A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Full Psycho; or, Weekends With Crazy

People, this past weekend was seriously intense.

For starters, I think I finally learned firsthand about the Clomid Crazies. All week, I'd been feeling so cheerful and optimistic and pumped about getting back into writing and taking pleasure in crafting stories again. And suddenly, out of nowhere, I was overwhelmed with anxiety. Friday morning, I finished a book I really, really liked by a relatively new author and was filled with this strange mixture of self-loathing shame and reckless ambition. I careened between hating myself for even thinking I should write when I would never compare to this author and spurring myself on to write more and more frequently because her book was such an inspiration.

I even e-mailed the author to let her know how in awe I am of her talent and (as her bio mentioned she is also a doctoral student as well as a writer) to ask her for some time-management tips. (And she wrote back the loveliest, kindest, and most helpful e-mail the next day, so now I adore/hate her even more!)

And from there, my mental state just fell off a cliff. For the rest of the day, I was either sitting on the kitchen floor sobbing about my lack of talent, my idiotic self-sabotage of my writing career, and my total worthlessness as a human being or I was running around the apartment, pulling out old manuscripts and books on writing and frantically e-mailing everyone I ever knew who could help me with my career (i.e., "Hi editor at prominent publishing house who offered to take a look at my book two years ago when we chatted at an industry event. Remember me? No? Wanna read my book anyway? I'm finally ready to stop being a chicken-shit and send it to you!")

My emotions were utterly out of my control. Lawyer Guy and I had plans for dinner and a movie that night, but as I spent most of dinner fighting tears, he begged that we just go home afterward. I could not understand why I was feeling and acting this way when only a few days before I'd been suffused with a calm and steady sort of ambition and a willingness to take each step as it came.

Then I remembered: Clomid. I was bumped up to 150 mg this cycle. I had no anxiety on it before, but this utterly manic and uncontrolled behavior is so not like me, I have to believe it stems from the drug (the anxiety is all too familiar, unfortunately). Once I realized that, my panic subsided a bit. I no longer felt like I was a victim of my emotions, and things have been better since.

I'm still writing and still feeling hopeful about my writing (when I'm not feeling worthless, as I mentioned before, but I think that's the inevitable pendulum for any sort of artistic endeavor). My long-term critique partner and I had a phone chat on Saturday and agreed that we're both fully rededicated to the quest for publication. I've worked out a writing/academic research schedule that will take me to the end of the summer, at which point I'm hopeful I'll have both a dissertation prospectus ready for approval and some quality manuscripts I feel excited about shopping around. I wonder if I have any talent and if my work will ever live up to the books that exist in my head. But writing is the hardest and most miserable thing I have ever loved to do, so I don't have much of a choice. I can either half-heartedly write, not succeed, and always wonder what I could have done or go all out and fail spectacularly and, if I'm lucky, improve a little with each year and each book.

The rest of the weekend was calmer, if still emotionally strained. I wrote and finally finished my grading from last semester. LG and I had dinner at our friends' place where I drank just a little too much for the sake of my head at Sunday morning's 7 am monitoring appointment in Manhattan. I had a hot date with Wandy, who revealed some promising developments but nothing definitive yet, and then yesterday afternoon I went to a NYC-area blogger meet-up at the home of the hilarious Jay of The Two Week Wait. I got to meet Jay and The Infertility Doula and Lady Pumpkin along with another area blogger (who's an actual real-life friend of mine, so she and I don't read each other's blogs). All of the women were funny and lovely and we had a great brunch and a chat about all this crazy place we find ourselves in. I hope we can meet again!

So now I'm back to the familiar patience of cycling. The IUI will likely be this week, with more waiting to follow. But despite my emotional eruption on Friday, I've been feeling more calm about IUI#3 than any of the previous. It helps that I've got such thrilling and engrossing things to think about these days: I spent all my waiting time at the clinic yesterday working through a thorny plotting problem in one of the books I'm mentally figuring out right now. I hope I can spend the two-week wait similarly occupied, and that if this cycle ends in a failure like the others, I can cheer myself up with the thought of an extra month of writing time nine months in the future.


  1. I can tolerate a lot... but Clomid and I did not jive. I always felt super pissy, sick and emotional on it, PLUS, I even used to get double vision on occasion. Not. Fun. Bottom line - it doesn't suprise me at all you had some mood swings from our version of the C-word. Also, for what it's worth, my husband and I were thinking of starting a writing group where people come over on a weekly basis to talk about what they are working on, where they are at and share their ideas. Some people don't like to talk about what they are working on so I'm sure not everyone will be interested but if you are, let me know. We'd love to have you! And lastly, it was absolutely great to have you guys over! A great way to spend an infertile Sunday! :)

  2. Mind-blowing (sometimes literally) how powerful these chemicals can be, isn't it? But why can't they all use their powers for good instead of evil? I'm sorry the C-train had you rattled, but glad that you zeroed in on what was causing the crazies. Great to meet you yesterday!

