Wednesday, January 7, 2015

against all odds

...the reflective phase has continued. Indeed, I fear it may  continue into book-length in this little spot, where now (fortunately) I really write only for myself to read. I shall endeavor, at least, to break it into chapters.

I've mentioned before (I think) that I have a therapist. For...almost a year now?  I'd have to look that matter up. I try to go every other week (to match my work schedule), so it isn't a fast process. I think he's really good, and I've learned a number of useful things. I don't know exactly what I thought therapy would be like (something along the lines of: someone to listen to me rant about the things that most bother me, and either tell me that it's OK and I'm not crazy; or that my reactions and behaviors are unhealthy and should be altered as follows; or both), but this is not it. I'm not sure I like it - to find it emotionally painful is normal; to find it dissatisfying and somehow missing the mark, when it is not simply miserable or enraging, is not so typical, perhaps. I intend to keep going. Though I toy with the possibility that I would be better off with a female therapist.

Meanwhile as you know (the hypothetical "you" who has read all my previous posts and also remembers them - this does not describe even me) I finished taking depo at the beginning of February, 2013; thus, my last dose wore off (theoretically) at the end of April, 2013. I first saw signs of my cycle returning December 25, 2013. It varied widely for some time after; in summer, Dr. C told me she thought I was going into perimenopause (I am 32). I disagreed, as my cycle had never regularized post-depo. She told me to keep a chart (which for various sound reasons I had not been doing).

She was right. After various other irregularities, I am now weeks "late" and DECIDEDLY not pregnant. The pain of endo has not returned, and I am going on two years free of the depo. It had side effects I didn't like and it's seemed to have lingering side effects I don't like (which I now suspect are due to the Change of Life, which for me is more plus ca change...). But it has offered me a minor miracle: my own health (largely) back, and now, with the advent of menopause, significant hope that I will never need a hysterectomy, or at least, not in my 30s. Praise God!

And yet...I am 32, headed rapidly toward menopause. And I am grieving, again, for all that I have lost.

All this is perhaps significant enough, but I know one thing is the most significant in my life this past year (and the most significant in many years) and...I am at a loss for words to describe it. I shall stick to the simple facts. I volunteer with my parish's high school youth group. This fall we began a new format for formation and instruction which appears very promising so far. As part of it, we have made a prayer challenge to the teens - which has been of absolutely no interest whatsoever to any of them despite months of exhortation from all involved adults. This will have to be their problem. I, however, concluded that I could not very well ask a bunch of high schoolers to undertake a specific practice of daily prayer that I was not undertaking myself, especially since I had no regular practice of daily prayer (Mass around every other day, many small prayers and petitions, but nothing consistent). So I took it up. I probably manage it five or six days in seven, along with a few other daily prayers I felt moved to add (google "Blessed Is She" if you're looking for a daily reflection, delivered to your inbox), for several months now.

My therapist had told me I would make no further progress with my very long-term issues with a malevolent God unless I increased my prayer time, but I was very inconsistent. This practice is (potentially - it's flexible) brief, and I didn't take it up in response to his suggestion, but to avoid a very just accusation of hypocrisy. And nothing has changed. And everything has changed. And I can feel that it has not done changing, and will be a long road. I won't claim to have a consistent hold on anything as bright as a firm hope, but if I have been walking through an endless dark forest, the trees around me are now thinning just a bit, and I can imagine that at some future place they might abate altogether. But I can't know for sure.

If you think this is the end of my blathering, you haven't read many of my posts (and are unlikely to do so now!). But there will be more blather. Starting...tomorrow? I have a fancy new tablet that can probably upload videos (not mine, of course) and edit text all pretty, for the next phase of reflection, in which I pretend to know something about theology! HA.

P.S. Happy new year!


  1. I find your posts intriguing and insightful and I am glad you will be posting with more regularity (even if that regularity is just every now and then). My daily prayer time has been very inconsistent at best, utterly absent somedays with the exception of the figurative "hail mary pass" "hail mary, PLEASE stop x, y, or z…" whatever x, y, or z might be at that particular moment.

    I need change in this area, because I think my goals in other areas (health, weight, anxiety) will not really materialize until I get develop my prayer relationship more. I sometimes wish it was as easy as giving up a cookie, but honestly it will be way more satisfying than a cookie if I put sometime into it.

    So, all this to say…keep posting. Please. Thank you.

  2. I am sorry to hear that you are nearing menopause at such a young age...has that been confirmed recently by your dr? I liked how you viewed the bright side of this as well...which is totally hard for me to do...I am negative nelly over here.

    My dh thinks a therapist might do me good since I've had some horrible episodes of depression while waiting for adoption to happen or not. We've been trying to grow our fam for such a long time now. Sometimes I feel so good and sometimes I've just hit rock bottom. It's hard to make the appt when I'm in my good mode....I don't know still praying about that.

    1. I'm not sure how much I'm looking on the bright side. That isn't my strong suit :).

      Doctor has not confirmed perimenopause as I haven't seen her since spring/summer. I am going off of what my cycles have been doing, and a memory of TCOYF's section on that topic. I seem to have lent my copy to someone, and I will have to figure out whom and get it back. But that question is going to be awkward if I ask the wrong person :).

      I feel for you about the difficulty of making the appointment. God, Who knows that I am an idiot, provided me with a singular grace: a complete (and fairly brief) emotional breakdown over I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT. Apparently I came to the very last of my coping resources all of a sudden over something quite minor, and told the therapist quite sincerely at my first appointment that after being an over-achiever all my life I had lost the will to fight any more and was ready to give up on life; hence, in therapy. He is the third therapist I have seen, but I only visited the others a few times: the first was for issues relating largely to a family member, and the second for infertility (or so I imagined), and this time I realized I needed to find someone close to my house, prepare to pay the money, bite the bullet, and just keep going. Therapy itself may do me no good, conceivably even harm; but given how disappointed I am that I didn't see someone in college and address these problems long ago, before they were further compounded by life, I refuse to look back in my 40s (or 50s, or 60s) and see that I had a chance to do the thing right in my 30s and wimped out. I am seeing this through. Granted, I have no idea what that means. If you have the money (no small matter, I realize), I say, do it. If you're like me, you'd spend it on something for your physical health. You'd probably spend it on your career. You'd certainly spend it on a loved one. So why not on your own peace and happiness?

  3. Pre-mature menopause is often a side effect of laproscopic ovarian drilling, when they remove endometrial lesions from the surface of ovaries. It seems like many surgeons don't mention this risk to their patients. You would be able to confirm it through a blood test of your FSH and AMH levels. If you're anything like me though, you are DONE with anything that even smells of fertility testing and would refuse such a test on principle.

    Not a big fan of therapy myself, since I tend to get obstinate towards my therapist and refuse to participate in correcting my cognitive distortions. It's also really expensive.