Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ups and downs while waiting for the roller coaster ride: Updated!

Thursday night, ladies. One more day and I return to Pleasantville. The beginning of the week was an uphill battle. It started on Friday night when I arrived home from the crazy week I had at work last week, and realized that the weekend would just be too short. A small panic set inside me, and  I worked for the whole weekend to minimize it. Needless to say, I am not yet fully adjusted to the transition.

I saw Dr. Ninja last weekend; a visit that was well timed. We knew we were monitoring my anxiety and stress management with this big transition, and some adjustments had to be made. He changed my personal tea for the first time since September. This one is still mushroomy, but with a tinge of lichen. I'm not a huge fan, but I love Dr. Ninja and will do whatever he says at this point. He also prescribed these little pills called " T.ea". They are made to chill me out a bit. I can feel the subtle effects of all this, and whether it's placebo or actual effects, I do not care. I am sleeping a bit better overall and that counts.

I wish my mood was better, ladies. I feel some pressure to be happy and hopeful. But that ain't happening this week. I may be standing knee deep in a river dying of thirst, but as often as I repeat this to myself, I'm feeling down and not able to see what's great in front of me.

I think there was an insidious moment of upward social comparison this week that really did me in. *Warning* A bit of bitching and whining ahead* The psychologist that I am replacing came by after rounds to show off her baby. A lovely thing to do, to be sure. Except that I was premenstrual and had little warning of this ahead of time. I felt close to tears and wanted to make like a preacher and get the hell out of there, but I needed to have a meeting about a patient. And the only place to have the meeting was were she and the baby and 7-9 ooohing staff were congregated. Fuck me. That was one thing, I could have just surfed that wave and been ok. But then my mind got going, in its insidious ways. She's a psychologist with a great paying permanent position who can have babies. And then there is me. Infertile, 36 (soon to be 37), not finished school, covering mat leave contracts, in debt up to my elbows, a decade away from buying my first house, not living with my husband and my chicken, etc., etc.

I get on my own nerves with all this complaining, but I am feeling really down. And I am a bit perplexed about it. I had declared my last bout of depression over. Done with. But it lingers, apparently. Or maybe it's just the adjustment taking its toll. I don't know.

Indulge me while I do the reverse of bitching about stuff. What do I have to be thankful for? So much! I have my health. That's huge. I have an awesome husband who loves me and supports me and cooks me supper on Friday night when I arrive home at 7-7:30pm. I have a great cat with a fun identity crisis. I have amazing friends who love and support me, and have done so for a very long time. I have enough money to eat well, to provide shelter for myself, to maintain a car, and to meet all my needs. I even have enough hypothetical money to soon pay for DE IVF. I have a good job right now and good job prospects. I like what I do and feel like I'm good at it. I have a good heart, common sense and a some imagination; three things that go far in a human life.

Mr. August is taking the train to meet me in FTT (fertility treatment town: where I work and where obviously, I receive fertility treatments) tomorrow. We are going to talk to the lawyer. Can't say I'm too excited to meet with this man (sounds full of himself), but  I am looking forward to checking off that box.

And I have my committee meeting tomorrow morning. Hoping they'll say that I can proceed to the defense once I've made a few minor revisions, but I should prepare myself for a worse outcome so as not to start crying in their faces when they tell me otherwise. I'm just not sure where I will find the energy to work on this thing while I'm busting my ass off at work. I completed my paid hours for my workweek shortly after lunch today. Good thing I'm only working for 3 hours tomorrow.

Thank you for the support around the transition and surviving in the face of the plastic plants. I am relocating them to the closet, as some of you suggested and will be moving the furniture around so there is space for yoga. I even have big plans to acquire a few living plants for this space. At this point, I think I'll stay and do my best to adjust.

UPDATE!: My committee meeting was scheduled to last for 2 hours, but it was done in 40 minutes. They had 5-6 minor little things (a sentence here, moving a paragraph there). They are signing off on the dissertation and letting me proceed to the defense! They anticipate first week of March as a target time period for the defense. FYI, I'm feeling a LOT less gloomy than last night when I wrote this posting. 


  1. I'm so sorry it's been a rough week! I hope things start to look up for you soon. It's so hard to be content at this time, but I think remembering all the things we have to be thankful for helps give us perspective. Thinking about you!

  2. Hooray for a quick and painless committee meeting! You are going to be at that defense in no time. What a relief!

    I'm sorry everything else is dragging you down, but it does sound like you are making the best of it. Your rearranging and beautifying of your temporary space sounds nice.

