On Being Unwell

For days I’ve been thinking about writing a “real” post – one that doesn’t involve memes or completing sentences or posting videos or things like that. Because although those things keep my blog active, they have minimal to do with why I actually blog. But I’ve been stuck, inert mostly, and haven’t been able to think, let alone write.

I’m stuck.

I’m unwell.

And I’m having a hard time putting words to why, exactly, I’m unwell.

I’m unwell because I look at Gabe and see him graduating from college and leaving and can’t imagine what my life will be like then. I’m unwell because he calls for me to play with him but inertia keeps me spinning in panic on the couch. I’m unwell because I can’t stay focused long enough to do anything like pick up my house or finish my laundry. There’s currently a load in my washer that has been there for several days. I’m unwell because I forget everything.  Last night, I left a candle burning. All night long. And today, in the middle of styling my hair, I decided we should go for a walk. I came downstairs to get ready, later thinking I should go upstairs to turn off my flat iron. I immediately walked upstairs. Did something that did not include turning off my flat iron. Then came back downstairs and left, flat iron still cooking. I’m unwell because I don’t remember the last time I’ve made a balanced meal. It is all I can do to get a plate of pasta and sauce on the table at the same time and at a time near dinner time.  The thought of being alone paralyzes me.  The thought of being with other people panics me.  The thought of getting up overwhelms me.  The thought of laying in bed makes me restless.

I guess these aren’t really reasons I’m unwell. They’re symptoms.  Of the unwellness that is within me.  I’m afraid.  I’m afraid of everything that comes next.  IVF.  Failure.  Success.  I’m afraid of sending Gabe to kindergarten.  Of sending Gabe to college.  I’m afraid of never feeling normal.  I’m afraid of dying.  Of my parents dying.  Of my family dying.  I’m afraid of not being able to pay my bills.  Or of always coming sort of close to not being able to pay my bills.  I’m afraid life will never slow down.  I’m afraid of having nothing to do.

I make it sound like my whole life is awful.  I am afraid but my whole life isn’t awful.  My whole insides do feel awful.   And I’m not entirely sure what to do about that.

For the last several weeks, my acupuncture appointments haven’t gone well.  I’d come in feeling a bit anxious and stirred up and leave feeling like the top of my head might blow off due to all the anxiety and rage.  It was decidedly unpleasant, and I wasn’t sure why I kept going back.  Why pay to feel awful when I can do it on my own for free?  However, at some point last week a friend casually mentioned something about me and how surprised she was that I was expressing ambivalence about our upcoming ivf.  I said I didn’t understand it either, but as much as I tried I couldn’t muster any specific feelings about it.  Later, when I told her about the acupuncture experience she told me my acupuncture reaction must be the underlying ivf emotions coming to the surface.


I don’t know what to do with all this.  There is a lot I don’t understand about my feelings, and specifically about my feelings since our first ivf cycle didn’t work.  I’m not sure I have the time or energy to sort it out before our second cycle.  And once we committed (by committed, I mean “paid the nonrefundable deposit”) to the second cycle, my mind has kicked into high gear.  I feel like a confused mess.  The minute I use my fingers to plug holes in the dam, new holes burst elsewhere but I have no fingers left.

I wish I could think of practical ways in which I could ask for help.  My husband would help me.  My family would help me.  Friends would help me.  But I can’t.  Oh – I can think of little things here and there.  But what I really want is to be able to pause all of life while my mind and heart catch up with my life.  I need to cry for a long time and then sleep for a long time and then wake up slowly and start over.  Realistically speaking, I think that only happens in the mental health wing of hospitals.  I’ve read about those places.  I don’t think I want to go there.

I’ve stopped worrying about how I’m going to get well.  I think I will.  Eventually.  I’m not sure when, but I don’t think life will always be like this.  Right now, however, I’m consumed with how I’m actually going to make it through, on how I’ll reach the eventual point when I’ll stop being unwell.  It’s sort of like romantic movies or suspense thrillers or basically any kind of movie that plays with my emotions.  Usually I can figure out how it’s going to end.  The guy is going to get the girl.  The family is going to be okay.  The kidnapped child will be found.  The protagonist is not going to die.  But it doesn’t stop me from panicking, from sitting on the edge of my seat, from watching through the slivers of space while my fingers cover my face.  Sometimes knowing the end doesn’t make the process any easier.

That’s why I haven’t really written a real post.  I’m trying to figure out how to “be” while I’m unwell.  So far, I just feel tortured by grief.

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  1. ((hugs))

  2. Oh H … that breaks my heart. I wish so much that I could give you a hug.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..All the Way from Thailand =-.

  3. You wrote “But what I really want is to be able to pause all of life while my mind and heart catch up with my life. I need to cry for a long time and then sleep for a long time and then wake up slowly and start over.” and I thought, “YES! That’s exactly what I feel like I need to do.” You are not alone in this struggle, though our reasons are different.

    Lots and lots of *hugs* to you. Your last paragraph is true, you WILL get through this.
    .-= Laurie (GoodByeGracie)´s last blog ..Halloween safety tips =-.

  4. H –

    Thank you for being so candid about where you are at. I mostly understand how you feel and can imagine the rest. I wish I had something magical to tell you about this, but I don’t even know what I would want someone to say to me…

    I will say that I believe that you will make it through this and come out even better than ever! It’s a crappy road to go down right now, but I believe in my heart that you will be better than ok!

    At the very least, we should come up with a secret handshake or a pin or bracelet or a witty bumper sticker for everyone dealing with these issues. “Honk if you know what a ‘Trigger’ Shot is.” ::sigh::

    I am praying for you.
    .-= Emily K´s last blog ..peace =-.

  5. Heidi,
    For some reason your blog is not updating itself on my blogroll – so I was relieved to finally figured out that you have indeed been posting!

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