Coping with negative feelings of infertility might not be a walk in the park when you are confronted with daily constant reminders of your struggle- the insensitive comments, the seemingly harmless question that wrenches your soul apart, the baby shower pictures, the friend who just had her third kid. How do you cope in the midst of all these?
I remember going for a family function, and a family member who I hadn’t seen in ages asked me ‘”Winnie how are your children”? I answered fine, and walked away as fast as my legs could carry me. The gods must have been angry with me that very day as I ran into this woman not too long after, and she said again “Where are your children now? Didn’t you bring them? Call them for me, let them come and say hi to big mummy”. I instantly developed a very big lump in my throat, mumbled some incoherent words, faked a phone call and walked away quickly again- no, more like I ran away. Another woman whom all I do at best is exchange pleasantries with saw me another day, and outrightly asked if I had a baby yet.
This journey thumps you to the ground, chokes your breathe, tosses you to your knees, and makes you question your sanity. It puts you in floods of gloom, and damages you in a manner you never knew existed. You feel anger, anxiety, sadness, all in the twinkling of an eye.
A lot of women are faced with negative feelings. They are ruined both physically and mentally, and have ended up in the danger zone called depression. We are in a process full of disappointments, stress, and sadness.
I try to focus on solutions and have a positive attitude to life, but when I fell into depression I lost it. I became a shadow of my awesome self. I was plagued with feelings of heaviness and darkness, and I could not run from it. I overcame it with time, but it was a slow and mind tasking process.
Through my own self-discovery and experiences over the years, I have been able to develop a coping mechanism that has seen me through all of the difficulties and roller coaster times. I found tips that enabled me to overcome and cope with the negative feelings of infertility. Hopefully you find these tips useful in some ways.
How To Cope With Negative Feelings Of Infertility
1. The first important step is recognizing that your fertility problem is one of the biggest challenges you will experience in your life. Accept that it is normal to experience an enormous feeling of sadness, anxiety, and stress. Don’t try to stifle the feelings but rather allow them flow. Doing this would allow you get through the crisis.
2. If you always try to stay strong, then others might not be able to empathize with what goes on inside of you, and you will feel even more alone. It helps to entrust your feeling to someone- probably a family member or a trusted friend.
3. Find a good balance between optimism and realism: In coping with negative feelings of infertility, you must learn to find a balance between optimism and realism. Optimism is being hopeful that the new cycle would turn out differently, while realism is staying true to the fact, and acknowledging that its a 50-50 chance. Yes, you need optimism for every cycle and treatment, but being too hopeful usually leads to frustration and grief when the treatment eventually fails. Staying realistic can help you make smart choices as you navigate your way through the emotional minefield of fertility treatments.
4. Stay informed: Search for information as much as possible about your issues. Find and talk to women having the same challenges with you. Ask your doctor questions in areas that are unclear to you. It is important to understand what the issue means medically in order to be able to make informed choices.
5. Avoid information overload: The other spectrum of being informed is having too much information. We are in the technology era where Google has made life very easy and any kind of information can be gotten through the search engine. Learn to sift the necessary information from the unwanted one. Having too much information would leave you in a more confusing state that you were.
6. Stop the self blame game: Don’t listen to that little nasty voice in your head that says “ I shouldn’t have waited too long” , I should have visited the doctor earlier. For all you know, you might have done all of that, and the situation would have still remained the same. When the negative thoughts arise, remind yourself that you are not to blame. Even though you could have done things differently in the past, acknowledge that they are all behind you.
7. Learn to shut out negative vibes and people: Avoid people that bring the negative vibes, the ones that all they wanna talk about when around you is their troublesome toddler or how beautiful their nursery looks.
8. Work in team with your husband or partner. Don’t heap the blame of the fertility problem on each other, irrespective of who has the issue. Be open to each other about how you feel.
9. Learn to say no to activities where you will be confronted with babies if engaging in such activity will be too much a burden for you. You don’t wanna be the only gloomy face Barbie in an event full of happy people and so much excitement.
10. Take care of yourself by pursuing other interests. Fertility treatments can sometimes feel like a full time or at least a part time job, but still it is important to concern yourself with things that you enjoy. Try to distract yourself as much as possible. I remember I got pregnant the very month I enrolled in a very stressful training course, so strenuous that I didn’t even have the time to think about baby making, but viola, that was the very time I conceived; stroke of luck or coincidence you might say, but you will never know until you try.
Have you been coping with negative feelings of infertility differently? If yes, I would like to hear from you. Do share your experience in the comment section.
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