You know what sucks about being educated and self-aware while TTC-ing? Knowing what a tool you’re being while going through your 28 day cycles. After doing that 15 times in a row, I know what an incredible jerk I am being every month- to my husband, to my friends and to my family.
The five original stages of grief of the Kubler-Ross model are:
For me, I always start a new cycle in stages four and five: Depression and Acceptance. When Aunt Flo arrives, there is no more tricking yourself into believing it was just a false negative on your test (Stage One- Denial.) That maybe you counted your days incorrectly, and you took the test too early (Stage Three- Bargaining.) That’s when I really have to accept that the previous cycle was a bust, but that doesn’t help me feel better about it.
I end up wallowing in my self-pity for at least three days a cycle. And I mean, I really let it have full reign over me. I eat badly. I think negative thoughts about myself. I sometimes refrain from social activities. I close my office door at work to avoid associating with my co-workers. I am a miserable little shit for about three days every damn month.
But then, I start to think about the next cycle. Usually by now (day two of my cycle) I’m on my next round of Clomid or Femara. And taking a pill to induce ovulation makes you think to the future. And it starts to make you hope. So I start to really give into stage five acceptance and try to start again.
However this cycle…this cycle we are taking a break from TTC. No pills, no injections, no ultrasounds and blood work. And so there is nothing to really pull me out of my funk. Add to that the holiday hubbub, and well, I’m a bit down.
You could barely get me to speak on Monday of this week. On Tuesday, I turned my Facebook profile picture to a black block of nothing. And last night, I refused to smile for a picture my husband wanted to take of me in my NaNoWriMo ‘Winner’ T-shirt.
This, of course, worries my family and friends. They think I might do something drastic. And I know I’m being ridiculous. But I just can’t help it. I wonder if anyone ever came up with a ‘Stages of Guilt’ model. Because I go through that too.
During my three or more days a cycle in which I’m being depressed, I start as self-righteous in my pain. No one understands me. No one could possibly hurt as much as I do.
Then, as I start to come out of that, I feel guilty for what I put my family and friends through when I do this. I know they care about me. During my self-righteous period though, they don’t really care (in my mind.) But after that, I know I’m a little shit.
I’m just starting to come out of that stage again. But the holidays keep bringing me back in. My husband asked me last night if I had any inclination what was contained in my presents under the tree. And in response I just sobbed. Because I’m pretty damn sure that none of them contain a baby. That would just be inhumane.
There are just little things everyday that pull me in. Things that make me want to give in and become non responsive. What pulls me out is the thought of upsetting my family and friends with my behavior. I guess that’s why we constructed a society at all. Keep law and order about for the well-being of mankind and keep desperate women like me from crawling into a ball of despair. That’s it. No other reasons for humanity to form societies.
*Sigh* It’s been a good exercise to write this all down. It won’t make the holidays any easier, but it has given me some perspective Maybe it will help someone else going through infertility.