This Is Not The Pain Olympics

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” ― Oprah Winfrey


We all have coping mechanisms for pain, hurt, disappointment, heartache, and tragedy. Mine would have to be sleep. I use sleep to distract me from my problems. Dream the problems away as I like to think of it. I justify this coping mechanism by saying, how sleep is actually healthy and recharges my battery. However let me remind everyone that the pain you feel, however large or small is not any more significant or insignificant than pain someone else is dealing with. This is not the “Pain Olympics.”


I choose to do work that requires me to be constantly plugged-in and online most of the day. With that requirement makes it hard not to see or hear about tragedies such as the one that has shaken our country in Orlando shooting recently. Stirring up arguments, gun debates, politics, and all the bitterness that seems to surround us. The pain is real. It has left me feeling raw, helpless, detached, and heartbroken. I want to just run away, from these problems and others in my own personal life. Maybe I should sell everything I own and become a minimalist or travel the world to remind me the beauty of this earth and sail off into the sunset. If only that were truly possible. I have no solutions or ability to take away all the pain of this world. I can only positively promote change and kindness to the people I am able to touch.


Infertility and dealing with personal tragedy is not much different. Or giving up your dream that motherhood would happen like your fairytale dreams. Or that Mr. Prince Charming would come a sweep you off your feet. We don’t get to deal our own set of cards in life. It is easy to believe the lie that what you have to say does not matter, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. Your story does matter.


Just like the author Jen Noonan‘s story and memoir “In Due Time” who I interviewed this week for What Women Are Saying. Her journey to motherhood was met with uncertainty even after finding the love of her life. Jen and her husband struggled silently until she decided to write about secondary infertility and tell her story to the world. She found a support system with RESOLVE and began connecting with other women dealing with similar issues. She even talked about it on her blog. What you have to say can make a difference. You are here for a reason. I like the quote by Oprah, which states to turn your wounds into wisdom.


I imagine that is hard to do in the moment while facing the unthinkable. Like coaching yourself through every struggle. You control your thoughts, not what happens to you. I have talked to countless of women who have faced fertility heartaches. Women like Mimi Lee who lost her baby embryos in a custody battle with her ex husband after beating cancer to women who had multiple miscarriages for unknown reasons or someone dealing with infertility because of endometriosis to dealing with loss because of genetic or age factors. Loss does not discriminate. It does not choose some and avoid others.


I feel like screaming at anyone who tries to minimizes how you feel or shames you for feeling that way. You should never let anyone make you feel small about the struggles you are coping with. Regardless what that pain includes, regardless if it is a loss of a child, death in the family, lay off from your job, or plans not going as planned … your pain is valid. We are not in the pain olympics. The person who suffers the most does not win. This is not a pain competition.


Everyone thinks they hold the solution or the key to everyone one else’s problems. Everyone wants to give you their two cents or opinion, but I just want to tell you how I’m sorry your are hurting. I’m sorry for the unfairness. I wish I could take away your pain. I wish I could fix everything and make it better. I’m not sure why you are going through this, but I do know God does not give us more than we can handle. Breathe, this too shall pass. God obviously thinks you can handle a lot, but life will go forward and bring a new set of seasons into your world. Keep the faith and keep going.


I encourage you that if you are not currently struggling, to notice someone who is. Be that light in the darkness to help give them hope. Be careful not to talk people out of their grief, it is not your job to fix every situation, just because you feel uncomfortable when someone else is grieving. The world is full of unknowns and tragedies that are beyond our individual control. Find peace to know that you can just be there and show your support. That is all someone wants during this hard time. Showing you care with time and love can make all the difference.


If you are struggling and need someone to talk to check out this new approach and future of therapy called, TalkSpace Therapy (click this code for $50 off your first month). Or find a licensed therapist either online or in person to talk. Talking to a third-party about any problems you are facing, can help give you the strength and make the right decisions in your life. I would also recommend Cloud Counseling‘s therapist Karissa Brennan, LMHC, DCC who provides convenient, flexible, affordable, secure counseling for any one who might need it via email, Skype, phone, or in-person. It never hurts to have a professional help guide you during a tough time in your life. You do not have to be alone.