A Fresh Start- 3 Ways to Move Beyond Infertility
Months of shots, waiting, treatments, anxiety, stress. Fertility treatments can take a toll on your mind and body. The list of what you’re actually going through goes on and on. Infertility is an obstacle. It’s filled with emotion and uncertainty. It’s something out of your control and difficult to handle, even for the strongest at heart. So maybe you’re at the point where you decide it’s time to stop treatment. Whether cost, age, your eggs no longer being viable or simply being tired of the process, choosing to end treatment is very personal and comes with a lot of emotion. It’s a decision that no one really understands but you and your partner. It also comes with the question of, what now? What do you do now that you’ve decided on a different path?
For one it’s important to realize that life is full of many beautiful things and opportunities. And even though having a child may not be one of them, it’s ok. Take a look around you. I bet you’re loved and have built a life that is unique and amazing. So even though you may not have a child, life goes on. There’s more to life than being a parent. You shouldn’t think of yourself as unsuccessful or a failure. You’re the complete opposite. You’re full of many layers just waiting to be uncovered.
Yes it’ll take time to heal and come to terms with your decision but there’s more in store for you. Start with the next three steps. Have an open mind and develop a belief that healing begins by looking forward and putting any negative thoughts behind you. Don’t label your journey as unsuccessful, see it as one door closing and others opening. It’s time to discover the opportunities that await- a fresh start.
1. Reconnect with Your Interests
Think about your life, what makes you happy and what do you truly love doing. Make these things your top priority. Many people love to explore, and travel. Perhaps you fall in this category. There are so many opportunities out there just waiting to be discovered. Get back in touch with the interests you had before you contemplated having a child. Chances are over the years you’ve lost touch with the things you used to prioritize because all your time and energy was put into having a baby. So now give yourself permission to make a switch. Switch back to the hopes and dreams you once had and make them a reality.
Want to travel more? Amazing, now’s the time to do it. Interested in finding a new hobby. Good idea! Hobbies can take your mind off the craziness of your daily life and relieve stress and anxiety. Having a hobby helps you unwind, relax and provides a sense of purpose. Maybe you want to join a social group? Great. Find a group that shares similar interests such as hiking, or book clubs. Regardless, it’s time to rebuild a life you’ll love. Connect with people that have similar interests or better yet, those that have the same experiences as you. Making a social connection is shown to improve mental health and well-being. So don’t hesitate to reach out. Base your “next step” on your passions and create a plan that’ll give you a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
2. Find Support for Your New Journey
Change, adjustment. Those are things you’re going to face now that you’ve decided to move forward. And of course, those are also the most difficult. So many of us have a vision of what our lives should look like. But frankly how do we even know what tomorrow will bring? We don’t. So instead of focusing on what you always thought would “be,” find comfort knowing that therapy can give you guidance and support on what will be your new journey.
Reaching out to a therapist, someone who won’t judge you and allows you to express your emotions freely can help you heal. Seeing a therapist can also provide you the opportunity to-
Acknowledge your feelings
Learn healthy coping skills
Identify your values now that you’re moving on
Practice self-care and compassion
Just remember you’re going through a lot right now, and the best thing you can do is give yourself a break. Be kind to yourself, and focus on self-care and development. Speaking with a therapist also gives you a sense of comfort because your emotions are validated and you’re not being judged. No one is going to tell you it’s wrong to stop treatment, and on one is going to tell you you’re wrong for moving forward. It’s your life, your journey, and you deserve to feel supported in your decision. You’re not a failure, you’re human- and there’s always another path to take. Therapy can show you that.
3. Find Another Way to Express Your Love
Ok so children aren’t in the cards, but what about pets or others in your close knit circle? You have so many talents and so much love to give. Family isn’t viewed in the traditional sense anymore. Family is based on surrounding yourself with those who love and care about you. You don’t need a child to feel loved or to give love in return. If you’re an aunt, spend some extra time being the “best aunt in the world!” Maybe you want to volunteer your time at a children’s hospital or in your community. There are plenty of ways to give back and dedicate yourself. All you have to do is reach out. Whatever you decide to do, make it about giving your all to those who appreciate and reciprocate your care.
Yes, You Can Be Happy
But above all, be happy. Life is a gift and even though having a child didn’t work out, there is so much out there to experience. Yes, you’re going to feel sad and maybe even a bit lonely at times, but that’s only normal and feelings everyone has. Your choice, your journey is yours. And you never have to be ashamed. Live your life to the fullest, regardless of what that looks like for you.