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Grattitude & Guilt

Gratitude

I was reading my friend Stacey’s blog this morning and her post really touched me. Its Thanks Giving in US this week and while as South African’s we don’t celebrate Thanks’ Giving, a lot of my blog buddies do and reading all their blog updates about what they’re thankful for at this time of year has brought to the fore the guilt I have tried to suppress over the past year.

I’m ashamed to admit it. But during my years of infertility, there were times when I got so down, so depressed and so grief stricken over my inability to have a child or to maintain a pregnancy, that I was unable to feel thankful about anything. When people pointed out to me that I still had plenty to be thankful for, it wasn’t always easy for me to see and sometimes I’d want to tell them to shut up. And even in the times when I was in the right frame of mind, or in a better place emotionally, that I could count my blessings and be thankful for the awesome life God had blessed me with, my thankfulness was tainted by sadness and by a longing to be thankful for something I seemed doomed to fail at.

Enter Ava and suddenly my cup overflows with joy and gratitude and thankfulness and sometimes I feel guilty and ashamed about that. Ashamed and guilty that only now am I fully able to be thankful and express thankfulness for my amazing life. Only now am I able to praise God for His mercy and His blessings.

And even though my hearts desires have been fulfilled and fulfilled abundantly and what I had prayed and asked God for has been given to me in far greater measures than I had asked or hoped for, there are still days when I find things to be angry/sad/disappointed/disillusioned/ungrateful for. Just this morning I was feeling rather down in the dumps after a particularly trying night with Ava. She’s cutting 3 teeth and so since yesterday afternoon she has not been herself, she cries easily, doesn’t want to eat and is generally needy. Last night, she started crying at 1am. When I went in and administered some Prodol and Stopayne and given her something to drink, when I tried to leave she started screaming and crying and sobbing, great big crocodile tears streaming down her face. I landed up having to lie on the single bed next to her cot until just after 3am this morning to get her settled and back to sleep. I woke up at 05h30 feeling like hell, I’m exhausted and feeling particularly sorry for myself that this next bout of teething is starting just as my husband has boarded a plane to fly to the coast for a 4 day cruise on a luxury ocean liner as his companies year end function, leaving me alone to deal with the fall out that goes hand in hand with teething… you know when the eating/sleeping routine you work so hard at cultivating goes to hell in a row boat!

Then I happened to listen to the Christmas Wish list this morning, they were granting the wish of a mother for her 10 year old son to have his own jungle gym/playground at home as he can’t attend school. She was describing the daily battle she has raising her son, who has been diagnosed as Autistic with Bipolar Mood Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

I was reminded just how lucky I am. I have so much to be thankful for. I have a beautiful, healthy, normal daughter, something I never thought I’d get to experience. I have a husband who loves me deeply, I have amazing parents, I have my own home, I have a good job, I own a car, I have loads of amazing friends, both IRL and in the computer. I could write pages on what I have to be thankful for.

Most importantly, I’m going to try and cut myself some slack, I guess its normal to get down on oneself from time to time and I should rather let my guilt be a reminder of the things I have to be thankful for than a tool I use to beat myself up with.

Happy Friday everyone!

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7 Comments

  • Reply tzipieastwest

    Sharon, I do not want to sound overly new-agy but I think perhaps because there is ungratefulness/taking things for granted/sadness … there is gratefulness/feeling blessed/bliss. It is not possible to experience only one side of the “continum” at all times.
    Granted, the feeling blessed/grateful is much more enjoyable ;-))

    November 26, 2010 at 10:12 am
  • Reply lea2109

    We are only human and sometimes things can feel pretty rough and it is okay to feel down or sad. But I’m glad that you have plenty happy moments too 🙂

    November 26, 2010 at 11:03 am
  • Reply waiting4amiracle

    Ya, we are all human. You are allowed to feel down sometimes.
    You know what I am thankful for………NO MORE FERTILITY TREATMENT 🙂

    November 26, 2010 at 12:33 pm
  • Reply suestuart

    We’ve taken on so many American traditions (halloween etc) that I wish Thanksgiving was one of them. I think it’s a wonderful thing to share out loud with others what we are thankful for. Even more so when those things have been ached for for so long and have finally happened.

    November 27, 2010 at 6:46 am
  • Reply orbit365

    Your cup does indeed overflow. You are so lucky and so very blessed.
    x

    November 28, 2010 at 8:39 pm
  • Reply ttcnot2easy

    I’ve said recently that it’d be downright impossible for me to start counting my blessings as numbers don’t reach that far.

    I can totally relate to your second paragraph – while I also knew that I had so much to be grateful for, the one thing that I wanted MOST in the World was not mine, so I refused to see anything else. It has only been in the last year that I have tried to see things more positively.

    xxx

    November 29, 2010 at 7:20 am
  • Reply wheresmybun

    You know, we so easily beat ourselves up and its hard to remember that we are just human, imperfect and fallible. I’m glad you’re cutting yourself some slack and although you do have a lot to be thankful for, it also comes with challenges and daily struggles. Life will always be hard, no matter how easy you think you’ve got it. But on that note, I have also developed a thankful heart, it was hard in the midst of my IF years, when all I wanted was children.
    For now I am truly thankful I don’t have children (yet), I know my time will come when that desire will return with a vengeance, but I’m enjoying every sleep in, every quiet moment with my husband and every opportunity we can leave the house spontaneously. Because the time will come when all that will end, and I will miss these days.

    November 29, 2010 at 10:55 am
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