The Mid-cycle Flap (and The Chimp)

And so after a month or so of what I am now referring to as the “dormant” period, the Chimp inside me has awoken.

I’m becoming all too familiar with those gut-churning feelings of uncertainty and hopelessness that come with this point in the cycle where, you’re thinking, “right, come on, we’ve got another chance now, ovaries. Please, please start making some nice juicy follicles“. I  really come to despise how hyper acute you become to every single niggle and sensation inside your body, in the hope that something is happening. I’m even finding myself doing it before a period, just because it feels like SOMETHING is happening down yonder. It makes me think about patients who I see, who are convinced they are getting side-effects to the medication you prescribed them. One of my  colleagues says that, if you lie in bed and think for long enough, you’ll always think a part of your body’s feeling strange. And he’s so right.

The concept of the Chimp, as I have mentioned briefly before, is taken from The Chimp Paradox, which is an absolutely brilliant CBT-based book. In a nutshell, it talks of the human mind as being split into 3 parts – the Human, which is fundamentally you and has personality, humanity and aspirations and who’s goal is to achieve self-fulfilment; the Computer, which stores memories and information that is put into it by the Human and Chimp; and the Chimp. The Chimp is there from birth, and its goal is survival. It does this by having drives (to eat, reproduce, establish shelter and territory etc) and attitudes needed to survive in the “jungle”.

The Human, thinks logically and works with facts and truths. Whereas the Chimp thinks emotionally, using feelings and impressions. It’s inherently paranoid, jumps to opinions, catastrophises, is impulsive and irrational. The theory is that if you have a thought or feeling that you don’t want, it’s your Chimp “hijacking” you. Everybody’s Chimps are different, and you can’t change the nature of your Chimp, nor remove it’s drives. It’s all about managing it…. and that’s a whole book’s worth, and much easier said than done.

My Chimp is in overdrive.

If I employ my Human (and therefore some rationality into all of this), it would go a bit like:

1- You’re still young and have plenty of time, and many more options available to you

2- This is frustrating, but the evidence is that the majority of PCOS sufferers will conceive with a little bit of help

3- Yes, you’re being made to persist with this Clomid, but it’s advice from a specialist in this field (of which you are not) who has every desire for you to become pregnant, and therefore wouldn’t be making you go through this if there wasn’t a chance in hell of it working

4- There is no point saying, “life is not fair” and throwing your teddies out the pram, because LIFE IS NOT FAIR. That is a fact of life. And you have to be at peace with it and accept it

This is what I need to tape onto my fridge and focus on for the next week or so until the dreaded scan date. Take heed, Chimp.