What Happened to My Sanity?

The last few months have been a whirlwind of emotion and challenges being thrown at me. Oh and the need to make some big life decisions. And because of all of it, I haven’t been myself. I have been a mess. And I’ve actually been hiding because of it. Not only hiding from my online presence, but from my presence in real life.

Since December, my work schedule has been absolutely crazy. I wasn’t letting myself hate my job because of it, because in all reality, I loved and still love my job. But it threw me off of routine and routine is a huge requirement for my sanity. At least some semblance of routine. I lost that. But as of writing this, I have it back and it feels so freaking refreshing. Ahhhhhhhhhh………….

My last post was on March 8th. Five days later, one of Eddie’s aunts passed away after a long battle with heart issues. On our way to her funeral, I got the call that my mom was put on comfort measures – she was also in her final days. Just about a month prior, the nursing home had put her on hospice care in her same room because she had lost quite a bit of weight and was showing a bit more rapid decline. I was made to believe it could be six months to a year. It was about a month.

While attending a rosary and funeral mass for an amazing woman who had so much love to give and so many people that loved her, I was coordinating with my uncle the finality of my mom’s life. I wouldn’t show any emotion regarding my mom because I felt guilty that I was preoccupied with something other than the whole point we went back to NM. I also had to reach out to my sister’s who I hadn’t talked to in years. That’s another story, maybe for another time. Regardless, more stress.

The night after the funeral mass for Eddie’s aunt, my mom died. I found out early the next morning. The funeral home picked her up, did the embalming and testing for the university body donation, and she was delivered to the university. That was it. No funeral. Nobody outside of my grandma (my mom’s ex-mother-in-law) and my younger sister were willing to gather to do anything. It absolutely sucks knowing that while yes, my mom burned so many bridges, her own blood wasn’t willing to get together. They didn’t see the point.

I struggled with not showing emotion because I felt guilty while also feeling like a shitty daughter because I didn’t force people to get together. I did nothing for her. It still eats at me. So does the fact that it is absolutely final that I will never have the chance to repair that relationship. I knew that with her Alzheimer’s diagnosis and her rapid progression, but her death made it all so very final.

Some days I still feel like I have no right to cry over her death and the finality of not being able to repair the relationship since I was the one who put up the wall. This is something I will really have to work on.

After all of that, we decided to go ahead and go through one round of IUI to try to conceive. We had already done one round of Femara, but that didn’t work. When we talked it over with the doctor, we told him this was the only shot we were going to try because just doing the Femara screwed up my hormones and sanity. I wasn’t willing to keep going through that multiple times. Our doctor couldn’t understand what I was talking about, but I guess I’m one of the lucky ones who absolutely cannot handle drastic hormonal changes. We went all out with Femara and FSH and a trigger shot. After the IUI, I didn’t drink alcohol, I didn’t workout, I didn’t lift even a case of water. I had so many follicles that matured, the doctor would only proceed with the IUI if he aspirated the remaining follicles that had not started the ovulation process. I responded too well to the drugs. I had the potential to have 4 eggs fertilize. That was a chance we were willing to take.

During the two week wait, Eddie’s grandma also passed away. Nobody saw this coming. She was doing so well and was so lively. We drove back once again for her rosary and funeral mass. On the way home, I started my period – two days early. I was devastated. I cried so much of the remainder of the drive.

We decided that we needed our life back outside of trying to get pregnant. No more fertility assistance. No more tracking ovulation and intercourse. No more timing intercourse. No more. We are both of the mind that it is okay if we don’t have our own. Adoption is not something we want to explore right now because we need to get back to just us before we go that stressful route.

All through this, I was planning a baby shower with two other friends. I was having a blast and loving it. I loved being included and part of the planning. When I was feeling pessimistic about the IUI, the baby shower planning pulled me through. It even put me on track after discovering the IUI didn’t work. Until the night of the baby shower. I enjoyed the strawberry mojitos REALLY well and was doing great during the baby shower. I had so much fun and loved seeing our friend’s face with all she received and all the surprises. It was (and still is) a blessing to be part of that. But then it was over. And she left. And I started cleaning up. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I would never have a baby shower for our baby. Saying this sentence brings me to tears every time.

