The first part of my Mind and Body weekend workshop can be found here. This is the second part.
We did some cognitive restructuring. I found this helpful, but I'm not sure I can describe it accurately for all of you. The idea is that any situation we are in (infertility) is connected to the feelings we have by our thoughts. So the situation of infertility makes us angry, sad, etc by our thoughts. And example might be "I will never be pregnant." The goal is to figure out where those thoughts come from, examine whether they are logical, and whether there is actually any evidence to support those thoughts.
And here is where it gets tricky. Some of the thoughts I have and others have come from the internet. Most of the other people there, including the facilitator, blamed all the IF blogs out there for creating negative thoughts and contributing to our stress and negative feelings. I disagreed with most of what they were saying and when talking to DH about it, he also thought they were missing out on much of the support I get from my fellow bloggers (that would be you!). After thinking about it, I do think that the time I spend on a particular message board is not productive and contributes to my tendency to let IF take over my life. So I need to think about how or whether to decrease my time there. I don't want to lose some of the connections I have with some women there who don't blog, so I'm not sure what to do.
But blogging and, more importantly, participating in the blogging community, is different for me. It has been the biggest contributor to my decreased feelings of loneliness in this journey. I do think there are times when I read the story of a couple who have been trying for seven years or so and wonder if we will find ourselves seven years down the line in the same position as we are now. That makes me depressed and leads to thoughts that I will never get pregnant. But the feeling I get when I get comments is an exquisitely positive feeling. It really is like a hug from someone who has been walking in my shoes.
Being able to write out my thoughts has been a tremendous stress relief and outlet for all my anxieties. I guess I could write in just a journal that is not a blog, but hearing back from all of you that my experiences, thoughts, and feelings are normal makes me feel like I am not here all alone. That I am not some freak. That this is something that is truly difficult and I am not just whining.
So my take-aways from the weekend? I will continue blogging, but maybe scale back on other internet activities. I will find ways to nurture myself every day. I will practice breathing and relaxation exercises. I already had my first acupuncture appointment! Today's visit was just a Q&A, no needles. But I'm going to take the plunge. I will investigate other IF clinics after my lap.
5 days ago