The hope-train is an exhausting ride.
Sometimes I don’t feel like talking about it. I don’t want to propagate my heartache or broken-spirit. I just want to be carefree again and drink martinis and talk about all the cool stuff out in the world that’s still on my bucket list.
Don’t get me wrong, just because I’m not talking about it doesn’t mean it’s not there. And don’t think by asking me about it, you’re somehow reminding me of it. It’s impossible to remind me of it. It’s my daily reality. It always seems to be looming in the air, like a half finished painting hung over the fireplace in the front room for all to see.
When are you going to finish the damn painting? Or just take it down and hang some photos or something else already! It’s an eye sore. It ruins the mood, disrupts the ambiance of the fancy dinner parties…
It reminds me of that movie, ‘The Beach’, with Leonardo DiCaprio. Do you remember when one of the members of the group gets attacked by a shark and he’s writhing in pain? At first, everyone runs to him, tries to help, they wrap his leg to stop the bleeding, they make a bed for him to lay in. But after a while, his winces and screams from the pain begin to dampen the spirit of the group. They all start feeling frustrated and depressed. There’s a black cloud looming over them and they can’t take it anymore.
So, they decide to carry his bed outside the shelter, beyond the commune just on the outskirts, where they can’t hear his screams anymore. Where they can’t see him in pain.
And just like that, the next shot is everyone laughing and having fun playing volleyball on the pristine sandy beach.
That’s what it feels like.
At first, everyone wants to help. Let’s fix this, get you better so you can join back in the fun, so you don’t get left too far behind. People struggling with infertility bring the crowd down. Their sadness, or their broken spirit or their emptiness is just too much to be around so you have no choice but to leave them behind. Is it survival of the fittest?
I know I have people around me that just want me to get on with it already. They just want me to move on with this- adopt, foster, magically fix it-so that they don’t have to think about it anymore. So they can go on with their own lives. It’s almost like it’s holding them back in some way as well.
I don’t know what to say to them.
My best friend is a high-school gym/health teacher and she recently had to teach a grade 11 unit on reproductive health and asked me if I had anything to add, anything I would have wanted someone to tell me at 17. The only thing I could think of to say was, ‘just tell them to live their lives and don’t worry about it’.
The truth is, I couldn’t have prepared for all this nonsense, no matter what anyone had ever said to me. It happens so gradually and then you’re in the thick of it and then five years goes by. That’s how life happens. There really is nothing I could have done differently. Sometimes you just have to stay on the ride.
In the meantime, I’d like to share this with you-
It’s insightful and practical advice on dealing with grief and the grief of those around you. It’s from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
The big takeaway- Do SOME-thing-