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This Post Isn’t Sunshine and Unicorn Farts

5 Jun

The first thing I did after losing Nadav was go out and buy a pack of cigarettes.

For the first couple of weeks, I was on about two packs a day.

I’ve talked about my struggle to quit smoking here before. I’ve had stumbles, and somehow between every loss I fall back into the smoking trap, only to struggle with quitting again.

This time it’s no different. I promised Shmerson I would quit before we get pregnant. And I was on my way to doing that.

Today I got yet another BFN, and the first thing I did after getting it was to light up.

If you don’t smoke, or have never been a smoker, it’s hard to explain how addictive this crap really is.

For me, smoking is my own little way of punishing myself.

I hate my body.

I’ve always had a bit of a rocky relationship with it, but these last two years have really done a number on me.

On days when I feel particularly weak, I find myself crying and telling Shmerson that I killed our babies. It’s a dark, scary feeling to have.

Though the logical side of my brain knows that this is not the case, there’s a place deep down inside of me that feels this way. At the end of the day, my body failed to carry our children and to keep them safe. I hate it for that. I hate myself for that. Though I know that everything that happened was outside of my control, I can’t help but harbor this hostility.

So of course, the logical thing to do when you hate something so much is to destroy it. Some people cut themselves. Some people starve themselves.

Me? I eat and I smoke.

And then I hate myself some more for doing it.

I am the heaviest I have ever been. So much so that I’m afraid to step on a scale. I can’t stand looking in a mirror. I hate every thing about myself right now, and I’m too far down in the muck to do anything about it.

It’s just daunting. There’s so much there to deal with.

And to make matters worse, I have the looming prospect of eventually getting pregnant again, and having to be in bed for six months, and ballooning even farther out of control.

I can’t just wake up one day and say “I’m going to change everything.” It’s impossible. I’m doomed to fail if I put myself up against something that impossible.

But the truth is, right now, I can’t even find the strength to say “I’m going to change one thing.”

Because this kind of stuff takes time, and I am out of patience. I am tired of waiting. I don’t feel like I want to throw any more time than is necessary into the dark black succubus that is my inability to carry a child to term. I need this to be behind me, and the sooner it is, the better.

That doesn’t leave time for self-improvement.

Last week, I had a meeting with the head of the MA program in art therapy in my city. She loved me. She wants me in the program. Not only that, she wanted me in the special accelerated program that would give me a Master’s in a year and a half instead of three, and would get me off the hook with some of the program’s pre-requisites.

Then I told her about my plans to get pregnant again, and the looming bed rest.

She said that there was no way I could do the accelerated program while on bed rest.

So now I have to take a year to complete my pre-requisites, then do the three year program. Because there’s no way I’m going to wait another two years to get pregnant while I do this degree.

So that’s 4 years total instead of a year and a half. Yet more time sucked into the black hole that is my uterus.

I will not have a resolution until I have a take-home baby. And I will most likely continue to hate myself until there is a resolution. I wish I could say things were different, but that’s just how I feel.

Over the past few weeks and in the coming weeks, babies are going to be born to some amazing women. Those women got pregnant at the same time that I was pregnant with Nadav. I was supposed to be one of those women, posting a happy update. Posting pictures. Telling a birth story.

I am not. And that pain is too much to deal with.

So self-destruction and body hate is my fallback position.

I hate that. I hate that I can’t be rational about this. I hate that I can’t be healthy. I hate that a BFN this morning drove me to smoking and chocolate. I hate that I was ever put in this position to begin with. I hate how unfair all of this is.

I hate that I can’t do better.

I texted Rachel this morning about my BFN. She answered “It makes sense. Your body isn’t ready!”

I answered back:

“My body is a douchenozzle.”

Yep. That pretty much sums it up.

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31 Responses to “This Post Isn’t Sunshine and Unicorn Farts”

  1. Jenn June 5, 2012 at 18:02 #

    It sucks how much time we lose on everyday things because of loss. I will also most likely be on bed rest if I get pg again and I hate thinking of all the things I haven’t done over the years because I was planning a pregnancy. We just started traveling again, I just make sure we buy trip insurance. I usually turn to chocolate and an alcoholic beverage. I knew a few women who were due around my due date for my twins, all I kept thinking was I hope they don’t have their babies on my due date, luckily they didn’t. Sorry about the bfn, I know how much they suck.

