Well, 2015 sucked.
I had every intention of working to write in this blog last year. And then the day arrived, over and over, of a possibility that will never come to pass. My hopes and dreams blew up in my face and I wanted only to slam the door shut on sharing my words in some lame attempt at coping with my inner despair. Yes, it was that dramatic. If I slam the door shut, lean back against it shut tight, will the pain just go away? I lied to myself all year, convinced it just might. But no, it couldn’t. I allowed myself to suffocate with panic, dread, and anxiety through each step. And then the staircase collapsed from beneath me.
It all began in earnest at the end of December 2014, dragging me on until March 2015 to know for certain the true cost of saving my life in 2002. That was followed by the fantasy of options for the next few months. If I put off pursuing the truth of these options, then I can pretend that the possibility I desire second of all now could still exist. I face that fear in July, tested again in August to be sure, until it became an absolute certainty, solid as a rock stuck in the pit of my throat, choking off that hope in late September. Now I sit grieving, in all its wondrous and various spiraling stages.
Not one moment of this journey was made any easier by the daily experience of everyone else having this hope come true for them, often without trying nor intending to do so. But that’s my own fault, on various levels. For one, my line of work makes it a constant. I flip the switch to become cubicle robot extraordinaire. No past, no story, no bias to judge, a face of stone. To my relief, they seem to know better than to probe. It’s in the quiet moments of work, after they leave or in the morning catch-up of overhearing other workers as they share their delightful stories of family, that I sit there trying to mash all the crumbles into rock. Steady, unconcerned, same as always, just an eyelash stuck in my eye, really.
It didn’t help at all that my panic attack issues and high anxiety levels returned with an unremitting vengeance. I have battled these issues for years now. They worsened through the journey of my cardiac issues, nearly dying, all that. But in the past 5 years, I’ve worked hard to obtain valuable coping skills and mechanisms to work through the anxiety and panic in all its sheer terror. I’ve utilized ongoing medication and had actually worked hard to taper off and no longer require it in order to cope. I utilize the wonderful hypnotherapy programs offered by Michael Mahoney at healthyaudio.com. I’ve utilized the grace of a therapist, ever since I reached a point of despair nearly a year after my 2nd open heart surgery. I couldn’t cope back then, for everything terrified me. Yes, I nearly died. Yes, I survived! But…”what do I do now? How do I live a normal life now?” Ignorance is bliss, but I’d had my heart cut wide open twice at that point. With all of these tools, my perspective shifted around to a better place, one where I didn’t run in sheer panic from every simple daily task of life. For 2015, my therapist regularly reminded me that I am not where I was before; this is a minor setback. That I have the tools I need to continue to cope and regain my footing. And she’s right, slowly but steadily, I can regain my strength and trust in my abilities. And perhaps stop feeling like a failure who isn’t worth it nor capable.
I mention failure, because that’s the heart of the matter. Premature ovarian failure. Now that it’s all over, the doctor visits and testing, I reached a point where I realized I had no choice but to accept it and work to let go of the desperation that fuels any woman who desires to become a mother. At least, a biological mother. We didn’t even really get to try, it was that hopeless. Thus I felt just as hopeless about writing here. I thought if I could just hold it in, I’d be all right. Just put off posting a little longer, hold the grief right in tucked tight. But that’s not how grief works. It spills out in cascades of suffocating sadness, hopelessness, anger, raw horror fueled by loss. It breaks out and floods when you least expect it: In the phone calls from the doctors, with the lab results in hand, in the arms of your spouse, from the swollen red face that peers back from the mirror, in the moments after hearing the news of another’s good fortune, belly full. You stand in support of the news, listening to the happy stories, all while your heart ticks steady inside. It’s a ticking that reminds you of the second chance you’ve been given to this life, restored…and robbed. Robbed of the possibility of ever looking into little bright blue eyes that match your very own.