Ten minute check-in

Today was couples counseling. Things are good between Mi.Vida and I so we spend couples counseling creating preemptive strategies to deal with issues in the future. One issue that I’m already worried about is my growing anxiety about TTC. I want so badly for this go around to be a positive experience, one not mired in my fears, obsessions and worries. I so want this to be different than the last time.

I was doing pretty well keeping all my crazy shit at bay and then this 21 day cycle showed up and sparked all manner of obsessive anxiety, which I attempted to tame by compulsively researching natural remedies for my short cycles and even shorter luteal phase. I spent most of Friday night researching B6, Vitex and natural progesterone cream. By the time I went to bed my head was spinning and I could barely congratulate myself on not actually ordering any of the products I’d viewed.

One of the symptoms of my anxiety is to worry obsessively over that which I can’t control. TTC and pregnancy are HUGE triggers for me; they are situations over which I have no control despite being deeply invested in the result. The way I combat this is to exert control over the few things I can – by regulating my diet, taking supplements, getting exercise and charting my temps. But I don’t want to do those things this time. I don’t want to let TTC take over my life. That is why I don’t want to write about it much here and why I don’t want to bring it up constantly with Mi.Vida. Not only does it make him miserable but it fans the flames of my anxiety instead of squelch them.

Mi.Vida and I talked about this today in counseling. He was actually thoughtful enough to bring it up first, mentioning that he realized I was feeling stressed but that I wasn’t bringing it up with him. He also assured me that he wanted to be there for me, no matter what. I appreciated that so much, but also explained that I wanted to be more positive and hoped to find a way to bring up TTC only in productive ways.

With our counselor’s guidance we agreed that every day we’d check in about TTC related things for ten minutes. Before I bring up my issues I will make it clear if I’m looking for support or advice. I will then spend ten minutes, and only ten minutes, going over whatever is on my mind. In this way we can tackle these issues together without them overwhelming our relationship. It will also help me to reign in my wildly obsessive thoughts and hone in on or two concerns that are most important. Hopefully it will focus my thoughts more productively.

Our first check-in is in a couple of minutes. We’ll see how it goes.

6 responses

  1. So how did it go? When I was in therapy dealing with SIF 5 years ago my counselor suggested that Bob and I try a 20 minute daily check to discuss our SIF and that worked well for us. I especially appreciate this part of your post:

    “Before I bring up my issues I will make it clear if I’m looking for support or advice.”

    I think this is so important, as men (at least my husband it seems), often want to try to fix things. I think it really does help if we are clear about what kind of feedback (if any) we are looking for or if we just want our significant others to listen and try to validate or feelings.

  2. I hope this is working for you! I am thinking maybe I should impose this on my husband and me in regards to him talking about looking for a new job. He just obsesses, and I am pulling away. I’m going to really think about this…

  3. This sounds like a good strategy … breaking a discussion that makes you anxious into smaller, more manageable bits. I hope it helps! And on the advice vs. understanding? Oh, yeah. We need that …

  4. I’m so glad that things are so much better between you and B. The 10 minute daily ttc check-in sounds like an awesome idea and I hope it’s helping both of you. I may steal it when we get closer to TTC #2 and I’m prone to constant freak-outs.

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