You hear a lot of catchphrases when you’re wandering your way through infertility. And that’s exactly what it is, by the way: Wandering.
We think of it as struggling. We think of it as a roller coaster (which it often is). And we think of it as lonely (right again).
But what it really is, when it comes right down to it, is wandering through an endless maze complete with fun house mirrors (you know, just to mess with your head) and hidden doorways (ok, maybe I just always wanted a hidden and doorway and that’s why I picture it that way). We’ll try a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It might be this, but it might also be that. Actually…it’s unexplained.
It’s a maze. It’s an endless, frustrating, anxiety-producing maze. And the phrases people throw out there to somehow make it better? We could live without those.
Hang in there, something will work out.
Or it won’t and every time you say that to me I will want to scream.
Don’t give up.
Do I look like I’m giving up? Would I still be talking about this if I had given up?
You’re next. I can feel it.
Really? That’s funny…because all I can seem to feel are bruises from the shots and hormones racing through my body, making me crazier by the second. But let’s go with your feeling, shall we?
It’s a journey.
This one gets me every time. What does it even mean? In my mind, a journey takes place on a boat or down a nice relaxing dirt road. It doesn’t involve weekly medical appointments or shots in my rear. There is no sex on command or IUI in the journey of my dreams. I think the people who rely on the journey reference have never actually been on a journey (or even fantasized about one, clearly).
You will hear these phrases over an over again. People don’t often know what to say. On the bright side, at least they are saying something.
So here’s my catchphrase for you, my friends. When you hear something inane that makes you want to rip your hair out, when you hit a wall and can’t stand one more appointment, or when you just want to walk away from everything…
Find. The. Fight.
Infertility isn’t a journey. It isn’t fun. It isn’t relaxing. And you might or might not find what you’re looking for – there are no guarantees.
You have to find the fight.
It’s not your job to educate the world about infertility. You can’t change the way people react when you share your latest infertile thoughts. And you don’t have control over the outcome of the testing or medication trials.
But you can fight.
You can take that frustration and make it useful. You can ask more questions, question the answers, and seek more opinions. You can hide out when you need a break and come back strong when you’re ready for another round.
YOU can find the fight.
And as for those people with the catchphrases and don’t give up speeches? Go ahead…send them my way. I can handle them.
Find the fight in 2013, my friends. I know you can.