Some days I have to stop everything to just try to remember who I am. Like I’ve lost my grip on my identity, not the words but the essence, what it feels like to be myself. I have to try to remember, is this something I care about? Is this something I stand for? Would I enjoy this?
I’m in recovery mode at the moment. Recovering from grief, from disappointment, from putting life on hold and forgetting who I was. So I’m a little lost. Confused. Withdrawn.
Who was I before grief and the promise of death knocked on our door?
Who was I before I started to define myself by a fertility chart and the likelihood that I might give birth before I can see through any given plans?
I think I once spent a lot of time focused on living my Purpose. I was constantly pushing forward, wanting to do more, be more, achieve more. I was always on a Journey, a path towards who and where God wanted me to be. What could I do next? How could I move forward? Who would journey with me to figure it out together?
But that didn’t matter all that much because I was going to start Trying To Conceive. I was going to Get Pregnant and Have A Baby and Be A Mother. And that was going to happen soon, any month now, any day now, definitely within a year, so why would I need any other Purpose for now? That will be more than enough, thank you very much.
The closest thing I’ve had to Purpose since then was starting the road to become foster carers. I felt that God had given me a mother’s heart for a reason, and I wanted to use it for good while waiting for our own children. But the intensity of that path has not been right for now.
Meanwhile, grief is exhausting. Did you know? I’ve never been so tired as I have in the fortnight since my father-in-law died. And, of course, I thought my exhaustion could be an early pregnancy symptom this time.
You know what else is exhausting? Being on an emotional rollercoaster. Disappointment, sadness, anger, devastation, confusion, hope, contentedness, happiness, excitement, suspense. Rinse and repeat. Life is a hard enough road as it is. A rollercoaster does not make a good road.
This month’s disappointment was one of the more devastating I have experienced. Sometimes I will cry. This time it was a lot.
On my roughest day I declined to speak to a close friend because I suspected she would tell me she is pregnant. She is, so, well spotted, Esther. It was still hard to read it in a text message, but at least she didn’t have to hear me sob in response to her happy news.
But it was good to read this today: Why Not Getting Pregnant Was A Blessing In Disguise. The author realised she had put her life on hold to get pregnant, so she made a conscious effort to rediscover the person she used to be.
In short, I hardly recognized myself. I missed the old me; the person I relied on to take action. I’d been so focused on what wasn’t happening, that I lost sight of what was and who I am. So this past month, I decided to use what the “old me” knows all too well and to take action to find the person I’d left behind.
- Anne Omland
It got me thinking about how my life would have been different if we’d fallen pregnant sooner, even straight away.
I wouldn’t have applied for the counselling promotion, and got it.
I wouldn’t have learned what being healthy can really feel like.
We wouldn’t have bought a house.
We wouldn’t have been able to drop everything to be with my parents-in-law while my father-in-law was dying.
As well as – of course – two extra years of having my body to myself, enjoying a child-free marriage, drinking wine and eating seafood and soft cheeses.
What I thought I wanted, what I got instead
Leaves me broken and somehow peaceful
I keep wanting you to be fair
But that’s not what you said
I want certain answers to these prayers
But that’s not what you said
When I get to heaven I’m gonna go find Job
I want to ask a few hard questions, I want to know what he knows
About what it is he wanted and what he got instead
How to be broken and faithful
- “What I Thought I Wanted” by Sara Groves
If, two years ago, someone had given me a Matrix-style choice – take the blue pill for the life I thought I wanted, falling pregnant straight away, or the red pill for the rollercoaster I’ve actually had – which would I have chosen?
That’s easy. Blue pill.
And yet, on this side, I wouldn’t erase the last two years of my life. So it’s a good thing I wasn’t offered that choice.