The Deep Dark Pit

The last two years have been a roller coaster some highs and mostly lows.  This year has been no different.  Except this current low I’m on has brought on the worst depression I’ve faced since my infertilty diagnosis and the deepest darkest place I’ve been in since I was a teenager and went through a serious period of depression.  

Lately with me appointment two weeks away I’ve gone through my mind about the fallout of a worst case scenario of being told there is nothing that can be done.  I’ve had thoughts about whether there was a reason I’m not able to have children and questioning my self worth.  I’ve doubted the type of person I am and that I’m just not good enough to have children.  That I’m too weak and not worthy of having a legacy.  That I would suck at parenting and damage the child we raised.  That society is better off that I don’t become a parent.

This has led to me starting to think that there is no point to living life.  I’ve accomplished all I can and there is nothing left to do.  Understand I could never harm myself.  I fear death already.  Going down that road on my own is something I’m not strong enough to do.  But I’ve gone to bed some nights thinking it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if I didn’t wake up the next day.

These thoughts go back to growing up with ADD struggling in school and socially.  I never thought I was good enough.  I always had high expectations of myself because no one outside of my parents thought I was capable of succeeding when challenged.  Infertility has dug those feelings up as an adult only worse because unlike back then my whole life isn’t ahead of me.  This is my life and without being able to have kids it tells me that once again I’m just not able to accomplish much of anything.

This all maybe just irrational thoughts for nothing and on April 22nd I find out there’s a chance we could have kids.  But there’s a good chance I could be at the beginning of a middle aged depression that I never get out of.  I thought I would be better prepared mentally and emotionally for this appointment than I was two years ago.  But right now I don’t think I am.

  

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35 thoughts on “The Deep Dark Pit

  1. My Perfect Breakdown

    Infertility is hard, and the emotional wreckage it leaves in it’s path is undeniable. I know many of the what if’s are frightening and can be downright scary, and I’ll be hoping you get good news in a few weeks and that you are able to enjoy a wave of hopeful anticipation.
    Also, I want to tell you that I think you are an amazing person for sharing your struggle and undoubtably helping others know that they are not alone with these types of feelings. Sending you lots of love.

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      The what ifs are rough especially when you have had a similar experience in the past. Thanks for your support it is greatly appreciated.

      Reply
  2. julieann081

    I am so sorry that you’re feeling so down. I hope you have someone you can talk to about all of this. As MPB said, the what-ifs can be really scary. I, too, hope you get good news at your appointment. Please know that you are not alone. ❤

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      I am seeing a therapist once every two weeks. I saw her last night. It helps to get it all out and I recognize what’s behind it but it’s not changing the situation which makes it tough.

      Reply
  3. A Calm Persistence

    There is nothing rational about infertility and to try to make sense of it.. “Maybe I wouldn’t be good enough.. maybe society is better off” is impossible. You just can’t make sense of any of it. I understand though as I’ve had all those thoughts too. It’s all just so unfair. I know you’d be an amazing dad G, anyone that cares so much would be amazing at parenting. I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s so frustrating.

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      Thanks. I don’t think we’ll ever know whether I’d be a good enough dad because I’m likely not going to get that opportunity to find out. As you pointed out it’s frustrating.

      Reply
  4. andthewindscreamsmary

    I’m so sorry you’re having a tough time. I can relate to much of what you said, I’ve had some very similar thoughts on some of my dark days.
    The what ifs will drive you crazy. There’s no rational explanation for any of this, or why it is so easy for some and so hard for others. I hope you get some good news at your appointment and keeping you in my thoughts in the days ahead.

    Reply
  5. sarahchamb

    I’ve been feeling like absolute shit for the past few days (after feeling pretty darned aimless for the past few months), so when I saw the title to your post I chuckled (often my twisted head’s reaction to the darkness) because it felt soooo familiar. I really appreciate your willingness to write about the overwhelming emotions brought on by your experiences.

    Though not the same thing as ADD and infertility, having gone through both mental illness AND infertility myself I can tell you it has undermined my confidence in ways that even I may never understand. Hope it helps to know you’re not alone, and I’ve grappled too with infertility being more daunting in a sense because we’re older and there’s less life ahead – it really does change the equation in a major way. And I agree with A Calm Persistence that there is nothing rational about infertility – which puts us between a rock and a hard place, doesn’t it?? We can either go crazy trying to figure it out, or go crazy trying to accept it will never make sense…..such lovely “choices”.

    The triggering you’re feeling regarding your appointment, though torturous, is also normal. Can’t tell you how many things I have thought I could handle until I get right up close, so I can’t give advice on not underestimating how hard this is since, in spite of my best efforts, I continue to do it myself!! Just really sorry you’re going through this.

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      It’s amazing how the infertility experience triggers past experiences in life and really brings out all of those feelings. It kills the self esteem that we have. Best wishes to you.

      Reply
  6. Justine Froelker

    So hard and sucks. I promise your worth is not in your ability to procreate but you must believe it. And I know how hard that is when it feels so dark. Sending you light and love my friend.

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      Thanks Justine. It’s really hard to believe in myself right now when I am not seeing anything that can help me believe it.

      Reply
  7. clwalchevill

    Im going to challenge some of these statements, but before I do I want you to know that my heart is with you and I’m thinking about you constantly. So please the following comes only from a place of love.

