My Name is Steph, I am an alcoholic, and I am so fucking grateful to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
This past Friday I received news from an emergency room doctor that I have a medical condition which has affected both of my ovaries and typically leads to infertility. [Shit.]
My immediate thought was, “But I’m only twenty-three years old, this is something I shouldn’t be facing until I’m at least in my thirties!” Which surprisingly was not that far from my thoughts immediately before coming into the rooms, “I’m only twenty-one! I should be drinking until I’m at least in my thirties!”
As my sudden shock began to dissipate, that fearful thought morphed into something much more divine, a thought that may have been placed in my mind so directly and gracefully by the God of my understanding.
I thought to myself, “My goals, ambitions, and aspirations before getting sober and even leading up until today have all been great, but if those had come to fruition, I would have sold myself oh so short from what my God had planned for me instead. You do not know that you are infertile, but if you are, it is God’s will. God has so much more in store for you than you can ever comprehend. You do not need to know his will, or even have remote understanding, you just need to trust and have faith that it is right. You will be okay.”
So grasping onto this acceptance, and holding tight as not to let myself sway from the feelings and thoughts of love back to those of fear, I carried this through my weekend and into this morning.
Since getting sober, I have learned that when problems arise I must face them, that what I ignore grows. This concept became much more understandable to me today as I made the phone call to schedule a follow-up appointment with my OBGYN to learn about what is happening within me, the severity of it, and what my options for treatment are. Every fiber of me wanted to ignore this, to stow it away until a more appropriate time, like when I actually want to have a baby. But this head full of AA quickly reminded me that my health is not something to push to a back burner, that my treatment options will limit themselves the longer I wait.
So I made the call, I sat on hold for what felt like an eternity. I told myself that at fifteen minutes I could hang up and call later. A perfectly quick and easy, totally justifiable out from this dreaded phone call. At fourteen minutes and fifty-four seconds, the operator answered. [Shit.]
After I told her the condition which had been discovered and that I had been instructed to make an appointment, she briskly and cheerfully stated, “Oh, let me transfer you to our fertility clinic which specializes in your disorder! Please hold!”
That was it. Fertility Clinic??? Suddenly all of the feelings of sorrow swooped in. Suddenly it was real. Suddenly I was mourning the dream of a child whose eyes matched mine, whose laugh was as silly and loud as mine, who I loved fully and unconditionally. Suddenly I was seeing my significant others face as I crushed his own dreams of biological fatherhood. Suddenly I watched my value as a woman decrease on a scale of 1-10 (infertile and an alcoholic? She has to only be a four pointer!). Suddenly I watched my ambitions of a family crumble beneath my feet, dropping me to the floor of my pity party pit and landing on my back with the wind completely swept from my lungs. Suddenly the tears had come.
“Hello, Penn State Hershey Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, how may I assist your call?”
[Get it together, get it together!!]
I got it together.
I finished the call, I made the appointment, I went to a meeting, I shared at that meeting, and I cried at that meeting. I let my guard down to my support network, I let myself feel the feelings. I let myself cry more, I let myself have an extra slice of pizza for lunch, I let myself have some time in bed pretending to be a burrito, and I let myself write to better comprehend these complex emotions, and more importantly, I let myself pray to God multiple times to give thanks for this life and let him know that I trust him completely.
Today, I can feel sadness and loss and confusion all for the medical journey I am about to embark on while simultaneously feeling gratitude and understand that what’s happening and what is in store is all apart of God’s divine plan.
That is this program; that is the spiritual life; that is not the pink cloud, but pure gratitude; that is a perfect example of how alcoholics anonymous has given me a life beyond my wildest dreams.
This could have been a perfect excuse to throw a killer pity party with booze galore. But today, it wasn’t. Today it was just an obstacle upon my journey trudging the road of happy destiny.