  3. HA! I knew your committee would be pleased! And I HOPED that would greatly reduce your tension--a tiny drop of career success goes a long way towards lightening MY mood. (I suspect you are a bit like some of my students on the dissertation front--it can be totally obvious to the committee that it's a slam dunk, and all this defense business is just pro forma, but the student simply isn't in a psychological position to believe that.) Anyhow, HUGE MEGA CONGRATULATIONS on this really quite significant milestone. (And if you're ever feeling exhausted by the prospect of the defense, allow me to suggest that when the pre-defense meeting goes so well, there's like a 99.825% chance the defense will also.)

    You know it comforts me when you bitch a little, so thanks for that. Occasional comparisons are impossible to avoid--and perhaps more so when there are many salient points of contrast. I very much hope, and have good reason to believe, that quite a few of those dimensions will be different in the near future. And if not, well, you'll still be more awesome than her!

    Have a glorious and restful weekend.

  4. That was one crappy situation. That you did not dissolve into a puddle of tears speaks volumes about your strength. Bravo on progress on the dissertation. I do hope that you hit a small groove of happiness that will lead to brighter places. The good news towards getting pedigreed is a nice start.

  5. That's fantastic that you're so close with your dissertation! Yay for a nice committee! I can't imagine how hard it was to see the woman who seemed to have the two things you've been working so hard for seemingly so easily. You're very strong to have handled it as you did, and to proceed to gratitude.

  6. First of all woo-hoo on the awesome committee meeting, so glad thats one less stress you have on your plate right now!
    Sorry for the shitty situation at work, I've done the same's SO hard not to compare ourselves to others. I think women especially are terrible at this. And you're right it never feels good, it always leave me feeling awful as well. Hope you are able to focus on the positives in your life and you have a lovely, relaxing weekend with the husband ((hugs))

  7. So excited that the committee meeting went well. I know the all the anxieties that surround IVF and DE IVF as well, and just know that you are experiencing NORMAL emotions. It's a tough time and we are all here to support you.

  8. Hang in there...know what you are going through very well. Take care!

  9. It sounds like you ROCKED the committee meeting. Congratulations!

    As for the other stuff -- "upward social comparison" -- I don't know that there's a way to avoid doing it. But I think I do have the same problem as you, with spiraling it out beyond what's reasonable and inevitable. And just in case you needed to hear it: you have a most impressive career. I am kind of in awe of you, actually.

  10. Great way to wrap up your post. Never a requirement to leave us on a high note, but I like hearing good things happening to you. Like this.

    Proud of you for unloading. You tend to take everyone else's suffering on your own back, so thank you for giving us the opportunity to share it back.

    Eager to hear how the lawyer meeting went. Mine was delightful, if you can believe it. She was burnt out as a child representative for abuse and neglect so she changed to fertility law. Then, funny universe, wouldnt you know she ended up using a donor herself?

    I have some great ideas we could discuss on the topic when you are ready.

  11. That would be tough being away from home most of the week every week. I think that in and of itself would get me feeling low. And then on top of that you had work, pms, fertility treatments, and the visit of a baby. I see no other option but to be in a bad mood after all that :)

    hang in there, hope you had a nice weekend.

  12. I hate how when we feel sad we feel guilty for feeling this way and have to balance it out with all that we are grateful for. For the record Augusta, we all love you and know you wouldnt moan about something unjustified. Everything that was getting you down was real and relevant so you dont need to feel bad about that.
    Hope the meeting with the Lawyer is OK. People who are full of themselves are intollerable....lawyers who are full of themselves...even worse!!!

  13. Oh, Augie, I'm sorry to have taken so long to comment. First of all, know that you are a beacon of loveliness and positivity to all of us who know you, and that sometimes, when someone's light shines so brightly and so steadily, the flame burns out for a time, and needs time to re-gather its resources to shine again. We are here to shield you from the wind and the rain (or snow in your case!) for as long as it takes while you do whatever you need to do in order to feel like shining again. You got that?

    I'm glad you got your happy tea and hope it's working wonders. That baby show-off session was bullshit. Work is not a place for babies unless you're a baby psychologist! Or unless it's Aoûta's baby, or she's at least irretrievably preggers. I decree it. I am so thrilled (and not at all surprised), as you must be, that your committee meeting was such a smashing success. Don't play small, Dr. A; you're a rockstar! Sending lovelovelove.