Saturday, May 25, 2013

Anger Management

Taking a few months off of fertility treatments has allowed me time to do some soul searching.  For the past few weeks I have been seeking the treatment of a psychologist.  At first I was hesitant to blog about it, but I feel that it takes a strong person to realize that they need help processing their feelings and managing stress in a healthy way.  Mental health is just as important as physical health and it often gets ignored or is seen as as taboo to talk about.  I think learning to deal the stress and painful life circumstances in a constructive way takes practice.   

Often times during my struggles with infertility, I often feel the need to "convince" people why this is so awful and feel the need to have my feelings validated by others.  I think most would agree that not being able to have children, or anything important that you want, is difficult.  At times I often feel misunderstood, judged, and feel like our struggle gets trivialized.  In therapy, I've learned that ALL my feelings and thoughts are normal and reasonable for anyone in my situation.  I've learned that anger, sadness, jealousy, denial, defensiveness, among other feelings are completely normal.  It's hard not to be defensive about something so personal, especially when many people will never understand what it's like.
Am I angry? Of course I am!  I have every right to be.  Most people would never judge someone who lost the ability to walk or someone who lost their home if they became angry.  Yet at times some people make me feel as if it's not ok to be mad.  Infertility is a loss.  I've lost my dreams and expectations of my entire life I've only ever imaged my life with a family.  My husband and I married each other with the intentions of making a family. So now what?  Now I may have to  say goodbye to those dreams and replace them with something that is only second best...  The worst part it is that I don't have a choice in the matter and there's nothing I can do about it.  I have to grieve the loss of my dreams and life's expectations.   Of course that makes me angry.  It isn't fair.  I know no one will ever understand what it's like unless they've lived it but I think most people can relate to loss.  

Often times it's hard to know what to say to someone struggling with anything difficult in life, whether it be a job loss, cancer, death or infertility.  Sometimes you don't know what to say and wonder if you should say anything at all.  It seems that nothing is the right thing to say.   I can tell you that there have been times when no one could say anything "right" and every comment hurt.  I guess it's just the nature of what I'm dealing with.  My best advice, with this or anything else is to acknowledge it and know that you don't always have to try to help the person "fix" it or offer advice.  Sometimes just hearing someone say that they are thinking about you or just agree that this is a hard thing to handle is enough.  Sometimes all I need is for someone "validate" why I feel how I do and that it's ok to feel this way.  

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