4.25.2011

Putting myself in check

As per my usual Monday outlook, this morning I was feeling pretty blue.  I read through a few blogs and felt even more blue.  I realized I'm feeling a little out of place in the IF blogging community, since I'm not exactly working towards building my family at this time, and I'm not doing much to help the IF community either.  Meanwhile my bloggy buddies continue to TTC and graduate into pregnancy and parenthood, Bust Myths for NIAW, and support one another with enthusiasm.  I questioned my reasons for continuing to blog here, and wondered whether it was time to close up shop.  Then I read Mel's awesome post about the IF divide, and I realized how self-centered I've been.

In my women's group we talk quite a bit about being generous rather than judgmental in our thoughts, approaching people with an attitude of compassion and kindness, and generally making an effort to think the best of others.  But, my friends, I haven't been doing a very good job of that. 

Those of you who are pregnant may have noticed I rarely comment on your blogs nowadays.  I've even stopped following some bloggers because I couldn't handle the content of their posts.  On FB, I regularly block friends for sharing (okay, yes sometimes oversharing) about their pregnancies, babies and children.  Even my IF friends.  True, I need to do what's best for my emotional and mental well-being, but I also don't want to be that person.  The one who completely ditches the people who've supported me through my darkest hours just because I have days where I don't have the emotional fortitude to look at baby bump photos or read about fetal heart rates.

In her post, Mel explains that the women lucky enough to have made it across the chasm that divides the IFers still waiting for their miracle from those who've held their babies in their arms truly haven't forgotten the pain and longing that the rest of us still endure.  In my bitterness I've built this imaginary wall between "us" (the childless) and "them" (the lucky moms).  I built the wall because I didn't want to see their happiness for fear it would increase my own sadness, but I realize now that's completely backwards.  Once upon a time I almost made it to the other side myself, and for a few weeks I had a taste of the feelings that grads experience.  It was something like equal parts joy, guilt, gratitude, and a deep desire for everyone else still waiting in the wings to have their turn to feel that exhilaration.  I wanted nothing more than to be able to take everyone else by the hand who were still waiting, and pull them across that chasm to the other side with me.  The truth is, I'm the one who forgot what that felt like.

Who am I to believe I know how easy it is for those on the other side of the IF divide to forget their struggle to get there?  And who am I to begrudge them of their joy over making it to the other side?  Acting and thinking negatively only encourages more negativity in myself, and separating myself from others' happiness doesn't increase my own happiness, it decreases it.  I'm not saying I should ignore my own needs and well-being and force myself to be happy when I'd really rather curl up under the covers and cry.  I'm certainly entitled to my bad days.  But if I want to be a happier, less judgmental person (and I do), I need to practice being understanding and compassionate in my actions, words and thoughts more often than I practice bitterness.

I suppose in a way I'm busting a myth that's personal to me for NIAW - the one that says I have to be a Bitter Infertile.  I'm ready to make the effort to remove the word "bitter" from that title.  I'm sorry I let my own hang-ups keep me from being as supportive to some of you as you've been to me.

12 comments:

Kristy said...

Wow...I've been feeling exacatly the same way lately. I was even contemplating not talking to one of my very close friends that is pregnant for fear that I would become even more sad. But you're right....I need to be happy for them...and yes, I to need to remember. Thanks for this post!!

^J^ said...

Glad you've decided to stick around! And here's to hoping one day we both make it over to the "lucky moms" side!!

My Vegas said...

I **heart** you, Kitty. Really. I love your blog and I love reading it, so I hope you continue blogging about whatever it is you choose to write about.

Alex said...

What a great post - love this!!!

The Barreness said...

I am so glad you are sticking around! this is your blog and you can write about anything you want at any time...we all just love to hear your take on it.
Yeah for you!!

Angie said...

I'd certainly miss you if you weren't here anymore. I totally get it, and I'm trying very hard to be sensitive on my own blog. But I completely understand if you don't come "visit" for a while. I'll still "visit" you, though, if it's okay. Love ya!

Sarah said...

I can totally relate. Sometimes I read posts on blogs and don't relate at all. They talk of treatments etc, and that's not the path I chose. I've come to realize that every story is so different, its amazing. We all have different stories to tell and no story is the same. Your story isn't complete yet...

stink-bomb said...

don't beat yourself up too much. i used to consider myself a bitter infertile but after much soul searching i don't believe i am - what i am is a sad angry infertile.

i'm sad that i will never be a mum, i'm sad that i'll never get to hold my own child, i'm ANGRY that i'll never get to make Guv a Dad because he would be an awesome one, i'm ANGRY that we could provide a brilliant life for a child and yet for some unknown reason we are denied that opportunity.

every story IS different and we can all still offer each other support but it's very few who can relate and understand what it's like to have to walk away from your dream and live a childless life.

~x~

E said...

You have to do what you have to do to protect your well being. If I could change it, all of you would reach your dream and goals of having a baby.

I don't blame you.

Marianne said...

What a great post!! I am cycling for the first time ever...but every other single month since we got our diagnosis I have felt like you are feeling.

Heather said...

Thank you for sharing this post. I don't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable so I won't go into my own story. But I will never forget those that helped me along my IF journey.

Emily said...

Keep blogging Kitty, about whatever you want! I love to read your blog!!