If a doctor tells you that you’ll never be able to have children and probably never have comfortable sex again, you might react by subsequently hating both yourself and the world around you.
That’s exactly what I did a year ago when I was told those very words.
I have a rare medical condition called vulvodynia that causes sporadic and painful nerve activity in my “down there” area. It can also make sex painful—to the point that sometimes it feels like a penis is actually a knife that’s repeatedly stabbing me.
Now, I’ve pretty much always had the “sick girl” reputation among my friends, as I’ve suffered from anemia and therefore regularly in and out of doctors offices, and actively working towards what seems to come so easily to everyone else: staying well. So when I finally worked up the gumption to tell my closest friends this news, they weren’t all that surprised. One of them actually said, “Good thing this is happening to you. You can handle it,” which wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear. Yeah, good thing this is happening to me.
But it’s through my experiences in the past year that I’ve learned to take a completely new perspective on the world we live in. After an appropriate amount of eating my feelings and watching Carrie Bradshaw frolic effortlessly from man to man in Sex and The City while cursing her out from my couch, I decided it was time to move on.
I refused to accept the disease in the way my mother suggested though. I didn’t want to settle for “being what’s possible,” and accepting a childless and sexless life. Hell no. That’s shit. In fact, I think anyone who lives by “being what’s possible” is guilty of settling. I’m proposing you live more like me by being what’s impossible.
Sure, it’s not very practical to assume you can achieve everything you want to, especially when people tell you that those things are impossible. But I’m doing it anyway. Because I can.
You don’t have to climb to the tallest building and jump off in hopes you’ll suddenly sprout wings and fly. You don’t have to be reckless and wild all of the time. But push past your first feelings of denial and doubt, and ignore the temptations you may feel to give up on your dreams.
It’s easy to see my dreams are probably much different from yours, presuming you can have pain-free sex and one day have children. But I think that whether your dream is to head your own company, or travel the world, or maybe even be elected the President of the United States, what’s stopping you?
This question is easy for me to answer. My team of specially trained physicians and clinicians are my barrier. But we don’t have to limit ourselves by our barriers. We can overcome them. It’s all part of being what’s impossible.
My first step of impossibility? Do the deed. Done. Sure, sex hasn’t been completely painless for me. And yes, sometimes it hurts way too much for me to handle, but I’ve been lucky enough to have understanding partners. Sometimes it feels almost like the “real thing” that most people are able to experience. I’m not under the impression that I can just undo my diagnosis by simply believing in myself; but I can prove a couple people wrong.
The whole can’t-have-kids issue is a little bigger than something I can tackle right now in my junior year of college, but I’ll get there. You may be thinking, just because you can’t have children naturally there are still other options like adoption and surrogacy. But that’s not the point. I’m thankful those options exist, but I’m not ready to settle and accept defeat just yet.
We’re given these chances to do what’s impossible and achieve even our most far-fetched dreams, right? My dream since the moment I held my first doll, a rosy-cheeked Molly, was to carry and deliver my own children—four, to be exact. Co-workers of mine have even used this against me and poked fun at my dream of a soccer-mom lifestyle. If you think I’m going to let them win on this one, you couldn’t be more wrong.
How I see it is like this: one of the best specialists in the world regarding vulvodynia sat me down and told me I’d never have sex. And for all intents and purposes, I’m having sex. How could I let her be right about the kids?
I’m being what’s impossible every time I score. And furthermore I’m living with that attitude every day.
Why aren’t you?