Thursday, September 9, 2010

Living in Uncertainty: A Deja-Vu

I've been reminded again at how terrible I am with uncertainty. For the last 6 months, we've been on edge, wondering if we are staying in NY or moving to another state. This not only involves moving our whole lives to a new place, but also losing our support system, friends, family, for what may be an amazing opportunity for DH's career and for our finances. Looking back on this period, has made me realize that I have a coping system that I had used while TTC and that even in this completely unrelated scenario, I find myself doing again. It's almost like my 12-steps, although no sponsor is there to get me back on track when I lose my way.

When faced with a big news, I initially experience a moment of shock, which involves a lot of "I can't do this!", followed by some tears of panic. Then, I start absorbing the news and start thinking of how I can pro-actively overcome the situation. Like during my time of TTC, I research. Yes, research is my salvation. It's the only way I know how to cope with things that are out of my control. I feel empowered by knowledge and somehow, this knowledge brings me to a more accepting state -- "Ok, maybe I can do this!" 

During this research process, I feel compelled to share everything with DH. Poor guy, he comes home at the end of a long day and has to listen to me go on and on about this one topic. I guess by sharing all this new info with him, I'm looking for validation that I'm on the right track and even finding out about a new angle that I may not have covered.  

Once I feel that I have scoured the internet and available literature, I sit there and put things on a balance. Pros and cons. I make lists (mostly mental ones) of various scenarios; plan Bs, Cs and Ds. And I draft action-steps that will get me to the finish line... that I can just as quickly shred to pieces to reenter the world of panic. 

Vacillating back and forth, I eventually reach a point of exhaustion, where I become incapable of thinking straight; where I need someone else to make decision for me. And then, I wake up one day, unable to do anything useful -- even writing this blog that I enjoy so much seems like a challenge. Like a prisoner of my own thoughts, I wait for sentencing day (you can equate this part of the last days of the 2 week wait). During that time, I feel like my life is on pause. I imagine myself in the middle of a busy highway, while people/cars are just whizzing by. During my days of TTC, it was people going about their lives, having kids (that I couldn't have) and careers (that I could no longer handle), while I, stuck in one position by some invisible chains, stand there, completely incredulous that despite my best efforts (remember all that amazing research?!) have no control over the situation. 

I thought I had learned my lesson after coping with the uncertainties of infertility for all those years, but turns out I have still much to learn. Life is filled with obstacles that are meant to make you think, act, and reinvent yourself even. 

I realize that the uncertainty I'm living with now is nothing compared to the uncertainties of infertility. In fact, I am sometimes ashamed that I would even make a big deal out of this impending move, but in the spirit of self-acceptance, I have to let myself go through my own coping process, even if I know deep down that in the end, I will get to the other side of this journey, just as you, dear bloggers/readers will get to the other side of yours. 


Rachael Lynn said...

I truley believe in tears! Sometimes my hubby is good for a shoulder and tissues. I research for a living, and I realized that there are times when I just over think things. When you get to that point, (well, for me anyway), crying helps SO MUCH. That, or a cupcake... ;)

Anonymous said...

I think we have very similar strategies for coping with stressful situations. I will frantically research something, plan for every possible outcome and share the minutiae of all of it with my husband whenever he is around to listen (note to self: "around" does not always mean "willing). Thanks for your comment on my post yesterday. You're right, we have to honor the process of how we're dealing with something, and not get caught up in comparing it to others' stress.

Anonymous said...

I also love to research stuff - DH says that I get obsessed - but for me it is a way to get control over my life - especially with infertility there is so little control, that every bit that you can control, feels like you're empowered in some way...

I'm visiting for the first time from ICLW...

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