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Another day, another snotfest

I’m having a rough time.

I know, I totally disguised that fact with my cheery, sunshiney attitude. I’m so tricksy.

I’ve been trying to convince myself that because my life may never improve in the ways I want it to (i.e., dozens of roly poly baby bunnies, smashing…or really any kind of…career success), I need to find a way to live it instead of wishing for things I may never have, or experiencing endless anxiety about my job and my general degree of adequacy as a human being. And then I notice how tight my chest is and how tears are welling up in my eyes again, and all the studies I accidentally looked at dealing with links between infertility and stress and depression flash before my eyes and I feel my uterus shrivel up or grow ten foot spikes or something.

I know you can’t help me with this particular problem.

So here’s something you actually can advise on. I need to find a nice way to tell my best friend that she’s going to have to FUCK OFF for a while because I can’t stand thinking about her. (I know, you probably thought you’d never have to hear about this particular relationship again now that she’s moved away. NOPE. Still gonna hear about it.) Though come to think of it, it’s hard to do better than that phrasing. Who wouldn’t react with compassionate in the face of such a request? Only a total monster. But feel free to see if you can do better.

22 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ah bunny. I am so sorry about the tough time you are having. I feel you, as you Americans say (in your risque manner! Means something ELSE in Ireland). Better times are coming.I am KER-RAP at breaking it off with friends, even temporarily, so will be interested to learn how to from your commentators. How do people do it? A mystery.

    August 11, 2010
  2. i hear ya and i'm totally with you. we WILL get through this, and we'll get those roly poly babies, k??? and bc we had to wait, we'll get extra cute ones. i'm sure of it :o)since bfp knows about your issues, can't you just be upfront with her and tell her that you're not dealing well with stuff, so you're gonna need to peace out for a while? "don't call/email me, i'll get in touch with YOU". and if she doesn't understand, then text her a pic of your middle finger. very mature approach i'm advocating, yes??

    August 11, 2010
  3. I'm down in the dumps with you, Bunny. (Which means my period is about to arrive, alas!) But I agree with Sienna. I think if it were me, and I wasn't being a wimp and just avoiding hanging with my BFF (which, actually, I am currently doing), I would send an email simply stating you're in a tough spot and need some space. Please let us all have babies someday. Someday soon. Please.

    August 11, 2010
  4. i am still stuck on why the hell doesn't bff UNDERSTAND this without being told to fuck off? bah. people. they are a vale of tears, i tell you what.

    August 11, 2010
  5. We can all be down in the dumps together. Hugs all around!Sienna's advice sounds reasonable to me. 'Hey, I love you but I need some space while I go through this rough spot. I'll give you a call when I surface.'

    August 11, 2010
  6. Dumpsville here, too (in the down-in-the sense, not the other sense, of course). I advocate the passive send a letter/e-mail approach in which you pour copious (slightly insincere) praise on her and her childrearing and then tell you need some space to deal with your horrible, awful, no-good life of pain and suffering. Works like a dream.

    August 11, 2010
  7. You know what, bunny? We've never met, and yet I'm convinced that you're absolutely fantastic. It is damn hard to just be with the way things are at present and not want more-different-better all the time. I have a lot to learn about that. I'm with sienna, though: the light at the end of this stupid-ass tunnel illuminates a litter of extra-fuzzy, long-lashed, nuzzle-tastic bunnybeans. Just you wait. As far as the bf goes, I won't be any help; I'm pretty lousy with confrontation. But yes, e-mail seems the way to go. Or else a postcard of somejere really faraway and unreachable, telling her you'll be back in the hemisphere in a year or so. Ta-da!

    August 11, 2010
  8. *somejere = somewhere. Silly iPhone.

    August 11, 2010
  9. *hugs* I'm so sorry that your having a rough time. I think your goal is a great one and I hope that you find something that will help you achieve it.

    August 11, 2010
  10. Ummm, it's TOTALLY OK to tell her that she's wonderful but you just don't think you can deal right now. She'll think it's all you and none of her doing (which we know is totally not true, as she hasn't been the most sensitive to you), but that will just have to be ok to give you the breathing space you need.I did the same thing with my bf over the summer. Just sent an email saying I'm going through a lot, really love you, but really need some space. She got it, and it worked ok.I'm sorry that things are so dark right now. I'm pulling for you to take a turn upwards back to the light sometime very soon, but am here for you no matter what your mood.

