Virtually Me

26 May

We interrupt our pre-planned Anniversary Week Post for a bit of self reflection. 

I had my regular weekly therapy appointment today, and the same subject came up that has come up at practically every session for the last month.

Here’s a rundown of how it’s gone each and every week:

  • I bitch for a couple of minutes about being in limbo-land since That happened.
  • I then move on to beating myself up over not doing enough about my health and the fact that I’ve gone back to smoking (yes, I have, I’m sorry, please don’t be mad at me) and I barely make it to yoga once a week.
  • Then I spend another few minutes defending that, and saying, that really, I’m doing pretty Ok, all things considered. Especially compared to the last time.
  • I then proceed to beat myself up about not doing enough to promote my new internet content business, and not being able to find the motivation to get moving on ANYTHING that involves my career.
  • Then I talk about this blog. And the women I have met through this blog. A LOT.
Today my therapist finally called shenanigans. She said it was time to discuss what it is about this space that takes up so much of my time and energy, for better and for worse.
You see – I’ve kind of been skating around the issue here, because I’ve been skating around it in general, but ever since That happened I’ve barely left the house. I barely see my friends. I barely do much of anything outside of blogging, reading other people’s blogs, emailing fellow bloggers, and skyping with my bloggy BFF’s. This has become my life. A virtual bubble that I keep myself locked in. And really, it’s not only since That happened that I’ve been doing this. I’ve been doing this more or less since I first realized that I was part of a “community”. Since I found out that there was a little place on the interwebs with hundreds, if not thousands of women just like me.
And as my readership grew, as my friendships grew, as my google reader bloated up, I found myself detaching more and more from everything else. My full time job is this blog – at least in my mind and spirit it is. My part time job is the one that actually supports my family. This is not healthy. I know it isn’t.
So at therapy, we started to examine why this is. We were out of time before we got very far (most of the time having been already spent with my usual bitching and self-flagellation) but I’ve been thinking about it ever since I left our session, and tonight really started to put things in perspective.
Allow me to try to make sense of things:
I have friends. A lot of friends. Some of them I see once every couple of months, some of them I see and talk to more often. But all of these people love me and I truly love them.
But since more or less my first miscarriage last year, I’ve found myself getting more and more distant from most of them. I don’t reach out. I don’t communicate. I spend most of my real life isolated, and busy beating myself up for messing up one thing or another. For not being good enough.
On the other hand there’s here. If I had to say which version of myself was the “real me”, more often than not these days I would say the “real” me is not that self-flagellating hermit. The real me is Mo. It’s this irreverent, snarky, funny, open person. This person who supports and gives advice when called for, and is supported when called for.
This uncensored, open book. I love Mo. I love her dearly. She is the real me. The essence of who I truly am.
And yet, I’m not her in real life. I don’t live up to her. Mo isn’t a persona. She’s not a construction. Mo is the person I aspire to be in real life, but never really get there. I’m more real here than I am with my own freaking mother. I’m more real here than I am with my friends (so it’s lucky most of them read this blog, so that technically I am real with them). This is me.
That self-flagellating hermit going through the motions of my life – she’s the persona.
Tonight was the first night I’ve really gone out since That happened. An old friend got married. I pulled out a little black dress that barely fit anymore, a pair of spanx (getting into those in my current hormone-fluctuating state was definitely a challenge), and my make up and hair dryer. I shaved the forest that’s been accumulating on my legs for the last month. I waxed and tweezed to make myself semi-presentable. I went to the wedding, and saw a bunch of friends. All of whom I love dearly, and most of whom I hadn’t seen in months.
Now, mind you, part of this is because Shmerson and I moved an hour north of Tel Aviv, back to my hometown, to regroup after our second loss, and most of my friends are in Tel Aviv.
But still – it’s only an hour drive away. And there is such a thing as a phone.
Everybody was genuinely happy to see me. I got a lot of “I’ve missed you”s and “I love you”‘s tonight.
But I also realized why it’s so easy for me to escape and run back to my bubble. Because in the inevitable beginning “how’ve you been?” and “where have you disappeared to?” conversations, I had to tell everyone about That. The first two losses were already known, but I had to tell them about the third.
