Last night, while talking with a close family friend, who is out of state for an extended period of time, I learned that they created rules for their new living situation.
It was pretty funny...things like don't ask questions if you don't want an "I don't know" answer, Free hugs, and the number 1 rule was...Don't. Be. Grumpy.
Loved it. It was hysterical. It got me to thinking though...I should create my own rules for this stupid game of infertility that I'm in.
At first it was things like...don't be grumpy. Remember to pray. Always drink the wine. I tried to make most of the rules inspirational but quite honestly sometimes you want to be grumpy. You're just SO MAD that you're on this cursed journey towards babiesville that all you really want to cry, scream, and stamp your feet until someone actually gives you a baby...or at least a decent shot at being pregnant.
Of course you have to create your own rules for your own journey, but I've created my top 10 list for battling through the next few months until we get enough money saved to start again.
So without further a due, here are my rules, for my journey.
1. Pray...even when I'm mad.
2. Always drink the wine...just not... 6 glasses or an entire bottle...but at least 1 or 2 glasses.
3. Run. Never forget to run first. This is how I manage. This is how I get through my stress. Running makes me feel free and in control. It loosens my muscles, shoots endorphins through my blood stream and if everything else in the day goes to shit at least I know I ran today. I did the one thing I can do for me.
If running isn't your thing. Find a thing. Whether it's crafting, writing, blogging, whatever it is...do the one thing everyday for you. Just you. No one else.
4. Keep talking. Write it down. Get it out. Whatever your feeling, get it out. Don't let it fester. Seek out others who might be struggling too. Make weekly dates with them. Talk to your spouse or partner. Especially your spouse or partner. You're a team. It might not always feel like it but the more you can lighten each others burdens the less you'll suffer through it alone...together.
5. Cry. I'm not so great at the crying. I like to layer things and layer things until I can't see the feeling anymore. I like to put it some where, where I don't have to deal with it or look at it. Then it will pop up out of no where. Absolutely no where. I will be just fine one moment then all of sudden the well will fill itself so high that I will want to cry. For absolutely no reason. Take some time for yourself. In the bathroom, in the shower, watch a sad movie, but get it out. Let the tears fall
6. Get out. Go somewhere, do something. Stay active. Don't hide. I did that for about a year before we started seeing our RE, hiding that is. I hid. It was the worst thing ever. I wasn't deep in the depression but I was getting close. Doing things, running a half marathon, visiting a different state even for a day, radically improved my state of mind, while we took a year off last year. When everyone is having babies, or buying houses, or just happens to turn up pregnant after splitting a bottle of white wine spritzer...do something, that makes you feel like you ARE doing something.
7. Be real with God. I had a moment today...having some false hope thoughts and letting my imagination run away with me. Thinking well if this was different or if life had gone this way, it would have been easier having kids. The truth is, the Devil was just playing tricks with me. Trying to steal my joy (what little I have left right now) and show me false dreams. I told God, "even though I'm mad because I don't understand your plan, I do know that I am loved by you. That ultimately, your plan is better than mine. I don't like it right now, but I might someday. I am loved by you. Thank you" It's sort of like the relationship with your spouse. You may not ALWAYS like the things your spouse does, but you will ALWAYS love them, no matter what.
8. Accept help when offered. You're not weak. You're fighting really hard...it's okay to have a pitch hitter, right hand man, and a team of soldiers at the ready.
9. Right now, one rule for my journey is, save everything you got. Pennies, $20's, $5's $50's, whatever is in the wallet at the end of the day--if you're lucky like me in dealing with cash, put it in the IUI fund. However allow $50 to be spent on myself every month. Whether I want a book, a new album, an entry fee for a race. $50 is for me. That way I'm not poor and unhappy. Just poor.
10. (This one I'm borrowing from the friend) Do what feels right. Don't go to the baby shower if you just can't. Don't ask questions about other peoples pregnancies just to be polite. (Support your friends for sure, but do it when you're having a good day. Don't force yourself if it doesn't feel natural, they'll know, and it will just strain the relationship.) Don't go to friends kid's birthday parties if it's to much for you. Send a gift instead. Do the good stuff on the good days. On the bad days, rest, take care of yourself. This journey is hard enough without you beating yourself up over it.
Check out health news for more suggestions to creating your own rules for battling infertility.
Well...now to get on with following my own rules...well...maybe they're more like guidelines anyway ;)