The Uglier Side of Coping
Last week, I wrote a piece on How Do I Cope? I’ve thought a lot about this one, and decided that I have to dive back into the subject. I won’t reiterate the last post, but the reason it’s been on my mind is that I wrote the post about things I do to keep distracted. It was rather positive, and it wasn’t the whole truth. The items on that list aren’t the only way I cope and I think it was a bit unfair to paint a pretty picture of coping.
So, what else is part of my coping? The more ugly side of my coping has included:
Crying – I’m not a crier. Or at least I wasn’t a crier. But, through this last 19 months, I’ve cried and I’ve cried a lot. My favourite place to cry is in the shower – yes, that’s right, I can now say that I have a favourite place to cry. I remember the first time I ever cried in the shower, I was about 12 years old and it was the day I was told my grandfather died. Ever since then, if I’m going to have a good cry, it’s going to be in the shower.
Drinking – not a lot, but every now and again, I drink more then I should. This seems to happen once after each miscarriage (and thankfully only once). I seem to get it in my head that I can still drink like I did as a university student living in residence, and I cross the point of no return without even noticing it. I always regret it the next day. Thankfully, my one horrible hangover always fixes me, and I don’t do it again.
Talking – I talk about what we are going through with a few trusted people – my husband, my psychologist and one of my good friends. I don’t let a lot of people into my inner workings and into the depths of my psyche. But, I’ve always been a talker, so once you make it in, watch out! It’s amazingly helpful for me. Talking isn’t always easy for the other person in the conversation, but I’m grateful I have people who will listen.
Spending Money Frivolously – We spend more money on unnecessary things. For two very practical people, who are cheap and frugal, we have attempted to buy happiness. Turns out, you cannot buy happiness, but you can buy fun distractions.
Research – I obsessively research and scour for the most recent data. I read everything I can find on that relates to our situation – recurrent pregnancy loss, adoption, and statistics on life satisfaction for people without children. I may have read the exact same article during one of the previous miscarriages, but I re-read it just in case I missed something.
Thinking – I spend a lot of time in my head thinking. I think about everything, and I do mean everything! What does this mean for our future? Are we willing to try again? Who do we need to tell? How many more times can we go through this? Will it work on time 6, 9 or 12? Why do I obsess over try 6, when we haven’t even made it to number 5? Will it ever actually work? When is enough, enough? What about adoption? Can we really adopt knowing all the risks? When is spring actually going to arrive? Did the baby suffer as it died? Why does the dog shed so much all year round? Does the dog understand? How is my husband doing? What should I do with myself tomorrow? Do Dog Rocks actually work? How long can I really not work? What should I do with my life? Why is the sky blue? What should we have for supper tomorrow night, and the next night, and the next?
Not Sleeping – Sleep is one of the first things I give up when I’m stressed. Not by choice. Once my mind starts going, just like a hamster running on a wheel, there is no hope of sleep.
Not Eating – I’ve heard of the people who eat when they are stressed, I am not one of them. I will stop eating. This is a big problem when we have a little baby with a very weak heartbeat. I know the chances of a miraculous survival are slim to none, but I also know that not eating will not help anything. So, my husband works really hard to get me to eat healthy, particularly until fetal demise is confirmed.
Coping isn’t always pretty, but I guess that’s what makes it so hard!! And, I guess that’s why my last post on coping was focused on the positive stuff, because for us, we have to focus on the positive things in life. Otherwise, we’ll get stuck in the depressed emotions, and we simply cannot live that way.