And I got that look from every one of them. You guys know the look I’m talking about. That sympathetic, slightly uncomfortable “I love you and I’m sorry but I don’t know how to comfort you” look. I hate that look. I love the people who gave me that look, but I still hate that look. And here is the crux of it all: I had to tell them about that, so I had to deal with “the look”.Because I can’t lie to people I love. I had to tell them, and all the while I felt like shit for being such a fucking downer. For making them have to face the crap that Shmerson and I are facing.
This is how I feel with all of my friends. I feel guilty. I know they want to be there for me. I also know that most of them don’t know how to be there. I want to be my real self, the irreverent, snarky, honest, and confident Mo that so many of you read every day. But that’s impossible. Because my “real life friends”  don’t know what to do when the honest comes out. They don’t know how to deal. It’s not their fault. They really do try their best, and I love them for it. It’s just how it is. Or maybe they do know how to deal, and I just don’t give them a chance because I don’t want to be a burden. I don’t know.
So I escape. I escape into this little virtual bubble where I’m the real me. Where having a conversation with one of my bloggy BFFs can easily shift from discussing my cervical mucus to talking about a good book within seconds, and without a second thought. Where I don’t have to deal with the guilt of being the downer. Where I don’t have to hide my losses and my pain, and at the same time I can show my sense of humor. I can beat myself up over crap. And for some reason a bunch of people find that interesting enough to read. And all of you accept me for who I am. It’s not that my “real life” friends don’t. I just think that for them, it’s much messier. They haven’t been where I am. They try their best. I love them for it. But I sense that sometimes, they just don’t know what to say or do with me.
In “real” life – I criticize every word I say, and everything I do. Here – a badly written post is no big deal, and there are some posts that I’m so proud of, that I spend hours or even days high on the feedback of writing something good, or particularly funny. I don’t have that kind of confidence when it comes to the work I do for my clients, or even the feedback I give to my students.
Here – I don’t have to TRY. I just am. Whatever comes, it’s accepted. Without “the look”. Without that feeling of helplessness I sense from even my closest friends “in real life” when I say words like “Beta” or “HSG” or “ectopic”.
My dad gave me shit the other day about the important place that this blog has been given in my life. He told me to “get over it already” and to stop “pouring salt on the wounds.”
Maybe he’s right. Maybe being here on some level perpetuates the fear. Perpetuates my constant need to deal with my losses.
Or maybe – just maybe – this place is my saving grace. It’s my safe haven. It’s the one place where I am strong enough to love myself and forgive myself for my fuck ups. It’s the one place where I’m unapologetic. Guilt-free. I am who I am, and I feel loved for it.
Don’t get me wrong. I know that my “real life” friends love me for me. But I feel like a burden to them. It’s my own self-flagellation that limits my friendships. I love my friends dearly, and I think it’s because of that fact that I sometimes can’t bring myself to “burden” them with my situation.
Tonight, at the wedding, I really wanted to let loose and dance. I couldn’t bring myself to until the very end, just as Shmerson and I needed to leave. I spent the last 15 minutes or so dancing like a maniac. Hugging my friends. Feeling the love, so-to-speak.
I wish that was how I was all that time. That version of me is easy. That version of me doesn’t point at her two butterflies and wonder aloud whether she needs to get a third. That version of me doesn’t feel guilty and constantly isolated from the world around her.
But that version of me is a mask. Every day, in my real life, I wear it. Around my parents, around my clients, my students, and most of my friends – except the ones who read this blog and know what’s going on. And with them, I just feel guilty. I feel like a pill. Like a burden.
Here in this virtual bubble – to quote my therapist – I feel “held”. Accepted. I don’t have to deal with “the look”. I don’t have to deal with uncomfortable silences that arise when people who love me just don’t know what to say to comfort me.
I feel like I’ve rambled on here quite a bit. But here’s my point: I know I have to find a balance. I know this little virtual bubble I’ve created for myself is not a healthy one, because I’ve taken it too far. I know I need to step outside. Deal with “the look” and find a way to be Mo in real life. Because that’s who I am. That’s who I want to be every day. And frankly, I’m sick and tired of being a hermit.
I just don’t know how the hell to do it. Because I feel guilty. Because the real world doesn’t “get it” the way you guys do. Because in the real world, I am different from everyone around me. I am grieving. My body is betraying me. I’m at war with myself.
Here – I belong. I am “held”.
So I give it over to you, dear readers – have you found yourself falling in too deep in this virtual bubble of ours? Any advice on how to bring out my inner Mo in real life and strike a balance?
I await your usual depth and eloquence. Not just my bloggy friends – to my “real life” friends who are reading this – I know it can’t be easy to read. I want to hear (or read) what you have to say.
Thanks. I love you all. Truly.

