Thursday, August 26, 2010

the lonely orchid

Since May of 2008, trying to have a baby has consumed my life. From the way I eat to the way I sleep, “baby” is always on my mind.

As much as the dream of having a baby is still alive, it’s nice to hide it in the back corner of my closet. It’s not dusty and covered in cobwebs (I don’t think I can ever let it get to that point), but I pull it out just a tiny bit less every day. Will I ever get to the point where I can go one hour without thinking about infertility?

I don’t know.

But I’m trying my best to divert my focus. This is the main goal I have for myself, and the main goal my therapist has for me. She said:

You are in the middle of a field filled with beautiful flowers. There are gorgeous lilacs all around you. But you don't see any of them. All you see is this one, rare orchid in the distance. You are so focused and so determined to get to that orchid, that you don't see the beauty surrounding you.

She's right.

I have tunnel vision.

When I'm out and about, I like to glance around at younger couples. So full of bliss and life, they are what we used to be: innocent and naive. I try to remember what it was like to not feel so jaded and worn. I try to remember what it was like when I thought a night of passion could lead to a child. Or not. And I didn't care. I try to remember what it was like to live carefree. I try to remember what it was like when all of my friends and family members supported me. To think that everyone would be there to hold my hand during the tough times. I try to remember what it was like to have complete and total faith in a higher power. In karma. In "good things happen to those who wait."

Each day is a daily struggle for me to look beyond the orchid and remember how to believe in all of these things: happiness, love, innocence, and the good in humanity.

How do I gain each of these back after infertility has slowly taken them away?

How do I undo the tunnel vision?

I am trying to take in the sight and smell of the beautiful lilacs that surround me, instead of tearing them down on my quest for that orchid. It's a work in progress. I know it's not supposed to happen overnight, but it's a burden I am tired of bearing. Realistically, I know that it will never truly end until that orchid is in my hand. Like an addict, it is physically painful for me to turn my back on what I so desperately crave. But I have to. Concentrating on the lilacs is what is keeping me alive. It's what keeps me moving.

The orchid will come.

I have to believe that the orchid will come.

37 comments:

Josey said...

I know I've said this a million times Katie, but I'm so grateful to have found your blog. You have a way of writing about feelings that I'm experiencing right along with you but not sure how to verbalize myself. You remind me to "stop and smell the lilacs" and appreciate what I DO have on a daily basis. You continue to reinforce my hope that we WILL all get our orchids some day. Thanks for all the reminders...

Kakunaa said...

This is a beautiful analogy, seriously. I don't have any easy answers, but the lilacs are there, and man, are they amazing. Just try not to forget about them :)

someday-soon said...

The quest to see the beauty surrounding us is a tough but worthy cause! Every lilac is worth a sniff =) You're doing great girl!

nobabyruth said...

What a beautiful post. I am moved by your analogy about the orchid. And this really did hit home with me. I, too, sometimes feel like I am wishing my life away just to get to some unknown future point, and if I stop to think about it I would never CHOOSE to live that way.

Lindsay said...

I know its odd to say it, but that was really put beautifully. You expressed feelings that are very hard to articulate. I understand your feelings and longing.
It is hard to remember to look at those flowers around you and at times it will be impossible. I do hope you don't mind if I think of and use this analogy in my own struggles.

Crossed Fingers said...

That's what I was forcing myself to do this summer - I wanted to turn my focus away from TTC and put it towards my husband, our marriage, our life, my friends & family.

I still tried to get pregnant but it was my mission to get back to "me" so I didn't lose myself in this process.

It's hard to turn away from the orchids but if I stare at the lilacs long enough you'll remember their beauty and start to remember why they were your favorite before you laid eyes on the orchid.

Rita said...

What a beautiful post, Katie. I hope the lilacs bring you happiness and joy as you make your way towards your orchid. *hugs*

Dawn said...

Katie, I honestly think you should write an IF book. You really express what people feel so well.

I pray that you are able to enjoy the lilacs while you wait to orchid, but I hope that you don't have to wait too long to get there.

AL said...

I love that analogy - and it's so true. Sometimes I get so focused in my quest of the one thing I don't have that I forget to look around and enjoy everything else I have going on.

I miss the naive carefree me, too. Hugs.

Glass Case of Emotion said...

What a beautiful and very true post Katie...

Candidly_Andrea said...

Gosh I love you so much.

We are kindred spirits my friend.

I feel exactly the way you do but do not have the same eloquent way of writing.

What a beautiful post ~ Thank you.

I hope we both remember to see the beauty around us AND get that orchid we've been chasing.

My So-Called (TTC) Life said...

What a great post :). I often find I have tunnel vision, too. All I can SEE is baby.

Do I Have to Be a D.I.N.K.? said...

What an amazing post...I feel the exact same way. I am trying to focus on me for a while not IF. Thanks for sharing this.

Kim said...

