The word “junkie” can be applied to a number of things. It can refer to someone who suffers from an addiction, like heroin or needing to have a baby. It can indicate that someone really likes something, like wine or the idea of having a baby. And it can be used to describe someone who uses needles to shoot up drugs, like meth or things that help you have a baby.
Which, since we’re on the subject, brings me to this:
My cycle officially begins in 6 days, and this photo includes most everything that I’m going to need in the coming weeks. The only things not included above are my prenatal vitamins, baby aspirin (to increase blood flow), and the birth control pills that I’ve been taking since February to get my cycle in sync with my donor’s.
I also didn’t include all the needles I’m going to be using. I have boxes and boxes and boxes of needles. And that’s because I’m a junkie.
This addiction metaphor is being thrown out in a blasé manner, but I’m actually kind of serious. Heroin junkies and I have quite a bit in common, and I’m not just talking about the secrets of getting air out of a syringe without losing product, or that we both know the value of breaking off needles into our sharps containers so that they don’t get too full too fast.
I’m talking about actual addiction.
I have close friends and family in various Anonymous programs, and I’ve worked in the field for long enough, so I understand that addiction is as serious as it is complicated. There’s the physiological need and the psychological want. There’s the social influence of a “normalcy” that isn’t normal, and there are the emotional traumas that make us feel inadequate and empty. There’s a way that all these components interconnect to make us turn to a particular behavior no matter how much it drains our resources and taxes our relationships because there’s a yearning that creates a romantic hologram of such perfection that there’s always some justification for “just once more, and that’ll be it. I’m quitting. I swear.”
I’ve been around addicts enough to know that these things apply to them, and I’ve been infertile for long enough to know that these things also apply to me.
So when I say that I’m a junkie, it’s as much a joke as it isn’t.
That being said, there is one key difference between drug addicts and me: my doctors are encouraging me to keep using. All of them. My therapist, my nurse practitioner, and my fertility specialists (or course) are all telling me that I should keep going along this path for as long as I want.
And so, inspired by their influence, I have to renounce the Serenity Prayer as being completely inapplicable to me. You know, the whole
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Because, in my case, I am not seeking the serenity to accept my infertility, and I’m not seeking the wisdom to know that it can’t be changed.
I’m just seeking drugs.
But this egg donation is my last attempt at having a baby, and after this cycle, that’ll be it. I’m quitting. I swear.