No. I need my Ten.

Today I lost my sense of humour.

It will come back. At some point. But for now I’m in a horrible place and life feels almost unbearable. Again.

Hope flickered earlier today (those precious, painful hopes which I can’t quite leave behind) and Husby and I spent some time together, in a concerted effort to help the hopes become realities.

But when you’re not only battling impending infertility but a grief hangover and depression treated with SSRI’s, I can promise you – it all ends in tears. Curled-in-a-ball, broken tears.Which rather ruins the mood.

We really tried. But the SSRI family of drugs have one rather unfortunate side effect, which means that it doesn’t even matter if Husby’s sperm count is within the ‘viable’ brackets – because if they’re not going anywhere, we’re still not having any kids.

I’m sure it’s all very well and good to just be able to enjoy the moments of married bliss and togetherness. If only there wasn’t all the rest of the crap.

With a side-order of total shit, by the way (thanks, this week) – we found out that my Father-in-law has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Oh, and thanks to a completely dickheaded ruling of one of the courts of the land, a very wicked man is being allowed to see his children again. And if the children were dogs (after the way he treated them) then he would be banned from owning dogs forever, and would probably be prosecuted. But because they’re kids (and not as important as dogs?) and somecrap about ‘rights of the father’ and ‘insufficient evidence’, they are supporting his application.

And I want to kidnap those precious children and take them away and keep them safe.

And I’m terrified that (in spite of all the very many viable and positive options for treatment) my FIL will die without us having made him a Grandad.

And I’m BEYOND pissed off that we are stuck in an epic Catch-22 of either having a non-depressed, medicated Husby who is unable to create children, or a depressed, non-medicated Husby who doesn’t want to.

Either way, February is almost too close to do anything about it.

Never say never? Pshaaawwwwwf*

 So. The upshot is; The Abyss is back. And I’m in it.

And I’d be the crappiest ever in the world Ten Things of Thankful founder, if I didn’t take my own advice and use that damn exercise to try to conquer the challenges of life by Actively Seeking Good. Like RightNow.

No linkie (sorry – I’m still giving my co-hosts the fortnight (YES, it’s a word, dagnabbit! Means ‘two weeks’, rednecks…) but I need this. And I need it tomorrow. And Monday. And probably Tuesday. And DEFINITELY Christmas day.

Time to tap into that stubbornness and pig-headedness I know I can work to my advantage.


1. I am HUGELYMASSIVELY thankful for the outlet of writing. I know I’ve said this before, but it bears reiterating. And for friends who share that writing. And people who give back, having read something very personal and hard-to-write.

2. I’m thankful that in spite of the epic side-swipe of fate-thwarting we suffered today, there was at least the intention and the desire to try.

3. I’m thankful for my friends who hold my hopes.

4. I’m thankful that I managed to restrain myself when a sweet old lady I saw as a patient today, asked if I had any children. I’m also thankful that I managed a short-but-not-unprofessional “No.” before biting the insides of my lips and NOT CRYING as I focussed on entering her details into the computer. WAY BIG WIN right there.

5. I’m SO thankful that when I arrived home to another pile of Christmas ambush mail through the letterbox, there was one, beautiful, NOT-Christmas letter, and it was from the most darlingest girl – Kate (who blogs at Another Clean Slate) and it was short and very sweet. And it really made my day.

6. I’m thankful that after the epic fail of the evening, I made a healthy decision, not to return home to loneliness, bitterness, wine and tears, but to family. I drove (don’t drive while crying, kids – it’s not real smart) round to Mum’s and got hugged and looked after and sympathised with and nurtured by WonderAunty (I also had my nose Merrrped! and it still made me smile, even while crying) and it all felt a lot less desperate.

7. I’m really thankful that the women in my family know how to serve a ‘best supporting’ tray of cup-of-teas, crackers and cheese along with all the hugs and looking-after.

8. I’m thankful that they worked their magic enough that when I got home (and was still on my own, awaiting Husby’s return from his club night) that I still didn’t drink the wine. And I only cried a little bit more.

