Monday, December 14, 2009

Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop

Sitting here I am wondering what is bringing me down when my life, as I've said countless times, is going good. If you asked me a year ago where I'd love to be a year from then, I'd say right where I am right now. So why this weird feeling of discontent.

I considered the irritable uterus. The discharge. The frantic trip to the OB and then I finally had my aha moment: I'm feeling this way because I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I remember reading a post by dooce years ago on this topic which said in relevant part:
a singular thought that has followed me through my life, the thought that because there are other people in the world who do not have it good as I do that I... need to worry about something, anything. That I owe it to those who have a harder life. That because I am very lucky I need to suffer crippling anxiety to even things out a little bit. And of course, the exact opposite is true. I owe it to those who are not as lucky as I am to appreciate the hell out of my life, I know this fundamentally, I just can't get around the guilt I experience almost every hour over the fact that my life is really good when so many in this world have lives full of ongoing tragedy, an overwhelming feeling that if I am not a stressed out mess everything will be taken away from me.
As fucked up as it sounds, because life is finally on track. Because things are going so well I'm waiting for the rug to be pulled from under me. We are so strong yet at our core we are as fragile as egg shells and there a million things that can go wrong at every second of every day. I'm thinking, no, life can't be going so well. When exactly is the shit going to hit the fan?

I feel a strange sense of survivor's guilt. Why did it take me less than two years to get to this point, when people have been trying so much longer to conceive? Why do some people have to go through more pain, more miscarriages, more severe infertility diagnosis? I got so used to crying out why me during my most difficult moments, that now that I am where I want to be I find myself feeling guilty and wondering why me.

This guilt extends to beyond fertility. I got an agent while others have struggled. Why me, not them? Add this to pretty much every blessing I have and this is a heavy load to carry.

I know I'm more lucky than I am deserving so I'm afraid it will all be snatched from me. I'm afraid someone close to me might fall ill, or something will happen with this pregnancy, or all the myriad of things that can happen in a day.

So in essence I've figured out my issue, the root cause of the melancholy that threatens, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm trying to find it with a telescope. I'm glad I've pinpointed the problem, now the next task on the list is dealing with it and putting it to rest.


  1. I'm glad you're moving closer to being able to let those burdens go. You deserve every instant of happiness you can wring out of life - it doesn't detract from anyone else's experience of sorrow or grief, and it might just help THEM out from that morass somehow. Cheer is infectious, just like unhappiness. And more than that, it's a much more pleasant way to spend one's life. I hope you can find your way out from under that feeling of being a target for falling shoes. It sounds a miserable way to live, and I want better for you!

  2. It's normal to ask the WHY question.

    I find myself asking "Why me" several times a day recently, it's a question that I know I will never get an answer to and one that will haunt me for the rest of my life and surround it in sadness even if it's not visible.

    Why you? Why not you? I won't say you deserve this because I've grown to hate that statement it implies that others who aren't knocked up, others who never will be knocked up didn't deserve to be and thats not true.

    You're going to be a great Mum, perhaps thats why you?


  3. Good luck - if you find the secret, let me know!
    Glad the discharge was normal, as I figured it would be. You'll be much more relaxed (I hope) having been reassured by the OB visit.

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  5. Oh my gosh, that's EXACTLY what I have been thinking since that first second line appeared. Just waiting for 'it' - something - to go wrong. I thought I was being pessimistic w/ my first pregnancy, but it was nothing like this. Every day is a freaking milestone. Every minute is spent wondering when it's going to end. When the sh-- will hit the fan. Let me know if you figure out a way to let that go.

  6. Ah the guilt... There's so much and it blows. :(

  7. This post really resonated with me. I've had 13 major attacks with my medical condition since 2003, but have recovered well and been able to conceive.

    I'm on a listserv for people who have the same condition as I do, and it makes me realize every day how different my situation could be. Many of the others were permanently blinded or paralyzed by just *one* attack, so for the longest time I wondered why I got off so "easy".

    Survivor's guilt is real. But what is also real is that things in our life come in cycles. Ups and downs are a natural part of life.

    You had a hard two years of it, and now things are better, thank God. The past two years have given you a level of empathy and understanding for people going through infertility that you mayn't have had before. It opened you up to being sensitive and supportive to the women in your local and virtual community. It deepened your writing and the way you live your life.

    What you are given, or not given, has nothing to do with anyone else's good fortune or misfortune. Just because you have an agent and someone else doesn't, doesn't mean you took that away from them.

    What matters is what you do with what you're given - good or bad. In good times, do we ask "why me?" and try to give back more to those who have less? In bad times are we grateful for all that we do have or do we focus on what we don't?

    How does misfortune change us into better people? How does good fortune make us more grateful?

    These are questions I think about a lot because I know I don't deserve the myriad blessings in my life given by a loving and generous Creator. I can only hope to become more deserving by giving back compassionately and empathetically to others who may not have hit their upswing yet, and to keep in mind that yeah, someday things in my life may not be great again.

    But when that happens, I hope to remember this state where everything is good, thank God.

    Much love to you sweetheart - breathe deep and forget about the other shoe when you can. Focus instead on the good that is happening to you & the good that you can make happen for others.


  8. K,
    I sent you an email... at the same one we've corresponded before. I have a few questions, you'll understand when you read it. Thanks! :)

  9. Really well said, K. I think many of us on the other side of IF can relate to this. It took us 22 cycles to conceive... forever to some, but nothing to others. We have not done IVF. Sometimes I get so upset thinking about other bloggers I read, women who have tried so hard for so long and lost so much. It's hard to imagine a world so unfair.