I went to the professionally led support group last Wednesday. It was AMAZING! The facilitator really knows her stuff and man there wasn't a dry eye in the room!
Her main focus is mind/body connection and really paying attention to what your body is telling you. She talked about psychosomatic tendencies and how these symptoms aren't just "made up" they are real. Your emotional state makes a HUGE difference on your physical state. No she was NOT saying JUST RELAX AND IT WILL HAPPEN, she was talking about being more in tune with your emotions so that your energies and blood flow can regain harmony, thus making your body physically healthier.
It made so much sense and it made me think about my appointment next week to start anti.depressants. Maybe I should give this mind/body thing a shot first. It totally makes sense, it won't be easy, but I am not one to look for the easy way out of things.
She took us through a guided meditation which TOTALLY relaxed me. I couldn't believe how incredibly at peace I felt. After meditating she asked us to really pay attention to our bodies for a moment and search for that place where we keep all of our emotions/pain/turmoil hidden in our bodies. She told us how important it is to let those emotions out and that keeping them stuffed inside only causes more stress, trouble and disease. She also emphasized how important it is to be honest with how you are feeling to friends and family. When you receive yet another pregnancy announcement, tell that person. "I really am happy for you and I wish I could express that to you right now, but I am going to need time. You see, I am really hurting right now and although this is a wondrous occasion for you, please understand that it is really difficult for me."
When the facilitator first said this, my initial reaction was "yeah right" I could NEVER tell my friends or family that. For multiple reasons.
1. I don't want to show the emotions to people because that leaves me vulnerable and at risk of being hurt by a stupid "be thankful for what you have, maybe you should just relax, why don't you just adopt.etc." kind of comment.
2. Who the hell am I to rain on my friend/family's parade when they are announcing something so joyous ?
3. I don't want people to walk on eggshells around me when it comes to fertility/children stuff.
That is when I realized...
1. If I am unable to show my friends my emotions and leave myself vulnerable to them and trust them, then what kind of friendships do I really have? Sure, I may get hurt, but that happens anyway, if I am engaging in an honest, open friendship with them, then I should find it easier to correct them and explain to them how much those "comments" really hurt.
2. Am I doing more damage by stuffing my emotions inside, putting on a fake smile and pretending to be happy for my friends rather than just being open and honest with them about how I am feeling? I think so. I had to take a step back and ask myself if I had a friend that was hurting, would I want her to stuff those feelings inside, put on a fake smile and then fall apart alone, behind the scenes? Absolutely NOT! I would want her to lean on me for support, so why do I think that my friends don't want to do the same for me?
3. I think people walk on eggshells around me now. So if I want different results, maybe I should try something new! If I am honest with people about how I am feeling, don't you think they would be less likely to be uneasy around me because they know I would be open and honest with them? They would not have to fear the "unknown" because there wouldn't be any "unknown".
It is a lot to take in, but very exhilarating as well. I had the baby shower for my dear friend last Saturday and I couldn't bring myself to go. Then she sent me an email stating that she was going to have a sleep-over with a couple of girlfriends and she wanted me to be there. I responded to her email and told her that as much as I wanted to be able to be there for her, I just couldn't right now. I was having a tough time and it would be much harder on me to be there, than for me not to be there. Guess what...Not only did she completely understand, she thanked me for being honest with her. Huh...how many other people out there have I underestimated and just assumed they would be uncomfortable talking about my infertility, when in all reality, they wanted to be there as a support.
Food for thought!