Comparison is the killer of joy. Some famous person whose name alludes me said this. It is so very true though. I find myself playing this losing game a lot. My mind will drift to a friend who plans which month she will get pregnant to accommodate her schedule and think about how unfair that is. Then I oscillate to a friend who has yet to see a positive pregnancy test 5 years into trying and feel so fortunate I am not living that version of this hell. Then I wander back to other friends with one child my son’s age and feel a sinking in the pit of my stomach knowing more pregnancy announcements are sure to come from them soon. I find myself thinking ‘How long do I have to get pregnant until they announce?’or If this next IVF cycle works maybe I can beat the new wave of announcements. As if it is a contest. It is futile and unhealthy.
My Mom would always tell us that happiness and joy are available in endless amounts. There is no universal quota. Other’s joy and fortune will never detract from your own. Celebrate others as you hope they would celebrate yours. I like to think I live this pretty well. I rarely ever got jealous before facing IF. I also have the good fortune of an amazing life. A beautiful boy, a close twin sister, the best husband and constant feeling of joy and happiness. I have always loved my life and felt so lucky. Before IF, comparisons rarely crossed my mind. I was happy leading my life and enjoyed celebrating those around me.
But..it is when I play this comparison game that all I have starts to diminish. I find myself wishing so and so would not get pregnant with another child before me or even wishing a good friend will announce her first pregnancy before I (hopefully) announce mine. As if we are all going through an obstacle course and at the end is a limited amount of babies.
I need to stop my mind from going down this path. We are all living our own lives. That friend who plans her pregnancies like it is nothing also happens to be stressed, frenetic and introverted. She may not get as much joy out of life, even if it appears she has it easy. A large load of laundry and bad hair day upsets her. She has her own thoughts, concerns and I am sure comparisons that prevent her unbridled gratitude. She does not have the perspective that someone who has battled IF.
In a way I am grateful for this hard road of Infertility. It has made me appreciate moments and the good much more that I did before. And honestly, if I don’t get sucked into comparing my life to others, I feel nothing but happiness and hope for the future, even amidst all these failed IVF cycles. At times I wish I could live in a bubble with my family and keep out anyone who will be a ‘trigger’ for me. But then I remember that learning to live life without comparison is a better and honestly more realistic plan.
If I find myself going down this path, I repeat in my head ‘comparison is the killer of joy’. I start to go through all the great things in my life and remind myself it is not a contest and the universe does not have an allotment of babies. I take a deep breath and remember to enjoy life and have hope that I will one day be on the other side and I want to be proud of the person I was through the battle.