In the decades that I’ve been supporting infertility patients, the phrase “I can’t stop crying” has been uttered much more often than not. Many times it comes with apologies, as if tears are wrong. This makes no sense. A diagnosis of infertility is agonizing. The treatment of infertility is agonizing largely because hopes can be dashed over and over.
Here are a few tips to put tears in perspective:
- Crying is a healthy release that needs no apology.
- Infertility raises perceived levels of vulnerability.
- Vulnerability raises emotional instability.
- Emotional instability about infertility rides piggyback on anything else that smacks of vulnerability even something like stubbing your toe.
- Before you know it, any demand on you feels like an assault.
- No area of life is untouched.
- When life as you knew it becomes unrecognizable, frustrations mount.
- When frustrations mount, what could be better than a good cry?
The last that’s needed is harsh self-criticism or accepting criticism of others as if it has merit. Crying clears the decks of infertility’s debris allowing you to think more clearly and—hopefully– even reclaim your capacity for joy along the way. Buy stock in Kleenex and soldier on!