49 Responses to “Virtually Me”

  1. Kristin May 26, 2011 at 03:48 #

    It’s called depression sweetie. When you feel the constant need to isolate yourself, to be protected, to be held, and it overwhelms and takes over, that is a classic sign of depression. And, honestly, who wouldn’t be experiencing a tinge of depression sprinkled on top of their grief after the year you have had. When I hit that point, I got some chemical help (lexapro) for a little while…just until it didn’t feel so overwhelming anymore. That may not be what works for you but think about it.

    • Mo May 26, 2011 at 03:50 #

      Hey hon – I’m actually already on lexapro. Maybe I should look into something more effective. You make a great point.

      • Christina May 27, 2011 at 03:03 #

        I was on Lexapro with depression round 1. This time around (the last 2 yrs) I’ve been on a Wellbutrin/Zoloft cocktail. I have to say it’s working really well. You may have to try a few diff meds or combos to find what works best for you and your body.

  2. missohkay May 26, 2011 at 04:35 #

    I recognize so much of myself in this post that I feel I need a whole day to digest it before I could possibly have anything insightful to say…

    • Mo May 26, 2011 at 12:08 #

      I look forward to reading what you have to say. *hugs*

  3. zygotta May 26, 2011 at 04:39 #

    I’ve been blogging for years – no here, I have another blog where I too many people I know read me, so for the IF thought i opened a new one.

    From time to time, I found my self sucked up to my eyeballs in virtual reality. Especially when I needed support.

    When I went through a divorce after many years, many struggles, many fights – I was devastated. There was no air to breathe. I felt like I am something the size of a table tennis ball, lost inside my body. I’m rambling. I’m sure you know what I mean.

    Well, that was the time I practically LIVED online. I blogged, I chatted, I social networked, I talked and talked and talked. I am blessed to have real and virtual friends across the globe – there’s always someone online, regardless of the time of the day.

    I talked until the thoughts and pain have all dried up. I had nothing more to say. Nothing more to share. Nothing more to dissect.

    Then I was able to get back into the real world.

    So I think: You’ll know when you can survive on your own – and will move on just then.

    we’re all here while you need us.

    • Mo May 26, 2011 at 12:09 #

      Thanks. I really appreciate your insight.

  4. Esperanza May 26, 2011 at 04:47 #

    First of all, I’m so sorry I haven’t been commenting on your Anniversary Week posts. I have been thoroughly enjoying them and am thrilled to know more about you both – you’re such a wonderful couple and I’m honored to “know” you too. What a whirlwind romance/best friend story. I love it. I wish my story with my man were similar – he takes so long to get places in life. A very slow mover. I was ready to move in about a year before him and ready to have kids two years before him. We almost broke up over having kids once and ended up having to go to couples counseling because he wouldn’t commit to having kids with me some day. I knew that was a deal breaker for me and I wanted to know if I had to leave. It was some hard times and it’s not a story I see much in IF blogs so it’s always made me feel kind of singled out in a way. But your love story is the stuff of movies. It’s grand.

    Now onto this post. I absolutely loved it and it got me thinking so much that I think I’m going to write tomorrow’s post about it. I’ll link to it here when I have it done. Thanks for the inspiration! (I’m sure I’ll be linking to your post in mine too, just BTW).

