As I stated in a previous post, the stress of dealing with infertility has put me into a deep depression. Through therapy and some soul searching I have realized some of the reasons that dealing with infertility has been such a challenge for me, and some of the negative feelings that infertility has instilled in me. In is post I want to talk about self esteem in general, and the effect that infertility has had on my self esteem.
I already had a shaky grip on my self esteem. I think most young women do. Infertility sent my poor self image over the edge. I once said to my therapist that I truly feel like I have failed at everything. About a week ago I said out-loud to myself all the things that I feel I have failed at. This is what I came up with:
1) I am not the skinny, perfect version of myself that the media tells me I should be.
2) I am not a successful business woman. In fact, I'm still not sure what career path I want for my life.
3) I have failed my parents and my husband by letting this depression get the best of me.
4) I don't have a family.
Then I asked myself, "Are these beliefs true?"
True, I am not physically perfect, but I am okay with that as long as I am healthy and happy. I also think that it is okay for a twenty-four year old to still question what they want for their future. I am still very young. How many people do I know who had it all figured out at my age? I can't name any.
As for the statement that I've failed my family, it is just that. A statement. It is an untrue belief that I have about myself. The fact that I believe it doesn't make it true. I can believe that the sky is green all that I want to, but that doesn't make it true. If you asked my parents or my husband to describe me I think some of these words would pop up: loving, compassionate, honest, smart, funny, and even strong. THAT is how I should view myself. Those who know me best probably have a much more clear view of who I am than I do in my current depressed state.
I stopped on that last statement and said it again to myself, "I don't have a family." Then it came to me, YES I DO! I may not be a mother, but I DO have a family. My husband and I are a family. We are not a couple waiting to become a family. We already are a family. We also have our two darling fur babies that complete our happy family. While we do long for a child, we are still a happy family. I am now working on redefining my definition of the word family.
Realizing these things have taken a huge load off of my shoulders. I don't have to be perfect. I don't have to have everything figured out. I need to redefine my idea of success as well as family.
How is your self esteem? The view that you have of yourself may not be true. How would those closest to you describe you? Does your idea of success and what makes a family need a rewrite?
P.S. I do intend on writing Faith and Infertility - Part 3 (My Story). I just need the time to be right. It will be a deeply personal post and I'm not ready yet.