Well right now we’re in that seemingly unbearable holding pattern. That unknown quasi-gestation period where our adoption paperwork is in Ethiopia awaiting processing, and I’m on the pill hoping that in January, when I hop off of it, that my period will indeed arrive so that the doctor can get me started on the injections (because if I’m not, they’ll have to “schedule me in to find out what’s up” since I haven’t had a period since late summer before my body got stuffed full of IVF Round One hormones).
So from this article I had torn out from my former favorite (now-defunct) Whole Living magazine, I’m trying to keep their key tips in mind as the journey continues to unfold – and thought of all my other gals out there also on the rollercoaster who could use it as well:
7 Ways to Rebound from a Setback
- Worry well. “Challenge doomsday ruminations with knowledge and perspective.” Or, as I like to say, give myself 5 minutes to cry, bitch, moan, whine, then get on with life in a more constructive way.
- Practice expansion. “First focus on the body…Next, expand your thinking to see all the options…Brainstorm seven possible responses whenever you feel cornered by misfortune; after listing these options, cross out the ridiculous and unacceptable choices sand focus on the ones that sound feasible and positive.” i.e., meditate, put everything on the table, and filter it out so you don’t go nuts.
- Look for the lesson. “If you’re stumped when trying to find meaning in a given life event, ask the hard questions…What did I learn?…How am I stronger now? However you phrase it, these questions will help unearth what really matters to you, and what you really want to do with your life.” Infertility has taught me a lot about quality of life. I have no plans on spending 5 years on all these hormones trying repeatedly. I have given myself permission to walk away whenever I feel it is the right time. Kind of an awesome life lesson to boot.
- Develop resilience. “Dwelling endlessly in anger and resentment at the unfairness of it all creates emotional turmoil…anger triggers our fight-or-flight response, which can reduce our brain’s ability to think clearly and creatively so we can find solutions. How can you break that cycle? Breathe your way through. Meditation is one of the most powerful tools for creating the mental resilience and clarity necessary to make good decisions and weather bad times.” In other words, I need to get my arse back to yoga class. No excuses. It’s the therapy I’ve denied myself because of my own insecurities that have taken over. That must end. Breathing to resume shortly.
- Take advantage of downtime. “Use it to do those things you’ve been meaning to get to for years. Write that novel; learn to knit; check out the classics from the library…paint your bedroom a different color.” Not that infertility means we have all this time on our hands, but it does mean that we have to go on living and chasing our OTHER dreams as well. My husband is taking a writing class. Me? I’m still brainstorming…
- Tap your resources. “A strong social life increases our health, happiness, and longevity; in the worst of times, that network acts as a crucial stressbuster, helping us to process our emotions, get perspective, and have fun.” Note to my fellow infertiles, we learn who our friends truly are during this time, do we not? It’s been a struggle for me in this one but I’ve started to re-frame the friendships I have and open up to people who weren’t originally in my most inner circle, as a couple close to me showed they weren’t here for me when the chips were down.
- Help someone else. “Sometimes it’s supporting others that can best pull you out of your despair…Take your energy and put it into action.” Volunteering!!! I must say the thing that always lightens my step is my volunteer time with the kiddos at the school. Even when they’re a challenge, they inspire me. I’ve got two very special boys this year I read to and their journeys are ones I truly am fortunate to witness.
That’s all I’ve got right now. Our adoption paperwork is currently in Addis Ababa getting translated and registered, so nothing but living the rest of our lives to do these days 🙂
“Patience: A minor form of despair disguised as a virtue.”