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  • Writer's pictureShannon Duskie

Happy & Sad Can Co-Exist

There's a list of women that I pray for often. Women who want a baby of their own so badly but for one reason or another, it hasn't happened yet. That list just seems to keep growing and with every name I add to it, I pray for their heart. With every name I add to it, no matter how long they have been trying, no matter what their story is, my heart breaks for them as I relive the emotions I had during our two years of trying to conceive. Hope. Anger. Sadness. Love. Heartbreak. Trust.

Opening up about my true emotions was hard because I didn't want people to see the ugly cry behind my smile. The smile I used as my shield, blocking people from knowing what was truly going on in my heart. On July 10th, 2016, I lowered my shield by sharing this message.


There are dark times.  Days that are sad. Days when emotions take me captive to the point where I can only do a little at a time and all I want to do is doze in and out of sleep while watching useless shows on Netflix.  Sleep mainly because I feel like I can sleep off the emotions.  If I just went back to sleep, then I’d have a chance to restart again.  Try the day over again.  I really don’t know if that works, but I do know that I probably don’t get enough sleep and I guess I figured that sleep can’t hurt a person.  Plus it’s hard to feel emotions while you’re sleeping.  It’s  a method  of escape.  On the flip side, sometimes I feel like I should be doing anything and everything to keep my brain occupied.  I tend to have a large ‘to do’ list at any given moment. Things I could be doing.  Thinking that if I do just a few, I will gain a sense of pride and accomplishment to pull me out of my slump.  I haven’t quite figured out what counters the sad.  Because of this, I can get kidnapped by indecisiveness.  There are so many different things that could make me feel differently, but which one should I do.  Should I do any of them or should I just sleep?

I am learning.  I have been reading Real Happiness The Power of Meditation by Sharon Salzberg.  It says it is a 28 day program, but I think God knew that’s not how I was supposed to go about it.  It’s like he’s given me one chapter at a time when the time is right and when I could really connect with the new information.  Week 1 of the program starts with simply breathing.  The program states to try 20 minute meditations and I though “Really? That’s a long time to just sit there!” But I tried it anyways.  I didn’t move past this chapter for a while.  I started with this just a few times a week.  Some weeks more frequently than others.  Though 20 minutes seemed long time at first, after practicing a few times, the 20 minutes was up and I thought “Already?”.  After I while, I moved onto Mindfulness and The Body.  Scanning each part of your body and relaxing it.  Also movement meditations, which I’m still not super great at.  There is a walking meditation that I keep trying, but to get the full effect I feel like I have to walk in slow motion and that’s something I just don’t think is in me.  I feel more comfortable with a still meditation.  I enjoy the body scans because they help me acknowledge and relax each part of myself.  The third part focuses on dealing with thoughts and feelings.  This was a scary one.  This is where God stepped in and didn’t give me this information until he knew I was ready.  In this part I learned a few key things. #1 You are not your emotion.  I feel sad does not translate into I am a sad person.  The analogy the book gave was that if you hit your elbow, it’s ridiculous to translate I have a sore elbow to I am a sore elbow.  Feeling humiliated does not translate to I am an idiot.  #2 I learned to identify an emotion and look at look at it from a distance.  From a curious standpoint.  Sometimes I can feel in a slump.  Cranky and not even know why I’m feeling that way.  I liked the meditation on emotions because after I sit there a while, the emotion I  am feeling tends to appear and I can ask myself what it is and why I feel this way.  I just now started on the 4th part of the program. Loving Kindness.  Focusing on sending happy and loving thoughts to yourself and to others.  It sure takes all the steps to get to this one.  Calming your mind and identifying your own emotions must come before you can focus on giving peace to others.

There are good times even in sadness.  Proof came again yesterday that another month had gone by without conceiving. When this time came around the last two months, I haven’t dealt with it well.  My emotions take over and captivate me as described above.  I cried a lot and tried to blame it on the hormones rather than the true heartbreak.  I keep thinking it will get a little easier and I try not to get hopeful that this will be the month, but I can’t help but let a little pocket of hope fill my heart. It is sad.  Heartbreaking.  Frustrating.  We are doing everything by the book…or rather by the doctor.  I fill out my Creighton Model NaPro chart, take my continuously changing thyroid medication, B6, Mucinex and Progesterone as prescribed.  Why isn’t anything working? Though my husband holds it in, I can see the toll it takes on him too.  I foresaw it being a rough day, but I was also in the most beautiful place!  I decided to get my mind straight.  I woke up early to watch the sunrise.  I prayed.  I meditated on my sadness and heartbreak.  Analyzed it from a distant viewpoint and realized that though I feel this now, just like the world is in constant change, these feelings too would pass.  I resolved in that moment to intentionally fill my love tank all day.  I left at 7 a.m. and drove 40 minutes over to Ha Ha Tonka State Park and found several trails to hike.  I explored and found the adventure that I’ve been desperately seeking.  I laughed at myself each time I accidentally ran into a spider web and freaked out.  After too much of that I learned to get a trusty spidy stick to clear the webs before I walked right into them!  After several hours of exploration, I headed back to the cabin.  Cooked up some bacon and eggs for brunch and spent the afternoon doing nothing but what I wanted to do.  I sat in and around the lake all day reading and soaking up the sun.  Ending the day with dinner and movies with three of my favorite people.  It was an amazing day!

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