Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ways to Cope

It's unavoidable. Infertility causes plenty of negative feelings, including depression, anxiety, and worthlessness. It's so easy to let yourself get caught up in those feelings, and let yourself spiral down into dark places.

It takes a lot of courage, and a lot of work, but your life doesn't have to be ruled by these emotions. There are many healthy coping techniques to use that will make life better. posted a list of different techniques to use in their Coping Techniques article, and I heartily second all of them.

"1. Learn about the normal responses to infertility. 
The first step in reducing the stress of infertility is to stop feeling panicky about feeling rotten! Read about the emotional aspects of infertility.

2. Another step in overcoming isolation is to build a bridge back to your family.
All but the least sensitive can be educated about infertility, and can be taught by you how to be helpful and supportive. Ask them to do some reading on infertility. Also, be sure to let them know how you want to be treated.

3. Give yourself permission to cry and be angry.
Don't try to shut off your feelings. If you need to cry about the unfairness of one more pregnancy announcement, go ahead. If you need to pound a pillow or pummel a punching bag, do it. When you try to "snap out of it," you waste all your energy.

4. Give your spouse/partner permission to feel and cope differently than you.
If you're a wife, don't waste energy trying to get your husband to feel as devastated as you do. If you're a husband, don't try to get your wife to be "more like a man," forgetting about infertility except when she's at the doctor's office or in the bedroom.

5. Improve your communication about infertility.
You might try what I call "The Twenty Minute Rule," which forces you to limit the amount of time you talk about infertility in a given evening.

6. Tell your spouse/partner how you want to be helped.
But partners are mere humans, incapable of mind reading. If you need to pass up the family gathering that features five nieces and nephews under two, then say so. If you want to be hugged, or massaged, or left alone for a few minutes, or just listened to without any response, you'll be more likely to get what you want if you ask.

7. Get more information.
One of the worst facets of stress is uncertainty about the future. You can't get a crystal ball, but you can reduce some of your uncertainty by collecting information."

1 comment:

LisserB said...

I'd add a #8. Don't forget to live the life you have right now. It's good too!