Celebrate Recovery - Infertility Style - Admitting Need


John Baker's book "Life's Healing Choices" offers eight choices we can make to heal from life's hurts, hang-ups, and habits.  Since I am preaching on this for the next several weeks, I thought I'd apply it to this blog and the journey through infertility.

“What people, places, or things do you have the power to control?”
Part of the reality of infertility is discovering how little control over life one does have.  At first you think you can control the medical decisions that will help you to conceive.  But reality is that even if you go through all of the "right" processes - conception, implantation, delivery & live birth may never happen.  On this journey you also discover that you don't have as much control over your emotions as you once thought.  What you do have control over is your attitude and how you will respond to the negativity you face. 
Another hard thing to discover is that your future isn't as much in your hands as society would like you to think.  "Take hold of your future," isn't so easy when your future no longer looks as you had hoped and remains more unknown then you had once mistakenly thought it to be.
Other people's opinions are also outside of your control.  No matter how much you try to educate, correct, inform, and open minds, one can't control or necessarily change their opinions or judgments.
And as a couple you have to make decisions together while respecting your partner's feelings and choices.  This can be hard, especially when outside voices think that you have power or control over your spouse's desires. But to try to control your life partner is not healthy for you, him, or your relationship. 
So there is a lot of things that are outside of your control with infertility, even though the pressure is to try to be in control. People in their comments want you to place your hope in places where that hope is ill-placed.  It is freeing to let go and let what is to be just be.

“What people, places, or things have you been attempting to control? (Be specific)”
During the infertility journey it is so easy to try to control the outcome, the opinions of others, your spouse, your health patterns, and to grab on more tightly where you do have a sense of control.  But deep down you know that you have no control. I see this a lot in my support group.  People grab hold of medical knowledge and pursue more treatments in order to gain a sense of control. And in some ways this is an important step - refinding a sense of agency in the midst of feeling a complete loss of control over your body, your life, and your whole being.

“Describe how you try to control your image, other people, your problems, and your pain.”
I want to look like I am in control of my emotions, even though I am not.  I think most people in the midst of this journey feel insane and try to keep their public image looking sane.  I want to make my mother into the perfect mother, since I don't have the chance of trying to be a good mom myself.  I know I don't have it all together and I want to make other people accept that it is okay that I don't have it all together.  I want to make other people more compassionate and kind and less hurtful.  And I try to control my pain by allowing myself to express it in appropriate ways instead of inappropriate ways. 

“Write down how the fear, frustration, fatigue, and failures of trying to be the general manager of the universe has affected your relationships with God and others.”
The frustration at times can make me avoid talking to God.  The fear has previously made it difficult to make decisions.  And failure for a while made me want to just give up on everything - for a while there was a sense that failure in one place was a failure in them all.  And fatigue just makes one want to sleep and have quiet.

“What specific hurts, hang-ups, or habits have you been denying?”
This journey has helped me to address old hurts.  I think most would say that this is the blessing of infertility - that it pushes you to deal with your hurts, hang-ups, and habits and makes you face the realty that you really aren't in control!

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