Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One Fine Wire

Time for another music post. This one is dedicated to my apparent uncanny ability to hold it together in public during a time in my life when I feel like I am falling apart. Just this week, I mentioned my dabble into therapy to two people, both of whom seemed shocked at the idea that I would pursue that type of thing. Guess I fooled 'em all! :)

Anyway, this song came on during my drive to work today and, as I listened to the words, it was amazing how closely they described my life as it is now. I'm sure there are many people who, at one time or another in their life, felt like they were balancing on one fine wire.

I try so many times
but it's not taking me
and it seems so long ago
that I used to believe
and I'm so lost inside of my head
and crazy
but I can't get out of it
I'm just stumbling

Life plays such silly games inside of me
and I've felt some distant cries, following
and their entwined between the night and sun beams
I wish I were free from this pain in me

And I'm juggling all the thoughts in my head
I'm juggling and my fears on fire
but I'm listening as it evolves in my head
I'm balancing on one fine wire

And I remember the time my balance was fine
and I was just walking on one fine wire
I remember the time my balance was fine
and I was just walking on one fine wire
and it's frayed at both the ends
and I'm slow unraveling...


In the posting Lost , I explained my motivation to document the music that has comforted me over the past five years as I've dealt with infertility. This is another song in my collection.

For all the music postings click here .

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I am a Liability.

Recently, I had an eye-opening experience.

A friend of mine, who also dealt with infertility, is pregnant. I was told that I would not be invited to her baby shower. The reason was incredibly sweet and heartfelt. She knew that if I were to be invited I would feel obligated to come, and she knew first-hand what it was like to go to baby showers when you're dealing with infertility. So, she took that dilemma upon herself and decided not to invite me.

I was impressed with her compassion and insight. I will admit, deep down, that I kind-of wanted to go. She has been through so much the last few years, I felt this baby shower was a celebration! I made that argument, but still no invite. I guess it's probably for the best... it's impossible for me to know how I will feel on any given day and, as good-intentioned as I am now, who knows how I would react to the ooohhing and aahhhing inherent in baby showers.

Which brings me to my enlightenment. In the middle of the baby-shower-invite negotiation (as I was making the "I wanna be a part of the celebration" argument described above) something dawned on me. I was so concerned about how I would be feeling at the shower, I hadn't thought about how me being there would make her feel.

She knows how it feels to battle infertility, especially when it seems everyone around you is pregnant or has children. If I came to her baby shower, and she spent one second wondering how I was feeling rather than simply enjoying her day, that would be awful. Not to say it would happen, but it could. That's when I realized that I am a liability.

I wonder if people censor what they say around me because of my infertility. Would they talk more openly about pregnancy, or babies, or children, if I weren't around? I pray that I have never taken away a moment of someone else's happiness because of my situation or, worse, because of my depression or bitterness. The thought of that crushes me.

Needless to say, this realization has opened my eyes to my selfishness. I was so wrapped up in my own feelings that I didn't even think about the fact that my very presence, or my attitude, could take away joy or make someone uncomfortable. If that has happened to anyone, I am truly sorry.

It's just another way that I am different. Can I just say, I hate being different. I long to be like all the other married women my age: to attend playgroups and complain about diapers, to be able to walk up to a group of women at church and join the conversation, to get an invitation to a baby shower and have the only question be which gift to buy.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Step 1: Admit you have a problem

You would think that a psychology major, who also dabbled in a marriage and family therapy masters program, would easily recognize when it was time to get help and not be embarrassed to ask for it. You would think.

But you would be wrong.

For a while now, in the back of my head, I have wondered if my sadness and depression was a little too much to handle. My bad days were getting worse and more frequent. What would throw me off was I would have good days in between. I still felt sadness on these days, but I felt I could function normally and I was still laughing and smiling. So every time I would have an awful episode and consider pursuing help, the next day would be okay and I'd think, "I can do this on my own". Adding to this dilemma was my stubborn and independent attitude.

Well last week, I had one of the worst nights ever. Let's put it this way, I cried for hours and ended up broiling a batch of lemon bars (instead of baking them). Nearly catching your house on fire is enough to make you wonder if now is the time to get some help.

In my clinical psych class, the question was asked how you know if someone needs treatment. We were told, once the problem is affecting their ability to function they may need some help. I thought about the times I will sit on the couch and just stare for an amount of time that is embarrassing to share. I thought about those nights when my body is exhausted but I refuse to go to bed and sit up until all hours of the night. I thought about the times I avoid doing things with family and friends. I thought about the times I close my office door and just sit there and cry. I thought about that very night when I, a proficient baker, made two batches of lemon bars, both of which had monumental errors, one nearly causing a fire. I thought about the fact that I didn't even remember making them and that one batch broiled for 35 minutes and I didn't even smell it.

Fortunately, that awful night continued into the next day. Because of this, I was able to sum up my courage and call for some help.

One major reason I had been avoiding that phone call was money. Most therapists can cost over $100 an hour. Insurance can cover it but I had always heard of insurance coverage being something like six sessions. I had noticed a phone number on my insurance card for mental health, so I decided to give them a call.

As soon as I heard them say, "Psychological Services", I nearly hung up the phone. What am I doing? My 'problem' is not big enough for all this, right? How many people deal with infertility without therapy, and make it through just fine? Am I making a big deal out of nothing?

It took a second, but I found my voice and told them the reason I was calling. I think that God knew if He put one obstacle in my way to seek treatment that I would give up. Not only does my insurance cover therapy, but they will help pay for 35 sessions a year. This is pretty much unheard of. Even the lady on the phone was surprised. All I would pay is the co-pay, which is somewhere between $15 - $25. After all the money I have wasted on infertility treatments, I figure it's time to spend some on myself.

With the money business out of the way, it was time to find a therapist. The company that runs my insurance's mental health division is unbelievable. I told them a little bit about myself and why I was calling and they matched me up with someone. They were soft and considerate and understanding. I truly am blessed.

So, I have my first appointment in 2 weeks. I am scared and unsure. What will I talk about? How do I start? What if I just sit there and cry for the entire session? Can she really help me feel better?

I always thought the only cure for infertility was adoption or pregnancy. Now I am learning that there is no cure. I have a wound deep inside me. Someday it will heal, but there will always be a scar. If I can find someone to help the healing process, than it's worth a shot.