This is my 2nd blog post for National Infertility Awareness Week. I wanted to share a more personal story then my first.
I have a dirty little not so secret, secret. It’s something I openly discuss, depending on the situation, if you catch me in person, or have made passing remarks about on Twitter. But not something I blogged about, or really spoke about on Facebook. I think partly due to shame, and partly out of fear.
In October of 2013, my husband had to call the police on me, while I was at work, out of the very real fear that I might kill myself.
Let that sink in.
I had had a bad day. Hell, a bad year at that point. My job was high stress, my life was high stress, and I still wasn’t over the loss of the only pregnancy I have ever had. I work online, so I also spend a lot of my day watching social media and talking through different chat programs. Bill and I typically chat throughout the day while we are both at work.
On this particular day, and at this point I don’t even remember the exact day, I was uncontrollably upset. I was ranting to him and he somehow pissed me off. I made what I knew was a passively suicidal threat, then logged off of everything and ignored my phone buzzing. After about 10 minutes, I gave in, as I typically do, and went outside and checked my phone. Except at that point it was too late. The ball was already rolling.
I’d recently been so not myself, so uncontrollably hostile, that Bill truly was worried I would leave work and go kill myself. When I didn’t answer my phone, he made good on the promise he had left on my voice-mail and he called the police and reported that he feared for his wife’s life, gave them my work address and told them the make, model, and plate of our car.
I called him back in a frenzy, knowing the police appearance was imminent and begged him to call them off. But it was too late. Any call like that results in the person in question being taken to the hospital.
So I had to frantically make up a story about why I had to leave work with the police, and be taken down to the local hospital for a psych evaluation.
They put me in a room that has a door that locks from the outside in the ER. Bill eventually showed up with my things, and they let him sit with me. I couldn’t apologize enough for having scared him. I hadn’t realized how bad things had been. That he truly did fear for my life.
After a few hours the on call Psychologist made his way down to me. He talked with me for about 40 minutes and decided that I wasn’t really a threat to myself and that I could leave, but recommended I start a program they had for inpatient counseling. I brushed it off and ran home. Scared, ashamed, angry at myself. Why couldn’t I just get my shit together?
I went back to work the next day and spent a few days pretending things were still fine. Because that’s what I am amazing at. Pretending things are awesome. The worse I feel, the more awesome things appear to be. Slap on the fake smile and everything is just peachy. Nope, I’m not wishing I was dead. NEVER. Smile smile smile laugh.
After a few days though, I knew I wasn’t going to just fake my way out of this. I called off work and tried to find a psychiatrist with an appointment opening, but no one could see me for months. So I called the number the ER Dr had given me and signed myself in.
I spent 2 and a half weeks, Monday-Friday from 9 am to 4 pm in intense group therapy, getting a medication regimen, and doing some one on one counseling. In the end, my psychiatrist declared the root of my problem was major depressive disorder, brought on by infertility. He also recommended I stop pretending everything was great and recommended I open up about my struggle. He said a large portion of my problem was that I didn’t let myself feel the pain I was dealing with, and I just kept it all to myself.
That experience was the final push for me in opening up about my infertility. I had kept it to myself for so long, it drove me to being passively suicidal.
This is what infertility can do to you.
Since then, I have learned to use my voice. I am advocating for change, while still struggling through affording treatment for my disease. I am fighting my insurance company, my state, my country, to recognize and provide treatment for my disease.
It’s given me power over something in my life I have no control over.
It’s let me know that while I feel alone, I’m not alone.
I share my story to let you know you aren’t alone. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Our stories may all be different, but we can still be here for each other.
I will be your voice if you can’t. We must affect change. The shame, silence, and fear will not keep me quiet. We can’t let the disease win.