  2. Belle June 5, 2012 at 18:11 #

    Oh sweet Mo, I am all to familiar with this. I was a smoker for 12 years (Ha! Yes, little Belle smoked. Put that in your pipe and, well, smoke it.) It was my way of giving my crappy body the giant FU. At the time I hated my body for different reasons than I do today, but it was still hate. I smoked, I drank, I did a my small share of drugs, all hoping it would make things better. Today I still struggle with this self loathing, although my days of cigarettes are long gone thanks to terrible asthma and the hate is directed at different areas (I’m talking to you, ovaries and immune system). Two weeks ago my body killed my baby. I feel deeply, irrationally, responsible for this, too. Today I am indulging in my own vices to try and take the pain away and it makes me even more sick. (hello Pinot Noir & anthropologie)

    I know my one loss PALES in comparison to your loses, but I want you to know you are not alone in this spiral. I wish I had the magic cure to help you stop smoking, eat perfectly and whip your body back into shape, but I don’t. I can offer you love and support, though. I can offer my ear the next time you feel like tearing into a bag of Doritos’s (do they have those over there?) or lighting up smoke after smoke. You have my number, do not be afraid to use it. If I don’t answer, rant to my awkward voice mail and I’ll call you back. As for school – take one thing at a time. I assure you, a university will always be happy to take your money, no matter how old you are. I watch them do it to Mr. Husband each year! xoxo

  3. Kristen G. June 5, 2012 at 18:19 #

    Sending hugs and love. So sorry for your BFN.
    XO

  4. Jen June 5, 2012 at 18:37 #

    I totally get it…I was a smoker and I get how it has it’s hold. I went right back to smoking after every loss and fought the battle of quitting for years. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

  5. lifelossandotherthings June 5, 2012 at 19:20 #

    I was a smoker most of my adult life. An overweight pack a day smoker. The day I got my first BFP I quit cold turkey and was never going to pick it up again. Then, when I was trying for number 2, my body decided that it wasn’t going to cooperate with me. After my third miscarriage I went as far as to give myself an excuse that it was because I wasn’t smoking that I was miscarrying since that was the only thing different. I know too well about punishing myself for things that are beyond my power to control. I controlled the heck out of that cigarette and ice cream addiction. I did beat it again… eventually.

    Take it easy on yourself. (((hugs)))

  6. Lisa @ hapahopes June 5, 2012 at 19:27 #

    I know the feeling of punishing your body because it sucks. I know it well. I punish with food. I’m very good at it. I’ve never been a smoker, but my mom quit almost 30 years ago and says she still craves a cigarette from time to time. So I at least know that it has to suck. I know how it feels to want to force your body to do something because it’s your damned body and it should behave the way you want it too. I know how it feels to have watched it fail so many times that just trying to start doing something good for yourself seems like a waste of time and energy. So in a nutshell, I wish there was something I could say to make it all better, but I know that there isn’t. Just vent it all out is all I can tell you. We’re here to listen.

  7. Cristy June 5, 2012 at 19:45 #

    Oh Mo. I wish I could reach through cyberspace to give you a hug. Everything you’ve written I’m feeling at the moment. And it sucks beyond compare. It sucks because none of this is fair. It sucks because we all deserve better. It sucks because this is the stuff that breaks people and our world decides to ignore and look away. I wish I knew the answer; knew the path to end all of this pain. Because if I did, I would grab you (as well as others) and march all of us off to this yellow brick road.

    All I can assure you is this: you are not alone. And somehow, someway, there will be some happiness. Even if we all have to gain up on the world and beat the shit out of it to get it. We will gain what we need. And I’ll be beside you, throwing punches the whole way.

  8. Erin June 5, 2012 at 20:21 #

    You are so in my head. I feel exactly the same way about myself. Although I don’t smoke, I have an issue with food, and as soon as my period starts every month I guzzle a bottle of wine and eat my weight in cheese. And I can’t focus on anything professionally; not until this mess is resolved.

