I’m just gonna stop you at the door.
Usually I’m all down with the Good Seeking, Hope-Finding and Deep-Thinking. Usually tapping into these will keep me on an even keel (that, and talking with wise, wise friends). But today I’m done.
For one post, I’m indulging (in an effort just to let it all out, but also (always self-aware, even now) just because I’m in a bad mood and I’ve had a bad year and I’m sick of not acknowledging even some of the depths of it) in a (probably) profanity-filled, angry, self-pitying rant at the crap-cake which has been 2013.
Zero fucks given*.
Because quite frankly, until this year, I had no idea the amount of truth in the words “You have no idea how strong you are until strong is your only option”. Except when it’s not true at all, and you bow out and try to tell yourself (or surround yourself with people who might do it for you) that crying and misery and drinking to make it all go away, are explainable.
That wonderful catch-all. The “I’m allowing that this is the case, and that you’ve got a damn good reason, but I’m not condoning it” of comfort words.
January We arrived in 2013 hot on the heels of our first loss, still reeling at the idea that we were going to need to get our acts together and make a baby veryquicklyrightnowsoon or lose our chance, probably forever, due to medication changes which would render Husby permanently infertile.
Add to the mix the terror of marital intimacy because you might just go and create (and kill (or let die (or not be able to hang onto))) another so-wanted child. Add to that a case of depression which made marital intimacy a traumatic, stressful and sketchy thing to achieve in the first place. Add to that tears and crying afterwards because of either of the above, or variations on those themes.
February brought even a vague feeling of togetherness, as Husby and I rallied together, wounded, hurting, baffled by the hand we’d been dealt, and we found a small way to commemorate our first Neverborn, wishing we had a crystal ball so we could see how life would turn out in the future. Thank goodness those things are banned! The rest of 2013 would have been spent in bed, with the covers firmly over my head.
And the worst thing. The thing which really pisses me off, looking back. Is that even though I had such high hopes for that commemoration and the ways it was going to help us heal, it hasn’t at all. Because I’ve hidden it somewhere so I don’t have to deal with it. I don’t even know where it is now, and the thought of it abandoned in amongst the still-unpacked boxes of our new home, lost, like our child (now children), is too painful. And the only thing worse is the thought of finding it. Of acknowledging that loss. Of putting things into it and trying so hard to close the lid and keep the pain contained. It’s not gonna happen yet.
March can just fuck off to the far side of Fuck Off, and when it’s there, it can fuck off a bit further. Because the sick, twisted devastation of a second miscarriage the day before Mother’s Day…
We, our family, our friends here and around the world, heck, people I didn’t even KNOW were praying that we’d have another pregnancy. And on the day when Husby said “Whenever we have another baby, it’ll be the most prayed-for baby ever!” and I replied “Yes – it’ll come out with wings and a halo”, I had NO FUCKING IDEA how stupid I was to say that. To tempt fate. Or whatever, in that way. I cannot even begin to voice the deep, roiling anger I have at whatever cosmic twist of assholery decided this was allowable.
April was plenty sucky. So much going on behind the scenes. So much pain and devastation on a personal level, both in my immediate situation and amongst my wider family. So many broken relationships and traumas and thorny situations to try to survive. So although what I wrote about might appear lovely, my tribute to love was nothing more than a desperate attempt to convince myself that it was worthwhile, that there was good to be found there, that in spite of everything, keeping going is alright, and it’ll be okay in the end. On the whole I (now) buy into this. But there were times this year when the furthest thing I wanted to do was behave lovingly. And biting my tongue and carrying on silently, bowed down, not running away, not just throwing up my hands and throwing in the towel…were the most loving things I could manage. And tested me to the absolute limits of my capability.
May. No, wait, March, with that miscarriage, and that small, small chance which might’ve been…that almost began looking good when Husby’s endocrine disorder performed a pre-emptive strike which hit us like smiting from the biggest ever bastard-sword. And you KNOW it’s bad when you start wishing that you had the chance to miscarry again, because it seemed like even that chance had been taken from you. Every. fucking. time. I began to think things couldn’t get worse, it was like I was sending out some vibes to the year to really try its damndest to prove me wrong. It excelled. It won. Every time.
June The month I had a huge scare (I say it was a huge scare. It was. But I was so busy dealing with suicidal feelings elsewhere (not mine) that I was barely able to engage with it at all) when my best friend tried to kill herself with a massive overdose. I went to visit her in the mental hospital where she’d ended up. And even as I tried to comfort her, and marvel with her that in spite of her efforts, somehow a miracle had happened and her liver hadn’t even registered the number of painkillers she’d poured into herself, and as we rejoiced at the doctors’ bafflement and agreed that God is Good, I wished it was me. I wished I could stop the world and get off – check myself into a place where no-one judged, everyone was absolutely, bluntly, brutally honest about their pain. They weren’t trying any more. They were just living it. Immersed in it.
Stopped and having a time-out.
And I knew I couldn’t, because (having experienced non-sectionable-but-nonetheless-hugely-impactful mental health problems before, in my late teens) I knew that if I stopped trying to hold up the ricketty, tumbledown walls of my mind, and if I stood and watched in awe and terror as the cracks joined up and the pain of the year came pouring through and obliterated me…I’d not be stopped, but stuck.