    August 12, 2010
  11. I'm passing you a metaphorical tissue, for your tears, dear woman. For those "knee deep in a river, dying of thirst" kind of a moment (that's what I think about when I cannot bring myself to focus on what I have, but relentlessly focus on what I don't have…sounded to me like you might have had a moment like that). So the accidental studies linking infertility, stress and depression, yes those that just pop up on your computer screen, are not helping you. Step away from the literature.I don't know what to say about your friend situation. You'll know how to titrate the frequency of contact with her. Sounds like today, you don't want to talk to her. Hang in there Bunny. You're so awesome and so deserving. Better days are bound to come.

    August 12, 2010
  12. cgd #

    I am so sorry that you are struggling. I hope you do not feel the need to put up a brave front here, your posts always so cute and funny, but clearly there is so much pain under all of that. I agree with the other commenters about being honest with your friend. I have had really good experiences with that. Its not about her, it is about you and what you need. If she doesn't understand this, I would seriously question her a friend. sending lots of love your way.

    August 12, 2010
  13. I hate the dumps for you, Bunny. This is me, kicking the dumps square in the balls for you. I know it feels insurmountable right now, and while I wish I had magic words, alls I got here, girl, is some shitty assvice. I think you need to be direct with BFB. I understand that email probably is the most cerebral way to collect your thoughts and have the opportunity to spit it all out without interruption and distraction ('cause that's how I roll). BUT, I also know that there is some value in actually having a conversation with her about this, just gingerly asking for a little reprieve right now… It's definitely a tough sitch, but if she's a good, supportive friend, she'll hopefully grant you some space. I went through a pretty low spell about two years ago–completely listless and depressed. This is going to sound so incredibly vomit-worthy, but that was when I started visiting the unitarian universalist group around here. (I am TOTALLY NOT suggesting that you get right with some diety to get you through this, please understand that! I am a total heathen.) What was really useful about this experience for me was that it helped me to get outside of myself and outside of my own brain. It was a relief to think about something bedsides my own baggage. My thought/wonder is to find something that helps you get outside of yourself. (Holy shit, this sounds like I'm telling you to get a hobby, and fuck all, I swear I'm not!) It's just that, for me, it was helpful to be able to reframe my introspection in some way. That was just my temporary path at the time. I don't really go to that group any longer, so I guess it filled its purpose at the time… It wasn't about giving myself up to some kind of higher power (nope), but more just about refocusing my intense self-scrutiny. I'm explaining this terribly, sorry for that. Here's the thing, you're going through some shit right now. It's taken you some time to get here, and it'll take you some time to get back to where you want to be. Be patient with yourself, and gee whiz, darlin', be KIND to yourself. Keep us posted on how things unroll with BFB. You can tell that bitch that if she doesn't leave you alone that you've got a posse of hormonal blog friends who will cut her.

    August 12, 2010
  14. JB #

    I can't put it any better than Trinity. Except to add, if you need us to, we'll claw a bitch's eyes out. Totally. Just say the word.

    August 12, 2010
  15. I'm sorry you are going through these rough times. I'm a big believer in sometimes just giving yourself over to the snotfest (it won't last forever and I personally don't think it's gratuitous).As far as BFB that's a tough one. I am singularly avoidant in such matters and end up not replying to calls and messages when I am low. That's no kind of solution, though.

    August 12, 2010
  16. Totally agree with Trinity. You've got to come clean and tell her you're going to have to distance yourself. It sounds like you guys have an unbelievable bond…I'm actually surprised she hasn't been more sensitive knowing what you're going through. Sorry you're having a rough time. Hoping it gets better.

    August 12, 2010
  17. I don't really have anything to add. I'm just so sorry that you're feeling so crappy lately. I hope the fog lifts soon.

    August 12, 2010
  18. AL #

    I'm sorry that things are so shitty right now. I agree with everyone – just tell her you're having a really hard time and you need some space. You two are close enough that she will understand.

