Thursday, March 15, 2012

Life Isn't Fair

I've been working this concept lately, that life isn't fair.

It first came to me when my dear friend C, and her husband confessed to me that they are struggling with infertility. The details aren't important, beyond the fact that they haven't been trying long by infertility standards, a bit more than a year. But what struck me was when C said, "I don't understand why this is happening to us. It isn't fair."

And I so deeply appreciate the trust that she placed in me for sharing all this.

But my immediate thought was not, I'm afraid, sympathy, but remembering her perfect wedding, that seemed to come in a two year period of friends joining in wonderful unions with amazing partners. I adore C. I love her husband. And together, they are amazing.

But when all my friends were getting married, lord, I was lonely. My heart ached.

I thought, "why not me? what's wrong with me? It isn't fair."

But then I would think of another beloved friend with an amazing husband... and a brain tumor. And another amazing friend with no partner AND... with breast cancer. The second friend will soon make five years cancer free, has just fallen in love for the first time, and seems to have a bright future. The first friend has since had a beautiful baby girl with her handsome husband... and lives every day knowing she is on borrowed time.

Life isn't fair.

I got a great deal out of life. I dare not complain.

I made my peace with single-dom. I'm happy now. I'm not lonely. Not only do I not yearn for a partner, I can't even imagine having one (except for loving the idea of help with dishes and finances). I don't want anyone to intrude on my life.

But here's the thing that I continue to struggle with.

My body.

And compared to infertility, it's so stupid.

But in today's society, not having a body that's a normal weight means there's something wrong with you.


I imagine people judging me all the time.

Of course it's me judging me most of all.

Of course, I'm in excellent company. I think something like 2/3 of American adults are overweight. I know lots of overweight folks who are amazing, even amazingly attractive. I love them dearly. I don't care about their weight.

But I can't get okay with it for myself.

My friend is (more or less) effortlessly thin. And I fail at every diet I try. Yet I have a darling dumpling of a baby girl. And I'm pretty sure she would happily trade in her weight for a baby.

But that's not a choice we get to make.

So I'm struggling with the unfairness, of being told by a doctor that there's nothing I can do about my weight until I wean Calliope (and all efforts to lose weight seem to confirm this), even while I appreciate his honesty. It's far better than being told that there's nothing wrong with me and thus feeling like my problem is all in my head.

And realistically, I don't hold much hope for his liver cleansing cure. Nothing has helped so far. Why should that?

Regardless, I'm struggling mightily to find my peace with life's inequalities, and also to not beat myself up and feel guilty for my emotions.

I'm having a hard time with this challenge.

Even while I am, truly, loving every other aspect of my life. (Okay, the fatigue isn't my favorite thing either, but it's certainly bearable.)

I'm ashamed to admit all this, but I'm hoping that somehow airing it out will liberate me. I hope you all don't think I'm insanely shallow for these thoughts. I'm not proud of them.

PS the NYTimes photo is unfairly flattering.


  1. Ha! You read my mind. I was thinking "what the hell is she talking about, I saw that slender woman in the NY Times photo!" So your PS made me laugh. I think that nearly every woman has struggled with weight issues of some sort, at some point in her life. You are certainly not alone. And I sure don't think you are shallow. I hope you find peace. Coincidentally, I wrote a blog post the other day about body/weight stuff but didn't post it. Perhaps I will. It basically says "thank you body" for all you do, and talks about my current elimination diet (no meat, eggs, dairy, wheat, or peanuts). For the very first time in my life, I am losing weight fast and effortlessly. I just can't eat enough to sustain breastfeeding - and my milk supply is paying the price, unfortunately.

    Anyways, just wanted to offer my support. And about the other part of your post. Yeah, life is not fair. That's the damned truth.

  2. "It's not fair" is a phrase I have whined my entire life & my Dad's response was always, "No one ever said life was fair, kid." As for weight issues, it doesn't matter how many people tell us we look great, if that's not what we see in the mirror, then we'll never believe the compliments. I had a conversation with a woman a few years ago that changed the way I feel about my body image. Now this woman was GORGEOUS! I'm talking supermodel, take your breath away gorgeous. Looking at her, I envied your slim perfect figure, her gorgeous hair, etc, etc, etc...well we were just gabbing & it came up how much she works out, how careful she was about every single thing that went into her mouth, how much money she spends on her hair & she admitted that even after all of this, she looks at herself & sees flaws galore. The realization that even this "perfect" gorgeous woman has body image issues, somehow made me feel better about myself. Sure I'm pudgy but I also don't stress about workouts. My excersise comes from the activities I enjoy rather than grueling workouts. I'm careful about what I eat but I enjoy indulging in a treat without (too much) guilt. It's amazing how my perspective changed.

  3. Hi Abby, I just discovered your blog, and will be following now for sure, and trying to read a few back posts when I get some time too.

    I too thought you looked pretty good in the photo! I am having the same trouble weightwise. I have been exactly the same weight (about 16lbs over my pre pregnancy weight) since early December, though I didn't know that there was a medical reason for this, so thanks for that bit of info - I feel better now! And I have started weaning BB, but plan to breastfeed alongside until he's 12 months (July)

    I also just bought myself some clothes that fit well. Until now I have resisted, thinking I was going to get thinner, but I feel much better in non maternity clothes, even if they are a size bigger than normal. So, I recommend a shopping trip!

    I can also recommend the liver cleanse diet, and I'm off to read your liver posts now

    Looking forward to following your journey...