    • Mo May 26, 2011 at 12:09 #

      Really curious to read your post. And no worries about the no commenting – we all get that way sometimes. 🙂

  5. AK May 26, 2011 at 05:14 #

    Now I call shenanigans! I have no problem what-so-ever reconciling your real life and online personas because they are the same. I mean, maybe it’s just because I’ve lived with you, and I’ve seen you in time both times of depression and times of strength, but to me you are, in both worlds, as honest and expressive and snarky and funny, introspective and, okay, self-effacing person as you ever were. Loss is a part of who you are but it does not have to define you. Channeling your feelings into creativity always has. Kristin may be right on the depression holding you inside yourself and your virtual bubble thing. And since now that you know that happy pills can be a good thing and not a crutch, it might be wise to seek adjustment to see if that helps you out of the mental hole a bit. However, this is you. You are the same person to me off-line and on, it just seems like maybe you deem yourself less hurt in your virtual self. Sort of like you can hide there. Not that anyone blames you. But obviously, your therapist thinks maybe it’s time to stop doing that, and obviously, it looks like you may agree. Try. Go back to yoga, stop smoking, work on the business goals, let your real life friends back in and balance them with the bloggy ones that you need just as much (*Insert digressive debate about the wonders of modern technology here.* After all, you did first get to know the man who is now your husband on the interwebs, right?). Like Shmerson says, be healthy for you. Psychically, mentally, psychically. Confront your demons (including not calling your third miscarriage “That” anymore. It’s beginning to feel like Voldemort) as much as you can and stay true to yourself. Because you are brilliant and you are special and you are loved.

    • Mo May 26, 2011 at 12:10 #

      What can I say except the usual? You’re right about the “That” thing, you’re right about everything else (as usual), and I love you.

      • AK May 26, 2011 at 16:54 #

        *sigh* Right about everything expect putting psychically twice instead of physically once. Oh well, nobody’s perfect! Love you, too.

  6. Marie May 26, 2011 at 06:38 #

    I think of us as real-life friends. Doug asked me the other day, when we finally meet up in real life, is it going to be like, “Hey, nice to finally meet you” or is it going to be more like reuniting with a friend you just haven’t seen in a long time. And I was like, “Oh, the second one. I’ll probably kiss her.”

    So as AK called shenanigans on you above, I am calling shenanigans on the idea that we, the so-called “bloggy friends”, are anything less than real friends. I mean, come ON. We’re helping each other pick lingerie, for crying out loud.

    • Mo May 26, 2011 at 12:12 #

      My shrink actually asked the same thing about you yesterday – and I answered the same way. Of course we’re real life friends!
      I think the issue is that you’re not planning on moving to Israel any time soon (I mean, really, you should), and I’ve basically been living on east coast time rather than living on local time, and getting out of the house.
      Though I have no intentions of discontinuing our lingerie talk. Love you!

    • Elphaba May 26, 2011 at 14:17 #

      I second this comment!

      • Mo May 26, 2011 at 16:18 #

        somehow, I third it :-p

  7. jjiraffe May 26, 2011 at 09:05 #

    I so get this. I was out with a group of good friends and I realized that none of them knew any of the real stuff that was going on, whereas if I hang out with my bloggy friends, they know EXACTLY what I’ve been going through. The conversations are much easier and yes, there’s no Look. I’ve lately been wondering about the elaborate backstories for my non-bloggy friends, that we don’t discuss. Surely, they all do have them.

    I think your therapist is sound. I’d follow her lead. And definitely fight for your medication to be changed, if you don’t think it’s working.

    • Mo May 26, 2011 at 12:15 #

      thanks hon. And – I did in fact go back to the psychiatrist today and switched back to zoloft, which was working just fine thank you very much. Me and my stupid experiments. *hugs*
      What you said about your non-bloggy friends, and how they may have elaborate backstories that they don’t discuss is really interesting. I think that my issue is that I have a lot of deep, honest friendships in real life, and I can’t bring myself NOT to share, even though I feel like it’s a burden.

  8. Elphaba May 26, 2011 at 14:22 #

    I think that my blog absolutely, unequivocally is exactly WHAT brought me back to real life. I too spent so many months in that bubble, simply just existing for the sake of existing and it was all of you that woke me up again. Even now, I hate that life is taking me away from it, because I consider this as important as every other aspect of my life right now.

    Too many people discount online relationships as not “real” and if you’ve never experienced the love and support you can get from a bunch of virtual strangers then it might be hard to understand just how important those connections can be. You don’t have to meet someone in real life to know them and love them.

