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My most valuable lesson

I shared months ago about the lessons that I’ve learned over the course of our struggles. If you missed that, you can read here. But over the last week I had a very harsh reminder of the most valuable lesson I’ve learned – I can’t do this alone.

If you’ve been following along, you know that we learned just after Christmas that our 2nd round of IVF failed. Around that time, I also learned of a couple of people with PSC, the liver disease that Reid has, being diagnosed with terminal cancer. I was so ridden with anxiety and sadness. But I pretended to be okay. I didn’t talk much about any of it, but when others asked how I was doing I would just say “I’m okay, I mean what other choice do I have?” But that’s the thing, we do have another choice. Sometimes you have to let yourself breakdown and feel those feelings. But I didn’t… I just silently sat with a pit in my stomach for days, and didn’t talk about it. Maybe I thought it would go away? I honestly don’t think I was even doing it consciously. I just didn’t want to deal with it. I sat on the couch and watched TV, and had no desire to do much else.

And then one morning, about a week after we learned about our abnormal embryos, I couldn’t get out of bed. And I couldn’t stop crying. It was bad, y’all. We’ve been through a lot over the last 3 1/2 years, and I think this was one of the lowest days I’ve had. I seriously didn’t think I could pull myself out of it. Honestly, I couldn’t. Not alone. I couldn’t even bring myself to get up and feed the dog. Or brush my teeth. I had no desire to do ANYTHING. And I just kept sobbing.

I knew I needed help. Fortunately for us, I know we have plenty of it around. And so I asked. See, here’s the thing – not a single person knew what was going through my brain that day. My husband didn’t even know how low I was. I mean, he leaves for work while I’m still asleep, so there’s no way he could have known by my daily “I love you, have a good day” that I was not okay. And I had done an amazing job at pretending… he seriously had no idea. But I woke up that morning, and it all caught up to me. So I had to ask. I had to tell people what I was feeling and how low I was. And I had to LET them help me.

When I started this journey, I was a different person. I was used to helping other people (although I will admit I was much better at that when I was single and wasn’t wrapped up in my own shit). I didn’t ask for help. At least not often. And now I ask for it – all the time (at least that’s the way it feels). But you know what? I’m okay with that. Because it’s perfectly okay to not be okay. It’s perfectly fine to need help. It’s perfectly fine to let people help you. If you don’t have friends that will skip a shower and run over to your house with a Frappuccino (or whatever your poison is) to pull you out of bed – then I pray that you will find at least one friend that will do that. I’m super fortunate to have those people. And they WANT to help me.

So my words of wisdom for you are this (and they’re not rocket science)… let people help you. And tell them when you need help. You don’t have to have it together all the time. I think the strongest people are those that can admit they don’t have it all together. Everyone has their own worries, their own to-do lists, and their own lives. You can’t expect others, even your spouse with whom you share a bed, to know what’s going on in your life and how you’re feeling from day to day. But they want to be there. Let them. And don’t forget the kindness they show to you. Be a good friend in return. Because that’s what matters most in life – those people that are by your side and ready to pick you up when you just can’t seem to get out of bed. Oh, and I also recommend a good therapist. 


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