I’m not one who accepts things easily. Accepting that I most likely will never be a mother didn’t come easily, and even 17 years later I find myself occasionally stepping back over the line of unacceptance. Even when something good happens I have a hard time accepting that it might be permanent.
For example…we’ve been at the beach this week. I love capris (or clam-diggers as some call them). Since I have body image issues and have gotten older I’ve become more self-conscious about wearing shorts. About the only time I wear shorts is at home, and even then it’s the type of short that comes to almost to the knee. I abhor my thighs because that’s were a lot my extra weight has landed. On the flip side My calves and ankles are among my nicest body features so that’s why I lean towards capris in the Summer. You know, accentuate the positive eliminate the negative…
Well, last Summer I lost around 15 pounds on a cleansing program. I was quite proud of myself, because the last time I had managed to lose 15 pounds was back in my 20’s when I was doing a super low-fat diet and hiking a mountain just about everyday. PCOS makes it difficult for a person to lose weight. It’s possible, and I don’t blame my weight totally on the PCOS, but my doctor told me early on in my diagnosis that because of the increased androgens (including testosterone) in my body that my weight would tend to be that of a man’s unless I was super-diligent with my diet and exercise.
Anyway, I lost the weight last July (2008) and I’m happy to say that I’ve kept all but about two pounds of that off. The problem is I still think like a person who never lost the weight.
In anticipation of coming to the beach I decided that I needed to buy a couple of new pairs of capris. Now, my old ones were still in good shape, but even with a drawstring waist cinched up as tight as they could go they still looked a little like parachute pants on me. I had bought them large even before the weight loss so they absolutely swallow me now.
Even with that fact right on my brain I still went to the store and bought the same size of pants. Why? Well, the store I bought them at has two dressing rooms, and there was a long line waiting for them. I hate waiting in lines and really didn’t have the time to wait. Also, in the back of my mind I’m still thinking I’m going to gain all the weight back eventually so it’s best to be prepared for that eventuality.
Am I the only one who thinks this way?
I think part of this thinking pattern became firmly entrenched when I was going through fertility treatments. Months and months and then years and years of negative pregnancy tests only hard-wired the thinking that nothing good was ever going to happen. Anytime I got a fleeting glimpse of hope I pushed it down with negative thinking. Some people are of the school of thought that this type of thinking may have been part of the reason I never got pregnant. While I think positive thinking is a good thing to employ when you’re going through something as arduous as fertility treatment positive thinking cannot overcome a completely discombobulated reproductive system.
So, this morning when I put on my new baggy pants I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. I have limited myself by my thinking, and that does need to change. Being at the beach only re-enforces the belief that I need to live with more abandon and freedom and accept the fact that sometimes good things happen and sometimes those things may be long lasting or even permanent.
If I can offer any advice or comfort to the young woman going through infertility or any other major life challenge it’s this…don’t let tyour circumstances get you so down that when something good happens you cannot see it much less celebrate it. While your days may be filled with trials and difficulties please take the time to see the good in your situation. Even though I’m now forty and still childless these are just a few of the things I can do that mothers raising children cannot do:
- I can take a COMPLETE vacation and totally relax and do whatever I want when I want.
- I can do a lot of things on the spur of the moment and be spontaneous (if I let myself be).
- I don’t have to worry about my kids getting the swine flu, abducted at the bus stop, lured by a pervert on the internet or the thousands of things mothers worry about on a daily basis.
- On weekends or vacations my husband and I can sleep in as long as we want among other things (wink, wink).
- Money worries about the future are at least 50 to 75% less than parents raising children.
…etc. etc. So, live with abandon, take advantage of your reality, and most importantly accept it the good things!