Toxic Positivity

Did you ever think positivity could become toxic?

Let me give you a few examples of positive phrases many people say:

“Trust me, you’ll get over it!”

“Good vibes only!”

“Stop being so negative!”

And the favorite of the infertility world: “Never Give Up!”

Now, I think these “positive” words of advice are good at times(for some people) but other times may make someone feel the opposite…especially during infertility.

I mean, I have heard these over and over again. At first, it was ok. But after 5 years of infertility and nothing working, constant disappointments, while others achieved their dreams..over and over again. I just started to despise hearing them…especially from people who had….absolutely NO CLUE what I was going through or frankly didn’t even care to listen…they didn’t listen.

And THAT is where positivity becomes toxic my friends.

Positivity becomes toxic when people do not listen.

When you recognize people are just uncomfortable with what you are going through, they don’t know what to say and then just say those words of positivity…well, just because….they think that’s what they’re supposed to say. Now I can’t fault them for not having empathy for what I’ve gone through…because they can’t. But throwing those words around is not ok…toxic positivity can actually make people feel worse about their situation.

If someone going through infertility never has a child…then what? That “never give up” phrase or “just keep trying” phrase is torture. Like, are they a total failure because they “gave up”? Not in my book…the opposite, in fact, because when men and women are BRAVE enough to “give up”….because they literally gave it all they had…emotionally, financially, etc…that is where I applaud them. I stand up and applaud the courage it took to come to that forced acceptance. Do you think they wanted to give up? They were forced to give up and we need to understand that as a society of people. So please, support those who gave up as much as someone who succeeded….especially within the infertility world.

But what can you do while they are going through the hard times? Well, for me, if you were my friend?

I’d want you to say, “Hey, I couldn’t imagine what you’re going through, but I’m here for you. And then you would hand me the LARGEST glass of Pinot Grigio(Santa Margarita please 🙂 , a giant slice of pizza AND a cupcake(Magnolia Bakery or Sprinkles…or, who am I kidding… ANY cupcake), sit next to me on the couch while we watch Project Runway, The Bachelor and Sex In The City reruns.. I mean…now, that’s the kind of positivity I want in my life 🙂

 

Recognizing Depression, After Depression

Depression has a stigma.

I remember growing up and thinking, people who are “depressed” are homeless, jobless, have no family…truly have nothing. And I also remember thinking, I could never be depressed. I didn’t understand how people could be depressed when they have a “good” or even seemingly “great” life??

And then infertility……

It literally felt like a punch to the gut. Something so unexpected. But also, something I thought I might be able to control. So, being the “non-depressed” person I felt I was…I cried for a day…put on my “bring it” attitude and fully dove into IVF…knowing that I would “beat infertility”….I mean eventually right?

Thinking I would be like the 70-80% of women that are successful after 3 full IVF cycles.

Or the 99.4% of women able to carry a baby….

Silly me…….

So depression knocked on my door…I didn’t open it…didn’t want to believe that I could fall into depression….didn’t want to believe it was there….

But it was there…whether I opened the door or not……

During those 5 years of failure…..some days….I would barely move. I mean, if I didn’t have to work, I would go straight to the couch and stare at the TV, mundanely watching the mess of reality tv. One day, I remember looking at the clock at 9am and not moving from the exact spot until 6pm……

Depression. I was depressed.

But see, I didn’t recognize it until now. And honestly, the only reason why I am even recognizing it now…is because I feel it creeping back in. Tears fall as I write this because there is not a big enough reason for me to feel this way…at least that’s what I try to tell myself…

But honestly, I feel myself getting “weaker” continuing to fight to either become pregnant myself(by some glorious miracle) or finding another gestational carrier. I think having my friend (who volunteered to be my gestational surrogate), having her lining not grow past 5mm…for over a year….just like mine…put me over the edge. Being forced to close another chapter in this complicated “Life with Infertility and Beyond” book of mine….

So what do I do?

I don’t know. I know, I should probably just appreciate this beautiful, messy life I’ve been given and move on. And I do appreciate it….

But I have embryos. That’s why I can’t quite let go.

They have nowhere to go…and it saddens me deeply.

So, here I am….on the brink of depression again……and finally able to recognize it.

(Insert self-care)

And that’s what I need to do…Self-care…..focus on the good…and only the good. Stop comparing. Stop wanting more. Stop trying to change what I cannot control.

Whatever will be…..will be….

I know I’ll be o.k….but I just wanted to share if others had these feelings.

It’s normal.

According to the World Health Organization, over 300 million people around the world struggle with depression.

300 million people. You are not alone….if you ever feel this way….

So take a deep breathe….and let it out…..(repeat………..repeat)

The sun always rises….and so will we my friends……so….will…we….

 

%d bloggers like this: