Je ne regrette rien. Je regrette tout.

Slow-weaving music steals into my soul, soothing and calming it. The familiar hypnotic beat and bassline soothe me and allow my mind to float away in familiar patterns of disassociation. I can feel the part of me which cares getting further and further away, floating upwards from the burden of Truth and wondering idly whether the string will snap and the worry will be over. Ecouter.


This song has been one of my go-to pieces when I need carrying away. When I hear the Egyptian bells ringing and feel like I’ve been wearing my stained raincoat too long. When the hurricane blows my way and all I want is to be someone’s ‘sweet nothing’ and to miss the train and have it all not matter. Ecouter.

It’s The Week. And it’s been getting to me.

In a peripheral sense, mostly. I’ve been far too busy living (getting waylaid by floods on the way to my clinic/trying to do the weekly shop by myself in time to go out for the evening with friends to a gorgeous Greek Taverna/getting my fix of friends on Facebook/realising that in a little over a year, my Bezzie and I will have been friends for half our lives), because living is what one does, particularly when one is in avoidance mode. This one does, anyway. Ecouter.

The cracks are starting to show, and in spite of the idea that they’re meant to be there to let the light in (or out, I forget which) I’m beginning to feel like I’m held together with sticky-tape and prayer, and I’m not sure the prayer’s working.

I got notification earlier of a guest post I wrote a while ago, in response to a request. For a blog about mothering and mothers and being a mum and parenting and…well. You know me by now. The Invisible Mom. How could I resist the chance to try to give those taboos a little kick. To write the other side of motherhood. To drag the Hidden Stuff kicking and screaming into the sunlight again. To engage once more in the pain and heartbreak of a mission I never wanted, but which if one other person is helped by, is made worthwhile. Ecouter.

And The Bitter Irony, really, is that this is the week it got published. Because once again I’ve been avoiding the Truth (I know, after all I bang on about how good it is – hah! Don’t believe everything you read, kids) and so the dates and the pertinence of the week had evaded me and I’d not realised the significance. I could write my own freakin ‘Bad Luck Brian‘ memes out of this stuff. Let me try:

“Decides to start trying for a family…miscarries”

“Says “Second baby will be so prayed for it’ll come out with a halo”…miscarries again”

“Writes post titled ‘Bitter Irony‘ about wanting children…Husby gets sterilised same week*”

Funny, non?

*In fairness, the appointment I’m dreading, on Thursday, is a world of unknowns and anxieties and fears and thoughts careening out of control. Because it is, bien sur. And it is what it is, and in spite of my desire to never say never and hang onto my hopes, they seem ever-so far away.

The Known Facts: We have an appointment with Husby’s endocrinologist, and I’ve taken time off work to attend with him and spend the rest of the day Not At Work.

The Insidious Fears: We’re going to walk out with a new set of meds designed to make him healthy, which will render him sterile in a matter of…weeks? months? Or we might walk out with nothing, and still no idea what’s going on, and whether or not we have a chance. We will find out whether the fertility treatment can be delayed and the funding held. We might find out we won’t get any treatment due to timelines clashing (they awarded us the funding for the period we were meant to be trying without assistance). I’m going to fall apart afterwards and Husby’s going to go out to his Important Club Meeting. I’ll might end up drinking and risking the phonecalls/being sat on/wrath/concern of various invested bods. I won’t care. I warn you now – if drinking is how it’s going to be, I want no input. I shall want to lay on the floor drunk and ugly-crying and let it all out, just for a bit.

The Ultimate Fear: No babies. Ever.

And meanwhile in my mind, an endless tape plays “What if we’d…what if I’d…what if I hadn’t…what if he hadn’t…what if we never…what if it isn’t…if only we could…if only I’d thought…if only he hadn’t…if only I’d never…”

Je ne regrette rien. Je regrette tout. 

Ecouter…

Ecouter…

Ecouter…

…and decide whether the fragile thread of ‘mind’ is worth hanging onto.

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30 thoughts on “Je ne regrette rien. Je regrette tout.

  1. I wrote about the Serenity Prayer not long ago. The second half of it did NOT convince me.

    BUT I have Good People around me, and they're there On Purpose. So there's that. I'm not alone.

    Thank you for your words and encouragement.

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  2. Can we talk Puritans? Jonathan Edwards in his great fire and brimstone sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” (stay with me here…it's not about the angry God part), pleaded with his congregation to understand that if they hoped at all for salvation and mercy, they had to realize that there was absolutely nothing they along could do to bring that about. He wanted them to realize that they needed to throw themselves at God's mercy and let Him hold them up. I think Christine is right – couldn't agree more. We don't get more than we can handle alone and He never expects us to handle it alone. All he asks is that we allow Him to walk beside us or carry us when necessary. It's why one of my favorite favorite pieces is “Footprints.” And one that hung in my Grandparents' hallway all my life is one that I've been holding fast to a lot lately…”Desiderata,” by Max Erhmann. Right below it, also framed and hanging in the hallway, was the “Serenity Prayer.” These have all spoken deeply to me all my life. Across the pond or across the street, friend, I wish for you nothing but the best possible ability to trust and be at peace.

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  3. My friends saved me again today, because everything shifted and I nearly broke. Again. Ohhh it's so hard. We keep going, right? Because that's all there is. And we try to do Good along the way, because it helps. *breathes*

    I'll try to be kind to myself. Thanks.

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  4. Lizzi, it's hard. I know it's hard. When my second daughter was born so early we didn't know if she'd survive, people would say, “I'm sure she'll be fine.” And I'd feel livid. They weren't sure – even the doctors weren't sure, so how could anyone be? And someone said, “I can imagine what you are going through.” And I replied, “No you can't. You can't imagine this unless you've been through it.”
    So although I've never been in your situation, I think I do understand the fear of hoping, the sense of isolation, the ache. It's hard, it's damned hard. And I am glad you have so many friends to comfort you and hope it eases the pain a little. Be kind to yourself.

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  5. Thanks Mike. That image did make me grin. I've been lucky because yes, everything fell apart again and went horribly *something* but I had people around me, and Husby came home, and between them all, I am stuck back together.

    Don't think I could take many more taps from the bat, though…

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  6. I'm still just getting to know you being new to your blog, Lizzi. And I most definitely send my thoughts and prayers to you and your husband. It sounds like you've been hit with the proverbial bat in life more than once. And looking at the replies it sounds like something took another left turn. Try catching a tennis ball in your mouth. It sure makes Phoenix smile! My unsappy attempt to send you a virtual hug and smile. Feel free to email us if you ever want to vent. Alcohol induced is just fine too 🙂

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  7. I will hold the faith for you, and as you wrestle in this awful torture and freefall… please keep holding on to your lifeboats. I am so devastatingly sorry hun. Broken hearted for you….

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  8. Hung by my own words. Never listen to me. I'm not wise. I'm a dumbass.

    Feel free to take life by the hair and slit its throat for me today. Because it all changed again and I'm in freefall.

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  9. I hope you know, though I have been quiet lately, that I still follow and read your posts and think about you all the time. And I remember a thing you told me once, “It’s
    tough, It keeps being tough. But so will you be.” Those are words I have not forgotten, they got me through so much. Sometimes I say nothing because I just don't know what to say to you, Lizzi. Life has been stupid to you. The best I can do is offer to beat it black and blue in your honor. It does keep being tough Lizzi. But so will you be. So will you be.

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  10. It's so kind of you, and thanks for letting me know.

    I think it all just backfired horribly though.

    Ack. I'm a mess right now. I love your comment, but I haven't the fortitude to respond to it as nicely as it deserves. Sorry 😦

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  11. hey guess what, I was nearly ready to go along with some of this. And now it's all fucking changed again. So no. No. I don't. It's not a miracle and reprieve isn't meant to feel like torture and freefall and endless pain.

    I 'deserve' nothing. I know that. Whatevs. None of us do, right. But this. is. torture.

