Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How to Not Have a Breakdown

Let me clarify, as we actually encourage breakdowns- they kind of get you back to neutral don't you think? The breakdown I am speaking of is the one that barrels down on you after your close friend announces she is pregnant. Maybe you know the feeling? You just had a miscarriage, or several, and during what is supposed to be a fun night out you notice your dear friend doesn't order a glass of wine. And she always orders a glass of wine. Immediately your mind starts to go haywire because you know exactly what this means. So you start to rehearse your escape route- if you can make a dash for the door now perhaps you won't have to hear the words coming out of her mouth. But all of the sudden it's happening and you can't stop it. You force a smile, gulp your tears down and give her a hug- while reaching for your wine as quickly as possible. If she isn't drinking someone should, and that someone should be you! You make it through your dinner, trying to ask thoughtful questions and carry on as though you aren't bothered in the least, but you are counting down the minutes when you can sprint out of the restaurant, jump in a cab and start crying. I have been there so many times I can't even count at this point. And I'm not the only one, as I have seen my husband try to maneuver his way around this situation (with a bit more grace then me) on several occasions. Let's face it, it's not easy. Hopefully your friend is gentle in her delivery and understands how awkward this is for you. But, there is a change in dynamic that neither of you can deny. So how do you get through this, besides avoiding your friend for nine months (which by the way I have done- not the best strategy). Below is an attempt to help all of you avoid the mistakes I made in the past:
  • Let it All Out. Jump into that cab and cry, then go home and throw a few things. You have to process these feelings- just make sure your blinds are closed.
  • Be Honest. Once you have "processed your feelings", perhaps it is time for a little heart to heart with your friend. When you are ready, start off by saying how happy you are for her, but then explain that this is going to be a bit of a learning curve for both of you. You will try your best to be the good friend you are, but help her understand that there may be some difficult moments along the way.
  • Be Honest: Part Two. Acknowledge you are going to have a few moments where some unpleasant characters are going to rear their ugly head (namely jealousy and anger). It's bound to happen, just be gentle with yourself.
  • Know Thyself. If you know attending certain baby-to-be events are going to upset you, be up front with your friend and tell her it might not be the best venue for you. Believe me, she will understand. Also, no one wants someone crying in the corner eating all the cake.
  •  Find an Outlet: Your friend is soon going to be sporting a baby bump and experiencing moments that you imagined for yourself; which makes this experience that much more heart-wrenching for you. It will stir up emotions that you thought you were long over and bring up new ones you didn't know you had. Find a neutral friend, a really good therapist, or your own partner to work through those feelings with. Believe it or not, this is all going to help you heal. The universe has a funny way of letting you know when you haven't fully gotten over something by getting right in your face.

In the end, remember you are both human and this is a tricky situation. You have been through hell and back and most likely your expecting friend was by your side along the way. If you both come from a place of honesty and love (for one another and yourself) it can end up strengthening your friendship. And if all else fails, a few glasses of wine never hurt anyone.

- Jennifer

    1 comment:

    1. Beautiful writing, very honest and true