As any woman struggling with infertility knows, infertility can be an emotional roller coaster. You have days where you feel in control and at peace, then the next day you can barely keep your tears at bay. Throughout this journey, I’ve had my fair share of emotional ups and downs. While it is perfectly ok to have times where you feel overcome by your situation, I’m sure we all agree we don’t want to live there. We want to have success over our emotions.
Thinking back on my journey, there were three main things I did that really helped me to overcome my roller coaster emotions-and trust me, sometimes it wasn’t even bad day, good day. More like bad moment, good moment. Truly the best way to describe it was like being on a roller coaster. So while I gained invaluable strength from loved ones, there were three things that I personally did that helped to quiet my mind.
I’m going to break this into a 3-part series. First, allow me to share the most practical of the three. This is something you can do immediately. When I thought about it, it can also be applied to situations outside of infertility. Whether it’s a devastating divorce, a career setback, or just not being where you thought you’d be in life, this is something you can tweak to fit your needs.
So here it is-Take control of what you see.
There’s two parts to this one.
First, unfollow your friends and family on social media. You know who I mean. The pregnant ladies that post baby bump pictures every time the baby is the size of a new fruit. The moms who post pictures of their babies passing every milestone. The proud aunties/grammas showing off pictures of their beloved little family member. Unfollow them.
This may sound harsh, but this is NOT a reflection on those doing the posting. I still loved them all. And as a general rule, I LOVE pregnancy announcements and I love seeing my friends thrilled to have a new baby in their life! But for me personally, these posts, as adorable as they were, were detrimental to my stability. If I was to overcome this, I needed to change what I was seeing.
I knew these posts were a HUGE trigger for me. I could be having a morning where I was managing to stay on top of things emotionally, then I would scroll by endless pictures of babies, baby bumps, and pregnancy announcements. Many times I struggled not to cry at work after seeing them. They would trigger alllll the feels, such as WHY isn’t it MY turn yet???
So I unfollowed them. I didn’t feel the need to unfriend them. After all, they truly were my friends and I would never wish for them to be unhappy in real life. But to be constantly triggered is overwhelming! To knowingly keep triggers in your life is allowing yourself to be setback.
I stayed friends with all these ladies, and at the time of writing, I think I’ve re-followed all of them. But I needed space to not be surrounded by those posts. To see them on my own terms, when I felt ready. This was HUGE. It took away many chances of being set off and allowed me less of a chance to focus on it.
The second part to taking control of what you see, is to remove baby/pregnancy items from your reach.
When I first started trying to get pregnant, I bought some pregnancy books thinking I’d being using them soon. I also frequently looked up pregnancy announcements on pinterest, and followed many natural and holistic moms on facebook which led to many pregnancy/baby ads on my phone.
I remember one day looking up announcements on pinterest and afterward feeling so discouraged thinking why did I do that? Tears ensued. I also remember going through a particular pregnancy book over and over so I’d know exactly what to do incase I did get pregnant that month. Instances like these always led to frustration, tears, and hopelessness.
I don’t know why it took me so long, but I finally put all my pregnancy books into storage so that they were out of reach. I made myself stop looking up announcements on pinterest, and I unfollowed or unsubscribed from all the mommy bloggers. This was also huge for me, as seeing those books on my shelf every day just felt like a constant reminder I didn’t have what I wanted to badly.
So if you’re hanging onto books or memorabilia, put it out of arm’s reach! Don’t leave it constantly in sight. Unsubscribe from the bloggers so you’re not feeling set off every time you check your email.
I hope you enjoyed part 1 of this series. I truly hope this resonated with some of you, and if you’re struggling with infertility, consider this idea. Remember we can’t control EVERYTHING we see, but we can control a large portion of it. Take a deep breath, and make changes one step at a time.