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  12. This week, I've caught myself thinking of *Lizzi* in so many unpredictable moments, and for what it's worth, I say a little prayer each time. I don't lie about that…I think sometimes people say that, and they don't actually do it. I do it. When I think of you, I say a little prayer that you'll find peace in whatever news you get. And then I pray for good news. I'm not a super religious bible thumper, but I do pray, and sometimes, every once in a while, they get answered. So this week, they're dedicated to you. For what it's worth….even if it's just a Mandi sized piece of sticky tape.

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  13. For different reasons, I too feel like I'm being held together by sticky tape some days. I wish I had the right words of comfort for you. But, as I've had people say to me, you're lucky you are a writer and can write it out. I hope your writing is somewhat cathartic, even if just for those moments you are writing about it. Sending you strength and big hugs.

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  14. Of course I understand! And I understand the FIGHT for what you so deserve and something that is ONLY good! I can have the distance and detachment to realize and trust that your CREATOR is taking care of you- He is allowing this for some reason that we do NOT know. He is NOT A BULLY!!!!!!!

    He knows this chapter is heartbreaking and awful… He has also written the next and the next and the entire book- He knows how this story of yours unfolds!! He has a PLAN!! Do you see all His Children living life without pain? Suffering? Loss? Do you think He is a bully to us all?

    When Satan twists his darkness into our lives… our Heavenly Father will redeem and conquer his power with His Everlasting Light. We must trust in that Light to come… we must have faith, not in this world, but in His.

    You must MUST not rely on your own understanding… you must stretch beyond it…into the deep unknown of His Love. He HAS a future for you- one of Hope, not harm.

    Jeremiah 29:11
    New International Version (NIV)

    11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

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  15. *eyes screwed tight shut, fingers in ears, grimacing and FIGHTING IT*

    And I hate that you're probably right and I hate that it would be easier if I give up and do this surrendering business and just NO! It feels like bullying.

    (you understand I'm angry *near* and not *at* you? right? Ack ( ❤ ))

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  16. I've heard that saying. And yet people still do themselves in, so I'm not entirely sure it's true. (I'm not going to – just sayin).

    I will get through it. There will be a point, two weeks from now, when I'll be 12 days on the other side of this appointment and whatever it brings, and I will have lived through it.

    I just…

    Too Many Things. Too Many Feels.
    I need a 'fast forward' button.

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  17. I didn't remember either. Completely utterly had NO idea. Because of avoiding it. And I'm still glad I wrote for you and I'm still glad to be part of your initiative. I just…forgot! And it side-swiped me a little.

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  18. Sigh… and you open up your heart to us, so that we may be lifeboats in the midst of the storm. Let us pray- for as you may not see the prayers working, He sees YOU. And in His Loving arms you shall fall… and His Perfect Power will open your heart and your soul to new beginnings whatever they may be. This – THIS life, is not forever. Your dreams may spill into eternity.. and that hope shall carry you through. Heaven has no pain- no tears- no “what ifs” no endless battles for good.
    I speak His truth. His vision for you is set. You can either fall to your knees and accept it or fight it with the angst that leaves you in despair all the rest of your days. Stand high- beckon His arms to come forth and wrap you in His tender grace and allow your tears to fall into His Hands.
    He already knows how this will go…

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  19. Thank you, Lizzi, for your brave, strong words. I had no idea that I had requested them on such a tough week. But I pray that this Bitter Irony allows for you to feel God's unfathomable control, immeasurable love and unending grace that you may feel comfort and peace in whatever comes. ❤

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  20. Another post where I don't think I breathed. UGH. Lizzi, I'm so sorry this week is so awfulstressfulscary, but I'm holding your hopes in my heart SO SO HARD.
    No matter what the outcome, you can handle this. You will handle it. Ever heard that saying, God will never give you more than you can handle? Repeat that like a mantra. I'm not going to tell you everything will be okay cuz I don't know that. But I do know you can handle it. Whether it be good news or shattering news, or something in between. You got this. With us, and your IRL friends, and your mum and WonderAunty. And Joe. Of course.
    *MASSIVEHUGS*

    Like

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