Wednesday, July 7, 2010

winner winner, chicken dinner

I didn’t win the Hope Award for best blog.

RESOLVE e-mailed me yesterday and broke the news. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly disappointed. I’ve never won anything in my 25 years of living, and just the possibility of winning something based on my writing—which is a huge part of my life—felt wonderful. After my brief moment of self-pity ended, I pushed it into the back of my brain. By the time I got home and received love from my puppy and husband, it was a distant memory.

I think we all need to feel self-pity occasionally. In fact, I had an entire text message conversation about this yesterday with my SIL, Joey’s sister. She has cancer: stage 1 endometrial. I’ve hesitated writing about this, mostly because this is my blog and I always struggle with sharing people’s “business” in my forum. The last thing I want to do is go in-depth about someone else’s life without their permission with complete strangers reading. But I don’t think she would mind me writing about this.

We were talking about how it’s easy to feel sorry for yourself, especially for her as she’s emotionally and physically drained from treatment. She asked me if I understood that desire for self-pity.

Yes, I do. I understand that feeling of wanting things to go right for you, of wanting something good to happen.

We talked about spending time feeling sorry for you, but the struggle of balancing that feeling with staying positive. We walk on a delicate tightrope, all of us do. We all have moments of self-pity where we just want to ask, “Why me?” or say, “I really wanted that to happen.” This happens with cancer. I’ve seen it with my mom and I know that my SIL is going through those same motions. I’ve been through it myself with infertility and have watched others go through it as well with infertility and loss. I’m currently watching my best friend go through it as she struggles with her breakup.

We’re human. We’re allowed to love ourselves, and in the same sense allowed to feel sorry for ourselves. It’s okay to admit that we wanted things to happen a certain way, or we didn’t want them to happen at all. It’s okay to question God: what he’s doing and whether he even exists based on the hell you feel you live in. I do all the time.

It’s funny because most of us don’t enjoy pity from others, but I think we need to pity ourselves. We need those days where we lay on the couch with a box of chocolates and a box of tissues and watch sappy movies, just for a good excuse to cry. We need moments when someone pats us on the back and tells us we are awesome and loved. And that’s what I got when I arrived home last night: a lot of love—unconditional love from Danica and a wonderful, supportive husband who said, “I’m sad and disappointed. I wanted you to win. But I think you are amazing and I am so proud of you.”

No offense to RESOLVE, because I greatly appreciated the honor, but I can tell you with absolutely certainty that hearing those words meant so much more to me than winning any award. Having all of you read my story and support us through our journey? Also, better than winning any award. Your kind words and unending love is sometimes the only thing that makes me feel sane in a world full of infertile sanity. Thank you for voting for me, but, more importantly, thank you for being such amazing friends. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

It’s been over two months since I wrote my Project IF post. A lot has happened since then. We still don’t have a baby, but I can say with certainty that I’ve followed through with what I wrote in that post. I put myself out there and opened my blog up to friends and family members. I've shared my story with the hope that it helps others feel like they aren't so alone. I’m wearing the hole in my heart outside of my skin every single day and it feels good.

I’m doing the best I can with the hand I’ve been dealt. And I think that makes me a winner.

31 comments:

Ashley said...

You are a winner. I think that every time I read your amazing words. I don't know if self pity is "ok" or not, but I sure have a lot of it these days. I'm ready to just put on the big girl pants and move on with life, but that seems to be easier said than done. Thanks for the post--it's good to know that I am not the only one who wants to know, "why me"?

AL said...

You are definitely a winner, Katie. Not to mention a fabulous writer.

Self pity is natural and I think we need to feel sorry for ourselves some days, esp when going through things like IF or cancer. But you're right that we have to balance that with hope and the will to keep on moving and making the most of the hand we've been dealt.

S said...

I'm sorry you didn't win the Hope Award, but I think you are an excellent writer and enjoy reading your thoughts.

Since finding out I am infertile, I question the existence of God all.the.time. And have had my fair amount of self-pity. I think it's inevitable.

Rebecca said...

I'm so sorry you didn't win because I really think you are incredible, Katie.

And, I definitely understand the need for self pity. Sometimes you just have to wallow for a bit. I'm so glad that you've been able to share all of this with us.

I hope treatments for your SIL go well. That's so scary.

serenity said...

Any struggle takes so much from us that it's hard to do much more on some days but curl up on the couch to replenish the emotional reserves.

Personally, I'm thankful you were nominated for the award, because that's how I discovered your blog, and I really love reading.

xoxo

Erin said...

You are an absolutely amazing writer, Katie. I'm always blown away by how beautifully you write about your struggles with IF.

I think self-pity is totally natural, and maybe even a little bit healthy. It's just all about balance. Everything is not always doom and gloom, but it's also not always sunshine and roses. I so often felt (and still feel sometimes) that we are expected to put on our happy faces and just smile through the day. Now, certainly, no one wants to feel grumpy all the time, but it's also really healthy to acknowledge those emotions and really feel them. I think it should be ok to say, "You know, I'm really feel crappy about this," without having everyone try to make it better or tell you how someone else has it worse.

Crossed Fingers said...

1. You ARE always a winner in my eyes.
2. You're an amazing writer - hands down.
3. You were nominated - an honor only a few were able to grab onto.
4. You always have a way of reaching to the bright side of things.

You are wonderful - truly wonderful. You are one of my favorite blogs to visit because your posts are always so thoughtful and full of moments where I nod my head and say "Yea! I know what you mean!" or "That's what I was feeling too but didn't know how to describe it!"

Keep on keeping on, keep on being you. That's all you need for a winning combo! :)

Rach said...