    There’s no reason you have “get over it already”–that’s not going to just happen. You need to work things out. You need to vent and there is such comfort in doing it to a group of people who know just what you’re going through. Take a step back from the blog if you want, but don’t ever discount the utter importance of what it’s giving you.

    • Mo May 26, 2011 at 14:35 #

      You’re totally on point. I would never consider stepping away from the blog. I think it’s more a question of finding a healthy balance.

      • Marie May 26, 2011 at 17:39 #

        Agree. I used “fake friends” ironically for a while, and Doug got mad at me for it. I am 90% better now than I was before Bakery, and I think a large part of it had to do with feeling understood – by my local friends who were reading it, sure, but even moreso by these new, long-distance friends (that’s you guys), who had fuckin’ BEEN THERE.

        I took that break from blogging, but I never took a break from the friends I’d met there. Which leads me to believe it was more than just the blog. xoxox

  9. missohkay May 26, 2011 at 16:34 #

    I’m back… And I doubt I have anything groundbreaking to say this time either. But I’ve been living in a bubble too. Every once in a while I get out and I am surprised when I realize that I had fun and actually *enjoy* hanging out with people. And then I retreat again. It’s safe in this bubble. I can talk through things in this bubble on my own terms, and 99% of the time, everyone says exactly the right supportive thing. In the real world, I feel like the people that know my situation are more than tired of hearing about it, and despite their best efforts, they say hurtful things. And the people that don’t know the situation constantly blindside me. “Oh our nanny had to leave for Poland for awhile because she had a miscarriage and needed to be with her family,” a co-worker casually remarked at lunch the other day. I was instantly devastated. I am constantly dealing with my losses, whether I blog or not, and I can only imagine that you are too. I don’t think there’s a danger of the bubble taking over my life forever. It’s here while I need it, and when I don’t need it anymore, it will change into a space for something else (let’s go with: marvelling at my precocious child?). I am confident that the important – and real – relationships I’ve formed through it won’t disappear.

    • Mo May 26, 2011 at 22:09 #

      perhaps not groundbreaking. But indeed eloquent. *hugs*

  10. me0me May 26, 2011 at 16:44 #

    I’m happy you wrote this one out and let it unfurl as long as it did. It sounds like you’re on track and you know what you want to do, and what better place to analyze it and let that help you go on than here?
    There are two points I want to make that are seizing my brain: one, the longer you keep yourself inside the harder the first time out will be. You had to contend with the Look because you were talking to many people about another miscarriage at a wedding. If you would have had more outside communication before the wedding, it wouldn’t have been this hard- by which I want to say a. that it will work itself out when you find your balance and enlarge your bubble in the outside world (because hey, we all have our bubble- always choosing who we let in and who we don’t!) and b. that maybe (and I might be wrong on this) you would have had an easier time if you would have done your best to put your third m/c aside for the night.
    The other thing I wanted to say- do me a HUGE favor. Biggest one I’ve asked you in years. I beg. Before every time you light up, read this
    You’ve promised to before, and I’m holding you to your promise. I’m going to kick your ass anyway for breaking it, and I will kick your ass morely if you don’t DO THIS BEFORE EVERY TIME YOU LIGHT UP. I love your husband and I’m a little afraid of how he would react to me kicking your ass, but I’m going to do it anyway. I have the balls and I don’t care that he will beat me up. Badly. You know what? Now every time you don’t read the post before you light up YOU are responsible for a blue mark your husband will leave on me. Take that into account.
    Love you! Don’t knock down the real life things that make you feel good please, even if the blogosphere makes you feel good in a different, “safer” way

    • Marie May 26, 2011 at 17:45 #

      I already tried showing her that. She said her mother-in-law said it was ok for her to smoke.

      Although, I never did threaten to beat up Shmerson… Good thinking there.

      • me0me May 26, 2011 at 17:58 #

        I was actually saying that I would kick MO’s ass and would subsequently get beaten up by Shmerson, however being the empowered fag that I am why don’t I suggest to beat up a straight guy?
        Maybe because he never did anything wrong and shouldn’t doubly suffer from his wife’s smoking?
        Nah… 🙂

        • Marie May 27, 2011 at 17:12 #

          Oh right. My bad, and my apologies. But, fag or no, it’s not going to look good if you beat up a girl… May have to rethink this plan.

