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The Pursuit of Happiness – Open Discussion

10 Aug

Bodega Bliss and I have been having an ongoing email conversation about when “it gets better.” About the “stuck” feeling that comes with what we go through. Our life on hold, never truly ,”living” it to the fullest in our quest toward a take-home baby.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. How to get “unstuck” and start enjoying life right now, in the midst of all of this drama. I mean, it doesn’t have to be THIS hard, does it? Is there any way to live a “normal” and “happy” life in the midst of IF and RPL madness?

I told BB that if I find a magic potion to make that happen, I could make millions. Plus, it would mean magic potions exist, which would be pretty kewl.

But in lieu of that – let’s have a discussion! All of you IFers and RPLers out there – do you feel “stuck” through this journey, or can you bring yourself to lead a normal happy life through all of this heartbreak? If you can – how do you make it happen? And can you please bottle it and give me some? Let’s talk it out, people!

Oh – and here’s a bunny, just cause you’re all awesome and deserve it, and it’s been a while since I posted one.

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31 Responses to “The Pursuit of Happiness – Open Discussion”

  1. Advo.cat August 10, 2011 at 22:55 #

    The thing that sucks the most about this topic is that I was living that normal happy life before I knew about my IF issues. I would guess that is true for many of us – we met the person we want to have babies with, we worked hard to make a family affordable, we were in the perfect spot, and then BAM! our wonderful lives were abruptly interrupted by this bullshit. I have no answer or magic potion, but I have learned that I need to set concrete goals for myself every day (like, actually write them down) so that I focus on those things and don’t get distracted by my IF issues. If I didn’t do that, I would spend the entire day thinking/researching/planning IF stuff.

    • Mo August 10, 2011 at 23:22 #

      I’m with you. I work at home, which makes me basically a full-time RPLer. That’s why I’m trying to find a way to get the hell out of the house.

  2. me0me August 10, 2011 at 22:57 #

    Well a bunny is surely a good start!
    I find myself qualified for this discussion, since I feel trapped in my own situation, different as it may be (facing an uncertain future since I can’t sponsor my husband for a green card even though I’m a US citizen).
    So… I get as much daylight as I can. I walk, I bike, I see people. I bitch, I hug, I cry. I find consolation in my spouse. I do things that make me happy in my city, make sure to see art, nature, feel the breeze, appreciate the colors that surround me. In short- even when it seems like the center of my being is a ball of stress in the center of my stomach, I don’t stop engaging everything outside of me.

    • Mo August 10, 2011 at 23:24 #

      I wish it was that easy. I’m not downplaying your situation, but I think it’s harder to push things aside when it’s your body… Or maybe I’m just a whiny biyatch

      • AK August 12, 2011 at 15:24 #

        The difference probably is more that me0me’s body allows him to push through situation anxiety whereas yours makes you shut down. But that’s what happy pills are for, right?

  3. BleedingTulip August 10, 2011 at 22:58 #

    Thank you for the bunny, I was having some serious withdrawals!!!! 🙂

    Hm… well, some days are better then others. But really… I think that is what LIFE is about. If it wasn’t us trying to have kids, it would be us focusing on our careers or something. It’s human nature to want the next thing, to want improvement. We set goals, because without goals, we would be stagnant.

    Sure, certain things feel MORE like life is on hold. I think because I know having kids will be SUCH a big change, there will be a definite “line” in our lives marking a change. Like any other “defining moment” like graduation or marriage, there is a sense of “before and after”. When I think of it like that, I think of how impatient I was to get out of high school. I felt like after high school was this amazing sparkly world of possibility and fun. Which is partly true; there is also a lot of responsibility and hard stuff.

    I think that even as I am impatient for the future, it is possible to enjoy the present. But life is never perfect, there are always going to be things that suck. I think that something that helps me is keeping perspective, reminding myself of all the people that are probably wishing for my life. It sounds cheesy, but doing volunteer stuff really helps ME, as much if not more then however much I help the people I’m volunteering for.

    I think a lot of it is making mental choices. Sure, it would be REALLY easy to sit on my couch depressed and lonely because my husband is gone and I don’t have a job. And sometimes I do feel that. But I also push myself to get up OFF the couch and do something, anything, whether is is walking my dogs or doing dishes or going to church because staying active helps. And then there is also the added layer of getting help, such as therapists and anti-depressants, that are great tools when people need them, but nothing works instantly. Crappy as that is.

    I don’t know if that actually made any sense or was just a bunch of gibberish, but it’s what I got. *shrug*

    • Mo August 10, 2011 at 23:25 #

      I wish I had that kind of will power. Happy pills, therapy, and all, most days I find myself NOT doing anything, and then feeling guilty about it. Urgh.

