I recently told my husband that I was feeling like the infertility was a huge, green slime monster and that it was creeping over my life, slowly overtaking it.  And that I was starting to feel exhausted and too small and powerless to fight its oozing progress.  He very sweetly told me that I didn’t have to fight the slime monster alone – that he’d fight it with me.  That sometimes when I was worn out he’d carry me and fight it for me.  I imagined him hacking off pieces of lime green sliminess with a large sword while I rode piggyback, and it did make me feel better.

I’m starting this blog in an attempt to not only fight off the dreaded infertility monster, but also to hopefully improve my life in a lasting way.  Coping with infertility for over three years has been the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do.  There have been times when I’ve been so angry and despairing that I would walk around shooting daggers of hate from my eyes at anyone who crossed my path – just because what I was going through was so painful and it seemed SO unfair.  I’d fantasize about knocking pregnant women over.  In my imagination, they’d just topple over rigidly like bowling pins.  I don’t feel the need to imagine that anymore (thanks Zoloft), but it helped for awhile.

Recently, a friend (who also had a long, difficult journey before becoming pregnant) recommended I read the book “Positivity” by Barbara Fredrickson.  She said it was really helpful for her.  I checked it out, and impatiently read about all the research before getting to what I could DO about it all.  In the back of the book are a whole slew of tools you can use to increase your positive emotions and cope with negative ones.  Fredrickson says that in order to flourish you need to maintain a 3 to 1 ratio of positive to negative emotions.  Now, that’s a tall order for a woman about to begin her fourth IVF cycle.  There’s so much fear, anxiety, stress, anger, sadness, and grief roiling around inside that I figure I’ve got to make a concerted effort to encourage and nourish those positive emotions.

This blog is an effort to hold myself accountable to that project of encouraging and nourishing positive emotions.  I’m going to try to regularly practice the methods Barbara Fredrickson recommends in her book in the hope that it will not only help me through the upcoming cycle, but also with the great hope that I can learn a new, more positive, resilient way of living in the world.  We’ll see…

– Patience

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