As this has come up again recently and as it is something I again struggle with (though I am hopeful that once my energy levels are higher I will feel more normal again), I want to address it.
Oh, yes, indeedy, I am. I no longer pretend otherwise or deny it. In fact, I think I've earned a little bitterness.
Bitterness is negative. It is not something most of us choose to feel or choose to indulge. Many of us swallow our gall and our guilt with the bitterness cocktail, and they choke us. We know how awful it is, how cliched. We know how bitterness makes us sound and look and the last thing we want is for the bitterness to become a known factor, something that spills into our relationships.
There is no choice in bitter, because bitter is an emotion. It rises up and we cannot control it, we cannot feel otherwise, at least for a moment. It is present and it fills our hearts with sourness. It turns otherwise sweet moments of happiness for others into a black hole of pity for ourselves.
I do not seek it, I do not like it, but it is.
I am bitter. I am bitter that I have two failed pregnancies. I am bitter about the way in which I lost Chickadee, and I feel a surge of anger when I reread the letters I wrote to Chickadee- to a baby that was already gone. I feel bitterness about having had to take misoprostol and about having had to meet with a raging asshole and be given a cancer drug to avoid a potentially life-threatening hemorrhage. I am bitter about how long I waited to try and conceive and that the repayment for that is heart-ache, anguish and waiting even longer. I am bitter when I hear about mothers who beat and abuse and despise or neglect their children - that these monsters were given children to hate and hurt, and I have been given emptiness and pain. I am bitter that my faith has wavered, that I question everything. I am bitter about the pain I've caused others and about the anger that seems to be covering me like a mantle I can't pry loose.
I will not deny it and if it makes me a bad person, then so be it.
I do recognize, though, that I have a choice in how I use this bitterness, in how I act. I will not lie - reading pregnancy complaints right now reminds me that I am not pregnant, and returns the bitternes to the upper front of my thoughts. Reading pregnancy announcements does the same. Hearing people complain about their children or about having to wait or about not being pregnant early in trying makes me feel bitterness, because I am not in the position they are in, and I want to be.
But I try generally not to let it affect how I act. I try to let the bitterness wash through me and acknowledge it's existance. Rather than give it power by denying and battling it, I accept it as a part of me for now and with that acknowledgement, push it aside. Focus on the person before me and give them my love and attention. As Blair's friend advised her - separate the things as much as possible.
I try not to let my bitterness stop me from being happy for my friends, stop me from loving them and being excited for them. I try to deal with it when I can, by reminding myself of the numerous blessings in my life and refocusing on silver linings. I try not to dwell in bitterness or summon it to me, not to let it rule my life (ruin my life).
I am not perfect. There are times I cannot do the above, but I do recognize that I have a choice and I actively assert love and even that bitch hope when and where I can do so. I just hope that those who condemn us for bitterness never reach that point, where bitterness is not an option but a reality that has to be dealt with.