    I believe the fact you haven’t harmed yourself is because you are coming from a place of strength. Greg, the will to live and live well is very much alive in you. The problem is the uncertainty that lies ahead. A possible door that leads to “can’ts” and “nevers.” Frankly, that would terrify and depress anyone. Where your courage shines through is that you are going forward with this appointment. Your courage shines through in that you’re talking candidly about your fears. Your courage shoes through because you’re staring directly at the worst case scenario. And the beast is always so much worse in our heads.

    I don’t know what lies ahead with this appointment. Nor do I know what is to come. But I believe that life finds a way. Even in the most hostile of situations. And you are a shining soul with so much life in you. I sincerely hope you get good news in a couple of weeks. Or at least a plan. But regardless, I believe in you.

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      Thank you so much Cristy. What makes this hard is that I feel this way recognize where it’s coming from yet still have let it paralyze me. You’re right that I’m moving forward. I’m still getting up everyday and doing what I have to. I’m still training for a half marathon in six weeks even though my energy level is down. That’s what is so hard about this that I’m working yet still feeling this way.

      Best wishes to you as you begin a new and exciting venture in your journey.

      Reply
  8. Mali

    I remember thinking that it might be easier if I didn’t wake up, if I didn’t have to face a tomorrow. That was when I was dealing with the grief of finding I wouldn’t have children. But I was lucky – that feeling didn’t last. I’m saying that because, like Cristy, I want you to know I understand, and that I feel for you.

    But I have to challenge these thoughts too. Would you say all these things to Justine, or Sarah, or me, or any of the other women or men you know who couldn’t/didn’t have children? I doubt it. If you would, I would stand up and say “how dare you?!” So, the logic goes, how dare you say these things to yourself?

    You’ve prompted me to post about this. I had a post drafted some time ago, but today is clearly the day I need to post it.

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      You’re right I would never say things to you or any person that has moved on from infertility to a childfree/less life. These are all things I just feel about myself. I’m not sure why two years later I feel worse about myself than I did when I first got my diagnosis. Maybe it was that even back then I always believed K & I would attempt using a sperm donor or pursue adopting that we would eventually become parents. I don’t know right now.

      Reply
  9. NotSoNewtoIVF

    I know you know these are irrational thoughts and it is so obvious what an amazing parent you would make. But it doesn’t stop those thoughts being any less painful and I’m so sorry you’re feeling so low. Hoping so much you have good news later this month xx

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      Thanks. I don’t know what type of parent I would be. I know I would work hard at it but whether I would be a good one is something I’ll never know at this point. I can only assume that I wouldn’t be a good one and that is the reason my body is preventing it from happening.

      Reply
      1. NotSoNewtoIVF

        Sorry Greg but that’s total bullshit! If for no other reason than there are people out there who have child after child taken into care because they don’t give a shit about them and/or are abusive…Why doesn’t their bodies stop them from having kids? Because there is no rhyme or reason to this, unfortunately it’s the luck of the draw and you’ve got a shit hand for no other reason than you just have. All you need to do to be a good parent is to care about your child, be interested in them and their needs and love the hell out of them – all things you would do. Try to keep your chin up my love, as hard as it is xxx

      2. gsmwc02 Post author

        It’s how I feel right now. It may seem like it’s bullshit but when you’ve had self esteem issues your whole life infertility dips into that.

  10. Angela Bergmann

    That pit is a horrific place to be. I completely understand it though. It’s the same constant, paralyzing grief/depression/anxiety I have as well. It causes me to be passively suicidal at times as well. The difference though for us is that we recognize it, we acknowledge it, and we keep going. Keeping moving is the most essential part in this because that is what will carry us back out of the pit. And in your worst moments you simply have to remind yourself of that. No one is ever as hard on us, as we are on ourselves.

    Depression lies. Grief lies. Anxiety lies. It will get better. You are worthy. You are valuable.

    Reply
  11. Mrs T

    Once I wrote a post called Darwin is an Asshole about an idiot relative of mine who keeps having oops-babies when I kept having miscarriages. He’s up to four or five… and I hid the post since writing about your relatives online isn’t great for posterity. I didn’t face the same deep dark pit as you, but I’ve let these things seep in too. I hope you know in the back of your mind that your ability to procreate and your ability to parent have nothing to do with one another. There’s plenty of proof in the world around us. Whatever happens and whatever you decide, we’re here for you even if you have to find a new vision for your life.

    Reply
    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      That’s tough finding the balance of putting yourself out there yet having to censor yourself. That sounds like an interesting post. Thanks.

      Reply
  12. kiftsgate

    You’ve been through so much and put so much effort into trying to feel better and finding a solution that I am hardly surprised you feel like you do. I would be shit scared too about this appointment. You opened up a door you thought was closed and it must be super scary to think they may slam the door at your face again. I really really hope they wont.
    I hope these irrational thoughts leave you alone very soon. You don’t deserve this (because of your weakness or any other reason) same as no one deserves cancer or other illnesses.
    Hoping so much for good news on April 22nd!

    Reply
  13. wilhc121

    I know this feeling. It represents 2013 for me. It’s ugly and it’s dark and right now, it’s your truth. Thanks for sharing. Just wanted to let you know that you aren’t alone. I get it. I also know, without knowing you, that your life has purpose and meaning even if it doesn’t include fatherhood. That’s a serious pill to swallow and one, I too, try to choke down each day (well, re: motherhood). One foot in front of the other brother. Hoping that the 22nd bring some peace. Hugs!

    Reply
  14. Pingback: It’s not you It’s me | A Few Pieces Missing From Normalcy – An Infertile Man's Perspective

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