Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Happiness

The amazing Mel has done it again, now in a series revolving around happiness. (I tried to link her, but for some reason Blogger isn't letting me!) You may be asking, “What has she done?” Well she has made me think. Truly think.

She has asked us about our definition of happiness. Seems like a simple enough question. But to me it was hard. And what I realized while thinking about it was OMG powerful; very scary in many ways and a huge AHA moment.

I know that despite all of the shit that occurs with infertility, I’m happy with my current life. It is just tough to see it, well, because of all the shit that is infertility. (I know I am just so eloquent.) And I also know that I could be happier.

That is when it happened.

I realize that I’ve been giving up on my own happiness, in hope that my self sacrifice would bring my ultimate reward. Yes, how CRAZY is that? Especially considering it doesn’t mean anything. Most people who achieve pregnancy are all about their own happiness and selfishness. They never had to self sacrifice. It sounds insane to me now. But, I know that I have been doing a little bit at a time – giving up on my happiness.

But it is HYSTERICAL to me that about a year ago I refused to take away one more bit of happiness in my life. Coffee. I actually only have one caffeinated drink a day. But it is usually a cup of coffee. I sip. Enjoy it thoroughly. A little International D*light or milk and sugar, either way leaves me enjoying my start of my day. My simple bit of normalcy, that is what I held on to.

Humans amaze me. And I am definitely human. Once I started to think about all of this, I realized that the factors of what makes me happy are also the factors that hold me back with IVF. Again, a what the heck moment?

Let me explain. In this thought process, I realized one of the key things to my happiness is stability. Now, that word means a lot of things. It means stability at work and at home. But, when I think of stability, I mean financial stability. I need to know that I will be able to pay my bills and put food on the table at all times. The thought of not being able to do those things scares the CRAP out of me. So does debt. I mean I have debt, but it is a calculated amount of debt, i.e. mortgage, car loan, credit card. Nothing that we can’t handle and still maintain a comfortable life style. I value that enormously.

If we didn’t have it, I know that I would be miserable. And I think it is why I am fearful of spending more money on something that I know may not work. I know that if we never get pregnant and I spend the money. I’ll never be able to forgive myself. To me the waste is bigger than not trying.

Stability, before infertility also meant a constant weight. I was happier at 145. After I stopped taking the pill, and we started trying. Well, my weight was far from constant. It started to fluctuate. It became a struggle. And for nearly three years, I decided in my self sacrificing that my weight had to be one of those things. I’m not sure what has happened in the last few weeks. A breaking point maybe? But now, I am taking that happiness back. I feel better for it. Happier.

It could be because it lends itself to control. Feeling that I have some kind of control in my life is also key. Feeling out of control, it makes me feel unhappy, to say the least. And infertility definitely takes away control. My body has taken control. I don’t like it. But it isn’t a necessarily a bad lesson to learn. Since I am sure that it is a lesson many people learn, just later in life. As a result, it is something that I will get used to. More so than I have as of yet – perish the thought – but a realistic one.

See, I also like change and hate feeling stagnate. Change is part of life. Your life expanding is part of change. Infertility has taken how I thought my life would naturally change. Instead, I am seeking change. But, change for the sake of change, I think is not a smart idea. Struggling with this part of my happiness, since even the things that I think would be a good change (i.e. selling our condo) is out of my control and very frustrating.

Also, I value routine and normalcy. Why I think why my coffee has been a constant. Although, I would think that these are less important to maintaining my happiness because I routinely know that I can only control my own routine. That for example T has no routine or normalcy due to his work. At times this brings me down, and I need to know things like if he will be home for dinner and at what time. Other times, I am resigned to his schedule and I focus on my own routine and normalcy.

My coffee is actually even more important to me during treatments. Maybe it is my attempt of keeping something normal, when my whole routine is changed. Like I may need to get up an hour and half earlier to go to for blood draws or ultrasound, but I am ok as long as I am able to treat myself after the fact with a cup of delicious coffee.

This time period has not been all for not, since it also introduced a new bit thing that makes me happy – yoga. But it is how it makes me feel, peaceful. Who doesn’t like to feel that way? Every Wednesday, I leave there with that feeling in abundance. So, I know I love feeling that way. But, I also know that it is not something that I have constantly, but just that hour helps place me find happiness.

Ultimately, I guess that I do know having a baby is not the end all be all of my happiness. I think it would increase it in a certain extent. But doing things and forsaking my happiness is not bringing me closer to a baby, it will only make me miserable. No amount of sacrifice will help. So why continue to do that? What good is that?

So happiness is a new goal. Thanks Mel, I needed that reminder.


Anonymous said...

Awesome post, Dianne. I'm cheering along with you!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I read the post on her site as well, I wish I would've gotten out of it what you did. This is a great post and I plan to re-read it later when I can. I think that I have forgotten about my own happiness as well. Sometimes it is just so damn hard though...

Thanks for sharing.

Susan said...

In a way I think we all strive to happiness, just the way we get there is a different road for everyone.

JJ said...

Thanks for sharing...give us all motivation to search for that happy place=)

Samantha said...

That's a very thoughtful post. I understand the feeling of sometimes feeling like by sacrificing your own happiness, you will get pregnant. It's good to remember that it actually isn't true. It's also good for Mel to remind us of trying to keep up some happiness even while being denied something we want, and that baby does not equal happiness.

Pamela T. said...

Really liking the new blog look. As for your post, lots of great food for thought here. This in particular: "Feeling that I have some kind of control in my life is also key. Feeling out of control, it makes me feel unhappy, to say the least. And infertility definitely takes away control."

I definitely needed to feel that I had the upper hand in the infertility fight. Still do -- only this time is a tug of war with my heart not my body...

Mama Bear said...

I love the new blog look! I hardly recognized it when I surfed over today. :-)

And, you're so right about feeling like you have some control--and trying to keep some semblance of "normal" when you're cycling.

Thanks for sharing this!

CAM said...

It is always a goal to try and feel some balance and normalcy during all of this. Great post...thanks for the thoughts.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I also love the new look.

And think that it's wonderful when you take those seconds for yourself. When you drink that coffee and take back some of the control.

Kristen said...

First off, I love the new layout. Totally fab!

And I am totally with you on the coffee. You must be my java twin! I just can't give up my cup a day. I really enjoy my Starbucks and it is the one thing that I can count on to give me comfort everyday.

Baby Blues said...

Love the new look and the new goal! Wonderful post. Yes, I agree. I'll join you in making happiness my new goal too.