feelings, grief

Telling Stories and Building Walls

It’s been a long day. I’ve been exhausted for over two weeks now and I don’t know why. I’m starting to have a hunch though. And I don’t like it.


As I was leaving the driveway to go to yoga — because yoga always helps — I looked up and saw the moon. I gasped. I gasp a lot. Apparently a lot of things take my breath away, including the moon. I hoped the clouds would stay at bay in order for me to get a few pictures later. Thankfully, the sky listened and I was able to capture the moon’s beauty just before the sun went down.

I need to see the moon to be reminded that there are things bigger than myself, my current situation, my feelings. I need to be reminded that I’m living in the midst of something  larger…much, much larger. I needed to see something “out there” to remind me to take a break from all that’s “in here.”


At first I thought I was tired because I ran a half marathon. I usually don’t feel so exhausted after a race, especially several days later, but I figured that’s what was going on. However, a week passed and I was still exhausted. Like, I-can-lie-down-wherever-I-am-and-fall-asleep kind of exhausted. That’s not normal for me. But I figured work was busy and I had a few late nights and…

Today, though, I ran out of explanations. I’ve gotten plenty of sleep. I’ve been breathing fresh air. I’ve exercised. I’ve gone to yoga and sat at my sewing machine. I’ve relaxed with friends. I should not be tired. But I am.

And when the wall of exhaustion hits, I’m met with irritability and lots of feelings.

No. I don’t want to go through this again. I want Grief to be gone, forever. I was just recently noticing how I’ve felt lighter and more joyful. I commented that I’m finally starting to feel really good again.

Until I’m not.


I tell myself stories to make myself feel better.

“It’s probably best you won’t be a mom — look how quickly you raise your voice when the dogs irritate you. Clearly you don’t have the patience to raise children.”

“You like your routine too much to be a mom. You get to read whenever you want, sew whenever you want, run whenever you want… you wouldn’t want to give that up.”

“You need a lot of sleep. It’s a good thing you won’t be a mom because you would NOT do well with sleep deprivation.”

I tell myself all kinds of stories. I suspect they aren’t true, but they make me feel better. Sort of. Until they don’t.


Today I received an email about the book planning course I’m starting next week. The email included phrases like “seeing the plus sign” and “yes, you’re pregnant.” I read this at work, so I automatically put up my I’m-at-work-I-can’t-feel-about-this-right-now wall. In fact, I did such a good job building the wall that it wasn’t until several hours later when I was walking my dogs that I remembered it was there. And when the wall came down, the tears started to flow.

I was immediately pulled back into my own bathroom convinced this time the stick would have a smiley face. I remember analyzing every symptom wondering what it meant. I remember thinking, “I can’t keep doing this.” And then the doctor confirmed that feeling for me, saying it’s not likely to ever happen for you.

Yes, “not likely” is not the same as never. But, how can I hold onto “maybe” when it’s “not likely” to happen. Hope is not always helpful. So, I build walls to keep hope at a distance.


The stories and the walls are hard to maintain. They take a lot of work and I think they are making me tired. So very tired.

I don’t know what the answer is right now and that’s okay. Maybe I need to look at the moon more. Maybe I need to take more pictures of our dogs. Maybe I need to visit with family or have friends over. Maybe I just need to cry.

If I stop telling myself those stories then the reality of infertility hurts too much. If I stop building walls then I feel too much. I really liked not feeling so much.

I know this book writing will be part of my healing. I know that is true. But I’m also being confronted with the reality of healing… it hurts, it’s uncomfortable, it makes me vulnerable and raw. There are moments of joy and hope alongside those moments of pain and suffering. I keep thinking Grief will move on to someone new, someone who needs Her more. Apparently we’re in this together for the long haul.


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