Tuesday, January 26, 2010

always the bridesmaid

Yesterday afternoon, my "happy" streak broke a little and I started to feel panicky thinking about everything coming up in the next few months, much of it having to do with babies . . . other people's babies. Baby showers. Baptisms. Weddings with babies in them. Though I'm still in a very positive frame of mind, I'm anticipating a breakdown at some point. The anxiety started to hit yesterday and I don't want it to spiral out of control. So I called my new RE. They won't prescribe me anything for anxiety unless I talk to my GP first. I haven't seen my GP in years, but he knows my history with anxiety and was my doctor when I went through my breakdown at 17. He agreed to meet with me next Tuesday morning at 7 and write me something to help me get through the next few months.

Don't get the wrong idea. I'm not a pill popper. This is not normally how I like to deal with things. I was on medication for years and stopped taking it because I wanted to face things head on. Instead, I went to counseling and did yoga. But right now I don't have the time or the money to do those things. So instead I want something that will help me to not break down in tears in front of rooms full of people.

It's difficult for Joey to understand why I get panicky about baby showers and things like that. His philosophy is that I should just suck it up and deal. In his words, "It has nothing to do with us."

Why is it that men and women have different reactions to situations like this? Is it purely emotional for women? Is it because of jealousy? When I talked to my mom about it last night, the only way I knew how to describe what baby showers felt was this: It's would be like asking a friend to be your maid of honor at your wedding when she just got left at the altar. She doesn't want to plan your bridal shower and watch you open your gifts. She doesn't want to be the one who has to help you pick out your perfect dress, shoes, and accessories. She doesn't want to have to hear about how excellent your honeymoon was and how you feel "complete" now that you are a Mrs. She's happy for you, yes, but inside she hurts.

Despite the smile on my face, inside I hurt. I feel like the jilted bride. Like the girl who was left at the altar because she wasn't the kind of girl that someone wanted to marry. How do I put on a bridesmaid's dress not knowing if I will ever get to be the bride?

33 comments:

Stefanie Blakely said...

Never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Being able to admit that you need some help is the definition of strength.

Before TTC I weaned myself off my Wellbutrin (depression) and Ativan (anxiety). I tried Zoloft, but I hated the sexual side effects... When we first started seeing the RE, she was adamant that I tell her if I needed to go back on them or try something else.

I'm feeling ok now, but am really trying to stay in tune with how I'm feeling and be honest about my needs.

Anxiety is a terrible feeling. I hope you find something that settles you.

Crazy Cat Lady said...

What a perfect analogy! So true!

A said...

My DH always says "Why aren't you happy for them?" when I get an attitude about some (less than grateful) fertile being (accidentally, but it's fine) pregnant. I *am* happy for them, but I'm sad for me. I think for guys, they are either 100% happy or sad or whatever. I don't think they understand feeling two different things at once. It is crazy- I don't understand how they can do it!

I hope you can work with your GP to ease your anxiety about the upcoming months. (hug)

Crossed Fingers said...

That is a great analogy. I hope your GP is able to help you out for the next few months. I'm sure your DH is just trying to "help" you by saying those things, I don't think men realize how much more emotional women are vs. men.

Al said...

Such a perfect analogy, Katie. I think it's a important to take care of yourself - only you can know what you need. hugs and know that we're here for you.

Kelli-Sue said...

I have to take meds for anxiety sometimes its nothing to be ashamed of. Good luck, I hope you find something to help you through the next few mons! You surely have a lot going on.

2catdaughters said...

Your analogy is perfect. It's not necessarily jealousy that fuels all those emotions, it has more to do with what is happening to you and how you're hurting inside. I think that's hard for some people to understand.

We have similar stories. I had a lot of problems with depression and anxiety when I was 18 and took meds for years. I weaned myself off the same way you did--counseling and yoga. Counseling has worked for me with everything else that has come my way since then but I wouldn't hesitate to go get something if I felt I needed it. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. (((hugs)))

Dawn said...

That is a great analogy, Katie! I think it’s worse because it’s like we get left at the alter every.single.month.

While I think that men get sad when we aren’t successful each month I also don’t think the feel the loss as strongly as we do since we get to overanalyze each symptom during the 2WW and then feel betrayed by our bodies!

I hope you find something to help you ease your anxiety. You don’t want to spend the next few months in agony.

Leelers♥ said...

Great post darling :) I love to read everything you write.

Kelly said...

I agree with you and think you offered a great analogy. I wish men and others understood.

Bottom line, I'm glad that you're getting help if you feel that you need it. (((HUGS)))

Rebecca said...

I was on anti-anxiety meds for years, too, and there are many times, now, where I know that I probably should have gone back on. So, please do not feel guilty or upset for needing the help. It is most important that you feel healthy and strong and able to deal with the craziness that is about to ensue.

I think I may borrow your analogy. Why is it that people can understand the bride/bridesmaid problem but not the baby shower problem? When I told my mother that my SIL's birthday was overwhelming for me because there were five babies under 2 there she said "oh, how wonderful to see so many babies!" After I just told her how hard it was to be there! Yeesh.

suchagoodegg said...

Could you have hit the nail any harder on the head? Seriously, this is a perfect analogy. I was sweaty and choked up during the last shower I went to. My Mom said, "Next time, you politely decline immediately and you do NOT put yourself through that." But yeah, there are weddings with babies coming up and friends who's showers I can't just politely blow off...so that only works up to a point.

I'm glad you're talking with your RE and GP abt what you need. You have to look out for yourself, and that takes a lot of courage and strength. You've got 'em both.