Then there is the upcoming shower for our niece’s first baby. We have been shopping and hunting for great condition used items because we are in the best place ever to find them. I even booked a ticket to fly back right after a long vacation to be at the baby shower. But then it hit. I don’t know that I really want to go. I’m looking for all this baby stuff and it isn’t even for us.

Let me stop right here. I have ALWAYS said I am not going to be angry at people for getting pregnant and I am not going to shy away from going to people’s baby showers because I’m not having one. I still am not angry at other’s for getting pregnant, even if they are oops pregnancies (Except when they leave their kids in hot cars and they die! Or they abuse their child resulting in injury and even death!) I don’t wish any other person to go through the infertility journey. Please get pregnant and enjoy your pregnancy. And I truly do want to partake in the celebration of the baby’s that other’s are having. Even as I write this, I want to be at our niece’s baby shower. I do! But maybe that will be a high and low kind of thing. Maybe some days I want to go and maybe some it feels like torture. I don’t know. Either way, I’m going to be there and I am going to give more gifts. And if that is an off day for me, you will never know it. It is your day, my dear, and I’m going to make sure that you enjoy it!

I have always been one to be aiming towards something in life. And for the couple of years that I wasn’t, I was a complete mess, not that I knew it at the time. So when we stopped trying, I put it in my mind that the only other option was to say no kids and live life without hope of one day getting pregnant because it would be easier that way.

Except it isn’t. And I think that is where my breakdown after the baby shower and the feeling of not wanting to go to another baby shower came from.

Eddie and I had talked about what we would do if we didn’t have kids. We would finish the house, sell it, get a place that was mainly garage, and spend time overlanding and exploring in our 4Runner. We would enjoy just being us. So that is what I focused on. But it wasn’t a big goal for me. It didn’t feel like a direction in life that I had planned for. So I focused on it more and more, trying to get myself to truly want it. That made my sanity worse.

All the while, I shut down and didn’t want people in my life. I didn’t want to share it anymore. Why would I? I thought there was nothing to share. I hit critical mess status.

Until I decided to pick up my personal development again after not having any time for it for a few months. My book of choice was I Am That Girl that I have been trying to finish for months. Thank you Alexis Jones for slapping this girl in the face. I really needed it.

Side note: I didn’t talk about any of these feelings to anyone, not even Eddie, the one who I can share EVERYTHING with. I kept it all inside. Nobody was permitted in because nobody would understand and everybody would think I’m just weak.

I only read five-ish pages after picking it up because in those five pages, the flood gates opened for the breakdown that I needed.

The pages were wise words from Francesca Adler-Baeder. She talked about pacing ourselves, seizing opportunities, taking time to be with friends and loved ones without feeling pressured to be successful, and pruning the shoulds from our schedule to replace with the want tos.

Then Alexis Jones talked about being everything to everyone and not being just you. She says:

To be “that girl” means that you’re allowed to make mistakes, change your mind, start anew, and reinvent yourself. “That girl” is in all of us. It is the pearl that we sometimes forget or misplace, but never lose. Mot of us have to go looking for her, dust her off, and shine her up a bit, but she’s always and forever the most beautiful part of us. She is timeless, not affected by gravity, wrinkles, or gray hair.”

To be “that girl” just means you’re going to give life your best shot, that you’re not going to make excuses or justifications, that you’re going to go for it, whatever that means for you……..
……Being “that girl” means you are a constant work in progress – you’re willing to be vulnerable, flawed, and compassionate and are someone who stumbles and falls but isn’t afraid to admit her shortcomings in the midst of her magnificence.

I lost it after reading this. I put my bookmark back in my book, walked to my bathroom, grabbed my box of tissue, and lost it.

I wrote in my journal for the first time in two years. Some of what I wrote that I was feeling was: that I felt so alone; I wanted to just rack up more debt to finish the house and sell it because we don’t need something for kids ’cause that’s obviously not happening; I wanted to destroy the onesies we bought when we anticipated getting pregnant any day.