    August 12, 2010
  19. Do you think that BFB is lonely in her new location, not knowing anyone and adjusting to being part of a new lab (or group, or whatever rooms filled with advisor+postdocs+grad students are called in social sciences)? Because I know that's how I would feel… which is probably why she is less sensitive to what you are going through now than she was when she was still around. But the situation itself still sucks, and yes, I agree you need to get out of it. I'd probably try the passive-aggressive move of just not returning her emails… but I admit it isn't ideal. I am also wondering what else you can do to tame the uterus spikes. I think Trinity had a great comment here, but to be honest, I don't think it would work for me. What I am trying to do is to cut myself some career slack. Because the thought of my crashing and burning career is quite stressful, and no one needs that in addition to the IF shit. (or I guess the daily IF shit is thankfully! starting to recede for me, but it is still with me so clearly and painfully that it causes my fear of pregnancy loss to be compounded x1000. I don't want to go back to that hell!!! I know it IS truly hell. I feel like a PTSD soldier fearing another tour of duty… anyways) I don't know, Bunny, you WERE keynote speaker– why not rest on that for a while. I'm also thinking of my unofficial advisor- she has not published a single thing since she started her faculty position 3 years ago. I thought she was just busy with developing courses and her lab… and I bet other people think the same. In the end, I don't think these lapses are that noticeable to other people, really. I think if they like you and you publish a few things here and there, they'll give tenure to you. Or at least that's how it worked in my old department. They even gave tenure to a guy who stalked one of his grad students, cause he was such a 'great guy'. (Ha!) but that's another story… They also gave it to a guy who never published a single first-author paper after getting hired, but was an awesome teacher and advisore, and his lab produced great work. Sooo… they SO aren't going to deny tenure to someone nominated for the teaching award!!! OK?? So feel free to slack a bit more, and focus on stuff that makes you happy… That's the best I can offer. maybe I'm just trying to make myself feel better about being unproductive. But really, focusing on work is obviously not making you happy. You have to avoid it as assiduously as you avoid the BFB, at least for the moment. Then you'll be pregnant, and you'll care about work even LESS… anyways, you'll be happier. I hope this is the month–

    August 12, 2010
  20. I say cry it out and tell bfb to put a sock in it. (Stole that from Adele somewhere, but it's apt.) Serious, tho. It's really bad enough to go through this IF bullshit alone, but with a reminder in front of you, well? No need to do that. I will bring music to your snotfest 2010 and work on getting a sponsorship from kleenex. I think you'd understand this. At dinner tonight I tried to convince the Mr. that we need to revive the smoking & non-smoking sections in ca. Except now it will be kids or no kids. Need to ask the queen of the universe to put in that request.Otherwise, Missy, Im in that boat with you. I'd like send csil to bora bora. One waaayy ticket, if ya know what I mean.

    August 13, 2010
  21. Oh bunny, I'm sorry you're having a shitty time. BFB needs to stop blabbering about babies to you thats the bottom line. She needs to know how much hearing about her baby really fucks you up. I'm not going to lie to you though, it won't be easy and it means you being completely upfront and telling her that you need to hide away from her for a while. You've got to put yourself first here… she has a baby to fall back on and she'll bounce back so don't worry about her being hurt. If you word it so its more about you than her then she will understand for sure. She's shown compassion about it before so I'm sure she has more inside her somewhere. xxx Hugs and strength to you Bunny xxxx

    August 14, 2010
  22. I am a champion Confrontation Avoider, so I don't have a good strategy for BFB. I would probably just put up with her and then flagellate myself in private. Not a route I recommend. But there are lots of less-wimpy people upthread and they have great advice!Isn't it funny, though, how career success-or-not and fertility-or-not are tied up in our minds? I think it's because of that bullshit about how "you can't have it all"–i.e. women are supposed to have to choose between career and family. Well, that construction right there implies that you're supposed to have SOME of it, and for those of us who aren't having success in either arena it can lead to some extremely shitty feelings. Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything. So here I go, commenting on your blog with a rant that's all about me me me….but I really do feel for you and I hope you are doing OK.

    August 15, 2010

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