3 years ago, a doctor told me that “pain is a signal that something was wrong.” I had never thought of pain like that. Pain was something to be dominated and ignored, not listened to. It was a transformative statement. I had prided myself on having a high pain tolerance.
Last week, I had a surgery done that a doctor recommended over 20 years ago. While I did a lot to prevent having major surgery my health was beginning to deteriorate at a rapid pace. I was in pain, severely anemic and my body grew less tolerant of stress.
I had made the decision to have the surgery over a year ago, but needed time to make the psychological decision. Now I will never give birth and up until a year ago that was part of the dream. I needed time to mourn the loss and yet prep for a life I never considered. It was an interesting juxtaposition of emotions to work through. But here is what I did to work through it.
Whenever part or all of your dream dies, you need to mourn as if you lost a loved one. Or maybe you are just in transition from a career you can no longer have to something new. Mourn and grieve the loss.
Explore new Possibilities
Grass is just as green as the other side of the fence. There are benefits to your situation. There are goals I can accomplish now rather than later without having children involved. I believe taking time to fantasize about a new life is healthy. What are the things you are interested in but never pursued? You can read more about this from my post “6 steps to finding direction in your life”
Unlike a death in the family where there is a sense of finality, letting go is difficult when it’s based on a decision you have to make. But what are the consequences of not letting go? We see pro athletes who can’t seem to retire lose their most loyal fans. Moving up my surgery from later this year to last week was my way of letting go. If not, my health would have negatively affected my career and other ambitions.
Take a Step in a New Direction
It’s like walking in the fog. That used to creep me out as a child. Even though you know the destination you are unsure of the roadblocks ahead. It can be exciting despite the uncertainty. But the new life you are about to partake of is definitely worth celebrating. For me it was making a commitment to write my first book.
With all of above, I cannot emphasize enough the necessity of having good friends and family around to help you through tough, life changing decisions.