9. I’m thankful for Palmer’s Cocoa Butter, which soothes eyes which have had far too much time being washed with salt tears.

10. I’m thankful for Husby, who cooked dinner as I wrote this, and who is calmly, patiently eating his now, as I continue doggedly to the end of my list. And who is going to sit next to me and snuggle with me as we zone out of reality for half an hour, watching Bewitched and wishing that we had Sam’s powers to make it all better, and Endora’s powers for wreaking vengeant justice.


*I pray that one day you can throw that in my face and say “HAH! Look – it happened.”

EDIT: I changed my mind.

LINKIIIEEEE! I wanna see yours. If you have one. Welcome to the New World!

Ten Things of Thankful
Ten Things of Thankful

89 thoughts on “No. I need my Ten.

  1. It's beautiful, and she's such a sweet, caring, wonderful person. I am truly in awe of her.

    I'm glad too – I needed it! And I'm glad you think I'm inspiring. It seems I'm more inspiring with this TToT than even I knew, and I'm SO pleased to see the returns on it this week. It's amazing.

    Thank you my friend. If you had come to England that would've been so cool. But hey, how differently life would've turned out! At least I know you THIS way, right? And that's Good 😀 *HUGS*


  2. I love the card you got from Kate! What a lovely way to say “I care”! <3

    I am glad that despite of all the negative emotions you are going through right now you still came up with ten things. You are such an inspiration. I hope you know that.

    Sending you some lovin' and warm thoughts from the continent to your beautiful island (which, in another era and another life, I planned moving to and living with my British boyfriend back then. Yes, that was my plan.) xoxo


  3. Donetta I'm glad you were able to use this as the tool it's meant to be. Sorry you've been finding it a struggle. And honestly – what's hard for each of us is HARD for each of us – there's no comparing of pain or situations – if it's hard to US it counts – it's a challenge, and it's undiminished by anyone else's pain or circumstance. I promise you that. So well done for your heroic Ten Things.

    In the grand scheme of things I'm not sure there are any answers. Not sensible ones. It's a broken world, and broken things happen.

    When there are no sperms, talking or thinking about adoption (or anything else) won't make a blind bit of difference. But I'm glad your friend got a baby. Desperately wanting a child and diagnosed infertility are vastly different.

    Kate's card really made my day. She's such a wonderful, sweet person.

    And thank you – I'm glad you appreciate all the honesty and the TToT and the linkie and the being part of this community of thankful, wonderful, sometimes broken, always strong, awesome people.

    Thanks for your thoughts and wishes.


  4. I am so so sorry to read what you're going through. I can't imagine how difficult it must be and how stressful for you and your husband. I haven't been in the Christmas spirit, and I have been in a horrible mood, so I forced myself to think of 10 things I'm thankful for. I actually have a lot to be thankful for. You've read my blog………. about my immediate family being gone, and other problems I deal with. Then I read ytour blog, and I feel a bit selfish. The only thing I can relate to a little, is in 2004, I had a miscarriage. I was around 4 months pregnant, heard the tiny heartbeat, it was painful, physically and emotionally. However, I had my 2 year old daughter. Then in 2006, I was blessed with my youngest daughter. I read what you wrote about a man getting his children back when he had been cruel to them. Things like that break my heart and I often wonder why in the great scheme of things do people who aren't fit to raise a cat have children they don't want and then so many people such as yourself want a child and would be such a good mother. I can tell you are a strong person and caring. I had a friend who desperately wanted a child. Her and her husband was looking into adoption and then suddenly, she was pregnaant. I hope for you that a miracle like that occurs.
    On a brighter note; I adore what Kate sent you. I'm so thankful and happy when I seen there was a TToT and you added a linkie! You touch a lot of people with your honesty and sharing your struggles. I feel blessed just to know that part of you on here. I hope the Holiday spirit comes and I will keep you in my thoughts. I'm not way religious or anything, but I do pray to a Higher Power when I feel lost or if I need to feel there is someone larger than me looking over all of us.
    You are an amazing woman and I believe everything will come together for you and your hubby somehow. Hugs.


