Failure is not an option

I was extremely efficient last week.

Remember that list of a million things I talked about? I was knocking them off one by one.

Here’s the thing about lists that is no surprise to anyone- after one list is done another one takes its place. I used to be a woman of few lists. I was so adept at getting crap done, by the time I sat down to make a list I didn’t need to write it down.

Then, over the last few years, I started to morph into a person with multiple lists and post-it notes. It is maddening. Especially when I know I used to be good at it.

I was watching a show on cable not long ago… well, let me digress for a little background… I upgraded my cable at home and now I get e-v-e-r-y channel on earth- even all the pay channels (for a promotional period of course). So when I am wide awake and stressed at night I watch TV, specifically movies and reruns of “Top Chef” and “Say Yes to the Dress”… ummm, yeah…don’t ask about that second one. I got married 15 years ago and yet I still love looking at wedding dresses. Don’t judge me.

Anyway..I had been watching a movie (can’t remember which) and one of the lines from a character in it resonated with me:

“I don’t try anymore, because I am afraid. It is much easier to not try at all. If I don’t bother, I don’t have to worry about being a failure.”


It was as if a giant arrow virtually appeared above my head pointing down at me… THIS IS YOU STUPID.

…Well, damn! No wonder I am procrastinating lately. It was as if that one line was written expressly to me.

(mental note, mention this to Dr. Anne)

The next day I was wandering around the house and looked at projects that were unfinished or never started at all. And it dawned on me that I am my own roadblock to ever being that person from years ago that went missing during infertility treatment. I am letting my failures beat me every single day.  Still.

I won’t try because I am afraid. Every friggin’ day.

Therefore, nothing gets done. And the list grows longer.  And I get mad at myself.

The cycle is never-ending.

Hell, I have a project (related to my biggest failure) that I am not even blogging about here. Why? Because if I commit to it here, in THIS place, it’s as if I am setting myself up to fail.

Finally, it all becomes clear. The tragic part?  My greatest relief, writing, has been a victim of my own crazy neuroses. Somehow I have grown to expect that bad luck is hiding in the shadows, just lurking and waiting to jump out and tear my heart to pieces.

The monster that I blogged about during my egg donor cycle has exacted its final blow.

It seems that I myself have become the monster I always dreaded.

How’s that for self-realization???

I had a dream last night, like many of the ones before it, but this one was different. In this dream I wasn’t running or hiding. I was happy. A person I’ve never met told me a secret, and it was the best news ever. It felt real. I woke up feeling elated. Positive, and with new purpose. Determined to make my dream a reality.

If I can change, I can stop making lists and start focusing on today.

Perhaps I can escape the sense that I am a victim, and start acting victorious.

It’s a tall order, but something I need to do.

I’m adding it to my list, pronto.

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Dreaming of me

I’ve always been a vivid dreamer.

My dreams are in color, I can remember small details, I always “know” when I am dreaming, and most of all… I’ve become very perficient at knowing how to wake myself up from a dream I don’t like.

I’m not sure how I figured out that last part. As a kid, I had a lot of nightmares, and my trick (back then) to waking up was first realizing I was dreaming, and then closing my eyes in the dream and pressing my belly button.

Viola! My bad dream cure.

Except sometimes it backfired (and still does), when I manage to think I woke myself up but realizing I just forced myself into a parallel dream state. Even when I wake from a horrifying dream, I need to stay awake for at least 10 minutes, because I can easily slip back into the same awful dream.  Great, right?

Last night I had a particularly bad dream. I was stuck in some sort of pit, and snakes were chomping on my limbs. You see, I hate snakes. Like Indiana Jones, when I see a snake in my dreams I think: “Snakes! Why does it always have to be snakes?!” It’s my anxiety dream of choice.

So I manage to wake myself up (or so I thought). I sat up in bed, breathed a sign of relief, and just when I thought I was home free, a snake appeared under my covers. Argh! Worse- I had a heck of a time waking myself up. When I did finally, I jumped out of bed and stood in the middle of the room praying that I was really awake. ala Paranormal State without the demon in the house.

I was awake… but the fear of lying back down was too much. So I rocked back and forth and willed the nightmare away before I slipped back into bed.

I’m not sure how I was blessed with such a jabberwocky brain. Or if there are many people like me, or if I am a class unto myself. I’ve pinpointed that my dreams are stress relief for me. It’s a way of my working out the cobwebs nestled in the far corners of my head.

I just wish I dreamed more about good things than bad.

The irony is my dreams have gotten a little more nightmarish in the last 5 years (oh, duh!) no doubt due to the constant state of stress I’ve managed to wrap myself into.

I had always liked to blame the infertility medications on my active imagination, but now that it’s been 6 months without any artifical substances in my bloodstream, I guess I can’t.

The key now is to channel the negative energy away from my sleep ritual.

The problem… I’m not sure if that ever will change.

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solitary: 1sol·i·tary
Pronunciation: \ˈsä-lə-ˌter-ē\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, solitarie, from Anglo-French, from Latin solitarius, from solitas aloneness, from solus alone
Date: 14th century

1 a : being, living, or going alone or without companions b : saddened by isolation

Last night I had a very weird dream. I don’t remember much about it in its entirety, but what I do remember is waking up and feeling like I solved a great mystery of life.

