t release they way they would have in a “normal” cycle situation.
I think that I am probably making more of this than necessary. I imagine that this is all very normal and that things will resolve themselves next month and we will be able to try again. That’s reasonable thinking.
Of course, today I don’t feel particularly reasonable. I mostly feel disappointed and depressed. I really just want to sleep and maybe float about my house in sort of a trance. Part of me feels like none of this is ever going to get any better.
In short, my depression (illness) is being activated by my situational depression.
Ever notice that when you’re depressed all of the less-than-optimal things in your life sort of just come rushing at you? Today I’m thinking about the fact that I don’t have a paying job and I haven’t had one for about a year – and even then it wasn’t a “regular” job.
 It’s amazing how things can take on the most negative possible cast. After all, of course I didn’t have a “normal” job – I was (and am) an independent entrepreneur. I still am. I am currently shifting my work focus. I took a couple of months “off” (while still applying for those “normal” jobs I keep hearing so much about) as I dealt with health issues, applying to Ph.D programs (which I did not get into – now isn’t a great time for wannabe History Ph.Ds), and the fact that I was probably going to need to change my career path. Now I’m doing this and, slowly, I am starting to gain some traction and some leads. I’m learning and I am getting better. 
But when you’re depressed your internal narrator can be a real jackass… and it is a lot harder to get them to STFU.
My inner narrator also likes to try to frighten me.
 For example, right now, my inner narrator is reminding me that Clomid can only be taken so long before your risks for cancer are substantially increased… so time is, as usual, a’wastin’. My inner narrator is asking me, “Aren’t you afraid that you’ll never get to go through a full cycle – that you just won’t respond to the medication correctly and you’ll always have to cancel? Or that you’ll waste all of your Clomid opportunities on cancelled cycles? What about this new information that John’s contract isn’t being renewed so we’re not sure if he’ll even have a job in November -- aren’t you afraid that you’ll end up just cancelling cycles until he doesn’t have the job that gives you insurance? You know that if he doesn’t have a job then you’re not going to be able to afford to pay out of pocket for the more advanced fertility treatments… oh, and, BTW, it seems like you just offended the only people who could possibly help you with that because you asked them to change their plans so that you could better manage your stress so you could have a better shot at making all of these treatments work… Aren’t you afraid that this is setting up to be a catch-22 where the people who you might have to ask for help are the same people who will require certain concessions from you that will stress you out so much that you won’t even be able to get pregnant? Aren’t you afraid that this is all for naught?”
Thanks inner voice, if I wasn’t frightened before, I am now. Also stressed out, so that is a huge f-ing help, you Gollum-esq bastard.
“You know that no one is going to want to read this now that you wrote all of that in the long block paragraph, right? So you’re going to be a failure at this whole writing thing too.”
Will you please just shut up, inner voice?
“Now people are going to think you’re crazy.”
Maybe. Or maybe they have a version of you too.
“Seems a bit of a risk to count on that, don’t you think?”
I don’t know friends, I just don’t know.
I should put some sort of header in here somewhere to break up the text… but I can’t for the life of me figure out where. Maybe right… HERE:
The Great Insight to Solve All Your Problems
There, that broke things up nicely, don’t you think? Sorry, though, it’s a lie. It turns out that I have no great insight that will solve any problems. Not yours, not mine. Yeah, sorry, I know that’s a bummer.
 I do have something for you (and me), though. When things get like this, you can’t stay there. NOTHING good comes from staying here. NOTHING good comes from continuing to give any credence to the asshole inner narrator. You have to flip the script. If you have even a glimmer of what might help you, you need to go do it. I need to go do it.
I’m going to take a nice warm shower with all of my lavender soaps and shampoos. I am going to spray my lavender room spray all over the house. I am going to drink this large bottle of water so that I am hydrated. I am going to take all of my medications and vitamins the way I am supposed to. I am going to drink that Sparkling Clementine Izze I have in the fridge, and I am going to put a Sprechers Root Beer in the fridge for later. (A lot of my self-care seems to include beverages.) I am going to eat a decent lunch.  I might walk about my neighborhood. I might plant some seeds. I might just rewatch Moone Boy on Hulu (you should watch that show if you haven’t already). I might watch some of the lighter episodes of DS9.
You’ll note, when you read this on the original blog , that there are a lot of pictures. That’s because I wanted to look at pretty pictures that make me smile a bit. Why? Because it helps. You have to do what helps. I have to do what helps. There are going to be some extra pictures at the end of this post, too, because, well, they make me smile.
And I am going to ignore the asshole inner narrator and listen instead, to the nice one that was apparently locked in a closet off stage.
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Photo Credit: Emily Kubley

I Try: The Additive Property of Happiness

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