During the last couple of months I have felt like that wobbly Jenga tower. After losing the baby I felt like my strong foundation was beginning to sway. My husband, friends, and activities I was engaged in helped me reinforce the blocks I had left, but several turn of events threatened the blocks that were keeping me erect.
I haven't written in a while because my words were lost as the stresses of reality consumed me. Oddly enough, I started this blog to help me process grief and loss. During the past month, processing and writing became so exhausting because I felt like I was in survival mode.
Initially I was thrilled to go back to work. I love being a therapist and enjoy helping soldiers and their families regain stability. The first two weeks of work were wonderful. I was back in the saddle and began to feel a sense of accomplishment. I hated feeling consumed by my trauma, so I clung on to every aspect of my life where I felt a sense of purpose. This would help me reinforce a sense of control I was slowly regaining. However, this changed as I learned my boss wanted me to relocate to an office 1 hour away and travel 3 days a week where I would essentially live away from my husband. In addition to the logistical changes, my job description was changing to something I found less fulfilling, and in my opinion, was less needed for the population I was working with. THEN, I was faced with the realization I was being held back in my career because I did not have a valid physical fitness test due to two pregnancies...both of which did not result in a baby. In the military, you go on a "profile" when you are pregnant so you are exempt from the physical fitness standards. However, during promotions, physical fitness is a focal point. Typically women have a baby and have some time to recover, allowing them to progress in rank. My case is unique in that I have had multiple pregnancies back to back and I want to keep trying for a baby, so it feels like I have to choose either baby or career. Some asshole is stealing the remainder of my anchor blocks, leaving me wobbly and terrified I will come crashing down.
I recognize that I am in a vulnerable state after losing Robyn. My resiliency tank is dwindling as I face more and more stressors. It’s almost like braving rush hour traffic in Los Angeles. Normally, you are prepared to sit in traffic and make the most of it with a “This American Life” podcast or call to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. However, if you have to sit in rush hour traffic for hours and you are hungry, know you are going to miss your dinner reservation at your favorite restaurant, and your bladder is about to explode with no off ramp in sight…you might not be so good at handling that traffic. That’s where I am right now. I am trying to focus on all the things I have in my life that keep me together, but I am equally watching each and every block slither away from my tower, leaving me shaky.
I recognize my tower is losing its foundation, but there are things in my life that I can control to help reestablish my own stability. Focusing on my positive relationships and hobbies I enjoy helps to solidify my existing blocks, leaving my base strong. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on my own happiness and where I can make positive changes. Happiness is the most worthwhile investment one can make…but sometimes it takes some work.