  9. SRB June 5, 2012 at 20:39 #

    Ah, cigarettes. The best, worst things ever. Nothing says “I hate you, body” and “Fuck you, everyone” like a cigarette. Before all the IF fuckery, I was a smoker. And a quitter, and then a re-smoker. When my first husband left me, I went to the store, bought a CARTON and then chain smoked on my couch for 5 days straight. I can’t even recall if I ate. I would start again every time I felt like it was a choice between an anxiety release, or death. Truly. No hyperbole there.

    Then, it was alcohol. Not stupid amounts, but ‘a few drinks’ every day, especially wine, especially to sleep. As for food, I am the opposite. Why feed a body that is clearly not worthy of it? Just eat enough to take the edge of, and that’s all you deserve. Then I can turn around and blame my losses on my shitty eating habits, since I am going to blame myself anyway.

    Fuck. I know it’s not helping, but I wish I could sit and have a smoke with you right now as we shoot at some bottles or something equally classy. A vent is a vent, and right now, you need to blow some smoke out of your ears. Just, um, not literally okay, because I worry for your sinuses.

  10. Rebecca Pallack (@RPallack) June 5, 2012 at 20:40 #

    I can honestly say after being on bed rest for three weeks now it sucks. Live your life now while you can.

  11. Amy June 5, 2012 at 20:56 #

    Douchenozzle! Oh, my, you make me laugh. Were it not for the cigs and the art, I could have written this. I have struggled with self-hate a lot these past 10 months since losing my babies…even though my brain *knows* it’s not my fault. I’m just doing the best I can right now on the little stuff, eating more leafy greens and taking my fifty jillion supplements, so maybe that will help me feel physically better, even while my brain is broken.

  12. iamstacey June 5, 2012 at 21:28 #

    I know, I do the same thing. For the same reason, I’m at my heaviest, too. It sucks. It all just feels really sucky right now.

  13. Esperanza June 5, 2012 at 21:28 #

    Sending hugs. So sorry you’re going through this. It makes sense you can’t make those changes right now. Those charges require an emotional fortitude that your spending just trying to get through the days. As B told me recently, you don’t have the emotional bandwidth to make those sacrifices. No one would. I hope you know that. I hope next month brings you your BFP.

  14. RelaxedNoMore June 5, 2012 at 21:48 #

    I never smoked but am the child of two smoking parents. My dad never managed to quit, even though he got pretty sick (not just from smoking). So while I can’t relate directly, I understand your struggles with smoking from second-hand experience. It’s an addiction and it sucks big time. And beating addictions while being totally down in the dumps just doesn’t work, I guess.
    And the struggles with eating and weight…. to that I can relate from first-hand experience. This sucks big time, too.

    Other than that: just want to let you know that I’m thinking of you. Lots of hugs to you!

  15. A. June 5, 2012 at 21:58 #

    Thinking of you, Mo. I have so many of the same dark thoughts. Logically understanding that I didn’t do anything I had control over to betray my babies doesn’t make the truth that my babies were perfect and my body fucked up any easier to deal with. I also have so much hatred and disgust towards my body and honestly, I have been treating my body pretty much like crap since I gave birth because I hate it. As my due date approaches, I am just filled with so much anger – I really feel like for the first time in my life I am developing an anger problem. It is as if it’s only now that I am fully realizing how fantastically unfair all of this is. I am angry at having to go through another pregnancy that will make me physically (and emotionally) miserable with no expectations or promises of anything. I know that having endured hell doesn’t really give me a free pass for a happy ending pregnancy. Having to go through another pregnancy to get the baby honestly feels like a punishment, especially because I do no longer fundamentally believe that this will end in a baby…I mean it could, but maybe not, and then it is just suffering and misery for the point of suffering and misery. And like you I am so angry and resentful that my life is on hold (more accurately I am struggling to do anything half-assedly and doing absolutely nothing well) until Project Living Baby is completed. Project Living Baby is too important and close to my heart to ever give up on, but I am pretty angry and upset to be still working on the project. So sorry you are in this funk and sending many hugs your way.

  16. beruriah June 5, 2012 at 22:16 #

    I wish I knew a way, or of something to say, that would make this suck less. I watched my parents quit smoking–I would never underestimate how hard it is to quit. Vent vent vent. Complaining and admitting how much this sucks is just being real and honest.

