Reflections on an old year (and new)
I’ve been trying to write this post for over a week now and it’s been hard to get out. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t written a legit blog post in quite some time (like almost two months…wow) or if it’s because I’m just having a hard time finding the words to express all the thoughts bouncing around in my head for a while now, but it’s been hard to get this out. Also, I’m a perfectionist, and I’m just going to have to accept that this won’t be perfect. Done is fun, right?
Obviously, as stated before, it’s been a hot second since I wrote a blog post. While HTC definitely has taken a back seat over the second part of 2019, largely due in part to my job, it’s also because Dust and I have been going through a lot, personally. It’s probably not a secret to you, because I’ve tried to be somewhat open about it, but we’ve been handed some pretty overwhelming health challenges that have been connected to our inability to start our family. Yep. Infertility, caused as of right now, reoccurring polyps/fibroids in my uterus that have been wreaking havoc upon my life for a year. I’ll spare you the gory details. I already had one surgery in July and have another on this coming Thursday to try to remove the stupid things that keep growing back and, to be honest, it’s just been a lot. It’s just been a lot.
My word of the year for 2019 was Courage. I wanted to be courageous in facing my fears/PTSD from our miscarriage and start trying again for a baby. I wanted to have the courage to go back to therapy to get a handle on my anxiety. I wanted to have the courage in growing my passion projects and courage in growing in my new (at the time) job. When I look back at 2019, I feel immensely proud of the courage I was able to muster and hold on to.
Even though I had two awful appointments with two separate therapists, I still kept trying to find someone to talk to and finally ended up back in therapy with someone I trust and who has helped me work through a lot of my PTSD. Even though I had a miscarriage and was terrified of trying again for a baby, I found the courage to try again (and again and again) and when things were clearly wrong, I found the courage to go to the doctor and fight for answers. After being somewhat unsatisfied with those answers, and the results of my surgery, I found the courage to set up an appointment with a fertility specialist on my own to get answers. And then, I found the courage to go against his recommended course of action and to get a series of tests done first, which confirmed that I would need another surgery. I was courageous at work and tried to be more proactive in situations where I could be. I was rewarded with a promotion and new projects and responsibilities that I’m so excited about. So yeah, I was courageous during 2019, and even though I often didn’t feel like it in the moment, I can look back and see it. I’m so proud of myself and the growth I can see in who I was and who I became during 2019.
But when I look back at 2019, I don’t feel successful. I don’t feel a lot of joy or feel a lot of accomplishment. I just see a lot of heartache and tears and disappointment. My only goal in 2019 was to start our family. To be pregnant. To be successfully pregnant. And instead, we’ve started the new year with a new mass in my uterus and another surgery 9 days in and our timeline for starting infertility treatments pushed back even further.
And man, all of that just really weighed on me during the year. It made me really sad. And it really put me in the trenches. And if I’m being honest, I’m still there, trying to claw my way out.
I don’t know what the point is of sharing all of this, except to say that looking back on 2019, I was only courageous in fighting for my one goal for the year. I completely and totally lacked in courage to show up for my life in the meantime. Instead, I let infertility plant a bitter seed in my heart and it’s been growing wildly without me realizing it, completely unchecked and unchallenged. It’s left me hyper-sensitive, jealous, angry, and completely devoid of the vibrancy I’ve been striving to live my life with. It’s robbed me of my sanity, challenged my faith, and put stress on relationships that are most important to me. For thirteen years of my life, I’ve been fighting to take back what cancer stole from me, only to wake up a few days ago and realize infertility had taken it right back from me.
And that pisses me off.
One of my best friends, Erica, asked to interview me on her podcast and to share a little bit about my journey this last year and the tips and tricks and coping mechanisms I use to keep my head above water. After we finished the interview, we continued to chat for a while about going through hard things, and before I completely realized what I was thinking, I said to her:
“If I can’t control it, then I won’t let it control me.”
We both stopped talking for a minute while we let that hang in the air. And now, at the beginning of 2020, I think I better try my best to take my own advice and get a handle on this thing that’s been absolutely controlling me. I know it won’t be easy. I know that it won’t always be sunshine and daisies. And I know that I’ll still get sad. But I’m so, so over letting something I cannot control, control me.
So that’s where I’m at, at the beginning of this new year. Acknowledging the trenches I’ve been in and doing my best to get myself out.
I want to be happy again.