I’m Giving Up

Infertility has changed me in many ways mostly not for the better. Sure I’ve learned to become more empathetic and understanding of why I feel the way I do sometimes. I’ve also gotten back into running. But beyond that it’s changed me into a shell of what I used to be.
Prior to infertility I was a very pleasant up beat person who always believed things would find a way of working out.  I was happy enjoying many of the things in life and looked forward to what each day brought me.  It wasn’t that my life had been easy to that point but rather I had overcome the odds of people telling me I wouldn’t be able to do things I eventually was able to do. Sure I never went to Harvard like I dreamed I would at the age of 6 or became an Astronaut. But I went to a pretty good college and have established a good career that allows me to live comfortably.  

I was also a person who believed I could overcome anything that came my way. I believed I could adapt and change if I worked hard doing things differently than I imagined. Most importantly I believed I should never give up even when things seem bleak.

Now that infertility has changed me I no longer believe things will work out. I no longer believe I can do things differently but achieve a similar goal and happiness. I no longer believe it’s worth trying hard and that my hard work will pay off.

Essentially infertility has taught me that it’s not worth trying and that I should give up when things seem bleak. When I try hard all it does is lead to unmet expectations that end up disappointing me. I tried hard in 2014 to live a childless life where I made changes in search of fulfillment. I got back in shape and started running again. I became a Big Brother volunteer.  I took things one day at a time and focussed on the present.  My expectation was that these things and approach would give me what I was missing.  

Instead all it did was distract me from the feeling that I’m in the remedial Adulthood class and no matter how hard I try I’m never going to be able to get out of it. I’m never going to be able to relate to people my age who have all moved forward with their lives while I’m not able to move forward. I’ll always be a step behind in life.  There is no next Chapter to work toward. This is the Chapter I’ll live until I retire.

Rather than fight these feelings and the challenge of fulfillment I am giving up and quitting on finding that fulfillment. Just as I did with infertility that led to unmet expectations when I quit, I am going to quit on trying to get out of the remedial adulthood class and just accept this is what it is. This is not to say I don’t believe others who are childless/free who find fulfillment. I do believe them but that’s them and what worked for them, that’s not me.

Whatever is going to happen is going to happen it’s out of my control. It’s no use in fighting anymore. It’s a losing battle that is just going to leave me more disappointed and empty.

28 thoughts on “I’m Giving Up

  1. Sondra

    I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again- IF is so unfair. I’m sorry. I wish things were different for you. I have no advice, just support. I get it and I’m sorry.

  2. Infertility Honesty

    Dear Greg,

    I can relate. Knowing all of the efforts my husband and I made that led to the same nothing result makes it almost impossible for me to formulate a future at this time. I burst out laughing at “remedial adulthood class” as I’ve been struggling socially lately. Majorly adjusting my expectations has “helped”; I do nothing with the expectation that it will heal the pain or fill the void that I feel, since it probably won’t. I still experience bursts of excitement/caring about things in life followed by bursts of “who really gives a shit?” I’m rather tired.

    I appreciate the “success” stories and am grateful to those who have overcome the grief and losses of childlessness for sharing that it does get better. In a way, this does not really help me much NOW, however. What I need to do now is feel and grieve. Not only is that exhausting, it’s very confusing in a world that doesn’t talk about grieving children you never got to have. I often don’t have the energy these days to be enthralled in constructing some great alternative life.

    Though I can’t really say what will work for someone else, I am tempted to think that your “giving up” (what I would call adjusting expectations and allowing “what is”) is a healthy move.

    As always, thanks for sharing.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      I am in a similar place as you about needing to grieve and just being where I’m at right now. I’m not ready to feel better yet.

      Best wishes to you and your husband.

    2. Mali

      You’re right. What you need to do now is feel and grieve. It’s hard. It can take a really long time. And you’ve said exactly what I wanted to say – I don’t think “giving up” is the right phrase. Adjusting expectations and allowing “what is” is about all you can cope with in the early months – or even year or two. Hope for anything more becomes scary, I know. And exhausting! But one day, you’ll both discover that you find renewed hope for life.

  3. Mali

    ” I believed I could adapt and change if I worked hard doing things differently than I imagined. Most importantly I believed I should never give up even when things seem bleak.” Right now, things seem very bleak for you. But the important words there are “adapt and change and do things (ie live life) differently than you imagine.” You had it right in the first place. It’s just a case of where you direct your effort – not at infertility, but at life. Differently than you imagine.

    But you need to grieve too. And that sucks. And it takes time. Happiness doesn’t just arrive. And it’s not fixed by changing particular things in life. It’s fixed by time, and gradually changing the way you think.

    1. gsmwc02 Post author

      I’m changing the way I think by not trying hard and giving up when they get difficult. Better to quit than set expectations that are never met.

  4. clwalchevill

    Sarah said it beautifully. Nothing to add other than that you are constantly in my thoughts and I’m continuing to send you love.


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