Monday, 31 August 2015

#MicroblogMondays: There are no shortcuts to healing

About 13 years ago, Sarah, a wise friend with an amazing spirit, gave me a hard-to-hear message during my second ectopic pregnancy. “Unfortunately,” she said, “you don’t get a Get Out of Jail Free card just because you’ve done this once, and you will have to go through it all over again.” When Sarah said those words to me, I didn’t realise that I’d have to go through it all a third time (as in fact she also had done), when I would have to grieve and accept a life without children.

I remember also being frustrated the only time I saw a counsellor, and realised (in horror!) that there were no tools or techniques that would help me cope with loss or childlessness, there were no short-cuts, no easy or painless steps towards healing that would magically turn my life around.

The truth is that we can do everything we think we need to do to be happy in our new life – we can stop (or choose not to start) treatments/adoption proceedings, pursue new interests, move away, try to bring children or nurturing into our lives, quit our jobs or change our professions, travel, volunteer, etcetera – but if we haven’t done the emotional work of grieving and acceptance (of our situations and be ourselves),  no changes in lifestyle or profession or relationships will really help us.

Even if I had known then what I know now, understanding what helped me and what held me back, I still needed to go through it all to come out the other side. I’m glad though. Though the long way round is very hard, I have met wonderful people along the way, learned important lessons, and grown in ways I would never have imagined.







11 comments:

  1. I too have a clear recollection of the realization that our counselor could not provide us with any immediate relief. Ultimately I have found counseling extremely helpful but not in the way I had hoping during those early intense grief filled days.

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  2. Yes. You have to slog through the grief, there's no magical pill to make it all go away and become well-adjusted all at once. And it doesn't happen quickly... I knew grief was an evolving thing but it does sometimes surprise me when it pops up all over again, feeling pretty fresh. But then it recedes to the background again. I am learning that feeling grief doesn't take away from my joy and excitement of what the future holds, it's not something to feel guilty about. Great message!

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  3. Sage advice. I believe this is exactly like losing a loved one when they pass on. There are stages to go through and you just have to go through them and come out the other side and start to heal. It's just how things have to happen. When you have a good long cry, you feel better afterwards.

    I've started growing herbs. I think that's the nurturing part coming to light. It's rewarding to see them bloom after such hard work to keep them alive.

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  4. This post is also one of the reasons I loved the Magicians series. Until the end of the second book, the main character keeps talking about how he has set up his life to be happy and still happiness hasn't come. That he's looking for that shortcut through the pain of life. He gets to the point you got to eventually, though it takes him 2 out of 3 books.

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  5. One day, one step.

    Hope filled post.

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  6. I agree completely, grieving and getting into the emotions is tough and messy BUT it's necessary if we want to have a fulfilling life.

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  7. I too wanted a shortcut. But I'm learning every day that I can't go around this, I have to go through it.

    P.S. I think you could sell motivational posters. :)

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  8. Agreed. :) It sucks, but there's no easy way around it!

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  9. And when you come out the other end, you're so much stronger than you ever realized

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  10. Very wise words. I was fortunate enough to have been able to read so many infertility blogs (particularly the CNBC blogs) that helped me through, because the people in my real life didn't have the slightest clue on how to support me. And that's made a HUGE difference in my healing process.

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  11. Thank you for posting this. I've found there's a cultural push (at least where I live in the US) to focus only on the positive aspects of an experience or strongly emphasize only the learning as opposed to the pain - and all this is pushed to happen quickly as well. However, grief has its own timetable and process. You are absolutely right, there is no shortcut.

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