  5. Oh, if only there weren't an ocean between us! I'm a much better listener than speaker, and it's so much easier (for me) to be supportive in person than over the internet. My lack of many words in no way indicates a lack of concern. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


  6. I am hoping for the best possible outcome for your father in law and for you and your husband. And I am glad you did not go about your grief alone. There is something so lifting about being with others, even in the darkest moments.


  7. Just know as the internet takes a holiday for the next few days, I am praying for everyone that is hurting this holiday season. Holidays can be really, really rough when you're hurting. Hang in there, my friend!


  8. I'm a SM loser (took me like four and a half minutes to figure out that was social media and not something else). For the moment, I have e-mail – haven't gone the Facebook Twitter etc route. I'm hater. 🙂 But yeah, e-mail me anytime. 🙂


  9. I'm really struggling to even form in my mind of anything which could be bigger and more wonderful than having kids…

    Perhaps my dreams are too small.

    Or perhaps they aren't – I put it to any parent – *is* there anything better than the love you have for your kids?


  10. I'm not even sure what to say other than that PLEASE remember your life will look so different in 5 years, and that 5 years is not that long… Also, hugs, prayers, and massive support through the interwebs. Big. Huge, even…


  11. Hi, I heard a song once. That when it seems God is saying no, he may just have a bigger yes around the corner. I am praying for you to have a bigger yes in the near future friend. Hang in there. God never forsakes us or leaves us.


  12. Thanks Yvonne. I'm full of distractions today, and it's been good. Writing this last night was absolutely necessary. But I've clawed (and been helped) a good portion of the way back. I have a sense of humour again today 🙂


  13. I slept more. I indulged with a lovely long lie-in this morning. And hey – at least I didn't fall asleep IN THE ROOM again! Good grief! You looked like you were going to, though 😉

    The writing was hugely cathartic. It's been that way a lot this week. And the responses (far more so than the sharing) by people who have such beautiful warmth of spirit that they genuinely do care, has been staggering and wonderful and comforting and encouraging.

    I'm probably almost back at rock-bottom today 😀 *HUGS* ❤


  14. Sorry to see that you've been feeling low again this week and that you've had some added tough stuff to deal with. It can sometimes seem as if everything comes at once, but even from below rock bottom there is still the chance to climb up again. Hope things feel brighter for you soon.


  15. Okay lets see. I quit grad school twice already bc i wasnt sure i could do it AND work full time. But i dont make as much as i need as if i had a masters degree, you see. Teaching at a private school you get he same wage as a fast food worker without a masters degree. No kidding. So theres the dilemma. Not make very much and not be able to afford basic necessities for a kiddo or finish school and have a more comfortable living AND better insurance. Soon i should be able to get it on my own and get myself to the doc anyways 🙂
    Wish me luck that i can get all his stuff to happen sooner rather than later. Sigh
    Have a wonderful rest of ur wknd. Sorry for the bad typing i am on my fone haha


  16. Lizzi. Woman who should sleep more. Not a lot. Just more. The dark place is awful. And sometimes unavoidable. And sometimes we have to indulge the darkness. I hope that your sharing has provided enough cathartic comfort to propel you at least to the 50 feet of crap mark.
    “Who loves ya baby?”


  17. The Puritans have a bad rep.

    Hey, is there any SM way I can contact you (not here, in comments)? It would be great to chat properly…

    And yes. It absolutely is the truth. But there's more to it even, than that.

    And sometimes there is no tangible point – certainly not one which comes from good. And wanting the answer now is so, SO human, and so hard. And a challenge I grapple with CONSTANTLY.

    I'm glad too. I'll keep it up til after Christmas and then probably do another renegade one next weekend. It seems the need for the hop is greater than the need for a break.