I think you are a winner for just being selected in the top! I love your writing.

I had "self pity week" last week!

JL said...

I felt the exact same way when I got my email from Resolve - it didn't matter that I didn't win because suddenly, it became clear to me that I wasn't in this alone and this community is a source of great strength.

So, if one of the two of us didn't win, who did? :P

2catdaughters said...

Boo! You so should have won. But like you said--it doesn't matter. We all know you are a winner and an amazing writer who speaks from the heart. On top of all that, you're a tremendous friend and source of support.

You're awesome!!

Kakunaa said...

I am so proud of you :)

Dawn said...

I think you should have won! I love reading your blog. I think you put into words what all of us are going (or have gone) through.

I hope you got a few extra doggie kisses to make you feel better (and maybe some from Joey too!).

Basic Girl said...

You are totally a winner in my eyes Katie, and I truly think being nominated is a win in itself. But I totally hear you on the self pity thing, it always seems so wrong to feel bad for yourself, but there are things in this life that just suck way too much to put a positive spin on, and you just have to feel it. Like everyone said its all about balance, which I guess is something we've probably all learned from IF...how to feel it, deal with it, and pick ourselves up and keep chugging along hoping the next time will be different!!

Just Me...C said...

I am sorry that you didn't win the Hope Award but you are indeed a winner hon, not to mention a phenomenal writer. I am sorry to hear about your SIL and I will indeed pray for her. As for self pity...I spent far too much time on the heels of the death of both parents and my bff feeling self pity to a level that was very unhealthy. Having said that, it is normal to feel such...just in moderation as with everything else in life, right?

Secret Sloper said...

You are amazing, Katie, no matter how the votes went. You had the best blog in my book!

You're so right that self-pity can be incredibly seductive, but other people's pity just makes me feel pathetic. That's the hard thing about relating to non-IF/non-loss people during this time. I want them to recognize my pain and sadness but I don't want them to look down on me for being broken. A difficult line to walk.

erika said...

You are the Winner for so many of us here. I can't imagine the blogging world without your beautiful writing. Thanks for being so great!!!

P&PT's for your SIL and family.

Holly said...

I am echoing the sentiment of so many others, that you are definitley a winner and such a wonderful writer.

I can definitely relate to the need for self-pity time and the struggle to balance it with positive thinking as well. Sometimes you can't get to that hopeful place without indulging in some good old fashioned wallowing first.

Stephanie said...

As others already said, you are a winner! You share such beautiful honest words with us each day and also somehow manage to be comfort others going through struggles too!

jensays said...

yep, definitely a winner! I am so sorry to hear about your SIL, I hope she manages to keep a positive outlook, no matter how scared she gets.

Everyone is allowed moments of self pity and sadness, it took me ablong time to realize it's ok to have bad days and bad moments, that it didn't make me weak.

(whatwouldjendo.com)

Jessica said...

You & your blog have been a great support to me and am thankful for that....thanks for putting yourself out there!!

Kelly said...

All of us here who follow your blog know that your incredible support to all of us is what makes you the true winner.

Sara said...

You are a winner in all of our books. I so get what you are saying about not wanting pity from others but sometimes just wanting to wallow in my own self-pity. The other day I was talking to my mom about some things regarding our IF and she got all sappy and said "Aw my poor baby." It made my skin crawl. I don't need people to feel sorry for me...I need cheerleaders at this point! :)
I will continue to cheer you on regardless if you one some award or not! It sounds like your puppy and your hubby will do the same! :)

Vivian said...

you are definitely a WINNER! your never giving up hope and trying to hard to be positive gives me strength to do the same! love your posts!

S.I.F. said...

I voted for you Katie... I think you are incredible and you would have been an amazing winner!

As for the self pity thing? I totally get what you're saying. I never (ever ever) want anyone to feel sorry for me, but sometimes I just need to be able to feel sorry for myself... You hit the nail on the head.

Marla said...

I voted for you, and you should have won. But you're still a winner. You made it to the top - what- 5 ??? That's such an honor when there's so many IF blogs out here. And not only are you such a good writer, but you're also a good friend. You're so supportive and gosh-darn sweet, too. And that's what counts!

Trisha said...

I'm sorry you didn't win! You do have a great talent with your writing! Keep at it!

Tillie said...

i think you the winner. honestly i love your blog and can't get enough of your writing! I'm sorry that you didn't win. I am with you on the self-pity thing i am that way now...it's hard/rough when you are ttc. I <3 you.

Alice said...

You are absolutely a winner! And, you're gracious too. I'm so proud of you for opening up more and so much want you to get the baby you deserve.

Adele said...

You make such a good point: that as difficult as it is to endure the pity of other people it's extremely important to empathize with ourselves, to cut ourselves that slack, even to mope and sniffle and feel sorry for ourselves. It's an important part of all of this.

I also think that a lot of the questions that arise with infertility or similar to the ones that come up with cancer. Different situations. But both so horribly unfair.

ifcrossroads said...

I'm so bummed out for you Katie. I might be biased, but I do think your entry was the best. You are a very articulate and concise writer ... I hope that you will continue to build your craft here in this space - we all can learn a lot from you.

suchagoodegg said...

This is a long overdue comment. I read many blogs and must tell you that your words are the ones that resonate with me the longest, time and time again. I wish you'd won the RESOLVE award, but know that award or no award, you have a deep and profound effect on all of your readers. I love seeing a new post from you pop up on my Google Reader. Your words are beautiful, sad, uplifting, honest, thoughtful, positive, heartbreaking....sometimes all at once. You are a ridiculously talented writer, Katie!