Last week I wrote how I was giving up the dream of becoming a parent. Since then I’ve become bitter, sad and frustrated that this is what it has come to. At my therapy session last night I realized that giving up the dream right now is something I’m not ready to do. I recognize it’s something I just can’t handle just 7 months after my initial diagnosis. Despite the future looking dark and unclear I have to have the attitude that I don’t know what the future holds and just roll with it.
As I look back on my life I think about other times I’ve gone through versions of depression and how being at my lowest point has opened new doors that has made me a better person. My worst depression was in high school when I had social problems that a lot of teenagers deal with. Prior to my IF diagnosis the last depression I had was the Fall Semester of my Sophomore year in College (Fall 1999). Like High School I had trouble meeting and dating girls. It boiled down to two reasons first was I lacked self confidence and second being only 5’4″ (yes, I am that short) many girls don’t go for the shorter guy.
It was towards the end of that semester I started to turn the corner. I tried a different style haircut (that I’ve had ever since) went on a workout binge getting myself more toned. Those things helped a bit with my confidence. Instead of giving up, I hit the pause button reinvented myself and pressed on. There were two girls I had recently met that I stayed in contact with over the winter break that had my hopes up that things were changing. But it wasn’t until the end of January 2000 that I came out of it fully when my life would change forever…….for the better.
It was a typical Saturday night in college trying to figure out what to do so I sent an AOL IM to a friend of mine (this was before texting existed). He said that he was planning on watching a movie with his girlfriend in his dorm room on the other side of campus but he would ask her to bring a friend so I didn’t feel like a third wheel. That night we hung out and watched American Pie and Braveheart (yeah weird combo of movies). His girlfriend’s friend didn’t say much while we hung out so I wasn’t sure what to think other than that I thought she was a pretty girl with gorgeous blue eyes.
At the end of the night the four of us walked back to our dorm’s together. My dorm was the closest so I was the first “drop off”. I would later learn that my friend nagged his girlfriend’s friend after they dropped me off. He asked her many times “what she thought of his friend”. She told him she thought I was ok. The next day at breakfast he told me he put in a good word for me with his girlfriend’s friend. I didn’t think anything of it until I got an IM from her asking if I wanted to go to lunch the next day. I agreed and we went to lunch. However, she didn’t talk at lunch at all. Other than learning that she too lived in NJ, I didn’t learn much about her (probably because I was talking too much). So I thought for whatever reason we didn’t click. I’d learn later that she was memorized by me eating so many mystery meat burgers from our school’s cafeteria.
The next day I got an IM from her that we should hang out over the weekend. It seemed strange that she did but I would learn that she was just a shy person. That get together went better as we went to a party got drunk and I kissed her when I dropped her off at her dorm room. I started to think this might be something. A few weeks later my grandmother had passed away so I had to go home for a few days. When I returned to school she had made cookies for me (granted they were just the tollhouse kind that you just put in the oven). It was then that I knew there was something special about her. A week after that we officially started to date. We would date the remainder of college and after that three years of her going through law school (which was 3 hours away). In March of 2006 I would propose to her and on September 15, 2007 we would get married.
As a side note, I am still friends with that guy who set us up. He is still one of our close friends. He reminds us all the time that he set us up. When I told him of my IF diagnosis he invited us to go to the Bahamas with he and his wife this past May. It was a great few days to get away really helping us clear our minds and forget about life. He is a great guy that I am forever grateful for what he has done for me and meant to me (my wife as well).
The point of sharing this story is that I realize that when I’ve been at my lowest points in my life things have always found a way to turn the corner and change for the better. While I don’t know whether or not my wife and I will pursue parenthood or become parents, I am not going to close the door on it. I am going to hit the pause button and come back to it when we’re ready to.