Friday, August 19, 2011

On What Ifs And Never Agains

My birthday was last week.  It came and went.  I’m 26.  Big deal.  I’m feeling pretty down about it.

Last year at this time…

Last year at this time I was planning for a future that no longer exists.  

As much as the dreams of getting married and having children are at the forefront of my mind, I refuse to indulge these thoughts.  I won’t buy wedding magazines until I’m engaged.  And I won’t buy baby name books and baby clothes until I’m having a baby.  The reality of possibly never having either of those things is too harsh to act like they are a guarantee, only for them to turn out not to be.

I can’t let the dream get ahead of me.  I can’t wish for it to happen and wish for it to happen only to have it not happen.  Everybody’s getting married.  Everybody’s having babies, and I’m just trying to hang on and get my shit right (literally and figuratively).

The bottom line is that we do what we do based on the information that we have at the time.  That’s all we can really go on.  We can’t change the past, and we can’t predict the future, no matter how much we would like to think we can.

So is there a part of me that questions what the medications I’m currently on are doing to my future odds of having a child?  Absolutely.  But the reality is, if I’m not alive, I can’t have a child.  So I have to focus on the fact that at least on most days, I am functioning with the meds. 

I’m kind of messed up right now.  I don’t want to be one of those bitter, single people.  Worse, I don’t want to be a bitter, single, chronically ill person who can’t get a man and is sleeping her life away on the couch on Saturday night. 

Love is like heartburn.  Or heartbreak is like heartburn.  Or something like that.  I think there are some guys who don’t know the difference between love and indigestion.  It feels the same to them. 

Heartbreak feels like shit.  Heartbreak feels like getting sick all over again.

Is that weird?  Am I crazy that I compare the two?

When my life turned into an after school special a few years ago my life was everything I had always hoped it would never be.  My life became a cliché.  And I hated it.  And I fell into the arms of someone I thought I could trust.  And he lied and cheated, but will maintain to his dying day that he is an upstanding human being.  And then I met my ex, and I don’t really know what else to say about him.  I’m so conflicted.  Love.  And hate.  So much pleasure, and yet, so much pain.  

And you know what is so fucked up about this?  I’m not the fucked up one.  These guys are totally fucked up.  AND NOW I’M FUCKED UP BECAUSE OF THEM!

And I’m fucked up because of illness, too.  It was so much easier to fight when the fight mattered to someone other than me.  And I know that it should matter to me when it’s just me in the picture.  But it’s so hard.  It’s so hard to fight to feel good and to stay strong.

Where Do You Go When You Don’t Have Any Fight Left?

But then I realize these words do not express who I really am.  They express me when I am down in the dumps.  They are me after I was dumped by a man I dated for over a year, who I loved deeply, and thought was “the one.”  

From the first moment I was born, I came out kicking and screaming, and fighting.  

I thought that I would fight until the end, to the death, for everything that I believed in.

Where did that person go?

I let myself believe that my life was going to get better. 

And I believed that.  And was seduced by that.

Where is the person who was always waiting for the next shoe to drop, anxious and on guard, but ready for anything?  

What happened to that person, who wanted to make it through graduate school if it killed me, who now feels content to fade into the background and disappear?  

Where is the snarky 20-something who questioned my rheumatologist at every turn, who now feels like being so agreeable?  

Where is the person who put it all out there, on the floor, who wanted to live life with no regrets, only to succumb to the heartbreak of being with a boy disguised in the body of a man?

I need to cut my losses, pick up the pieces, and move on.  But I wonder how much more heartbreak I can take, physically and emotionally.  I’m fighting with GI hoping that they’ll throw me a bone.  And I’m fighting with the universe.  A bone.  Just one.  Is that so much to ask?  

I don’t want to be so caught up in what ifs (the future) that I miss the present.  And I don’t want to be so caught up in never agains (the past) that I miss the present, too.  So how to cope with the unfortunate things that life has thrown at me, all the while remaining positive, upbeat, and happy?  How do I make myself a better person, despite the hurt and pain that others have caused?

How do I battle back against all odds? 


  1. True you have a chronic illness but...if I took out that word from your blog and only read about the heartbreak you sound quite normal to me. Not that this will take away any of the heartbreak one feels when one is betrayed but really, this is as normal as it gets when one is dating someone that is basically a jerk. Illness or not, jerks lurk around and unfortunately we can encounter them whether we are sick or not. I am truly sorry for this heartbreak but I would be thankful that you didn't marry jerk 1 and possibly jerk 2 (if I read your blog correct). In fact I would be thanking my heavens for this. I can't tell you how many girlfriends of mine dated, married and much later discovered that they had been fooled by a jerk. And to top it off they can't just ignore their jerk because they had children with them which forever binds you in some kind of relationship. I just want you to know that although you may have recently experienced heartbreak, your illness isn't the reason in my humble opinion. It is because unfortunately you connected with jerks. Now the real question to ask yourself is why was I attracted to that type of person in the first place, what can I learn from it to avoid another jerk in the future? And then go out and have yourself your favorite dessert. Yes, desserts do help to ease the pain :-) ((HUGS))) across the cyber miles and lots of pixy dust to bring you better relationships in the future.

  2. Leslie, It will get better. I know you can't trust a stranger but it will get better. I can remember being at rock bottom and someone told me that and I didn't believe it would happen, but it did.

    I'm twice your age. I've fought RA for 12 years. And succumbed, and forgotten I've had it, and then lived in pain again - it ebbs and flows, as does everything in our lives.

    You can't let these people fuck you up. Then you're letting them take up space in your head. Life is full of yield signs, stop signs and detours. We have to move thru life no matter what it hands us. Being resilient is something that you have in you, I know. I know you're strong.

    Sounds like you need a little professional help to straighten out the "stinking thinking" that you're doing. There's nothing wrong with seeking help - what we deal with medically and as single, professional woman is tough and depression happens to even the most exuberant of us. I still take a half of a celexa every day to keep me balanced. Along with the RA meds and the vitamins.

    Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move on. I know you have it in you.


  3. I'm 34 now, and wonder sometimes if the fact that I am a "realist" and wouldn't allow myself to have those dreams over the years is one of the reasons why I never got those things. Who knows - maybe not but seems that some of my girlfriends allowed themselves to put it out there and dream a little and it helped themselves open themselves to new people, opportunity and experiences that I didn't. Or maybe this is where I'm meant to be. Either way - heartbreak sucks. Before and after autoimmune illness - it does. I'm sorry you're going through it. But know that it does get a bit better with time if you let it. And we're here.

  4. I'm sorry I haven't been around this summer. I have been in the same boat as in the WTF boat.

    Just know others share your pain...physically and emotionally. We can do this. We have to.

  5. Have had many of these same thoughts. We just fight till our last breath. Life kinda sux that way. But the alternative...