I felt so alone because I know that my husband doesn’t have the same emotional feelings and doesn’t necessarily understand them; because my friends have kids, are pregnant, or haven’t started trying; because those that went through infertility have kids, either naturally or by adoption and have had identifiable reasons for why they had trouble getting pregnant (not unexplained infertility); because the one friend I know that is still in her infertility journey leads a much different life and is so strong in her faith that it feels that she won’t understand me; and the one other woman I know in the journey, I’m not sure if she calls me a friend or wants to grow through this journey together; because I feel like all family wants is us to have a kid and doesn’t understand how much I feel like a failure because my body won’t deliver.

I cleaned up and decided that I still wasn’t going to talk to anyone because there was no need. Nobody would understand.

Then on our way to get froyo, I blurted out asking Eddie how he was doing with the situation – of course, my strong, loving husband had the simple “I’m fine” response. I hated that I asked and hoped he wouldn’t ask me. But he did. And as I was driving it all just came out, with a pause to go in and get our froyo. While he may not understand the emotional feelings I have (yup, I still feel like a failure because it is my body that won’t make the damn baby), he wants me to talk to him so he can be there for me, even if he has no words to help me.

One thing we talked about what my need to have a direction, a defined direction that is almost, for certain going to happen (you know, like graduating college or us getting married). He doesn’t understand this need, but helped me come up with two and helped me realize that it is okay to have more than one and they can be “if this happens, then this”. I don’t have to have a specific definition for life. Shaun T put this quote on his IG recently and my conversation with Eddie simply compounded on it. Having children isn’t necessarily the meaning of my life. I get to define what that meaning is. Right now, I want to define it as being happy. The meaning of my life right now is to be happy, no matter what.

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A lot of other feelings came up as well, since this whole mess has hit every aspect of my life. We talked about me having a hard time going places because I don’t want pity/sympathy looks from other women. I can’t stand that feeling of having others look at me with these eyes of sympathy. It feel demeaning to me. Why? I don’t know. Eddie thinks maybe it is because I don’t accept it or know how to accept others actually caring about me. Um, yeah, that probably is it. I really don’t know how those that you see occasionally or once a week could care about me. Never had it. Don’t know how to handle it or how to know if it is sincere. So my lesson here was that while other’s may look at me with sympathy, it is because they care about me.

And there was the fact of not wanting to talk to my close friends about these feelings because I don’t want anything to change with the closeness we have with them being pregnant/having kids. I am terrified of not being included anymore because I’m the one struggling with infertility and they are afraid I don’t want to or can’t handle being included. To my dear friend who has refers to me as Aunt Crystal to her daughter, you don’t know how much this means to me. To my cousin who included me in the touching gift request for your daughter, I want to write that letter, but it will be drastically postponed until I work on me first, but I REALLY do want to write it.

And to Alexis Jones, when you wrote the following in I Am That Girl, thank you. I needed those words at this exact moment.

We are prisoners of our own minds, limited only by the extent of our own thoughts and looking everywhere but inside for permission and approval.

To those who follow me for inspiration – I am sorry I haven’t provided any lately, I’ve been a mess. Hopefully me sharing this with you shows that we may go along so freaking great and then hit some wall and life becomes this path of what feels like destruction, but we can work towards getting back out of it. It takes identifying it and being willing to work on it. We don’t all have to share it, but working on it goes amazing distances.

To my wonderful husband – I seriously couldn’t live without you. I need you more than you probably will ever know. You inspire me everyday to live life happier and more free. You are my rock.

To all of those who are wondering if they should share their thoughts because they don’t want to come off as showing sympathy due to my paragraph above, please share whatever is on your mind. I’m working through not understanding what friends, even those I don’t see that often, mean and that they truly do care.

To the family that is afraid to talk to me about it, I feel like you care about us (Eddie and I) when we do have the long conversations about it.

I will admit that I don’t know where this blog/website will go from here. I don’t know what the future holds for it. At the moment, I want to continue it so I can provide more content that you can relate to for those who are like me. But I don’t know what that will look like. If you are like me and you have stumbled across my page, feel free to reach out to me. The only thing I will say is I can’t do long lasting pity parties, they bring me down and make it difficult to get back up (again thank you I Am That Girl for pulling me right on out of mine that I was trying to hide).

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