In life, there’s so much pressure to be polite and happy. Thanks to social media, that pressure is multiplied and constantly in our face. We post pictures of vacations, smiling kids, gourmet meals, and so forth. You rarely see a picture posted of “real life”- in which someone doesn’t look absolutely gorgeous and life doesn’t seem blissful. In today’s world, there’s this need to project what life should be like, not always what life actually is. Because real life- job loss, death, divorce, miscarriage, infertility- make us uneasy. For example, I was once casually walking passed someone I knew and said, “hey, how are you?” When he answered “not too good”, I still kept walking because it took me quite a while to realize his response. I just assumed the answer would be “good” and I’d be on my way. And when it wasn’t, it was really uncomfortable. But the reality is that life isn’t always great so why do we have to pretend it is? With infertility and miscarriage specifically, it’s hard to smile when you least feel like it or to act as if that injection isn’t scary or painful, or that negative pregnancy test isn’t heartbreaking. Why can’t we accept that life isn’t going as we planned and we’re not okay with that? Why can’t wait simply resist the urge to say things like “it’s going to be okay” or “you’ll get through this” and instead, just listen? Maybe it’s uncomfortable to hear that someone is struggling but it’s important to stop pressuring ourselves and others to pretend like life is perfect and that we’re always happy.
The lesson is this: We all experience various challenges in life. And while it’s always better to be positive, when possible, when it’s not, it just means that you are human. We don’t have to have it 100% together 100% of the time. It’s okay to not be okay. There's a song by Jessie J and the lyrics are "Sometimes it's hard to follow your heart. But tears don't mean you're losing, everybody's bruising, There's nothing wrong with who you are." The point is that it’s okay to feel angry, frustrated, or sad. You are not weak or wrong for having these feelings. Give yourself permission to have bad days and to hurt. Be honest. Be vulnerable. This is real life. You may forever grieve your loss or be sad about your struggles. You may never forget about it or feel better completely. But hopefully, the load will lighten. It may not be today or even tomorrow. But one day, you will be okay. Until then, it’s okay not to be.