You will get your Orchid Katie, you will....why is it so hard to "wait"?! I think if we have a purpose during the wait, it makes it that much easier. I liek your plan. Enjoy those lilacs!! xoxoxox

T said...

This is so beautifully written. You amaze me every post.
Thank you as always for speaking from all of our hearts!

serenity said...

I was in the SAME PLACE, Katie. I know exactly that feeling. I have to tell you - the very best thing that helped me was actually a BOOK. Alice Domar's "Comquering Infertility." It's basically a toolbox for taking your life back from infertility. To helping you focus on those lilacs.

It really, really REALLY helped me.

It's SUCH hard work, living in the moment, appreciating the life you have now instead of the future you've always dreamed of, managing the fear that you'll never get there, etc etc. But I wholeheartedly believe that every infertile CAN come to a place where we don't give IF as much space as we do. It takes so much from us, and taking back your life is the process of reclaiming YOU.

Anyway. Long way of saying I'm here and am totally cheering you on. You can SO do this.

xoxo

Rach said...

Very lovely. I wish I had answers, but most of the time I'm in the same state of mind you are speaking about.

Stephanie said...

You are so amazing! Your words and your style...it paints pictures and evokes emotions. Thank you for putting yourself out here for us, I feel so blessed to call you my bloggie friend :)

Danielle said...

So much truth here. I am definitely 100% in the orchid tunnel right now...

S said...

What a well-written post.

I love your therapist's analogy. So apt.

Mic said...

As everyone has already said, this is a stunningly beautiful post. You are such a talented writer. ((hugs)) to you my friend, big (hugs) - ONE damn day you will get your rare orchid and I cannot wait to see it's beauty.

Rebecca said...

Such a beautiful analogy. Living in the present and appreciating what we do have is so difficult but definitely worth the effort.

Thanks for putting it so beautifully!! :)

Leslie said...

Your writing is amazing. I wish I had some advice, but I am hopeful your happy ending will be soon.

When I took breaks last year, I always tried to do things I enjoyed whether it was eating sushi with my dh or going away for a night to escape. The little things always helped me to get my hope back that my day would be here.

Jess said...

We all have to stop and breathe from time to time. Stop focusing on baby things- both good and bad. Just live in the moment. Focus on the senses we feel in the here and now. Thanks for sharing you post.

Sara said...

THANK YOU for this beautiful reminder to soak in the rest of life while waiting to reach my orchid. I definitely needed this right now.

sarabug said...

Such a beautiful post, and so relevant to the way I have been looking at life lately. Thank you for reminding me to appreciate what I do have and not focus on what I don't!

Carli said...

That was really a beautiful way to state how infertility has changed us. I guess only those who have ever focused on the orchid can completely understand how the lilacs seem to disappear.

Good luck with concentrating on the lilacs. I will try to do the same.

How is Joey doing? I know that you mentioned his accident, but I haven't heard you say lately how he is feeling.

waiting for baby said...

I love the imagery. So glad you blog! :)

Kandid Kelli said...

Katie... I maybe not be experiencing IF but your blog seems to touch on the way I feel about other issues in my life. Idk how you do it or maybe I do it with your words.

Your blogs means so much to me. Your such a wonderful woman and you strengthen so many with your words. I hope you know how many ppl you help.

xo
-K

Bobbi said...

This is such a beautiful, honest post. You will have your orchid, friend. But, you're right...focusing on the beauty that does surround you is necessary. So hard! But still necessary. I commend you for your integrity in this post. You laid out your heart and I feel honored having read it.

Kelly said...

For me, when there's a field around me of something, it's easy to focus on that one thing that I can't have. :(

Thank you for posting this.

Erin said...

What a beautiful analogy. It's so true. You have such a lovely way of expressing your feelings.

Adele said...

It will come. And you're right, it's so easy to get trapped by that tunnel vision when there is so much more out there.

Anonymous said...

beautiful, and so true! keep at it girl!

Baby bump bound said...

I jsut want to send you a BIG ol' ((HUG)).... read your past few posts and all I can say is that I concur on your feelings. I have been there so many times - feeling like the Universe's trash receptical sits over my head.

Know that everything changes - EVERYTHING - that is the law of the universe. It's chaos on top of chaos and one of these days, chaos will be in your favor... I promise!!

Jen said...

I feel like I have said this so many times, but you are a great writer!
Although obvs not the same, I went to therapy years ago for a bad break up. He also was trying to break me free of my "tunnel vision". I remember he gave me a list of things I was supposed to do...stuff that I wouldn't normally do, to help get things OFF the track I was on. I remember some of the things were really out there, but one was to volunteer... Just a thought; he was a good therapist and his suggestions helpful.

Trisha said...

You are right that orchid is waiting and someday you're going to find each other. It took me a while to stop and notice all of the things that I have been blessed with but once you notice that one, the others will start to appear as well.