Sep 6, 2018

Mind Work

I often get asked how I was able to come to the level of peace that I have after walking away from IVF, and the dreams I had hoped those treatments would bring me.

I think a lot of times people are hoping for the quick fix.
Unfortunately, like all lifestyle changes, it takes consistent effort and discipline, and truth be told, I am still working on it. It will likely take a lifetime, but I'm willing to keep moving forward.

It is incredibly hard to make a permanent adjustment in your brain, when it's so used to doing something on auto-pilot, even if it's detrimental to your well-being and those around you.

I can assure you it gets worse before it gets much, much better, but I can promise you there is a light at the end of the tunnel...even if the tunnel is filled with shit a la Shawshank Redemption.

The process to change my thinking came after many, many days (week? months?) barely floating just above the surface of grief and depression. Those foggy days consumed my entire being, and while I may have looked relatively normal on the outside, engaging in conversation, being social, and even laughing, I was dying on the inside.

I was ashamed of how generally awful I felt, so I hid it from those that saw me and heard my words every day. People are supposed to be happy. Happy attracts happy, so I just pushed those negative feelings to the side and ignored them.

But they would eventually bubble to the surface, and I would lash out, typically on Mark.

At some point along the way I became disgusted with myself.
That became Day 1 of the post-traumatic growth. That was the day I said ENOUGH.
I came home from work, angered at how easily it always was for me to get irritated, and decided to change the way I viewed my life.

I had grown weary of trying to mask the way I felt.
And I felt this way because I spent the majority of my time wondering how things would be now if the past was different.

Let me repeat, I was sad and depressed almost daily because I kept trying to re-hash, justify, and make sense of my past. Like it was a big mistake and maybe there was something I could have done differently to have made it right.

But that's the kicker, my friends, how the past went WAS. RIGHT. It was right because it happened, whether I liked it or not. It happened exactly how it was supposed to happen, and trying to argue with it and change it will only be met with a loss for words or understanding.

Dwelling on your past and wishing it were different will literally get you nowhere.

I knew this but did nothing but feel sorry for myself for MONTHS.

Until that one day, when I so fed up with myself, so disgusted with how I was ignoring my beautifully broken life, that I decided to stop trying to change the past and instead, focus on what I could control in the present.

And with that notion, I left you for the summer to work on my life, just as it is, with my amazing husband by my side.

And friends, it has been EPIC.
I am writing today in the buzz and haze of Mark's birthday bash that I had been diligently planning for many, many months. (okay, almost a year) Turning 40 is a big deal in my book, and I wasn't about to miss out on an opportunity to sharpen my party planning skills with a huge celebration.

This amazing bash capped off one of my favorite summers to date. (and if you follow me on INSTAGRAM, you saw all the chaos before, during, and after!) Truth be told, this summer wasn't without it's hiccups and blips of grief and issues along the way...but they all seemed to be woven in between amazing memories, sunny skies, and one too many White Claws.

I felt empowered, fierce, unstoppable, courageous, encouraged and filled with happiness and joy most days.

And sometimes I also felt sad, beaten-down, less-than, incapable, sluggish and generally bad about myself.

But that's just it, folks. You have to embrace and recognize ALL. OF. IT. You don't get to just have a perfectly happy life with no issues. You can't expect that of yourself or others. So just get right the Hell over that nonsense. Sorry, it's just not how life works. But those incredibly shitty days make you realize just how amazing the good days are.

I may have dove off the deep end in my joy. Not that I have any regrets.

Chopping off 8+ inches of your hair and dying it platinum blonde will make you feel awesome, by the way, if you're looking for something dramatic.

I loved harder than ever and fiercely protected my boundaries and sanity in this season. I may have seen some people less but I found myself more. To me, that's all that truly matters. Sometimes you have to put your own happiness first, even if others don't quite catch on to your reasons right away.

If they loved you through your seasons of grief and despair, they will love you through your seasons of happiness, without jealousy, competition, or bitterness.

I started giving myself exactly what I needed, instead of looking to outside sources, events, or people to provide it for me

And that made it a damn good summer, indeed.
Thanks for reading. XO.