I can only write about this now that I’m not so deeply entrenched in it. Maybe I should have written it when I was entrenched, but admitting my emotional defeat was too much, I think. But I feel like I need to write about it now, because I know that there are others out there like me and I want them to know that they are not alone.
Infertility is tough and emotionally draining and confusing, but nothing could have prepared me for the feelings that came with the loss of my baby. And nothing could have prepared me for how much energy it took to keep functioning and to keep dealing with infertility.
The first time I googled “suicide and infertility” was after I was blindsided by a pregnancy announcement. I had this complete emotional (over?)reaction — I lost my shit. I just wanted to walk into traffic. I felt as if the world wasn’t a fair place and I just wanted all the pain and disappointment of our failed IUIs to stop. I just wanted to be the one with a fucking pregnancy announcement. I got through but I wondered, do people kill themselves over this? I found one blog that talked about it and it seemed as though the writer just stopped writing and people were concerned. Funny thing about suicide, no one talks about that either and one cannot tell one’s story once one is dead. I bounced back and started this blog in hope of explaining to those around me, just how painful all this was for me.
After I lost Abby, I was grief-stricken, angry and I just didn’t give a shit. I didn’t want to die though.. I just didn’t care if I lived. I simply didn’t care about anything. The first time I really considered suicide was after all the bullshit that the old clinic put us through, followed by all the shit I went through with work. I just wanted it all to stop. I wanted something to go right and I wanted to stop hurting. I had more bouts of this darkness in the fall when I was being bullied by my boss at work. But strongly again after our failed IVF cycle. Each time, I pulled myself out somehow. Maybe those weren’t real suicidal feelings, but merely the musings of someone who wanted to give up, but it was the darkest place I’ve ever been in. The really stupid thing is… I continued to function and do my job… as a social worker. It was like I had these two people inside me again. The one who puts on a face and helps people and makes it through the day… and they other who felt such despair that she was planning ways to leave the world behind. Sometimes, I felt like such a fraud at work… who was I to be helping people to cope when I wasn’t coping at all??
One day, I photocopied some pages out of a book for a client who was struggling to manage emotions and had had two overdoses in a short period of time — about suicide. This is what I mean.. the irony!! And I read a line that struck a chord for me… it was something to the effect that most suicidal people don’t really want to die, they just want to stop hurting. Ain’t that the truth? I don’t want to be dead… I just want to stop hurting. Depression is a funny thing — it clouds all reality. In my logical mind, I know that there is hope and options and elements of my life that are very good. In those moments of darkness, it seemed like there could never be an end to the hurt and emptiness.
I can’t tell you how I got out of the darkness. I just kept living. After the failed IVF, I decided that I still had two embies on ice and they deserved a chance to be born. They would provide me with the hope and the strength to keep going. So I promised myself that I wouldn’t think about killing myself until I had used up those embies. And that was that.
I didn’t seek help, because honestly, the counselling I had before wasn’t all that helpful. In fact, feeling that darkness made me wonder how futile counselling really is. I give suggestions to clients all the time on how they can behave to feel better — but all it does is distract for a while. I got together with my friends, I went out for dinner, movies.. whatever — but it was all just a distraction from my real feelings. I was truly going through the motions and making people believe that I was okay. Because how do you talk to your friends about being suicidal.
“Hey.. pass the soy sauce and by the way, I played out a scenario in my head today whereby my car ends up in the Grand River and I die”.
I truly believe that people who want to kill themselves won’t tell you… if we told you, you’d try to stop us. And how on earth do you find those words to tell someone? How could I admit that I wasn’t coping? That I was considering suicide?! I judged myself: how could I be so weak?? The social worker me throws all empathy out the window when she deals with herself.
I’m okay right now.. really I am. And I’m not just saying that. I have a wee bit of hope and it’s enough to keep me going.
I just wanted to share this, because like I said, I know that there are other people out there that know this scary darkness. There are some that will read this and judge me too… like I judged myself. With all the problems that people have, you think about offing yourself because of infertility?! I know. I had those thoughts too. All I can say is, I’m glad that you can’t relate. I’m glad that you haven’t had such drastic feelings of despair in your life — and I hope you never do.