  3. Fucking Clomid. I'm serious, that drug is the absolute devil. I can't stand it. I'm so sorry that it's screwing with your emotions. I hope that the crazies end soon, and I'm crossing my fingers that this IUI is it and you don't have to go through this hell anymore. You don't deserve it!

    (I'm incredibly jealous that you got to meet so many great bloggers. I'm glad you had a good time!)

  4. Clomid really does get up to a whole lot of mischief. It's terrible. But I'm glad that things are better now, and that you are feeling calm about this IUI. Fingers crossed for some very smooth sailing ahead.

  5. OMG, Clomid was such a nightmare. It really just made me insane. I hope the crazies die down soon.

    Definitely jealous of the blogger meet-up! I wish I didn't live in the middle of nowhere!

  6. Evil, evil Clomid. That bitch will mess with you, especially on the higher doses. Let's hope that after this IUI, the days of Clomid will be over in that you are good and knocked up.

    I'm so glad to hear you had a bloggie meet-up! I loved our Chicago get togethers.

  7. I am sorry you are having a rough time with this-- I understand though-- worse than no publishing is having a shitty novel out there with your name on it. You writer folks are under a lot of pressure!! I get the agony and torment of it (science writing can be brutal too), but at least in science, a crappy article doesn't really hurt your reputation the same way a crappy book does for a fiction author (not that you would ever write a crappy book, but you would be *afraid* that it was crappy). Anyways, it just fully makes sense that this IF bullshit takes its toll on everything.

    Not to mention anything fucking with your hormones. I'm full blown insane myself these days, so I feel I can relate, but I don't mean to compare as obviously I should not complain at all... anyways, i'm thinking of you and wishing you all the courage to forge ahead with your work. I can't *wait* to read it.

  8. ugh clomid, my most hated fertility med. It is an evil little drug that does some crazy crap to your emotions. I hope for smooth sailing for you for the rest of this IUI and best of luck with the upcoming IUI.
    I am so sorry that I missed the brunch and am really hoping that you schedule another soon, that I can actually make!
    take care

  9. Oh man, that's a high dose. You're doing awesome....and I'm betting the amazing follies you'll get out of this will make the clomid crazies TOTALLY worth it. Hang in there, you're getting close to IUI day!

    And that is so fun you had a great time with some NYC bloggies. So fun to meet IRL! xoxo

  10. Damn the Clomid. I didn't have the pleasure of personally meeting this demon, but have heard all the stories of misery. I am sorry, hang in there!

  11. Wow - 150?!?! No wonder you were on an emotional roller coaster. I never went that high but had my own fair share of horrendous side effects from 100 (hot flashes, bloating, random urges to cry, etc.).

    IUI#3 seems to be the magic number for lots of people - fingers and toes crossed it will be for you as well:)

  12. Gosh, I hope that this gets better for you!

  13. Clomid should have warning labels all over it..... WARNING , medication can turn lovely placid lady into fucking homicidal she devil!

  14. Ugh, clomid can be evil. It made me very anxious and crazy. I hope the side effects go away and stay away soon.

    Very cool you got to meet up with so many great IF bloggers :-)

  15. What a roller coaster! The part about sobbing on the kitchen floor got to me as I am known to just collapse when that bottom falls out and it sounds like the drugs are pulling the emotional rug right out from under you.

    You are going to get published and you will give it all you've got. Your words deserve to be shared with so many more people. We are lucky to have you here among us, but I look forward to meeting you in person one day as I attend your book signing. :)

  16. Oh Slopie... Clomid sucks big hairy monkey balls. (Hm, do you think there are small, hairless monkey balls? Why do I feel the need to differentiate? Did I spell differentiate correctly? ooh, shiny...)

    I digress. Clomid is crazy-makin' in a convenient little pill form. But it sounds like you're making tremendous progress regardless, so bravo!!

  17. Oh yeah... Clomid Crazies! I had zero side effects my first two cycles and got run over by the Crazy Train on my third, and I didn't even get my dosage upped. Sorry babe, but I think you can lay that breakdown firmly at Clomid's door. The other thing you may not have realized is that Clomid can accumulate over repeated cycles (so my RE told me). It builds up faster than it dissipates, but it DOES dissipate eventually.

    I have heard that Femara is better for some women (similar concept, fewer side effects), but I never tried it.

    Good luck for the upcoming IUI!

  18. I never went on Clomid, just Femara, which I had zero side effects with. But I've heard all the stories about the Clomid Crazies!

    I am SO excited about you getting back into writing, btw. From one writer to another, getting away from it is so easy and yet so hard to get back into it. Kudos for getting back to what you love!

    I'm also stoked about IUI #3 for you! I feel that good things are to come. Now you'll just a big belly on a little frame at your sister's wedding this summer :). How fun will that be? :)

  19. F U Clomid!! It made me so f-ing crazy. I was so anxious and jittery I couldn't even speak clearly. And I was on it when I had my first consult with my new doctor, no wonder she was asking me about anxiety, I was probably shaking like a crack addict. It definitely helped to be able to say to myself "it's not you, it's the clomid. ride it out, baby." Hoping it's worth it!