Fertility Guy said...

Stopping by via ICLW - thank you for visiting my blog and for your nice words. I am now following your blog. I confess, as a guy, I don't always "get" the baby shower stuff that my wife goes through - this analogy has helped a lot. Thank you.

JC said...

I agree, perfect analogy. And my hubby would say the same thing!!! UGH I just want to smack him sometimes. Just goes to show how different guys are from us girls. They will never quite "get it" or understand exactly what we're feeling. I would feel that way too. I agree also that it's good you recognized the way you're feeling and I'm glad your GP can get you in next week. Too bad you can't skip town and miss all the baby events.

nicolemarie said...

I'm glad that you're at least taking care of yourself... I suffer from anxiety too, and was on medicine for a long time in high school but like you I said I wanted to stop relying on meds to fix me. However, I now see that I need something to just take the edge of sometimes. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. It's very good that you've identified the problem you need help dealing with, so it's not like you're just running to pills in general.

I wish there was something more that I could say besides I'm sorry. You're in my thoughts daily... hang in there!

T Lee said...

It has nothing to do with 'us' as a couple, but it has everything to do with what I wish for 'us.' That's what's so hard for men to process, I think. The what-ifs of a situation.
I lucked out, the last few showers I went to, there was booze. And I was not cycling. w00t

ICLW

Astrid said...

Great analogy. It's so funny I just got finished writing a post about how clueless my DH is about the emotions I invest in this process and how frustrating that can be when it manifests in trying to making plans when he just doesn't get it. I am a full supporter of going to the drugs when they're needed for anxiety, it's not just about keeping up appearances, it's also about physical health and stemming the flow of mental health out the window and ALL of these things are important. I went to therapy for over a year for panic attacks and anxiety and had a very anti-med psychologist. I was so achingly mad at her when i finally talked to a real doctor and realized how beneficial zoloft turned out to be. It could have saved so much pain. I'm glad you're getting help when you need it. I've been meaning to try yoga, it's nice to hear an endorsement like this.

Jen said...

I think you should take whatever measures necessary to help make your self happy and relive some stress in your life. You've had A LOT going!

Jen said...

My DH would say the exact same thing. They just don't get it. I am still on meds for anxiety; I know that is what I need to do; hopefully your GP will help you figure out the best thing for you. Nothing wrong with popping pills sometimes :)

Jen said...

My DH would say the exact same thing. They just don't get it. I am still on meds for anxiety; I know that is what I need to do; hopefully your GP will help you figure out the best thing for you. Nothing wrong with popping pills sometimes :)

Alice said...

Baby showers suck and that's the truth. And, guys just do not get it. My husband doesn't understand why I don't like going to 1-year old birthday parties. I don't understand how he can enjoy going at all. Anyway, I'm glad you're seeking help. I've skipped a number of events because I would have ended up in tears. You gotta take care of you first and foremost.

Jin said...

Fred reads my blog, so I think that helps him understand. That and the fact that the last baby shower I went to I bitched about how unfair and hard it was, and that I'm not hanging out with any of his friends that have children. It's just too hard, especially since one was complaining that it took too long for them to get pregnant (3 cycles) and another plans her children out and got pregnant every single time. And this was back in late spring or early summer. Haven't seen them since. Neither of us have. He's starting to feel the unfairness of it all as well.

Great analogy and I'm glad you're getting something to help you through this time.

Serendipity said...

That's a great analogy. My hubby never got why I was so bitter about other peoples happiness, I wish I'd read this back then so I could explain it better and not come off sounding like a total cow whenever I couldn't cope with hearing about another couple with an oopsie pregnancy.

I hope things go well with your GP and you can sort out something to help get you through.

Littlest True Blue said...

Hi Katie, anxiety will never help with TTC. Being on meds is sometimes the only option. Glad you are seeking out help. And I totally understand your anxiety and resentment at "always being the bridesmaid" ...it gets old...fast.
LTB

Basic Girl said...

Such a great analogy Katie, this totally sums it up. Yes of course we're happy, but that doesn't make it hurt any less. If anything it hurts more, and don't we suffer enough going through IF in the first place...why subject ourselves to any more...ugh. ((HUGS))

Erin said...

Ugh. I am totally having an, "I'm happy for you, but sad for me" kind of day. It's so hard sometimes!

Bean stalk ballads said...

Just jumping on the bandwagon Katie but also agree that is the best analogy ever to describe baby showers.

I am now in the "I dont want to hear about or look at your baby coz I actually am feeling ok so dont want to be reminded space." Ugh.

Willow said...

The jilted-bride-as-MOH is a great comparison. I didn't go to a single baby shower in 3 years of TTC, until we brought Baby Bonsai home. Got invited to tons (darn fertile friends 'n' family), and made excuses for every one. People were kind enough to throw us three welcoming showers for our boy, and those were fabulous, but I'm still not sure if I can stomach a "normal" baby shower. I kinda think I might keep on avoiding them for a little while. Which I feel ok about and I think you should too!

Mommy In Waiting said...

Hey! Haven't heard from you in a while. Just wanted to stop by and say hi. I'm sorry things are rough for you right now. Never feel ashamed for getting help. *hugs*

bumpsalongtheway said...

I do wish men could understand the depression and anxiety of TTC! I hope you know you can feel what you need to and request what you need to. Big (((HUGS)))!

Jin said...

You have a blog award waiting on my blog!

nicolemarie said...

You have a new blogger award!

http://endometriosisister.blogspot.com/2010/01/blogger-award.html

Basic Girl said...

Hey Katie, I nominated you for a blog award!!!