Sunday, October 15, 2006

Used to be ...

How do we get ourselves back again? After devoting so much of our time, energy, personality and years, will I ever return to me?

I feel like a lot of what is the essential core of me has been hijacked. Of course, to the casual observer, I still seem like me. But to those who know me, the spark has gone. The energy, the drive, the determination, the freedom - not seen in a long time.

I have just sold my apartment that I lived in when I met AB. I kept it when we bought our house and we rented it out for a few years. I liked that I still had it - I always imagined my children would use it as a stepping stone to independence when they first wanted to leave home. But, it made us a lot of money and AB's accountant brother told us it's time to cash in and use the money elsewhere (yeah, like IVF maybe?).

The other day we went out to give it a final clean and change a few light globes etc. before it settled. I had the deepest feeling of melancholoy while I was there that stayed with me all day (and a few after that as well). I regretted selling it and remembered choosing colours, my Dad helping me paint, the wrought iron stair rail that a friend made for me and, most of all, the life I had while I was living there. It was a 5 minute walk to work, to the beach and to town and it was just me and my cat, my work and my friends. I had a busy social life (that I didn't resent), I travelled, I was studying and loving it, as well as work and life in general. I was fit, happy and healthy.

I wasn't infertile.

AB asked me what was wrong, so I told him of my melancholoy. I told him of the me I was then (the one he met and fell in love with) and that I really loved my life at that time. He asked me:
"Don't you like your life now?"
"Not so much," I replied.

I'm not unhappy, but I have no joy. I don't enjoy myself as I used to and I carry this burden with me everywhere. Even when we're not thinking of it, it's always there, isn't it? Even when I'm trying to be normal, it's there. I just want to lose myself in mirth again. To remember the excitement of anticipation and to just be silly.

I fear that it has been lost forever. And I'll be this serious, obsessed, boring person for all who meet me. I wan't to say 'fuck it' and let loose ... have a few drinks and roll around laughing ... to forget about IVF and IF and enjoy my husband, my friends, my family again, rather than avoiding them because it's all too hard.

The only social interaction I seem to be having is inside my computer. Not that I don't appreciate and value these relationships of course, but I miss my real friends as well.

Most of all though, I miss myself.


At 9:48 pm, Blogger Emmie said...

This is a really great post. You articulate so well what infertility does to us. Hang in there. I wish somebody could tell us that our old selves will return.

At 12:43 am, Blogger Mary Ellen and Steve said...

I am so sorry that you are sad about giving up your apartment. It is amazing how infertility changes us. It has changed me in ways I would have never imagined.

I'm with Emmie. It would be wonderful if someone could tell us that our old selves would return someday soon.

At 1:10 pm, Blogger Kris said...

I'm a new me, too. Decaf Kris. Almost like the real thing. Not bad, exactly, but definitely lacking.

At 4:51 pm, Blogger Sparkle said...

I don't even recognise myself anymore.

What I really don't like about the new me - is the anger that seems to constantly simmer below the surface. with love ... out with anger ...

At 9:37 pm, Blogger Bea said...

I don't know if I want the old me back. She was kind of lightweight, after all. What I do want is a better me. Better than the one I have now. If I work out how, I'll let you know.


At 10:08 pm, Blogger Vee said...

I hear you Stella and I can relate to what you have written. I feel I lost so much, personality, happiness, motivation and more.

Hopefully when we get our dream then they will bring it all back for us.

At 11:34 pm, Blogger N said...

Me too! You are writing about me, too. It's a wonderful post. So sad to read. I want myself back too!

At 3:42 am, Blogger TeamWinks said...

What is difficult is that emotion that lies just below the surface. The tears with just a little prompting will flow. A Pampers commercial can bring them on. I'm with Bea though. I don't want the old me back. I feel marinated. It's going to take us a while to get our family put together, but with all this wait we will be much more tender when we get there.

At 4:47 am, Blogger Heather said...

Golly, where did we all go? I know I'm missing - I'm out there somewhere. I bet I'm still dancing and laughing like I used to. I hope we are happy wherever we are.

At 6:59 am, Anonymous Watson said...

What a great post -- you really express what so many of us are feeling.

I think IF takes such a toll, it's hard to imagine who I will be at the end of this road.

I can only hope it's a new and improved version over the bitter and depressed current model...

It's probably small comfort, but you're not alone.

At 10:52 am, Blogger My Reality said...

I can't tell you how close to home this post hits. I was feeling the same way all weekend after exchanging emails with an old friend, one from my pre-infertility days. It made me long for what I had and made me realize how frustrated I am with myself right now. I am stuck. I don't know how to get unstuck. I just keep holding onto the fact that this can't last forever. Someway, somehow, things will change. They just have to.

At 10:54 pm, Anonymous Jen said...

I don't think we ever get back "that" us, instead we learn to find a new us one that is fresh that doesnt have the left over dreams we had when we were younger laying in wait to torment us at random moments. perky arn't i, but I do believe it, IF is hard it changes us forever and like that stupid song/movie/book/play there is no going back. so I'll pour a huge glass of red and toast the new you the stronger quieter deeper you the you that knows empathy and saddness intimately and is a better person for it.

At 6:19 am, Blogger Piccinigirl said...

oh your crawled inside me and wrote exactly what I have been feeling. The whole post is true, I am not ME anymore and I doubt that that girl will ever be back because she was fun, innocent, hopeful : three things I have not been in quite a while.
We are all here for you, but I know that you feel like you want to just go back to the place before IF took the good parts of you away. I think all of us feel that way . Some days I just thank the heavens that I have all of you to take the journey with me , because it's a lonely one by itself.

You are stronger than you know!!!

At 9:02 am, Anonymous Meri-ann said...

Wow, this post speaks to me so much.

I think you have just described what each and every one of us struggling with IF experiences, a diluted version of ourselves that is afraid of our own shadows.

Fabulous post.


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