Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The silver lining of the red plague

On one of the forums I regularly haunt, there was a discussion on why that time of the month can be a positive thing. At first I scoffed at the idea. After 14 months of trying to conceive a baby, I found the idea that there was anything positive about a failed cycle laughable. But as the idea rolled around in my brain, I realized that there were positives to having a period:

1. I actually get a period every 30 days. I didn't realize what a blessing this was until I started talking to other women struggling with infertility.

2. Soft, squishy, pretty mama cloth. It's my lingerie of that time of the month. I actually get excited choosing out which pattern and luxurious fabric will grace my tush for the day.

3. I can end any stressful days with a glass of wine...or three without worrying if there’s a tiny fetus in there also indulging.

4. It gives Adam and I a break from our regular amorous endeavours. We cuddle more (without it having to lead anywhere) and by the time my week is over, we’re both ready to start fresh!

5. I can play scientist with my Diva cup. Gross but true. I find it all fascinating!

6. It's another three weeks before that familiar pang hits of "what if?"

7. If I'm feeling delusional, my bloat is enough that I can stick out my gut and pretend that I'm pregnant to wig out my coworkers.

8. It means I'm still young enough to not be menopausal, which means we still have a chance.

So there you are. I guess there really is a silver lining to every situation!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Escaping the gloomies

I have been living through an extended period of what I call "the gloomies." I don't want to call it depression. Many people in my life suffer from that affliction and I don’t think what I’ve been going through is as serious as that. I just haven’t been myself. For nearly a year now, it’s almost like I’ve been watching a live stage production of my life instead of being an active participant.

My trip to England earlier this month brought this revelation to light. I had assumed that my struggle was because I’m a mum of two young children who also has a demanding career. When I arrived in England without the weight of my mum, wife, and career-woman roles, I thought I would instantly spring to life. Instead, I felt the weight of my own body and thoughts pulling me back from the fun and interaction I wanted to have. I found myself once again observing others. I realized that perhaps this was more than just everyday stress.

I’ve since found that just recognizing and outing my personality change has been therapeutic. Weaning Fliss has helped to even out my hormones and I’ve been doing a better job of recognizing that I can’t change who people are at work, I just have to find a way to mesh our working styles. I’m starting to feel as if I’m surfacing from a long submersion. I can feel the warmth of the sun again and the world seems a little brighter.

I’m left with a lingering feeling of guilt as I recognize what impact my gloomies have had on those around me. Adam, especially, has borne the brunt of my veiled existence. He has been carefully picking up the balls I’ve been dropping. Rarely complaining. Rarely asking why. Just quietly standing beside me, ready to catch me if I fell. I wonder what my extended family thought (especially those who haven’t seen me in 13 years). I feel as if I wasted a part of my trip by not truly living it. I find myself wanting to go back to have different, more involved conversations. I want to dance on the beach. I want to be silly and cuddly with my cousin’s baby. I want to snuggle with my parents and hug my aunts and uncles more. To just be the person I am instead of this pale reproduction I’ve become.

I’m peeling off layers now; getting closer to who I was. Who I want to be again: The fun one. The social one. The supporter and listener. The one who will comfortably talk with anyone and manage to draw out intimate details of their lives through casual conversation. I feel like any day now, that last gossamer layer will fall away and instead of watching from the balcony, I’ll be a part of the action. The curtains will part and the stage that is my life will be mine again.
Bring on the diva.