      • me0me May 26, 2011 at 18:02 #

        BTW I’m not even going into the discussion of yes/no to smoking right now- only saying MO should remit to her own request that whenever she feels like lighting up she should reread the 17 reasons not to post, which is just an empowering, moving, damn good MommyOdyssey post that deserves to be read THIRTY TIMES A DAY if, say, she’s on a pack and a half. A little brainwashing never hurt anyone. Um… ish.

      • AK May 26, 2011 at 20:06 #

        I’m sure she was looking for anyone to tell her it was okay to smoke. She’s a smoker. Smokers always going to want to smoke, no matter how quit they are.

        • AK May 26, 2011 at 20:14 #

          PS – Your mother-in-law is incorrect, and you know it, silly.

          • AK May 26, 2011 at 20:15 #

            Meanwhile, me0me and I are on virtual flights for tag-team ass-kicking. Mainly because I really want to see that rumble.

            • Mo May 26, 2011 at 22:15 #

              a) you guys funny me. I love how three of my favorite people in the world are discussing me as if I’m not in the room. Which technically, I’m not, but you know what I mean.
              b) yes, I know it’s sort of an excuse, but considering the fact that my MIL HATES that I smoke, and said “I don’t blame you” when I told her I’d gone back to it is saying something.
              c) Me0Me – don’t worry, I won’t be reading that post thirty times a day. i may be back to smoking, but most days it’s about half a pack – tops.
              d) I have decided to not give myself shit over this. I think the combination of switching anti-depressants, and everything we went through did a number on me. i really did find it easy to quit last time, and I’m making a conscious effort not to go back into patterns that I was in last time, so I know it will be easy again. I’m going to set a new quit date soon, and I know I’ll be better next time. I think my problem was that no matter what I told myself, I was quitting for “the baby”, and when I had my last miscarriage (look AK! I’m taking your advice already!) I kind of spiraled, and realized that I can’t do stuff for “the baby” because it puts too much pressure on the baby.
              I’m rambling and writing a mini post here. i think I’ll go into it a bit more once we get back from our anniversary vacation. Which we’re on now. But Shmerson has left the room for a couple of minutes so I had to chime in because you guys are freaking hilarious. Love you!

  11. bodegabliss May 26, 2011 at 20:28 #

    This post was amazing, and you wrote so much of how I feel about my blog and my “real world” life, that I almost feel like I wrote it. In fact, I have been thinking about writing something similar these past few weeks. I think for me, going to Brazil forced me out of my bubble. I wasn’t allowed to retreat back to my safe place when I started to feel uncomfortable or sad, I had to face it head on and work on it. I’m not saying I was very successful by any means, but it forced me out of it and now I’m having a hard time getting back in. Mainly because I’m just like you (duh) in that I get on the blogs and obsess, and then part of that for me is that I start to think I’m doomed. I have such a hard time separating my situation from the ones I read. I wish I could be healthier about it, but having the forced break allowed me to step back from that. And because of it, I’ve found myself not obsessing as much. But of course, it doesn’t mean I love any of you any less or that I’m not there for any of you at the drop of a hat. Because like you said, we’re real friends, through thick and thin! Anyway, I fear I’m writing my post on your blog, so I’ll try to get to a conclusion here…

    Basically, I think this blog has so many more benefits than negatives. I think it’s just about finding a balance (us Libras always need to find that balance)…finding a way to still have this support and outlet and community, but also being able to better handle ourselves in the “real world.”

    Love you!

    • Mo May 26, 2011 at 22:17 #

      As usual, you get it. I don’t think I go as far as you do with wallowing in worst case scenarios, my bloggy ocd is a little different.
      And you don’t have to apologize for taking a break. We all know you still love us.
      Love you!!!!!

  12. BleedingTulip May 27, 2011 at 03:08 #

    Wow, you’ve got a ton of comments and I have to admit I haven’t read them so please be patient with me if I just repeat what everyone else has said…

    I don’t know that I’ve found a perfect balance. Sometimes I am totally MIA of one or the other, and sometimes I spend a little time in each of those worlds.

