Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Writer's Block

Over the past several months I have started many blog posts and finished very few. I typically write about what's on my heart or my mind or something that is spurred by current happenings in my world.

That's easy to do when my attitude is good and life is generally pleasant. It's much tougher to do when I feel like I'm just barely holding it together. Not that I don't want to be real--I really do. But, I don't want to be negative and depressing. Or rather, I don't want my blog to be negative and depressing. If I'd posted the last several months worth of potential postings that really have been on my heart and mind I'm afraid I wouldn't have any readers left!

This blog was never intended to be about infertility and miscarriage, yet that's what's consumed my thought life for the last several months. Therefore, when I sit down to write other things I almost feel like I'm betraying what's truly in my heart. If I write a light-hearted post about all of the great Christmas recipes I tried and shared with others I feel like I'm polishing the outside and showing you that while trying to hide the yucky inside. So instead, I just haven't really written much of anything.

Which brings me to a question that I discussed with a couple of girlfriends last night as we delved into a new study appropriately titled, "Stuck". How much of our lives should we share publicly when we are somewhere near the depths of despair? In my situation, as a pastor's wife, I desire to be real, but I don't think it's appropriate for me to walk around airing my dirty laundry (so to speak) for anyone willing to listen.

Where's the line between being real and open and honest, and being reckless? I am open for suggestions!

Hopefully I am being more real (and appropriate) than reckless in sharing where I am currently. Most days I'm doing just fine, so please don't be concerned that I'm sitting on the couch eating bon-bons all day wallowing in my own self pitty. Though, I have indulged in a few too many sea salt chocolate caramel truffles from Costco lately, but I digress!

Though I'm fine on most days I have been surprised at how often my emotions spiral down hill at lightning pace without any notice or warning. I'm typically fairly even-keeled in my emotions so this reoccurring tail spin catches me off guard every time.  And honestly, I'm just not sure what to do with it. I try to lace up my big girl boots and march along with life as normal, but I know in my heart my emotions are unstable and something just isn't 'right'. I typically try to ignore my unstable emotions as much as possible until they even out again. That's me. My name's Robyn, I'm an emotional stuffer. The end.

I got my hands on a book about miscarriage from the library yesterday, so maybe that will help me figure out how to walk through some of what I'm feeling. I'm ready to turn over a new leaf and say good-bye to this chapter of my life along with saying good-bye and good riddance to a tumultuous 2011. One step at a time I guess.

Spiritually, let me assure you that pastor's wives walk through desserts and valleys too. And yes, I'm currently in a valley somewhere in the middle of the dessert. In comparison to what I know so many others are enduring right now I feel bad even complaining. This very short, momentary suffering in my life has shaken me far beyond what I would have expected. I have seen people walk through far more dire circumstance with loads more grace than I've been able to muster in the midst of this hurt. I have more questions for and about God than I have answers right now. He is no different now than he was four months ago before I ever found out I was pregnant and walked along the road of loosing my baby. He is no less good. He is no less holy. He is no less righteous. In my head I know that, but in my heart I still hurt. In some ways, I'm not sure I'm ready to turn that hurt over to God yet. Maybe I fear that healing = forgetting, and I don't want to forget. Maybe I'm still highly emotional and irrational and unreasonable and nonsensical and there really isn't a logical rhyme or reason to why I'm not choosing to do what I know in my heart needs to be done? Yeah, it's probably more of the latter.

With all of that being said, maybe I'll write more about miscarriage once I'm past the hurting stage and further into the healing stage? One of the things that frustrated me most about enduring the miscarriage is that it was absolutely nothing like I was expecting. The post-miscarriage healing process is also something that I'm not completely sure how to walk through, nor do I know what's "normal". I wish more people would write about it. I wish more people would talk about it. I wish infertility and baby-loss where something more people shared about because it affects so many of us, yet for the most part we all suffer silently. I want to be part of making talking about it less of a cultural taboo. But, I have a feeling my words will be more helpful to others, and spoken out of less raw, unbridled emotion if I let a little more time pass before I write more about it.

So, with that being said, I'm giving myself permission to write about other things, despite the fact that what I'm writing on any given day might not be a direct reflection of what's on my heart and mind. It might be more of a distraction than anything. I hope this post shows you that I'm not trying to polish the outside and pretend like everything's okay. I'm just not at a place where it's appropriate to publicly share yet.

I felt the need to explain my absence to my readers and to create a bridge between miscarriage and, say,  recipes. Because jumping from one to the other without explanation just doesn't feel right.

With that being said, I have several posts that have been rolling around in my head. Perhaps you could weigh in on what you'd like to read about to give me some inspiration to get past this writer's block I've been experiencing?

Here are some things that I've been mulling over:

Recipes: I've been doing a lot in the kitchen over the last several months. It helps me feel productive!

Meal Planning: This is one area of my life that is actually organized. I almost always have a plan for dinner and the ingredients on hand to make it happen.

Disneyland: Why we love it? How we afford to go as often as we do (hint, we don't have any rich relatives indulging our Disney desires, it actually takes work, planning and budgeting!)? Tips and tricks for a good Disney experience? When is the best time age to take your kids? Other ideas?

Organizing: I am no expert, but I know what it's like to struggle in this area. I have recently found a little bit of success here though.

Finding my inner athlete: Have you seen her?  I know she's in there somewhere, I'm just having a hard time finding her!

Education: Why we school our kids the way we do and why we reserve the right to change our mind at any given moment in time. FYI: I don't love any of my schooling options, so I'm liable to offend just about everyone with this post.

Job Charts and Daily Routines: A glimpse into what works for us as we try to teach our kids about responsibility and money.