  18. Thanks so much Stephanie. I truly appreciate you hanging onto them. As I said to Dana – it gives me so much more mental space. When I start getting hooked in, I picture you three holding the hopes, and I feel calmer, knowing that *I* don't have to worry about them too much. Course, they do come back and attack me now and again, but for the most part, I'm free of the overwhelmingness of their burden.

    It's DEFINITELY easier not having to carry this alone, and to be able to share. I'd go nuts otherwise!

    Dinner was good, thanks 🙂


  19. “The people who abide by the rules often seem to get slammed with epic challenges. “

    Isn't that just the truth? I can't tell you how many times I have screamed or whispered some version of this over the last year and a half since the Fab Hub's job was eliminated and we were thrust headlong into this current version of what we call Life. We are good people. We follow the rules – even if we don't want to. We try to live good lives – kindly, honestly, faithfully, ethically. So why is it that the people who toss reason and propriety to the wind seem to get away with the golden ticket? No idea. I have to remind myself every day that other people aren't my concern in that regard – their lot is their lot and mine is my own. I just have to try and make sense of it all and figure out what it means for me.

    I'll go spiritual for a second…let's talk Puritans. They were a good, faithful, simple bunch of folk who did their best to deal with whatever lot they were handed (predestination – what a way to live!) and find a way to accept it, even if they couldn't seem to understand it. I try to think like that. “OK, God, I have no idea why my husband's job disappeared, but surely there's some point to all of this.” The problem is that I have zero patience and I want the answer now.

    So glad you made this a linkup – I definitely wanted and needed to have the TToT during this fortnight. (See how many times I toss that one around?)


  20. Thank you Kim. I think that might be one of the most effective things there is…because there sure as hell isn't anything tangible which will help. So really, truly, thank you.


  21. Right *settles in to reply*

    Firstly, I absolutely HAVE to believe that a person's goodness and their worth have absolutely NO bearing on the lot they get handed in life. The two are separate. I know it is human nature to feel that we should be able to earn or 'deserve' good things, and I think that's because we are at heart a nurturing species, and when we care for each other, we want to reinforce their goodness and our value of them, by doing good things for them which make them happy. It's part of our society, it's part of our culture – it's part of our inherent humanity.

    But life is arbitrary, and without meandering off into the realms of the spiritual, life is also harsh and unfair, and does not conform to what we'd like – it picks no favourites. And the people who are willing to break the rules of society to get ahead are often the ones 'life' seems kindest to. The people who abide by the rules often seem to get slammed with epic challenges. I don't really understand why that seems to be the case so often, but it is, and there you have it.

    There's also not always a lesson or a plan. But there ARE always things we can learn (which is a little different) and ways in which we can improve our character.

    I really hope that you guys make your scary deadline, and that things start making sense soon. Honestly, the more I read of what people are going through at the moment, the gladder I am that I went renegade and hooked us all up with a TToT anyway – I think we really need it at the moment. It's SUCH a good discipline, and it really does help.

    We shall keep writing our lists and holding each other in our hearts.

    I'm glad you twigged. I really, truly, SO needed this Ten. And I figured that if even Christine was bugging me for a link-up, it was something more than just the two of us would need. And I was right. It's become a very integral part of my life, and I admit, I was feeling pretty lost without it.

    Thank you for your hopes and prayers. They're sensible ones. I echo their sentiments.


  22. So many hugs to you, Lizzi. I'm at a loss of words, but be assured that I'm holding your hopes, fighting off anyone who's trying to get to them and climb on a ladder (despite my extreme fear of heights) to hold them even higher for you! I'm glad you have family by your side who support you. I remeber having a friend by my side at a similar situation several years back, and it helped so much to be able to share and not having to carry the load alone.

    I hope you're having a good dinner with your hubby!


  23. Keep holding, Dana – I really need you to. Because I don't quite know how it's going to happen. I really need you, Stephanie and Janine right now. I'm so grateful that you're doing this for me – it really, truly helps to give me some mental space from it.

    There are good cards. Some REALLY good cards. I just need to keep focused on them.

    Thank you. And sorry for your first comment – that sucks 😦


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