2016 // Looking Forward, Not Behind

>> Sunday, January 3, 2016

As many people do, I see the new year as a swift kick in the butt.

It’s this date we can all jar ourselves out of ruts, choose to make big changes, and actually see the positive in our futures. Even if it’s only for a short while, the promise is almost palpable. Yes! It’s promise. It’s hitting refresh. And it’s certainly what I need at this moment in time.

Much of my 2015 was spent in a haze. Really, it had been much longer than that.  It’s no secret. But our struggles to get and stay pregnant completely consumed my life. It’s funny how cumulative the experience became. One month turned to the next and the next. One miscarriage led to more waiting and to more miscarriages and desperation. Our struggle wasn’t so different from what so many other couples face . . . but also nothing short of devastating regardless.

Wasn’t adding to our family supposed to be fun?

Well, it almost destroyed me. Not that I’m being dramatic or anything, but I feel the need to share it here. The dark side of it all. I became a mess in all senses. The control aspects of my personality shone through and made me feel like I was doing everything wrong. I mean, why else would everything be happening the way it was happening? My anxiety peaked to levels higher than I could imagine. After all, we hadn’t had a break from dealing with all of Ada’s health issues before we were onto our own struggles.

Nothing seemed to be going our way for a long, long time. If there was news, it was usually bad or conflicting. Or it would be, I always assumed. It’s amazing what a stretch of bad luck can do to the mind. I’ve never been a super positive, happy, shiny person . . . but I was turning all dark and twisty.

I’d like to say this pregnancy has magically changed everything. Instead, I spent a lot of the first trimester utterly paralyzed with fear. I communicated this well to my midwife and other support people, so I wasn’t alone in my dealings. The damage had already been done, so I knew digging out of this hole was going to take more than just situational excitement. I needed a mind shift.

Then it just sort of hit me. In everything, I have spent so much of my last several years looking backward. Back, back, and back. Dwelling on all the bad stuff. Mounting all the many stresses we’ve faced (some very unique, others not at all unique) and turning them into this insurmountable mass of ugliness. And I’m done with it. I’m ready to release. It was like this switch flipped and it all suddenly made sense.

Stop. Counting. The. Bad.

The thing is, there’s no erasing the past. But instead of letting my negative experiences drag me down . . . I want to use the strength I’ve gained. There’s a lot of it. Everything we face has the power to change us. And it’s not always bad. Sometimes the change is incredible. It’s all in having the head space to find those positives (and just writing that, I know the old me would be rolling my eyes). I think I am finally getting that space to see things in a different light.

2016 means letting go for me (please no Frozen jokes) -- engaging in this important process. And the new year hit at a really good time. I’m finally out of the first trimester and feeling somewhat more like myself again. I’m already feeling those good vibes we all get with the promise of what the next 365 days will bring. I know it won’t all be good . . . but I cannot keep adding to my pile. I’ve accepted my past and wiped it clean so my family can start fresh, no matter what challenges cross ahead.

I have a good number of goals for this year, too. But I’ll save those for another post.

Happy New Year, friends!

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