Infertility Retreat - What Does It Really Mean?
I heard the phrase timely retreat recently. Yesterday in fact.
Me, I don’t love the word retreat. Especially as it is used in moving into introspective space, head clearing, heart open space.
Here are the synonyms and they tell the story about why retreat doesn’t appeal to me: move away, draw back, pull away, recoil, withdraw, leave.
Those synonyms are the reason that I don’t like retreat because they indicate a giving up, as opposed to regrouping or reconsidering.
Fertility Treatment Pause
With infertility, rest becomes imperative. Taking time off from fertility treatment is necessary, even when that may seem impossible. When rest is not taken, exhaustion takes over. Hysteria and obsession take over. Given that it’s impossible to make sane, reasoned decisions from a hysterical place, a pause to take a deep breath can make the difference between good choices and not so good choices.
I’m trying the word pause out instead. Synonyms are: hiatus, gap, silence, break in proceedings, awkward moment, recess (I really like that one) and suspension. Here are some words that I looked at to express the meaning I’m trying to convey: give pause, compose, reflect, reconsider, selah and even delay.
What I’m recommending is not a retreat, which is often thought of as backing away. I’m recommending to give pause. To stop and reconsider. To stop and breathe, which is not the same as hyperventilating.
When I stop and give pause, I find that I don’t feel less stuck, I am less stuck. Possibilities that I refused to consider on the basis of them being impossible, become possible, sometimes even attractive. My knee jerk reaction of no, with that delay, becomes a more thoughtful, “well, maybe”.
Focus On Fertility - Remembering We Have Choices
My focus on fertility, pregnancy, and babies was so specific and pointed that I rarely allowed the idea of other options in; I rarely gave pause on what an alternate outcome could look like. Giving pause, taking a break allowed me to make other changes in my life that made my life feel hospitable to other choices about fertility treatment. Breathing in off-cycle months allowed me to be more sane in fertility cycle months.
So maybe that’s what I’ve settled on instead of retreat; to give pause.
To breathe in and out. To reconsider while in a quiet, saner state of mind. To sidestep the hysteria that builds and breathe instead.
What I learned and relearn every day is that when I go into panic mode I forget that most decisions can wait a moment. Or two. Or ten. Or a month. That making a decision when I feel like I have no choice is no decision at all; it comes from feeling bullied, even if I’m the one doing the bullying.
We always have choices. Even if the choices are miserable and hard and not at all what we wanted. Still, we have choices. And taking a moment to pause allows us to consider our choices in a saner, more open way.
To give pause. Yep, I like it.
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