It’s a nagging, persistent feeling. Because oblivion, stopping the world and getting off, is tempting. And once I was there, I don’t think I’d want to return. And that’s dangerously alluring.
July was the month I turned 30, ruined my birthday with a (well justified) hangover, admitted publicly that I was part of an infertile couple, and hated, hated, hated the attention and furore about baby Prince George. Who was born just days before my birthday. The birthday I had always planned to have kids by. That birthday. That empty, mocking, shambles of a fucked-up dream.
August gave me the high point of my year – the shining perfection, bathed in golden, of my niece sleeping on me in the sunshine. And that high point (and the holiday in which it was achieved) both passed, leaving me on my knees, plunged back into the everyday misery of living with someone with clinical depression and all that entailed. And wondering whether I wasn’t in fact going under with it myself.
September was the month I finally started my new job, we got bailed out by my family (again) and were rescued from potential homelessness from about the third time in the last year. Oh, and the depression got too much. So I wrote about it. Ending again, on a positive note (as is my wont) whilst wishing beyond everything for this cup to be taken from me, for the ability to wave a magic wand and undo it all, make it all never have happened. Getting lost in the pain and futility of endless ‘if only’s, and wondering how and where I’d find the resources within me to keep on keeping on…
October brought me a guest post where I finally bared all about just how much I hate my body. And always have done. And how deeply it taps into the left-over crap I have hanging around, from a past which was every bit as unfair and every bit as explainable (again, not justifying – because there really is no way to) as every other undeservedly shitty situation I’ve faced. Or seen faced. The only good thing I can think of about this is that my hopes at the end came true. The dress size was dropped and I’m nearly down to the next one again. And I’ve given up worrying about whether or not I should worry that when a friend said to me on Sunday “Hey, I want you to make sure you don’t get too much skinnier – I can see your collarbones”, my first emotion was glee.
November. Absolute fucking write-off. Anniversary of Neverborn #1. Should’ve-been-due-date of Neverborn #2. And in spite of everything else going well, and Husby’s depression finally beginning to lift, and him having a job, and me having a job, and us not facing perpetual poverty any more…it sucked. And just when I thought things were okay again, I got thrown for a loop with the sudden, shocking, pole-axing realisation that we might never make our parents into Grandparents. And I broke. Again. Fuck that shit.
December was a mess. I panicked about Christmas. I got myself into a tizzy and couldn’t face it for so, so many reasons. And then on Christmas day, that unexpected possibility – that herald which might have been – and then the final twist of the knife which 2013 had in store for us.
And the night before last, when I acknowledged it openly, brokenly, that death notwithstanding, the year was ending with the most destructive of blows. And my dear, dear Husby, and wonderful friends tried to talk me down and provide shreds of comfort and remind me that this was not yet the end, and meanwhile I stood on the balcony at 2am, wondering if there was a word for when rain and tears intermingle and drip off your face together.
But I didn’t throw myself off. I didn’t even consider it. Because I still want to try. We’ve got two months left. I cannot, cannot be held responsible for fucking up our last few chances at parenthood. We both want it too much.
Which leads me to today. A day when I tried. I didn’t drink. I got up, ready to run, ready to try to hit the 10 miles I’ve been aiming to reach before New Year. And I failed. I blew it. I got wave after wave of agonising, bend-you-in-half-in-the-street-can’t-breathe-can’t-walk cramps. After less than a mile. So I limped home and cried and showered and cried and used the (probably) healthier stress response of going soundly to sleep (after a tantrum because ALL THE BEDS WERE COVERED WITH HUSBY’S STUFF) wrapped in blankets, on the floor, wedged between the beds where Niece and Neff stay, thanking my stars that at least I have them…at least I have them…at least I have them…
I also rang the doctor. And I’ll ring back in the morning. But I just want 2013 to be over already. And done with. And gone. And none of this crap to darken my door again, yet I can see 2014 already squaring up to me with the final blow of the February med-change leering in its eyes, and the tantalising small-small-small hope of one funded shot at ICSI hiding behind its smirk…and I watch those hopes and dreams as they seem to quiver and pale before the onslaught that the new year looks set to bring.
And I think I hate it already.
*I’m such a liar. I can’t even post a rant without justifying it. Because so, so many worse things happen – are happening – to people I love and care for. And my heart is so full of pain for them and I’m disgusted by my own selfishness and have well and truly over-thought this, even as I’ve tried to write without caring…I’m so blessed. In so many ways. Hundreds of thousands of ways, tiny ones and huge ones, and mostly through the wonderful people I have around me – my friends-and-relations, Husby, my Blogosphere buddies, my darling lifeboat people – and I know, I know, that this is a timing thing. That this will pass – this year will fade, with its hurts and associations, into the vagueness of memory. The sharp corners will be rubbed off by the passing of time. Good will layer upon Good, and new hurts will burgeon forth to take place of the old ones. In one year. Or five years. Or ten years, 2013 will be largely irrelevant.
And I’m thankful for that.