    That really sucks about the art therapy program. My career has been all thrown off by the pursuit of family as well, so while I’m almost all the way on the other side, I definitely would never underestimate the pain and frustration.

    I’m really glad you had the time in Greece, and I do admire how you’re still taking advantage of life. I’ll be thinking of you in the coming weeks. I know all the birth announcements will be immeasurably hard. Don’t feel at all guilty if they make you angry. And feel free to tell me to fuck off for saying anything at all.

  17. Sunny June 5, 2012 at 22:30 #

    Mo, I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you wrote this entry. I, myself, was contemplating a post like this…I have not admitted to my smoking issue on my blog (yet), but after years of having quit, I went and bought a pack (and then, two more packs) this past week… I’ve also been drinking heavily, and not raising one little toe to exercise. I vacillate between eating small amounts of food that is horrible for me (orange Mac n Cheese, anyone?) or just ceasing to eat all together–it’s as if I am trying to pickle myself with booze and nicotine, and starve out anything nourishing. The concept of punishing my body, being so angry at it, at my marriage, etc, and hating everything that got me here, is why I light up. It’s this deep seated anger that feels like it will not ever leave me unless I exhale it in the form of smoke. I feel gross every morning I wake up and can taste the cigarettes in my mouth now. It makes me depressed, which makes me want to smoke, and on and on we go. Please don’t be too hard on yourself for picking up the habit again. xo

  18. Jonelle June 5, 2012 at 23:15 #

    Oh Mo, I’m so sorry that you are in a dark place. I still get like that, even though we are not even trying. I’m not a smoker, nor am I an emotional eater, but I can understand how food can make a person feel good. I’m a sugar-holic. I love anything with sugar – cakes, cookies, cupcakes, donuts – and I have to curb myself especially when I have bad days.

    I believe in you, Mo. I believe that you can make the changes that need to be made so that you can be the you that you like. Maybe not today, but maybe tomorrow, and it doesn’t have to be a big change, just a little one. And when that little change is done everyday, it will show big results.

    (((HUGS)))

  19. starfishkittydreams June 5, 2012 at 23:20 #

    I so hear you. In fact I even thought about starting smoking because i was feeling a similar destructive urge. I totally get the tired of waiting thing and the watching all your friends get pregnant and move on, even your IF friends part. It’s completely unfair. There is no way around it.

    I wish I could take your pain away so much. I want to give you a big long distance hug and a shoulder to cry on. I am more than happy to be your buddy to cry with through all this.

    I get so angry at the world sometimes about having to miss out on the phone and continue to go through one loss after another that I too sometimes just feel like I can’t take it.

    You have a kind heart and deserve a baby now!

    Your art therapy program sounds exciting. It is surprising that they don’t permit some sort of leave of absence even on the expedited program. I too am in a Master’s counseling program. Since I am part-time it is a very slow process, but for me going slow has had some rewards in that I can really enjoy each class and not be so focused with the attitude of “getting it all over with”. Either way, I think you will find rewards moving in that direction no matter what the speed.

  20. Stinky June 5, 2012 at 23:43 #

    oh god. I was nodding sympathetically and being all seriousreader till I read “douchenozzle”, then cracked up. I must steal that one.

    Boo to the guilts and the badshite. Strength to you for the barrage of babies to be born.
    Art therapy masters sounds great. would that be part-time if you’re not doing the accelerated course? Part-time might actually be better in the long run anyway – more time to work with the subject matter, read around, and also have a life on the outside of study?
    Not looking for positives to try and cheer you up . . . just first thing that struck me about the non-dash to study

  21. libbylogic June 6, 2012 at 00:33 #

    I did the same thing. Every time I got a negative test I would buy a box (not a bottle) of wine. Then I read something interesting. It said that we do these horrible things to our bodies to convince ourselves we aren’t worth the happiness we want. That makes it so we don’t get our hopes up again. So, I decided to trade hope for destruction. I still slide back to destruction sometimes, but I just try to remember, even though my uterus both sucks and blows, it is not all of me. I am worth hope. So are you.

  22. cw June 6, 2012 at 04:25 #

    When I read these posts I get so upset for you all I want to do is go back to that day and just erase it so that it didn’t happen.