In this dream, somehow I ended up sitting at a round table with about 10 people whose faces I did not recognize. We were talking about fears. I didn’t feel scared, but rather… melancholy. Someone commented from the other side of the table that their worst fear is death.

My response was immediate, almost as if the words were just falling out of my mouth without my lips moving…

“I am less fearful of death, and most fearful of being alone.”

It was nano-seconds later that I woke up, with those words still hovering in my head as if I said them aloud in the waking world.

I thought about it in the shower and and it was perfectly clear that as much as I would not like it to be so, it is my primary motivation in life.

It is the reason for everything.

As independent as I’ve led my life, I’ve let that fear mow me over in recent years. But when I look back to the choices I’ve made thus far, it’s been the driving undercurrent all along

…how could I have not realized that?

This therapy adventure has certainly opened my mind in ways I had forgotten about, or didn’t have the key.

Specific to infertility, I am realizing that my want to complete my family has a lot to do with this one specific fear. The motivation has little to do with “kicking infertility’s ass” and more to do with surrounding myself with people I can count on. People that my son can count on that will still be here 30-40 years from now. Let’s face it, when I get old and if S. isn’t here, I do not want David to be alone. I don’t want him to have that burden.

I may be projecting my fear needlessly onto him, but it’s something I think about more often than I should. This is probably the only reason I haven’t truly given up. And if I am being honest with myself, I will never be able to move on until I feel comfortable that David has a sibling. Someone who can’t easily walk away, uninvesting themselves when it is convenient.

I envy those that can and have made the active decision to push family-building to the back burner and move on. I’ve wondered if it is possible for me.

My therapist says I can do that if I wish, but it will take time.
I definitely can envision a life without cycling. I am 99% sure that I do not ever want to walk into a fertility clinic again. 

I am 100% sure that there is a child waiting for me, if I put myself out there.

It is very surreal to me, to know that before I had David, I always had this invisible attraction to adoption. I didn’t even know my “fertilty” status at the time, but I had always envisioned something extraordinary for my family. Perhaps I should have listened to my heart many, many years ago.

We are in research mode. No timeline, no stress. We will walk wherever the paths leads.

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Cue Monster

The post I didn’t want to write.

I don’t know where to go from here.  You see, there’s comfort in having a plan. Even if it’s the best or worst plan in the world, HAVING a plan gives you something to hold on to when you are trying to keep your head above water.  A point of reference, a direction.  A lighthouse on a foggy shore.

This is the first time in my life I don’t have a plan.

I mean, wasn’t donor eggs SUPPOSED to be the magic bullet? It sure has been for practically everyone else I know. You would think, in life, that if you are willing to walk the longest and thinnest tight rope to get what you want that you might be rewarded for having the BALLS, the GUSTO! the blind MADNESS!! and ultimately succeed.

But no.

So where does that leave me?

I don’t have a clue. 

Truth be told, I had a bit of a hissy fit with the RE today.  I put on my big girl pants and went in for the blood draw and had an emotional discussion with one of the lead nurses on staff.  I am not letting them off the hook for the poor thaw last week.  When they called with the negative results this afternoon (shocking!) I gave an earful again.  They are now off to have their own consult (a staff meeting to discuss the DE/IVF flunkies and determine what went wrong).  Afterwards, I requested a WTF meeting with the lead doctor and nurse coordinator for the DE program.  I may be done, but I won’t shrink into the background because of it.

In recent days- I had an epiphany… this isn’t just about ME. It’s also about my husband. He has always had a stake in this too, and to my surprise his level of investment is exceeding mine at the moment.

A short time ago, I was prepared for this end. As much as I could be anyway. And then, as S. and I discussed this week’s events and prepared for the final curtain, he turned to me and said… “We’ll find a way, and we’ll do it again. We’ll figure something out.  This can’t be IT!”

“That’s crazy talk! What the hell are you smoking???” I retorted.

We didn’t say much after that. Actually, I think we made a date this weekend to eat fine food until we can’t move and drink vast quantities of our favorite microbrew beer, but we settled for an immediate fix of leftover Halloween candy and playing Nerf guns with David.

But I have to admit, I was perplexed. Here I am at the end of my emotional rope, that, admittedly… I drug him along at times over the years (maybe nudged is a better word). And now that we reach the end, and I am maybe ready? to make peace with the universe for giving me a shit sandwich… Husband and I have each swung 180 degrees in a different direction.

He wants to pull ME.

So I did it.

I opened the closet door. Yes, that door. My heart was in my mouth. I felt the monsters hot, nasty breath for a split second…and…

…just as I was about to be pulled in and consumed…

S. pulled me back.

No, we don’t have a plan.  We may never have another plan.

Yes, my heart is aching and shattered into a million pieces.  Yes, it’s hard to keep the anger at bay.  I don’t know if I will ever get over the unfairness of life.  There are so many of us that would risk certain danger for this ONE THING that comes so easy to most of the population.  It seems, at times, that this has to be a world that has gone mad!  How can the highest joy and ultimate sadness coexist on this earth?  What is the meaning, the lesson??  So many questions.

I don’t know where we’re going, but we will hold on to each other in the darkness and walk in circles if we have to.

We will find a path eventually.  And almost certainly, it will lead somewhere other than here.