We all walk through difficult and stressful times in our lives. No one makes it through unscathed. Recently, my husband and I learned that our pregnancy was ending is miscarriage. We are both heartbroken. This will be our second miscarriage. We were so excited for our new little one and the thought that we won't get to meet this sweet baby fills me with sadness. Unfortunately, there is no way around grief. You have to walk through it. I have learned a few things that help me make it through painful times and I thought I would share them with you.
Share your pain with your support network. Whenever I am going through something difficult, I feel a strange responsibility to shield those around me from my pain so that I don't make them feel uncomfortable. I don't know why this is my knee-jerk response, but I so badly want everything to be okay, so I pretend that it is. I try not to let my pain spill over into areas of my life that other people see. It really isn't the healthiest response. While I recognize that I don't feel comfortable (nor should I) sharing my pain with everyone around me, I do have a handful of people who are in my support network. These people are more than willing to share the burden of my pain. These are the people who love me no matter what and who are willing to sit with the discomfort in order to help me wade through my heartbreak. So I share. I call them when I can't carry on my brave face and I start to crumble. They listen, give me love and slowly help me pick up the pieces.
Set boundaries. Setting boundaries is a lifelong skill that I am quite certain I will never fully master. It is challenging to set boundaries at the best of times, let alone when we are feeling raw and broken. The unfortunate fact of life is that there are people who always seem to overstep, ask for too much or can't recognize when they need to give space. When you are hurting you need to grant yourself the time and the space to walk through your grief. This might mean taking some responsibilities off your plate for a while, stepping away from activities or people whom you find draining, or simply building protected time into your schedule so that you can process in the way that works best for you.
Ask for what you need. This can be hard to do, especially when we are used to being able to meet our needs on our own. When we are hurting, the people around us want to help. Sometimes they don't know how to do that. It is perfectly okay to ask for what you need, especially when someone offers to help. It can be as simple as just having someone listen or give you a hug. It can also be asking someone to watch your children for an hour while you take a moment to yourself. Everyone deals with challenges in different ways so it can be beneficial to clearly state what you need when someone is trying to help.
If you don't have a good support network in place, please seek help through your medical provider or through a support group. You shouldn't have to walk through painful times alone. We are built for community, especially during times of need.