    I do hate “the look”… I think it is a compromise. I do my best to educate those around me of what I want and need, and also being open to where they are coming from, and keeping in mind that they love me and don’t intend any harm. I try to think of the people who have experienced things or live a certain way that I don’t understand, and how maybe sometimes I ask stupid questions or get a stupid look on my face.

    The other thing about family and friends, and going on about “Oh I’ve missed you” etc etc. is, well, the phone works both ways. I don’t let myself feel to guilty when my friends don’t call, email etc and then go on about how they never hear from me. Of course it’s another thing if they are trying and I’m ignoring them. *shrug* I think that’s why blogs are so great, because we obviously make effort, we read and comment. It’s immediately apparent when people are caring about us.

    I know I tend to be a bit braver, wittier, blunter on my blog, the distillation of me. It’s always a challenge to be that way in real life, but again, that is where we are always trying to find a balance. We’re never going to have it all figured out… we just do our best with what we’ve got.

    I hope you can find your balance. Maybe you need to set aside a day… or two… each week and tell yourself that the internet is off limits. Or blogs. Or make a point to spend 15 or 30 minutes each day outside. Feeling the dirt beneath your feet, wind in your hair, those tangible sensory things. Pick one person (either family or friend) to call each day, a different person each day, even if you just end up leaving a message saying “hi, thinking of you, wanted to catch up, call me when you get a chance.” All these little things I think will help you to reach out in small ways until you find your balance.

    *snuggle hugs*

  13. Christina May 27, 2011 at 03:29 #

    This is something I’ve been battling for a while in various forms. The hubs is very frequently pointing out that I spend quite a LOT of time on the computer. It is hard to cut the connection and need to be online when you feel more comfortable and safe there. People are nothing if not predictable. We like what is safe and comfortable. We aren’t great with going out on a limb and exposing ourselves and our vulnerability.

    Finding balance isn’t easy either. I’m sorry I’m not offering any advice on how to do these things. I wish I had some word that I could pass on and help you out, but I’m stuck in a similar boat. I can offer you the understanding and support that you know you’ll get here. good luck!

  14. rachel May 27, 2011 at 21:41 #

    I just want to say that this blog has brought me so much healing as of late…I don’t know if that helps you, but I truly love to read it and relate to so much. Todah rabah. 😉

    • Mo May 28, 2011 at 01:46 #

      בבקשה 🙂 thanks that really means a lot

  15. Esperanza May 28, 2011 at 07:38 #

    Hey Mo, I wanted to let you know that I finally wrote that post I was talking about earlier in my comment, the one that was inspired by this post. Here it is. I hope you like it.

    Congrats on being in the round up!

  16. C May 28, 2011 at 21:50 #

    I, too, felt like I needed a day or two to internalize all of this and come up with a thoughtful response. There’s just so much in this one post, and most of my response is really just, “Uh-huh, yeah, I know, YES, right?”

    I’m also a social butterfly who has been retreating from my “real-life” friends lately. It can just be so hard to want to get out and be social. And then when I do, I’m always surprised to find that I actually had fun. I think my blog and my online group of fellow HAs is absolutely necessary. My husband used to not really understand it, but he’s seen the support that has come through those channels. He saw the $3k in meds that were FedExed to us. He saw the cards that flooded the mailbox after the failed IVF. I think he still thinks I spend too much time with my “miscarriage friends” but I think he finally understands the need and the purpose. And I’m working really hard on becoming the old me in real life, and using these channels as a supplement, a female enhancement product, if you will. So that I have somewhere to go to unload, to feel better, to be around people who understand, but so that I also remember that the people who don’t understand this still have their place in my life, too.

  17. Kristen May 29, 2011 at 01:49 #

    This is so hard what you’re dealing with. I’m sorry you’re finding it hard to be yourself in the “real world.” I don’t know if this helps at all but on the good days, I am able to get out there because nothing I ever do or go through seems normal…I’ve lived this weird life, with really good and really bad things happening, but none of it according to the standard script…I’ve seen myself as an outsider for so long that being an outsider because of not having kids/having to do IVF/having a miscarriage is just another in a long line of things that makes me different. On the good days I try to look at my life as this cool eccentric interesting creative life that takes some guts and imagination to lead. On the bad days, I just sit home and cry and say, all I wanted was a normal life…why does there have to be all this drama? Why does everyone else just get the normal vanilla version of things? Why does that seem so impossible for me to achieve?
    Anyway, all I really want to say is I’m sorry you’re struggling and I’m hoping that you get to a better place soon. Big hugs to you.

