A Different Kind of Perspective

I had therapy today! WOO HOO! {Cue crescendoing happy music, fireworks and clinking glasses of Champagne).

Thank gawd my therapist is off maternity leave. Thank. Fucking Gawd.

So today was the appointment–like all appointments after long hiatuses–where I filled my therapist in on the past six months. It was a long, drawn out affair and I hardly even made it to our secondary infertility (I’m as shocked as you are, to be sure). As the story unfolded in bits and pieces, torrents and floods, I gained some perspective on what the last six months have really been like. And holy shit. They. Have. Been. Hard.

You see what happened was, we bought this house and fulfilled this amazing dream we’d always had and I kept reminding myself of that when I felt really down. You can’t write off 2012 as a wasted, shitty year. I would scold myself. You bought this house! You moved from your moldy, suffocating apartment! You have off-street parking AND in-unit laundry. You have arrived. You have fulfilled a lifelong dream! And all of that is true and I don’t take it for granted. (And holy shit how amazing are in-unit laundry machines that I OWN and can do whatever I want with, whenever I want (well almost). So, so amazing.)

But the truth is that the buying of the house, the procuring of finances, the packing of our old apartment, the moving of our shit, the unpacking of all our stuff, including our daughters’ endless crap. It was a lot. And the timing was miserable and those four weeks–when we were packing, moving, starting school (Isa and I) and unpacking–were the hardest and most stressful four weeks I think I’ve ever endured.

And work. Holy shit how horrible has work been this year?! I’ve never had a year of teaching that so thoroughly thrashed me. For the first three months of this school year I CRIED EVERY SINGLE DAY. Every day I cried out of defeat and anger and frustration and disappointment and an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness. Work has been soul-crushing and every day I get up and dress nicely and drive 30+ minutes to work and stand in front of unforgiving adolescents and give them the best I’ve got, even though I was given a schedule that makes it impossible for me to succeed. But I still give my best to give my students what they deserve and I take the hit for it, because honestly, with the insane responsibilities they gave them this year, someone has to, and I refuse for it to be my kids. So I take it myself. Every day. I sacrifice a little more of my well-being so that they can have what they deserve. And it’s incredibly hard.

Oh, and how could I forget to mention that it’s 1000 times worse because I can’t take my medicine. Always it comes back to that fucking detail, that my quality of life this year has been greatly reduced because we have been trying, and failing, to get pregnant.  That simple fact has made this past year of TTC SO much worse than it would have been otherwise.

My mantra is, I can endure anything that isn’t forever and it’s true, I’m sure. There are only six more months of the school year, surely I can get through that. But the thing is I wasn’t even supposed to be working this spring. I was supposed to be on maternity leave by April at the latest. And I certainly wasn’t supposed to be working next year. And every time I remind myself that this is only for a year, I’m also reminded that I’ll be there again in the fall because I have no reason not to be.

And of course in the end it comes back to the past year of trying, and failing, to get pregnant. Month after unfathomable month. It really is hard to describe the confusion of it. The total inability to wrap one’s head around the fact that just three years ago you could do something that now you can’t do. That despite NOT waiting (a choice that almsot destroyed our relationship) we are still being punished some how. That despite putting children before anything else in our lives, before our financial security, before our careers, even before our relationship, we STILL can’t build the family we want to have.

Add into that mix a really difficult two year old and you have yourself a ROUGH six months. REALLY. FUCKING. ROUGH.

My therapist confirmed my suspicions that I’m dealing with a significant depressive episode. I guess when a sociable girl like myself bows out of all FIVE of the holiday parties she was invited to and stops eating lunch with her colleagues there is no denying it.

I know none of this is new. And honestly, I didn’t get any answers today. But telling it all to someone who hasn’t been around for the last six months gave me some perspective. I feel like usually perspective is about seeing the good that’s hiding behind the bad but today it was about remembering just HOW SHITTY these past six months have been. Sure I have my health and my relationship and my daughter–all incredibly important things that I DO NOT take for granted, at least I try hard not to–but that isn’t enough to negate being miserable at my job, where I spend the vast majority of my waking hours, that I can’t get pregnant and that I can’t take my medication because I’m trying to get pregnant. It’s important to recognize all of these things, not so I can dwell on them, or get caught up in some pity party for one, but so I can be kind to myself, so I can show compassion to the parts of me that are hurting, so I can give myself a fucking break once in a while.

After all, I am doing my best. Sure it might seem like I’m failing a lot of the time. But the odds are stacked against me. I shouldn’t shit on myself because I can’t do the impossible.

That is what today taught me. Not to shit on myself for being human. Now I just hope I can remember.

6 responses

  1. 😦

    That IS a crap load of challenging stuff 😦

    The job thing: ugh! I knew it was hard but seeing it laid out like this. Yikes.

    Definitely be kind to yourself. 😦

  2. Oh god I so relate. “The total inability to wrap one’s head around the fact that just three years ago you could do something that now you can’t do.” This. This and the fact that I’ve been off anti-anxiety medicine for the last TWO YEARS as we’ve struggled to get pregnant. It is the hardest thing in the world, and affects everything. Hopefully therapy can help give you some perspective and help.

  3. Wow! you really have been through the wringer this year. I think every year (day, week…life) is a mix of shit & awesome (in varying ratio), so I’d be hard-pressed to write off any entire year as a wash, but you should give yourself due credit for not only surviving, but thriving. Yes, I know you may not feel that way, but you’re not just slogging through…you are contributing so much to your family, your students, and this community. I am glad your therapist is back, and hope it continues to offer a positive perspective.

  4. I’m so glad your therapist is back too! Yes, you have had an incredibly hard year. I had a really bad year of teaching a few years back, and it just sucked the life out of me, so I completely understand that. You know I’m having an incredibly hard time with life right now too. Want to run away with me and escape life for a few weeks?! I’m thinking somewhere tropical 🙂

  5. This is a great kind of perspective. You are right, putting things in perspective usually means realizing they are relatively minor. But in this case, it actually seems validating. You’ve had a really hard year! And you should give yourself some credit for getting through it as well as you have.

    I really hope 2013 is better for you. Having your therapist back seems like a good start.

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