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.
I'm back, and it's hopefully not a once-off!!
8 months ago