Tuesday, January 29, 2013

in the clouds

How do I let myself dream again?

Part of my struggle with looking into the future now is that it doesn't involve infertility - at least not our own infertility. We've "resolved" it for the moment, so what now? What happens when you work so intently on becoming parents for four years and then it's over? What happens when all you remember how to do is be infertile? When you forget how to make other dreams?

Infertility takes so much from us. We can pretend like it doesn't consume our lives. We can carry on as if it's just some small part of our existence. Yet, when it's over, you realize how much of your time was spent working toward this one thing. You realize that you spent so much time trying NOT to hope and wish and dream, that you sometimes forget how to do those things.

I've been hard on myself lately. I've been daydreaming about how I'd love for things to be. I've been daydreaming about the future. Then, I snap back to reality and I scold myself for getting my hopes up. I chastise myself for letting my mind wander or setting expectations that are "too high." But are they too high? Or are they just high standards for my infertile mind? We are told constantly to keep a level head. To not make plans. To simply let things happen. Once they've happened, then we take those same rules and apply them to other areas of our lives. We forget how to fantasize, because we remember what it's like to be drifting up toward the clouds and have something send us crashing back to Earth.

We remember having our dreams stolen from us - crushed into a million pieces and scattered to the winds. We remember what it's like to be told "it will never happen" or to "give up." We let ourselves succumb to the idea that nothing will ever turn out the way we want it to (or hope it does) again.

And then we have a baby. That's it. We have everything we could ever want. Right? Of course not. We still have wants. We have wishes. Or concepts, at least. Yet we don't know how to truly wish again. We don't remember how good it feels to dream, to let our mind run carelessly through the possibilities.

I need to learn how to let myself do this. I need to stop being so hard on myself. I need to let my thoughts go and explore all of the possibilities. Because those possibilites are still there. I simply forgot how to get to them.

8 comments:

Casey said...

This right here sums up exactly how I feel. My daughter is going to kindergarten in the fall, our infertilty journey is over life has to move forward. Thank you for sharing.

Jenny said...

This post really hit me. I'm still in the middle of it (going on 4 years of IF and now working with an adoption agency), and I don't feel entitled to plan, hope, or dream anymore. One more thing to heal from, I guess...

Secret Sloper said...

It's funny, my reaction to "resolving" our IF was totally different-- FINALLY I could reclaim those passions and interests I'd put on hold while slogging through those hard two years. Writing, school, running: I've found so much to dive into since Smudgie was born.

That's partly why it's so hard to think about trying to have another and going back into IF-mode. I hate the thought of losing myself again like I did the first time. I hope I can make it through with more of myself intact.

someday-soon said...

Be kind to yourself! Learning to dream again isn't easy.

missohkay said...

I really get this post. I feel guilty for wanting other things now that I got the thing I worked so hard for.

S.I.F. said...

I love this post, because I think it probably speaks to every single person who has ever faced infertility, no matter how they have "resolved".

I actually talked to a doctor about this once, in relation to endometriosis. I had been so sick and in so much pain for so long, and he was the doctor saying he could fix it. But in doing so, he told me I was going to have a period after where I fell - not really sure what to do with myself now that I wouldn't be fighting pain and sickness every day. I thought he was crazy, but sure as shit... he gave me my life back, and I fell into the worst depression I experienced in my entire infertility journey. I had not realized how much I had come to rely on that physical pain to distract me from the emotional pain. Once the physical was gone... I truly had to face the emotional. I wonder if the same is somewhat true of resolving infertility? Once the ache of trying is gone, you are still left with the wounds that were left behind - and you actually have to deal with them now.

Either way, be good to yourself lady. You've got this...

Sushigirl said...

One of the things I find a bit odd is that I promised myself that, if I ever got pregnant, I'd stop stressing about annoying colleagues/my mum/my job/other normal irritances, because I'd have achieved what I set out to do. Like having a baby was somehow going to fix my entire life. It doesn't quite work like that though, and I still grind my teeth about stuff - but I think the big, massive thing that I had to deal with has been defeated. Although a discussion with my husband abotu #2 is on the horizon...

Logical Libby said...

It is a really hard thing to move on from. You have all of this energy invested, and then you feel like you need a new fight. I feel your pain. It's been three and a half years and I still feel your pain.