      • BleedingTulip August 11, 2011 at 00:25 #

        Oooh, here’s a good quote I just read in a book: “what you believe and what you do make a difference… If you change what you believe and what you do, you will get different results”

        Something to ponder 🙂

  4. eggsinarow August 10, 2011 at 23:31 #

    I think my problem is that I need to be less “black and white” in my thinking. As in, good=having a baby and bad=not having baby. My life is right now, and in 30 years I don’t want to look back thinking that I wasted this time with my husband when it was just the two of us. Like, when I was younger, I wanted a license. Then I wanted to have a boyfriend. Then I wanted to get a ring. Then I wanted to plan a wedding. Then a baby. I know part of life is the cycle, but I think part of the cycle HAS to be existing in the now…does any of this make sense? It’s easy to get caught up (as I do, daily) in the crap…but the good stuff is still pretty good, even without a child. I’m blessed. Just a little hormonally imbalanced.

    • chon August 11, 2011 at 01:18 #

      I totally agree with all of that

      • Mo August 11, 2011 at 14:05 #

        Really good point. We always tend to look at “the next step”, and we start spinning our wheels if it doesn’t happen. But it’s so much easier said than done to live “in the now”…

        • Belle August 13, 2011 at 02:28 #

          Living in the now is my greatest struggle. I started 2011 with this as my intention – to learn to be present, but somewhere in between clomid and OHSS I seem to have lost it. Thank you for brining it back to center. I need to think on this, but first, I’m going to go enjoy a quiet Friday night with my husband. Perhaps we will play with our cats. I’m sure they have missed the “present me,” too.

  5. cablearms August 10, 2011 at 23:41 #

    my problem is to get the what-if’s in my head. i also have this weird voice telling me that i’m running out of time and i get all anxious about the future when clearly, much like Eggsinarow, I am leading an incredibly gifted life with an amazing partner and supportive and loving family and friends. i’ve recently said that i could live with a childless marriage, but could i really just turn that switch off of wanting to NOT?

    so i do my “rage runs” until i start emptying the cobwebs in my head and i’m left with seeing the wonderful things that are in front of me. i wish it were that easy everyday. thanks for the discussion, Mo.

    and i maybe a new commenter, but thanks for the bunny. every little bit helps…

    • Mo August 11, 2011 at 14:06 #

      I’m glad to have you here. 🙂
      I think for me yoga “turns it off” for a while, but I haven’t been able to go for a while because of the stupid lap.

      • Belle August 13, 2011 at 02:30 #

        Ok, one more comment. Totally agree on the yoga and I miss it so damn much. These grapefruit sized ovaries and your lap need to heal stat so we can return to our sanity. I’m sending you healing vibes!

  6. chon August 11, 2011 at 01:17 #

    Really good question Mo. I guess for me being so down is totally at war with my real personality and it makes me more depressed to feel so crap. Sometimes on the way home from work I will turn a song on really loud and literally scream the words or the melody so that I can get some release, I started a new program where every time someone that I knew announced a pregnancy I got to buy something new. I liked this stress relief. I cry a lot but this year I don’t know I seem to be handling the hits so much better. I started counselling. I try to get out in the garden. Chippie and I try to have a date night and we always do stuff together on Sunday. Even if it is just going to the local tip (he is a builder, sometimes I have to give him a chop out), or go for breakfast or sometimes he just sits down in the garage and shoots the shit with me as I try to run on the treadmill. My close girlfriends have been amazing this year, I spend a lot of time with them. I am very fortunate I don’t have a lot of dick heads and the ones I did I have let go of. And every time it all gets way too much sometimes I just have to remind myself that I do have so much to be thankful for and I am very thankful and one day this will all be a distant memory and I will move onwards and upwards into a different life and one day I will be a mum. Oh and when I am feeling really down sometimes you get nice little surprises when this awesome chick from the other side of the world with a penchant for blue hats and bunny rabbits sends you some of the most a-maz-ing chocolate!!! Then you realise there is always a positive 🙂

    • Mo August 11, 2011 at 14:07 #

      *blush* xoxo

  7. endoandbeyond August 11, 2011 at 01:46 #

    I read romance novels, the kind with lots of sex 😀

    Honestly, some days are better than others. Some times I freak the eff out when I think about what if this never happens. Some days I focus on the very next step and think think think about the next IUI and all the things I will do that’s healthy and give myself the best possible chance (this is what I’m doing now, although I did just read a Nora Roberts book in 2 days for some mental distraction) Sometimes I try to be social and hang out with my friends who don’t have nor want children and do child-free things. Sometimes I eat. Sometimes I take a Pilates class, sometimes I cancel the pilates class and stay in and watch movies on Netflix. I try to break the days down into smaller portions and fill them up with things to do until its time to sleep and then I can stay fairly distracted at work and fill up the weekends with social events to keep my mind off things.

    • Mo August 11, 2011 at 14:08 #

      I’ve been trying that a lot lately. Just thinking “one activity at a time”. It definitely works when I’m not wallowing.

