Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's Okay To Feel Sad

There's something that's been on my mind today that I want to share with you: It's okay to feel sad sometimes. There. I got that off my chest. Silly? Maybe. Then again, maybe not. We grow up being told to be tough. There's always someone worse off than you. Snap out of it. Big girls don't cry... and all that. So, I'm going to say it one more time. It's okay to feel sad sometimes. Especially when you are dealing with something big like infertility. Now, I'm going to add one small caveat. I don't think it's okay to wallow (even though I've done that in my time too). Wallowing isn't productive, and you'll probably gain five pounds after you down that box of twinkies and package of oreos. Then, you'll just feel worse (trust me, I know). But some good, honest feelings of sadness are okay. What's more...they are a healthy and normal part of life.

Back when I had been trying to get pregnant - with no success - for about a year, I was sad about it. But I was married to a good man who treated me great, and we had a roof over our heads and food to eat. I told myself there was no reason to feel sad. Strangely, that didn't make the sadness go away. So, I got angry at myself. Angry for feeling sad about not getting pregnant. But, that didn't make the sadness go away either, and now I was sad and angry too. I let this go on for quite some time before I figured out that I was making myself more miserable than ever by trying to convince myself that I wasn't sad, when I was.

Now, I'm not a therapist (but my sister is, and I'll check with her if it will make you feel better) but I think that in order to begin our journey through sadness to the peace on the other side, we first have to acknowledge that we are sad, and that it is okay to feel that way for a time. So, if you're like I used to be and keep trying to talk yourself out of being sad because you can't have a baby. STOP! Allow yourself to feel sad. I know that might be a scary thought, because that would mean facing the silent fears you keep tucked away so well. But, consider the thought that maybe you don't have to continue carrying those fears around all by yourself anymore.

When you feel like you are ready - the sooner the better - get with someone you love and trust like your husband or sister or mom, and tell them how you feel. Just get it off your chest. Cry. Yell if you need to. Even punch a pillow if you want - that always made me feel better. Just get those feelings out in the open. If you're worried they will tell you to "just get over it", have them read this blog post first, so they know what to expect.

If you just don't think you're ready to release your feelings to someone...write them out. Get a notebook and a pen and let your thoughts run out onto the page. Don't censor or edit them as you go, just let them all come out. If you have never confided your feelings to anyone, I think you will find a great release as you let them go. This is a great first step on our way to filling in that hole I've mentioned before.

Now, once you've done this, take a deep breath, grab a tissue, blow your nose, wipe your eyes, and try to find a smile. Tell yourself that you are sad right now, and that's okay, but now that you have admitted it, you are ready to start working through it. Don't wallow, but if you feel the need, I don't think that ONE twinkie ever really hurt anyone.


Laine said...

I love this! So, ask your sister what a person is to do in order to overcome some bad habits that were picked up while wallowing. That is the part I'm not finished with yet - overcoming my weaknesses that seemed to be solidified while I was "coping" with infertility grief. That anger? Is really hard to over come. And now I'm angry about other things, not necessarily relating to infertility, but I can see where my bad habits began. :)

jodie said...

You are so right !