Budgeting/Money: How we plan for Christmas in such a way that we don't stress about purchasing gifts when December rolls around? How we do our household budget (it's taken a lot of work, but it's at a point where it's completely on auto-pilot. We don't stress about money because we have a plan for every dollar before it ever enters our home)? Why we are an anti-debt family? Other money/budget related topics?

Foster Parenting: We have enough experience behind us now that I'd be happy to start sharing some insights we've learned if there's any interest in reading about it.

An extension of what's already on the blog: Smoothies, Hairstyles, Love Story Updates.

Other ideas? I'm totally open to suggestions and I'd love some input as to what you'd enjoy reading about.


abertolini said...

Robyn, I just want to give you a big hug, but since we're a ways away, I'll just pray! I would love to hear about any of the things you mentioned, though I'm especially interested in meal planning ('cause I stink at it!) and Disney (but we are going next week-do you have any quick tips for eating cheap? :-)), and budgeting is always good, Oh and Love Story :-).
I don't claim to know what you're going through after a miscarriage, but I have had other emotional/physical/spiritual struggles and I am currently reading a fantastic book that I HIGHLY recommend: Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Emotions-so they don't control you, by Joyce Meyer. This book has been and continues to be a huge blessing to me, and when I finish it, I plan to just start it again. I certainly don't think a book can fix everything, but I really do think it would be an encouragement to you if and when you feel like reading. Anyway, love you and love your blog happy or serious because both of those are the real Robyn!

becca banana said...

I am so sorry about this rough time, Robyn. I agree that writing and sharing would be beneficial to you and others when you feel ready. I have surfed the web looking for more info on miscarriage out of curiousity... came up very limited on knowing what happens physically and emotionally. It shouldn't be a silent suffering. :(

I agree with the commenter above: meal plans! Disney planning!!!!

Thinking of you, praying for a wonderful 2012 for you.
Love Becca

Kristy said...

Hey :) Robyn...I have no idea about miscarriage, but I do know a great deal about death. Despite it being almost 10 years since my mom died it's still with me. Like a really awful best friend. I just wanted to encourage you to talk about it. If you can't write your raw feelings on your blog then at least write them. :) And then rewrite them later. I too was struck with this idea that I had to keep my mouth shut or not talk about great pain, loss, or death ... yet it was the one thing I wanted to do. Since I can not personally relate to a miscarriage I can't speak to it, but I would love to hear more people talk frankly about pain ... and it's honest affect on our lives. Does that make sense? I hope I wasn't too frank. My way of handling things is to speak very openly :)

Momissa said...

I completly agree with Kristy, I understand you not wanting to make this a negative blog, but it wouldn't be real if it was always bright and cheerful. I think you should do whatever you feel comfortable doing. I think though like you found, there isn't much out there for the women who are suffering through this or suffering through this alone.
I think your blog is wonderful, and no one is going to quit reading if you are honest about your pain. I think that if anyone is uncomfortable with it they will just skip to the other parts, and don't forget to include the cheerful parts! You are doing nothing wrong by being happy and enjoying life. It doesn't make your babies life less significant. Don't forget to celebrate your babies life. He or she was there and deserves to be loved and missed.
Ok, before I chicken out on posting this. I don't want to offend you and I'll stop with the I thinks.
We all love you Robyn, because you are a great person.
<3 Melissa

Diana said...

Hey Robyn-write from your heart, however is best for you. As long as you are honest it will be perfect. Nobody wants to read about daisies and sunshine all the time. We learn from each other's pain just as much as we can be encouraged by happiness. So if you want to write about infertility and miscarriage, you will bring profound and raw things out. It's not by any means pleasant, but it is by all means real. Only you can walk your own path but by talking about it you may help somebody else along their own, whether they have a similar reason for pain or something quite different. The heart is a complex place and even trying to describe pain is something nobody has quite perfected yet. I don't think we should stop trying. Think of the Psalms, how many of them were written from a place of pain in the Psalmist's heart.

There are many issues I have worked through by talking about them and writing about them. It just helps me think and feel and name things, and then it helps me place them in my heart in the right place. I can't take them away, but I can find out where they fit in my life. Even though many things have not been 'solved' I have gained peace, even though in some cases it took years. So I would encourage you, whether you publish them on the blog or not, to write down your journey. It will be something monumental and extroadinary and you will learn things about yourself and your life and God.

Diana said...

Oh, and forgot to mention, I'd love to hear about your foster care advice, your schooling choices (and I really doubt you'd offend anyone, you are just too sweet for that unless somebody is going to be offended by you not following thier way of life, and that person will be offended no matter what anyway!)and daily routines!

Maureen said...

I haven't been through a miscarriage, but we struggled mightily through an infertility battle (twice) and I know the ugly/bumpy roller coaster of wanting a baby that eludes you.

I vote for a Specifically developing the discipline to stick to the plan! I'm a fantastic meal planner (if I do say so myself) and we're not doing Disney until our youngest doesn't NEED an afternoon nap.

Sarah said...

Oh Robyn, I feel your pain. It feels like talking about a miscarriage is so taboo, and when I mention my experience with it, I'm surprised at how many women step up and say they've experienced one as well (including my mother!) I would appreciate you speaking about it when you're ready, and I agree with Kristy that any post where you are honest and talking about dealing with your pain and how God is helping you with it is going to be used by Him.

On a less serious note, I'd like to hear about how you guys plan for Disneyland every year. We're big into Dave Ramsey, but we're still in the debt reduction part so it feels like we never get to go anywhere fun! Also, foster parenting is something that you know J and I have always had on our hearts, so I'd love to hear more about that...