  8. lis August 11, 2011 at 02:43 #

    i really do try hard to find normalcy in the face of all that life has thrown my way. i live in my head a lot of the time, and only some of that is by choice. mostly it is hard to find IRL people to talk to who truly understand, and after so long i feel bad *still* talking about it to my family. (see: stuck) i also made some bad decisions re: who i wanted to be friends with in my youth, and don’t have a ton of support that way. even if i did though, i can imagine i still wouldn’t discuss everything with them bc as much as we want them to, most people do not get it. even the well meaning ones who want you to explain everything. ive had my fair share of people smiling and nodding at me. i try to keep the IF/loss talk to people who bring it up now.
    i get through by reminding myself (usually daily, sometimes hourly) that i don’t have a scary disease like cancer or aids, my infertility and losses won’t kill me, and that one day, someway, we will have children. most days this approach works to at least let me appear like a functioning human being…some days im back in bed with 2 xanax under my belt crying like the babies i so desperately want.
    i think as long as the goal is positivity and forward movement, we can’t be doing too bad. too many people are not able to see their life for what it was/will be after this mess and get mired down in the pain and jealously of it all. i say, feel your emotions, dwell in them if you have to and then try to move away from it, even if you end up emotionally right back where you started, at least you haven’t gone backwards.
    this is hard. be gentle on yourself.
    xoxo
    lis

  9. slcurwin August 11, 2011 at 05:15 #

    I have no “make it all better” potion for happiness or getting out of the rut, but I think a forced change of routine makes a difference. A lot of our problem becomes habbit. We have to force ourselves out of our funks, and that doesn’t happen when we dont change anything else around us.

    • Mo August 11, 2011 at 14:09 #

      That’s true. that’s why I’m trying to get the heck out of the house with a new job…

  10. Kelly August 11, 2011 at 07:52 #

    I just saw that a girl who is unable to properly care for a pet is preggers with #3 (she works at the gas station). Yep, to all those well meaning people that say ‘Well, may it’s just not meant to be’ – go check out the chick that nearly had an animal cruelty charge knocked up (there’s a loop hole, as she didn’t claim the cat, oh but adopted a puppy in the mean time).

    If they had any clue….feels like life is the intro to ‘Idiocracy’ – used to laugh, not it’s laugh or cry!

  11. Fucking Infertility August 11, 2011 at 10:47 #

    It’s hard to tell which thing is causing me to feel most stuck in life – the infertility, or another situation we have going on that’s just as wheel-spinning. Anyway, I find the only viable approach is to just stop thinking about the future altogether. I think about a week or month ahead, and that is it. I focus on the dumb little daily things that make me happy. Every day I write down in a file something that went on that day, focusing mainly on good things.

    • Mo August 11, 2011 at 14:10 #

      I think that’s true. Think about a day from now, a week from now, and no more. Otherwise we go nuts.

  12. Flowergirl August 11, 2011 at 11:59 #

    I don’t know. But you have reminded me to call my counsellor to book in some more appointments, so thanks for that.

    I was reading on Zita West’s blog about wider things then just counselling, some Cognative Behavioural Therapy and the like, which helps in re-programming the mind to get us out of this rut.

    • Mo August 11, 2011 at 14:11 #

      Glad I reminded you. 🙂 I was thinking about trying CBT or EMDR on top of regular therapy. But they’re PRICEY!

  13. Kristen August 12, 2011 at 00:35 #

    Your bunnies make me ridiculously happy!!!!
    I really haven’t been able to get past feeling completely stuck/like my life is at a standstill while all this is going on…that things need to resolve one way or another (with a biological or adopted child, or the decision not to have kids and to make our life OK with that reality) before I can move forward with the rest of my life. And that sucks because really we should be able to do this and it should just be a small part of who we are and everything else can happen in parallel, right? But I just have not been able to make that happen.
    Sorry, I know this isn’t the uplifting, hopeful answer you were looking for…
    To address this very issue, right now I am trying to structure my days so I’m doing some long-neglected creative things, but it’s hard. I’m making myself accountable to other people (taking a photography workshop with assignments, getting back with a group of writers who expect you to submit work for them to critique on a regular basis) thinking that might help…stay tuned…

  14. Port of Indecision August 12, 2011 at 04:15 #

    I think IF/RPL definitely has made me feel stuck in life. It’s such an all-consuming thing that it really does color everything. To me, it seems to be that I can’t undo the damage of RPL and havoc it’s wreaked on my social life and my self-confidence and a million other things, and it’s just constantly there. But it’s not the ONLY thing that’s there. There are days that it is, sure – like the day I’m taking misoprostol or the day I have yet another bad ultrasound. But for the most part, there are other things there too. There’s snuggling with my dogs, there are happy hours with friends, there are times I know I did a kickass job at work. Those things don’t eclipse the past few years of RPL hell. But it’s a lot easier to find moments of happiness than it is to be looking for this elusive, constant, “whole” happiness.

    If that made any sense at all.

  15. Cattiz J August 12, 2011 at 10:51 #

    I love the bunnies =)

    Well, I’m trying to do something meaningful/fun/positive/creative for myself every day. Doesn’t have to be all big and mind-blowing, small things that makes you smile work just fine. Some days are easier than others – of course. But I also feel just getting out of the house for a few hours helps. I like to take long countryside walks when having a dog for company. If you want to work outside home – focus on that. Should be a great start I think.

  16. Marie August 12, 2011 at 18:36 #

    This might help you think about it differently: http://www.cracked.com/article_19376_5-scientific-reasons-your-idea-happiness-wrong.html

    Love you!

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