    But the cigarettes, baby that is one thing you can control. Don’t let them control you. To beat them is giving everything else a giant big fat fk you and saying you can’t beat me completely. I love saying fk you to something and being the boss over it (type A much).

    Rach was totally right – your body wasn’t ready it is resettilng and adjusting yourself.

    Libbylogic above said it beautifully you are completely worthy of hope, your cigarettes are destruction and you are so much better than that.

    Despite what people think unicorn farts totally stink so who wants them anyway.

    Love you x

  23. Emily @ablanket2keep June 6, 2012 at 05:32 #

    I punish with food. Well, I used to before I was put on metformin and it killed my appetite. Don’t beat yourself up over it right now. The strength to quit will return and till then focus on other things you can control and change. Always thinking about you and sending you big Hugz!

  24. Kristin June 6, 2012 at 07:56 #

    I know you don’t think so but, I’ve seen your pictures, and you are beautiful as you are RIGHT NOW. {{{Hugs}}} and, hate yourself if you must because we love you enough to kick that hate in it’s ass.

  25. jjiraffe June 6, 2012 at 08:19 #

    It is hard to treat our bodies with respect when we feel they are failing us. I don’t smoke, but the night I stopped bleeding from a failed chemical pregnancy (our first IVF cycle, which produced ONE egg and I was told I had diminished ovarian reserve) I went to a party with friends and smoked two cigarettes and drank too much. I was grieving, and treating my body poorly because it had failed me. I understand.

    Can you do something kind to your body like a spa treatment of any kind? Heal it, so to speak?

  26. jak June 6, 2012 at 19:01 #

    i hear you mo. you’re doing what you can to cope and release. no one can fault you for that.

    i just got the call that my ivf cycle is cancelled because my ovaries are only “out of the gate” and i’ve been stimming for over 14 days. HELLLLOOOOOOO TEQUILA!

  27. pjsarecomfyn June 6, 2012 at 22:11 #

    Oh MO. I wish there was something I could say to fix it all for you. You need to give yourself a break though. Stop hating on yourself and your body. I know it is the logical place for you to want to place the blame, but you just can’t add anymore sadness into the equation.
    You will have a take home baby. I know you will….all that being said if it is dark chocolate I count that as a health food.

    • pjsarecomfyn June 6, 2012 at 22:12 #

      Also if you take the advice from my previous post, perhaps you could trade cigarettes for masturbation? Give it a try.

  28. Trisha June 6, 2012 at 23:20 #

    Don’t be to hard on yourself. You’ve gone through some pretty traumatic things recently and we all have our vices. Infertility is a douchenozzle, Not your body. Don’t hate on the incredible person that is you.

  29. Lala June 7, 2012 at 01:38 #

    I am so so sorry about the accelerated program not being an option for you. That really, really sucks. But the program itself sounds really amazing and maybe it taking a longer time will give you more in the long run.

    On another note: Damn girl, are you my long lost twin? Weight issues, smoking issues, self-destructive issues… that’s a big “YOU ARE NOT ALONE” from me here.

    I have struggled to quit so many times over the years. I didn’t even smoke that much – at the worst, a half a pack a day, and yet I COULD.NOT.QUIT. I always, always fell back to smoking if the least little stressor popped up. I managed to stay quit for 2 years during the time we were going through our IUIs, but was right back smoking the day after the last failure. Thing is, I LIKE smoking. I MISS smoking. It was like a really horrible-bad-for-you friend that made me feel better while screwing me over behind my back. (and I’m not going to feel very proud admitting this, but I’ve slipped a few times recently, so the self-loathing thing is VERY high with me right now too)

    I’m within 10 pounds of my heaviest weight ever too. I meant to get some weight off before this cycle, but that failed miserably.

    We are only human, and beating ourselves up over something that maybe right this minute is beyond our control is just screwed-up thinking. Smoking is MAJORLY addictive and even if you kick the physical dependence, the emotional and ritual dependence is still there, ready to swoop down and welcome you in its big smoky arms.

    Big hugs, much support and even more empathy from me to you.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Aftermath « Mommy Odyssey - June 7, 2012

    […] of all, thank you everyone for your amazing comments on yesterday’s post. Sharing your vices, giving support, and reminding me that I’m worthy of having some hope. I […]

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