Looking Out Instead of In

tunnel vision

I have this really terrible habit of getting tunnel vision. I focus so strongly on the things I am doing, to the detriment of everything else around me. Part of it is definitely due to my addictive personality, another is my need to be in control of things. As time goes on, I am starting to notice that my lack of control in some aspects of my life are causing me to put a death grip on other things.

I never used to be so controlling and it’s frustrating and scary. I have this constant need to be busy and doing something or going somewhere or, just ANYTHING. I have to go and do and be. I have to control the minutiae in day to day, but can’t make any concrete decisions. If you ask me what I want for dinner I will stare blankly at you and tell you I don’t know. But if you reorganize the stuff on my desk your head will roll. And don’t even try suggesting somewhere to go, as I certainly won’t want to eat that.

It’s becoming really frustrating when I sit down and recognize what I’m doing. The issue is that I typically don’t recognize what I’m doing. I’m just blindly keeping busy. But why? WHY? Because the one thing I can control in my life right now is what I am doing at any moment.

I need to start making a cognizant try at correcting this behavior and/or harnessing this behavior for the good. Making good habits. Stop eating like shit. Go back to the gym. Attend yoga. Spend less money. Buy less shit. One can try at least, right?

Glutton for Punishment

The last 2 months have been nothing but a blur for me. First was Infertility Advocacy Day, then  WordCamp Northeast Ohio, and lastly, just to punish myself some, I started a new job in April. I’ve done a lot of things over the past couple of months and I haven’t written about them. I might get to it.

One thing I’ve noticed though is that I seem to be a glutton for punishment of some sort. I have to constantly be going and doing something or I feel like I am wasting my time. Yet, when I pause and looks around I always feel like I’m doing nothing and just spinning my wheels and everyone else is so much busier then I am.

And I’m not sure why. I am definitely thinking it is something to be examined though.

National Infertility Awareness Week: #StartAsking

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As many of you know, and some of you don’t, this week, April 24-30 is National Infertility Awareness Week. And as anyone might guess, this is a case near and dear to my heart. I am one of the 1 in 8 couples in the United States that was dealt the card of infertility. Within the infertility community, I fall into an even smaller percentage, the 20% of couples for which there is no known cause for our infertility. As I like to tell people, based on what we can test for, Bill and I should be at Duggar fertility levels.

But that, sadly, is not the case for us. Instead we’ve spent 8 long years trying to build the family we desire. Hundreds of injections, doctors appointments, and thousands of dollars, in the pursuit of what happens for most people as a fun romp in the sack and an afterthought. It’s brought us closer as a couple, but alienated us from friends and family. As I blogged about last year for NIAW, it even caused me to have a nervous breakdown at one point.

This years motto is Start Asking. This could be something as simple as reaching out to your friends and family for support. Or it could be raising your voice to the highest levels and joining me at Infertility Advocacy Day on May 11th in Washington DC. No matter how you choose to Start Asking, the more we talk about our infertility, and normalize it, the less stigma and shame that surrounds it.

I wouldn’t be ashamed to tell my family I had diabetes. I should be ashamed to tell them I have infertility. Both are diseases that drastically impact our lives. Both cause us to need support from those near and dear to us. Both require empathy from those around us. But one is more well known in the community at large because it’s talked about. The only way we can get that same recognition is by starting the conversation. By demanding equal access to care. To Start Asking for what we need.

So this year, Start Asking. Your friends, family, employers, state, federal government. Start Asking them to recognize our disease for what it is, a disease.

Yoga is my BFF

12801092_10156519614140697_369452911248984335_nFor anyone that has talked with or seen me recently, they would know I have a new obsession. For those that don’t, I have a new obsession. Yoga.

I finally broke down after having my regular doctor, my psychiatrist, and my reproductive endocrinologist all suggest I try yoga. I signed up for a beginners workshop, as I’d tried the at home videos in the past and not enjoyed it.

Turns out being in a supportive studio is what I needed. After the beginners workshop I signed on for the annual pass and have been trying to attend a minimum of 3-4 classes a week.

I’ve also noticed a huge boost to not only my mental well-being, but my physical well-being as well. I haven’t lost any weight from it, but I have gained the obvious flexibility. On top of that though I’ve also noticed that my resting pulse rate has dropped to an average of 72, compared to an average of 84 before I started yoga.

The mental health part is no joke though. I feel significantly less stressed, and my anxiety has been easy to control. Bill also noticed during my last retrieval that my overall mood was completely different from the first time. I’m sure part of that was being proactive and going back to counseling and back on an antidepressant, but I also know a part of it is the yoga. I feel a difference in my entire frame of mind if I go too long between classes.

I definitely recommend anyone that has stress, anxiety, and/or depression to give it a try. Find a supportive studio that has yogi’s that really make it work for you, and you’ll be surprised how addicted you’ll get!

Nurturing Your Relationship Through Infertility

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For my February RESOLVE Peer-led Support Group I covered the topic of relationships. I figured it was fitting given Valentine’s Day.

Infertility really puts your relationship through the wringer. It brings up topics most couples never thought they would have to discuss, and the scientific process of making a baby can be a real buzz kill in the sex department.

I created this handout however to hopefully give people some idea’s on how to defeat the dolldrums that come with infertility babymaking and get the spark back.

Infertility might forever change our relationship, but we can try and mold it into something positive. If you’d like to download the guide, you can click the image above or click here to download the Nurturing Your Relationship Through Infertility handout.

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