Saturday, September 22, 2012

Putting IF in Its Place

Welcome ICLWers!  If you're coming to this blog from other than ICLW, please check out the box on the right column and see what it's all about!  Go ahead...connect with others who "get it."  You won't be sorry you did.

I'm a therapist specializing in infertility and adoption.  I could go on and on about why I'm writing here, but here are the basics:
  • I've dealt with both infertility and adoption
  • I feel I've navigated both waters pretty well (and about a year of time when I was adamant child-free living was for me)
  • I'm convinced that helping others is precisely why I had to experience the heartbreak and difficulty
Welcome!

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There was a time in my former IF life when I would be moving along swimmingly and the smallest, most trivial thing would remind me that I was infertile. 

Once when I was hiking I stopped to marvel at the beauty of a tree.  Harmless, right?  Eh-hem.  Here were my thoughts:

"What a gorgeous tree!  I wonder how old it is?  I wonder what this place looked like when it was just a seedling?  Oh!  Look!  What a cool branch with a little nook to sit in!  I bet I could climb that tree and sit there with a great book for a couple of hours.  The branch should be pretty strong.  I bet it's strong enough for a treehouse let alone me!  Aww...a treehouse.  Wouldn't it be fun to build a treehouse?  I can picture T and our son or daughter making a weekend project of that.  I bet they'd be all cute and dirty in overalls..."

It went downhill from there.  Trust me. 

The point is, when one is dealing with IF, IF is in everything.  In every thought.  In every experience.  In every wish.  In every seemingly benign walk down the street.  Heck, I bet a bowl of alphabet soup would randomly spell out "baby," just because an infertile was eating it.

Today I was researching for a work-related thing and came across this book that I want to purchase from Amazon:

When I went to add it to my wish list, this is what I found:


If anybody ever asks me the definition of irony again, I'm just going to show them these screen shots.  Seriously.  IF is inescapable. 

Obviously there are things that happen in our universe that are totally out of our control.  IF in particular feels like one gigantic chunk of chaos, tossing us every which way until we (hopefully) find some sort of footing.  However, it doesn't have to be that way.

Hear me out!

Think about this.  When we are living life in the infertile world, IF becomes prominent.  Obviously.  It probably looks something like this:


In reality, though, your life is filled with many more things aside from IF.  I gather you don't sit around all day and think about IF, right?  Even if you use the bathroom and take a shower, you're doing something else besides dealing with IF.

What would happen if you put IF in its rightful place?  What would happen if you start to realize and emphasize the things outside of IF?  It might look something like this:


IF is there. And it's prominent.  But it's not the majority of your life.  You're a wonderful person with lots going on and you deserve to find some peace by putting IF in its rightful place with the rest of the important things.

Starting today!  Give yourself an hour to do something else besides getting on Dr. Google and finding the next New Age remedy to try.  Put IF in its proper place.  YOU are the boss of IF!  It's time to feel empowered!

Until next time...be well,

~M


P.S. You must excuse my bad art...or laugh at it.  Whichever. 

24 comments:

  1. So I found your blog not too long ago. And I'm so glad I did. I am in the process LCSW supervision, working in the mental health field. Dealing with IF the last 13 months. And seriously considering making a career out of therapy practice specializing in IF. You know, once I'm more removed from the situation. Thanks for passing on what you've learned!

    www.auntmimi2010.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh I'm so glad!!! More and more REs are requiring counseling for those seeking treatment....there's going to be a big need. Go for it! :)

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  2. Damn, Amazon. Open mouth, insert foot. Nice work.

    Did you check the suggestions for other items to buy? Perhaps they thought someone interested in this book might also like "Natural Childbirth" and "Your Infant From 0-12 Months" or whatever.

    And as always, I love your thoughts and advice.

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    1. Yeah really, Amazon. Haha...you're right about the possible suggestions...Amazon apparently likes to traumatize like that.

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  3. Hello back from ICLW!! This is a great blog you have. I'm excited to browse around some more. :)

    ICLW #3

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    1. Hi there! Thanks for the return visit! Glad you're going to look around a bit. :)

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  4. Hello from ICLW! I'm so glad I found your blog. This post was EXACTLY what I needed today!

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    1. Hi there! I'm so glad you found this post helpful! :)

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  5. Hi from ICLW! What a wonderful post. I love your pictures and I have to say, my train of thought is definitely similar to yours (with the tree). Even now, being pregnant, I still think, what if, what if, what if. Thanks for the post--you've gained a follower :)

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    1. It's good to know there are like-minded people out there...haha! Thanks for following along, and congrats on your pregnancy! :)

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  6. I had a "Coping with Infertility" book which I found really depressing at the start, but better later on as my treatment went on for longer.

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    1. Oh goodness...nobody wants that depressing "Coping" book....not great. :-( I'm glad you eventually found it helpful, though. Do you remember the title?

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  7. Hello. Here from ICLW! LOVE your post and the graphics to it! I definitely want to read through some of your older posts. Add me to your list of followers :)

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, and welcome! Hoping that some of the older posts are helpful to you as well. :)

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  8. Hi from ICLW,

    I don't struggle with IF, but I can relate to this post. I lost my daughter in June, just 9 hours after she was born. Every thought I have, everything that I see, every person that I come in contact with somehow brings me back to my loss. It consumes my life. This post was helpful. Just wanted you to know that your post resonated with me too :)

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    1. I'm so sorry for your loss, Annalee...I can absolutely understand how it would consume every waking moment. Perhaps this post should be entitled "Putting Heartbreak in It's Place." Thanks so much for sharing.

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  9. I have had too many experiences like your tree one or the baby register. It is all around me no matter where I look. I was at the gym the other day coming out of the locker room and what was on the coat rack but the cutest,tiniest, little rain jacket. All I could think about is the little one that owns it and then I started longing for that baby that we don't have. Love the post. Glad I am not alone.

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    1. Ah, yes...the tiny clothes. You are absolutely not alone, and I'm so glad this post helped you in feeling less so.

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  10. I love your infographics Maria! how fabulous

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  11. I love the graphics too. Great post!

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  12. Hi Maria,

    I hope you are well. Just checking in on your blog after a long time (been a good busy summer:) The Amazon thing....OMG...months ago I had a huge fight with them on the phone because they make you put a due date for the registry and cant register without one!!! This adoptive mom to be had many words with someone who answers the phone in India for Amazon! I don't think it went anywhere but it really made me feel good:)

    Wishing you the best,
    Kamsamnida:),


    Jen

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    1. Annyeonghaseyo, Jen! Good to hear from you! Ugh...I can't believe a due date is a forced entry for the registry. I'm glad you at least got to bend someone's ear about that; although I do hope they do something about that in the future.

      Can't wait 'til you can drop the "to be" in your handle. ;-)

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Thanks! You've grown a few more brain cells by commenting. No really...you have.