Day 27 of 100 Days of Grief
"Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own."
Nick and I have been organizing our house. Things that we should have taken care of years ago. It seems like I have the motivation to organize and clean all the things. I'm pretty sure it's just to stay busy but it's been good for our home! The last couple of weeks we were cleaning up the basement. We went space by space throwing things away, putting things in a donate pile, sweeping and cleaning as we went. I told Nick before we started that I couldn't do anything with the baby stuff. He said that was fine. We finished it and I felt good that the basement was clean but I wondered in the back of my mind if I would ever get to the point where I was okay to get rid of the baby things.
This last week Nick and I have been going through our clothes and getting rid of things we haven't worn in a long time. Today I went through the last of my things and I put my maternity clothes in the donate pile. It was hard but at the same time left me a little relieved. Every time I go to my closet I see the maternity clothes hanging there. I bought a new outfit about a year ago before I had my second miscarriage and I really loved it. I kept it because I wasn't done. I wasn't ready to accept that we were done having kids. It brought me joy when I was pregnant with this last baby and now it's time for it to find a new home. I feel accomplished and also very sad. I know there are going to be more of these times where I have to make the decision to move forward rather than hold onto the hopes and dreams of another child. I think each time I do it, it's going to hurt.
Today's prompt kind of goes along with last nights. It talks about envy. How can you express your envy in an appropriate way. Throughout all of my miscarriages there has always been envy. Envy that some women were able to get pregnant and that I couldn't. Envy that they had what I wanted. But honestly as I've opened up about my losses I can't tell you how many people have told me their stories and that they've been in my spot. I can't tell you how many people I've once looked at in envy have told me that they've experienced miscarriages and heart ache. It's taught me that when I feel envy to remind myself that I don't know the full stories. I don't know what they've been through and maybe it has been super easy for them but they have other struggles that I haven't had to deal with.
It's also been very helpful for me to acknowledge that I'm envious and that it is a normal feeling and okay but I can choose what I do with it. In my book it says, "Try to remember that envy, like all other emotions, is not right or wrong. It just is. Like its close cousin, anger, envy is what I call a protest emotion - an emotion that protests a reality you don't want to be true. Underneath protest emotions are fear and sadness." For me it's always sadness. Sadness that I may not enjoy those baby moments again. Sadness that I won't get to experience pregnancy again. Sadness that I don't have what they have.
Today's prompt: Make an action plan for what you will do the next time you feel envious. How can you use the feeling as a positive catalyst for healing.
When I've struggled with envy it's been incredibly helpful to talk to Nick about it. Each time a friend has told me they were pregnant I've gone and told Nick and I usually end up sobbing in his arms. It hurts but it's been helpful for me to release the emotions of sadness and anger and envy with someone that I trust. Someone I know that loves me unconditionally.
It has also helped me to realize that there must be something here that I need to learn. I've struggled understanding why after all that I've been through I must also endure watching my dear friends have what I want so much. Maybe I need to learn to be happy for those around me when I don't have what they have. Maybe I need to learn patience. Maybe it means that I don't get my own baby but I can reach out to them to help them when being mom to a newborn baby gets too overwhelming. Maybe I can help be that "village" to raise a child. I'm not quite sure what it is I need to learn but it helps me to think when I'm really envious that there is a purpose for why I'm going through this and I have things I need to learn.
It all sounds very noble but I have to be completely truthful and also say that there are times that I sit in my anger and envy. I cry and ask "why me?!" But I am human and I feel like as long as I don't sit in that too long I'll be okay. It's important for me to realize that these are normal feelings and it's okay to feel them. It's hard to do many days. It's hard for me to not dwell in it and some days it knocks me out completely. It's hard and uncomfortable because I think I always thought being angry and envious was wrong but I'm learning that feelings are okay. Feelings are feelings. They come and they go but it's what I do with them that determines the kind of person I am.