When I’m working, I forget that I’m lonely. Which I suppose means that I’m not lonely, when I’m working, technically. However, on days off I often find myself sitting around, staring blankly into space, nursing a familiar ache that lies heavy in my chest. It’s an ache I had even before I lost the baby. A wanting. A needing. Perhaps it’s the sensation that is frequently described as “the human condition”. It’s what leads us to seek out friends and family, or activities, or travel. It’s a raw, hurting spot inside that comes out most strongly when there is nothing to distract you from it.
I sit here in my little cottage, a cup of coffee growing cold, a cat snuggled in my lap, the icy wind whipping snow against the western windows… and I just hurt. I long to be around people, but more than that, I long for people to long to be around me. I miss the person I’m in love with, and often wonder why she doesn’t commit time to me more often. I miss the adventures I’ve had and try to relive them over and over by looking at the adventures of others. I miss the hope and promise of my own daughter growing in my belly. I miss the hustle and bustle of being a foster mom.
But the truth is, this ache is a part of me, and has always been here. It has lead me down the road to depression, sometimes severely, and then counseling and hard work on my part helped me out of it. But it tickles at the back of my mind, wanting to grab me back, tempting me with alcohol or sleeping pills or some other vice, sleeping all day, staying in bed with the covers pulled up over my head because I can’t face another moment of this loneliness. Even traveling, I’ve had this ache. There are few times I haven’t. Perhaps that is my only comfort, that it is with me wherever I go, an unsettling feeling just out of my line of sight, the weight of a cloud just over my head, a sort of extra gravity that tugs against every beat of my heart.
What is it? Depression, anxiety, some sort of genetic make-up that pre-disposes me to the temptations of a psychiatric abyss? Just a psychic disease that never lets me feel fully present in the moment, never lets me stop wanting and needing more? Or do I simply sense the isolation more keenly and more often than most? Or do I sense it exactly the same as other people do, and just choose to write about it while they don’t?
Today my mother, who is living with me at the moment, told me she doesn’t want to foster another baby right now. I, on the other hand, do. I haven’t had any calls, but I would be eager and happy to get one. I don’t know if this means she doesn’t want me to get pregnant again, either, or if she is just enjoying the freedom of not being tied down, like we were when we had Moose. I long for a baby though, with a physical ache, and don’t know that I could give it up. I don’t know that I could do it without her, though, either.
Yesterday I actually bought a package of OPK sticks. I can’t believe that in a month, I will be peeing on them again. It seems unreal. It’s like nothing ever happened, like I never had a daughter. I certainly didn’t want to be pregnant twice. I just wanted to do it once, have a girl, and then keep fostering if I wanted more kids. I was really and truly miserably sick my first trimester. And even before that, the anxieties that went along with TTC-ing, the ups and down of TWWs and peeing on sticks… even though I only did it for four months, it was exhausting and frustrating. To think that I could go through it all over again, only to be given overwhelming and all-encompassing grief… is unbearable. And yet NOT to try is also unbearable. The whole thing just feels like a repeated punch to the gut.