I promised Barry Manilow backstory, so here goes.
I was very involved in performing arts as a kid. Everything from drama club at the neighborhood center and Girl Scouts where, if I must say so, I made an adorable Jimminy Cricket and authoritative Daddy Warbucks in Annie to school chorus and tap class. Of course this love followed me to adolescence when I was in the Drama Club, concert choir, and show chorus. 7th grade, the spring play was called Coming of Age. If the title didn’t give it away, it was a loosely connected series of scenes and monologues about just how bad it sucked to become a teenager. Oddly enough, I still remember songs like “Grounded” and “If I had a friend”. Being that I’m 99% sure the brilliant Mrs. Spencer wrote it herself, she incorporated this song “All the time”.
I clung to that song. I’m not sure how much my friends knew or have since figured out, but I had my first bout of depression at 13. I didn’t even know what it was, but it was like I woke up the morning of the 13th birthday feeling like I didn’t want to get out of the bed. My parents and pediatrician kind of attributed it to infamous teen angst, after all, I was overweight and bullied while crushing on boys who didn’t know I existed. I was so miserable and I never knew if I should be honest about how sad I was to my friends or pretend like I was fine. So I was usually irritatingly blue (like eeyore) or annoyingly fake and bubbly. So I lived through that song: “all the time I thought that I was wrong. Wanting to be me but needing to belong. If I had just believed in all I had if someone would have said you’re not so bad”.
As I obsessively listened to the song again because God forbid I misquote the lyrics, it occurred to me that infertility is a lot like puberty all over again.
Think about it,
You’re confused as heck about what your body is doing. Check.
No amount of education really helps it make sense. Check.
And you’re a little bit (or very) envious of what other people’s bodies are doing that yours isn’t. Check.
I remember being really obsessed with starting my cycle. Check.
And for me, my infertility and depression are as intertwined as puberty was. Wouldn’t you know I find myself alienated from people close to me because I can never decide how much of my misery to show to people who just won’t understand.
And just like puberty sometimes the boy you like leaves you at the table to eat and cry alone because you’re not fun anymore.