Why not me?
I was speaking with a dear friend the other day. The kind of friend one doesn’t see often and that still, the amount of time gone by just doesn’t really matter. When we do see each other, we connect immediately and get down and dirty with what’s going on in our lives.
If she had been my friend while I was in fertility treatment and dealing with disappointment after disappointment, I think I would have confided in her.
I didn’t say, “why me?” a lot while facing infertility. I dove right in to managing the particulars. What had to be done. Which doctor to see. What fertility treatment protocol next?
Facing a Loss of Fertility
It’s an interesting question though, when dealing with a loss as major as fertility. Why do we expect to get through life unscathed? Grief surrounds us with infertility. It’s facing the loss of fertility, the apparent inability to successfully have your body undertake what we believe it is made to do. It’s having each monthly menstruation be a reminder. Or the lack of a regular menstrual cycle to remind us.
It’s astonishing how many things remind us of our loss of fertility. Babies, yes. Pregnant women, YES. Stroller ads, yes. Lollipops, yes (a big one for me, don’t know why). Invitations for children’s parties, baby showers, yes. Mother's day and Father’s day, yes.
All of these reminders open the wound of grief. So often there is only just a very thin membrane protecting us from the rest of the world. How many times did I burst into tears with just the tiniest provocation? It was so apparent that my pain was close enough to the surface that build up was as inevitable as the break down.
And break down, I did. And numb myself, I did. And isolate myself, I did.
I never asked myself why not me when other’s got sick. I assumed health and well being as my birth right. I lived with the clarity that my cells, organs and systems were functioning beautifully.
I was right.
Infertility Is Not Who You Are
While infertility is classified, rightly so, as a disease, I was not a disease.
You are not a disease. Even if you have one. Even if you feel diseased, that is not who you are as a person.
I was right. Most of my cells, organs and systems worked and continue to work very well.
I was not and am still not, perfect.
Possibly, neither are you.
And does it matter how we see ourselves?
I vote yes.
My sense of self was severely damaged by infertility problems. It affected how I saw myself in this world.
Still, I know I was right. I am a healthy, living, human being.
Still not perfect.
Much more content with understanding and accepting that these days.
Why not me?
You get to ask the questions.
And you get to answer the questions.
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In certain disciplines of yoga, questions or ideas are posed in the beginning of class to consider.
Recently, the focus was on change, which is inevitable. The second part of the thought was the question why.
Change is inevitable, time moves forward, choices are made, you move one way through life or another. Very often with infertility, you feel swept along by change as opposed to being in charge of your life; none the less, change comes.
The question of why and my reaction to it surprised me. My immediate reaction was, "why not"?
I was more than surprised, I was shocked. Kind of mindless, rather immature response, I thought.
You may think that I'm going to go in a yogi circle and find the upside to "why not", but in fact I'm not.
"Why not" can sound like it's an easy going, take it as it comes response. It can also be portrayed as a mindless, unthoughtful response.
Being present in the moment does not mean being mindless about the future that is only a breath away.
Infertility is powerful. You are powerful within your infertility. Being mindful, making thoughtful choices allows you to be present without resentment.
That's a mouthful. Present without resentment.
But you know what I mean.
Resentment builds up when you feel like you have no choice. That you are stuck. That the place you are, you have not chosen to be. That you have not chosen to be where you are and you hate being there and don't know how you can stand it one second longer.
That line of thinking was very prevalent while I was in fertility treatment. My level of resentment was huge.
Asking why at that point would have been a great way to focus my attention. I had an inkling that I needed that question; it was the reason that I took rather long breaks between treatment cycles. (I was very young- taking breaks was an option.)
I was in fertility treatment because I chose to be.
I did not have fertility as a choice.
I did enter treatment as a choice. I stayed in treatment as a choice.
And that's why, "why not?" is not an answer.
Make a choice.
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