I’m so sick of infertility ruling my life. This year I choose to take it back. I’ve spent so much time away from my friends, so much time avoiding social situations, so much time with my own thoughts, it’s time for a change. I choose life. So how to fight back? It’s a challenge to reclaim your life, especially when the nightmare of infertility is still hanging over your head. I found a quote last year and have decided this year to make it the motto I live by. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” I’ve spent so long waiting for the storm to pass, and all likelihood it never will, it’s time to learn to dance in the rain.
I think the first step is to change my thought process, to force myself to be happy. I’m trying extremely hard to reframe negative aspects of my life, to remind myself of the good bits, and not focus on my infertility. To be honest, I think knowing that my eggs are crap is helping with this. I know 99.9% that I won’t be able to have a baby ‘normally’, one that’s genetically mine, so I don’t bother concentrating on it. Admittedly (and expectedly) I still think about it and still have my bad days, but knowing there’s now nothing I can do to change the situation – no amount of healthy eating, lack of coffee or alcohol, no amount of supplements – I’m finding I’m more relaxed about it. Knowing that both donor egg IVF and adoption are long processes, and there’s little I can do to speed it up, is lifting the pressure of trying to conceive. If and when it happens is when it will happen, I can only do my bit and hope for the best.
I’ve also started the 100 Happy Days project, taking a photo of something that makes me happy for 100 days straight. Apparently 71% of people never finish the challenge, but I will. I’m only 9 days in and already it’s made an impact on my mood and how I deal with the world. It’s a great way of focusing on the joyful moments of your life and I’ve found that, no matter what kind of mood I’m in, I’ve been able to find at least one thing to take a photo of. Initially I put a bit of pressure on myself to take photos of big things, aspects of my life that are major impacts on my happiness, but then I realised that was silly, something as small as a cup of coffee can make me happy so why shouldn’t I include those moments. In actual fact, recognising those little things has had a massive impact on realising my happiness, possibly more so than the obvious ones.
I’m making an effort to reconnect with people. I’m still not up to facing big crowds, (or even small crowds for that matter) and I’m not sure I ever will be, but I’m making an attempt to reconnect with people who really matter to me. I will Skype my mate in New York, I will arrange a dinner with the ‘marrieds’, I will catch up for a glass of wine (now that I can drink guilt-free again) with my friends. I’m taking back my life and I’m loving it! I’m by no means back to where I was before infertility took over my life and I doubt I will ever be that again. We can never go back, only forward, and a new me is forming from the ashes that once was my life.
I’ve created a little sign, nothing flash, just a handwritten sign on yellow paper, and I’ve attached it to my computer screen at work so that it stares me straight in the face. Whenever I’m wavering, whenever I get a little down and take a step backward, I look at this sign and it reminds me that whatever is getting me down is just a small part of my world, it reminds me to make the most of every moment and to reclaim my life. It reminds me to be happy. What does it say you ask? It says this: “This year I will learn to dance in the rain” and this year I will dance no matter what the world throws at me, I will dance to survive and to thrive.