Boy have I changed over the last few years.
It’s been a journey and it’s had its challenges.
I was thinking about how I used to handle things the other day… like when things didn’t go the way I’d expected.
You know that feeling? You think something is going to happen, or that something will never happen to you…. And then the opposite happens.
It’s like a rip tide.
You hop in the ocean for a quick dunk, and all of a sudden you’re being thrust out to sea. You didn’t see that coming! It catches you off guard.
I remember when we were trying for a baby. I’d done all the prep work. I was healthy. This was going to be a walk in the park.
And then it wasn’t.
At first I was just taken aback.
And then each month brought with it soul crushing, heart tightening, blurry eyed WTF.
I started panicking. What was going on? This wasn’t supposed to happen. Why me? Like I was stuck in a rip tide.
Desperation sunk in as I frantically tried to push forward.
And then I felt hopeless.
I’d been caught in a rip and tried to go against the current to frantically get back to shore, trying to convince myself this wasn’t happening, and then got tired.
We’re all really good at handling things when they go our way, but when they don’t, well, that’s the making of us. And it was the making of me.
Things turned around for me when, after years of trying, I fell really ill with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, and then had a miscarriage.
I’d been through the ringer, just to have a miscarriage?
It’s so easy in those times to lose hope. To decide that you’re not going to get your hopes up because you don’t want to come crashing down too hard. To say, you’ll expect the worst because then it can only get better.
I’ve thought all of those things.
But these days though, I think SCREW THAT!
That’s like thinking that you might get caught in a rip, so you’re not even going to go into the water. Where’s the fun in that?
I WANT to want good stuff to happen.
I want to spend as much time as I can living a joyful life, absent of fear or worry.
I want to live in the now.
But when things unexpectedly turn bad, that’s when I try to put into practice all of the things I’ve learnt over the years.
To me, it’s all about acceptance, and it’s all about resilience.
When you get caught in a rip tide, the easiest way to get out is to calmly swim sideways until you’re out of that violent, swirling water, and you can calmly swim back to shore.
There came a point for me when I thought
‘You know what? It is what it is. This is our story. This has a process, and I just need to trust it will play its course. I could panic. I could fight it until I was worn out. I could do worry and wallow in my sadness. But I choose not to.’
I chose to keep plugging away gently at my goals. I chose to put on my big girl boots and have a good look at my situation from the outside. I chose to get back up and live my life. I chose to do everything I could to return to the happy state I was in before. And it worked.
It’s not an instant fix. It takes time and you have to work on positive mental habits like gratitude and mindfulness, but it’s been so worth it! Second time around, I’ve felt like IVF has been easier. I even feel like I’ve coped better when I had Chloe (aka the baby who doesn’t follow the rules!) because I’m so much better at going with the flow, trusting the process, and looking on the bright side of life.
Boy, I really am a different person…
How do you survive the ups and downs and unexpected forks in the road?
P.S. I shared some tips for how to cultivate healthy habits in my Happy Mind Challenge. If you took part, comment below and let me know what you thought!