I put The Next Happy on hold at the library when I was going through my recent funk. Then I made my choice about going forward and the next day, the book was available. Talk about awkward! A book about how to give up on a dream, and here I was, not giving up.
I wasn’t sure if I should still read it, but I checked it out anyway and cracked it open – and haven’t put it down. I may not be giving up, but I needed this book so bad right now, last month, even a year ago. A lot of it is about grief and acknowledgement and simply talking you down off the ledge. I have read bits and pieces of similar advice and acknowledgement here and there, but it was all in one place. I would recommend this book to anyone who is neck-deep in TTC, feeling isolated, struggling with all the complicated emotions, and wondering whether they should give up. She doesn’t actually tell you to give up, but she does outline what you should look for – as well as how to tell if you’re not ready.
Plus, she acknowledges that sometimes you give up multiple times, experience all the pain associated with that, only to come right back at it from a different angle. And that’s okay too.
Validation. Sometimes that’s all you need. Someone to say “I hear you” and “you’re not crazy.” I had a dozen different dreams that died in the last year and even moving forward, I am still mourning so many of them, yet even when I tried to explain this to my therapist, she asked what about adoption?
And it feels like, here I am, with a bowl of dead fish, sad that they’re dead, and she just told me to go out and buy new ones. Like yes, that is an option, but wtf, now is not the time.
And here I am with a bowl of dead dreams, accumulated over the months of trying and hoping, and I haven’t let them go yet. I haven’t let go of the dream that I’d be pregnant for Dr Lady’s graduation, or that I could have morning sickness during our trip in June, or happily see a positive just days after my birthday, or even just know we gave it a good shot for my birthday. I haven’t let go of the dream that I could have a May baby and be well enough to travel to a friend’s wedding in July. Fuck, I haven’t even really let go of the dream that I’d be pregnant before my brother.
So here is my bowl and I am working on letting go, I promise, and cleaning it out and putting new dreams in. I have one waiting in a baggy already, a dream that we will get a fair shot this cycle. And I do have another tank, this one filled with snakes and lizards and all manner of delightful reptiles that are still very much alive and doing well.
But I am sad about my fish and all I ask (of the world, of my friends, of my cats – of even myself) is that you respect that.