Managing Pretty Well
I had therapy today. It was the first time I’ve been since my “diagnosis.”
I realized after I’d been over most of it that I was actually doing pretty well. I feel like I was almost MORE depressed when I went in two weeks ago, before my diagnosis. And when I think about how much worse I was when I was only six month into trying for Isa (right before my ectopic), it becomes even more apparent how well I’m doing right now.
I mean, all things considered, I’m doing pretty well.
Am I scared? Yes, definitely. Am I anxious, absolutely. Am I angry? You bet. But none of those feelings are overwhelming. None threaten my ability to function. At least not right now.
Even my depression seems better, which flummoxes me, as I just got some really bad news. I wonder if the two short weeks of my diet have helped. Or if it’s the simple releasing of expectations that has made things feel so much more manageable. Whatever it is, I’m thankful for it. While the days still feel too long and sometimes too stifling, there are more moments when everything (or at least most things) feel alright. There are more moments when I feel happy.
Maybe it’s that I’ve stopped taking what I have for granted. I appreciate what I have more, now that I know it might be all that I get. I appreciate that the road to my daughter was not rockier, because I doubt the me of 3.5 years ago could have handled a diagnosis like the one I was recently given. That kind of uncertainty would have killed me.
(Maybe it’s just that it’s Saturday. )
It doesn’t kill me now. That is what I realized in therapy today. I CAN handle this. I can manage these fears, this anxiety. I can compartmentalize my sadness and my anger. I can navigate my life despite this hardship.
Of course everything is not all unicorn farts and fairy queefs. There are still tears. There are still body wracking sobs. There is still breathtaking fear. There are still stoney silences. There is still the desire to retreat into the land of the loss.
But most days, I can manage the land of the living. Some days I even enjoy it.
When we first started testing I worried our issues would be unexplained and I wouldn’t know how to proceed. Ironically, we now have two possible explanations for our struggles and not knowing how to proceed is still my number one worry. That and being on a different page than Mi.Vida. I worry we won’t know what to do. We won’t be able to agree on an adequate course of action.
Luckily, those decisions don’t need to be made just yet. Right now we just need to get through the day to day. We need to learn to incorporate this diet into our lives without bringing a lot of stress along with it. We need to learn to be close to each other again, despite this massive shit storm brewing around us. We have to learn to find joy in the every day, because the future is never known to us and waiting for it to be happy is a futile exercise in probable disappointment.
I have to admit, I am proud of myself. It turns out I DID learn a lot about managing my anxiety and depression during our last attempt at TTC. It also turns out that all I did the first time was worth it–was probably necessary–to achieve that much wanted pregnancy. My therapist helped me to feel validated in the choices I made back then, even though no one understood them at the time. Recognizing that self-validation gives me strength to make the hard choices now, to dedicate myself to the difficult causes of eating better and making time for mind/body work.
There are still rough days ahead. Just today my grandmother pushed me to commit to travel dates to see her this summer. It’s assumed I will be there when my cousin is also in town, with her brand new baby boy (he’ll be six months by then) and her daughter who is younger than Isa. I don’t know if I can manage a week with my cousin, who started trying after me and will have a six month old before I’m even pregnant, but I also know that I can’t possibly avoid it. There will be other situations like that, difficult ones that make the it harder to breath and sleep and get through the days. I know this. And while I can’t be ready for them, I also realize that right now, I don’t have to be.
So many babies due in my reader. I am steadying myself for the complicated mix of emotions–the pure joy interconnected with desperate hurt–of “meeting” them in the coming weeks. I know it will be hard.
But I also know that I can do it.
For maybe the first time I really believe I can manage this.