  18. The Tao of Pig Pen May 29, 2011 at 14:09 #

    I started bloggong years ago and became quite proficient. I found myself thinking during the day what I was going to write about. It was therapuetic and I felt safe. My blogging turned to writing a book as my wife and I went through misscarriages and fertility treatments. I slowly stopped writing and rediscovered myself and learned to love myself again. I blog now on WordPress but I feel better about it because I am exorcising my soul, creativity, and hopefully helping others and myself. I find your writing amazing and I hope and wish for you the best.

  19. Mo May 29, 2011 at 14:26 #

    wow everybody! thanks so much for your amazing thoughts! I admit, I was really down while writing this, but once again you all have reminded me why this place is such an amazing safe haven.

  20. Prairie May 29, 2011 at 16:47 #

    Here from the roundup. Great post. I’ve recently realized that I forget to tell my IRL friends things about our IF journey b/c I’ve written about it and gotten it out of my system. Even thought my blog’s hidden and no one reads it and it’s not a conversation with the on-line world. I need to be better at my IRL relationships. Yes, it’s a 2-way street, but sometimes I forget they’re on it with me. Thanks for your reminder of that today.

  21. teejay June 3, 2011 at 16:00 #

    I’ve been wanting to reply to this post since I read it the other day but I was trying to come up with something really relevent and wonderful to say…well, that’s just not me so I will just say what I think.

    For me personally, yes, I have retreated from IRL relationships during the past 10 years. It’s hard to cultivate a good, solid relationship with others when they are having babies and becoming parents and meeting up with other parents and making new friends and bonding over everything baby/child rearing.

    I have not felt much like I fit in anywhere in the real world. It wasn’t until I found the online community almost 2 1/2 years ago that I realized that there are people out there that actually understand. These women understand what it’s like to try over and over again and even try some more…and come up empty handed. I found other women that were bitter and sad, just like me. It felt great to have my very own set of cheerleaders that would turn into my shoulders to cry on each month/treatment.

    I have found a problem with it, though. I have realized that the more I bitch and complain and put my saddness out there in writing, the easier it is to keep feeling that way. As good as it feels sometimes to get things off my chest and out of my head, when I give it all too much of a voice it really brings me down lower. I don’t know if that makes any sense but that’s what I have discovered about myself.

    I try not to be too down and out on my blog but a lot of times I just can’t help it. And knowing that the readers (this wonderful community) are out there reading and holding my (virtual) hand brings me great comfort. No one in real life has been able to do that. No one in real life wants to talk about my depression and anger over the fact that I can’t have a child. They want to talk about their own kids or gossip about the neighbors or complain about their husbands. All very relevant to their lives and so I listen. When it comes to my issues, no one knows what to say. I get that. There are many times I’m at a loss for what to say to a fellow Infertile.

    I’ve never been one to be very open about my feelings with other people anyway, so writing has always been a great outlet for me. I wish there was a way to mesh the 2 worlds in which many of us live.

  22. Cattiz J June 3, 2011 at 17:24 #

    I just got around to read this post and the comments to it. Wow, it’s powerful stuff and a lot to digest.

    You know all change starts with acknowledging what’s unhealthy and what’s not working for you. And that you have just done. I believe in balance, so when you are ready to take those steps into the real world again – you will find that balance. I’m sure of it.

    I have questioned many times if it really helps me putting my writing out there – or if I just dig deeper in my own misery and anxiety when the dark days come. I too try to find a good balance. But at the same time I think we all need the love and support from this community to keep sane and feel understood on this crazy journey.

  23. Friends Into Lovers July 15, 2013 at 03:24 #

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  1. Confessional Fridays: I like blogging better… « Stumbling Gracefully - May 28, 2011

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  2. Bridging the Divide Between Those Who Have Gotten “The Call” and Those Who Have Not | Too Many Fish to Fry - May 28, 2011

    […] know I’m not alone. Several bloggers have written about this, this week, like Mommy Odyssey and Esperanza. Both movingly write of their strong identification with “bloggy friends” […]

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