Part 1.

Do you  guys hear this being thrown around?:

"They / he / she need therapy."
"They / he / she just need counseling."
"I hope they get him into counseling soon."

So.  Sometimes that's true.  Sometimes there are life events, or mood disorders, or family relationships, etc. that affect a person to the point that counseling - the opportunity to receive professional help in establishing new ways of thinking and new coping strategies (That's the abridged definition) - can be extremely helpful.  

Here's what's also true.  Sometimes hard things happen and people find ways to cope without needing therapy.  In the case of bereavement, for example, feelings of loss and grief might be extremely painful, but experiencing difficult emotions does not always mean you need counseling.  Sometimes allowing ourselves to experience painful emotions is the best thing we can do ... because we're allowing ourselves to feel and to move through it.  (Am I saying that nobody experiencing bereavement should seek out counseling?  Nope.  I'm just saying it's not always an automatic.)

I just got back from my hairstylist.  Good night sometimes she drives me crazy.  I was talking to her about how uninspired I am with my hair (this is a daily feeling for me), which somehow lead to me briefly mentioning that I was grumpy today.  Grumpy with my hair.  Grumpy that I have to drive 2.5 hours to a wedding reception tonight by myself as Shoes is in Utah for the away game.  Then she asked how "working on your family's little addition" was going and I simply stated I was grumpy about that too.

Well, I am.

Then she said, "Are you in therapy?"

Dear hearts.  Please do not ask people you don't really know very well this question.
It is RUDE.  And deeply personal.  (I also think we should let go of the stigma around seeking out mental health help.  But still.)

I stated I was not, and she said, "Well, I think you should be."
For what?
For being grumpy that my hair is alternatively a greasy / frizzy mess?  I think grumpiness is an appropriate response to that.
For being grumpy that I have to go to a wedding reception where I might not know anybody?
That's normal too.
And being grumpy that we're delayed in our family plans?  HA!  Grumpy is a MUCH preferred alternative to any number of things I could meet that with.

(Now, I should be in therapy because I'm a therapist, and it's standard practice for us to be so, but turns out I'm having a hard time finding a therapist who doesn't know me or my spouse's family in this tiny rural town....)

All this to say is that counseling is not always the answer, and sometimes we can find answers within us, or in our support systems, or our friends and family.   Or Jesus or God or Allah or Nature or Art or Yoga or Marathons or ....  (We know more than we think we know and can do better than we think we can do ...)

Sometimes counseling is most definitely the answer, but here's a little nugget about that as well.

Sitting in a counselor's chair / regularly attending therapy does not mean you're going to experience relief from negative symptoms or an increase in positive symptoms.


Well, that's Part 2 of this post, which is forthcoming ...
Sometimes when people are trying to start their family, it seems like everybody around them experiences the success they so ardently hope for.

Seriously.  If you're trying to conceive, be my friend.  You will turn into a powerhouse of a baby maker.  This week alone, two of my dearest friends and two of the interns at work announced their happy news.

Now mind you; in this next part, both things are true.  
1:  I am genuinely elated for these sweet souls.  They will be truly amazing parents.
2:  I can't help but me reminded of my own current misadventures, which honestly brings a bit of grief.  I am no less happy for my friends.  I am no less in grief for myself.

I was sharing this last night with Shoes as he read the paper.  He looked up at me over his glasses and said,  "It sounds like you hear the old western music when the two gunslingers arrive in town and meet at high noon coming from your body."

"Think of it more like a Carpenter's song.  That's what it's singing."

(A little speechless then to hear my pragmatist husband talking about ... My uterus' soundtrack?)

When I asked him what Carpenter's song, he shrugged his shoulders and said, "I don't even know.  This conversation is weird enough."

Indeed it was.  Shoes is one of the most logical, level headed people I know.  I don't think our close non internet friends would believe he was talking about the song of my uterus.

I did a quick google search and this is the first Carpenter's song to come up.  Well.   At least it's better than "The good, the bad and the ugly."

Shoes and I have decided it's time for some sort of kid to  live in our house.  Actually, we decided this awhile ago, but with the old job, the changes this year, etc., it's only been in the past few months we've really been able to focus in on what this means.

Good Lord, what does this mean??

Well.  Honestly.  We're not really sure.  As of right now, we're going about this natural way, but when you're 36, the natural way reveals things about an aging female body.  Sometimes it reveals things that are slightly worrisome and come with all sorts of connotations.  In our case, we're still optimistic that things can be leveled out, and with the force of several supplements, we're moving forward.  (Many, many thanks to my dear friend B., who has termed this season in my life "reproductive misadventures."   I love that.  It makes it workable.  To me, that might mean that I read the map upside down and my luggage got lost in baggage claim, but there's still hope I can hitchhike back to down and the airline will contact me at some point.)

But there's still that question if it will work, right?  On top of the question, Shoes and I have always held adoption closely to our hearts.   We almost started the adoption process before trying to have our own; we've both had personal circumstances and jobs in which we've seen the ardent need for children to be placed with families who are in it for the long haul.

We're in it for the long haul.

Fostering, however, we're not interested in.  I realize that might sound calloused, but in this very, very small rural town, I would prefer to not have my community partners coming by my home at a moment's notice for 30 day face to face checks.  There's too much togetherness there, and I am far too opinionated.  Sometimes I agree with the Children's Administration.  Sometimes I bluntly and unapologetically don't.  But I have to have weekly meetings with those folks.  Shoes and I have agreed this is better left alone, for the sake of working relationships.

Kids.  We think we know what that means.  I think I know what that means.  Deep down, we know we have no idea what this means.  And we're ready for that, you know?  We had to come to a place where we were able to look that question dead in the eye and answer quietly, I don't know, but we stand in a place of faith and quiet confidence.

Also, when you get ready to have a family?  Holy moly, the free advice starts flowing like thick molasses.  I have heard Everything.  EVERY magic trick that GUARANTEES success.  And while I receive the advice in love (because I choose to believe that that was the spirit from which it was intended ...  MOST of the time), it becomes very overwhelming very quickly if left unchecked.

But don't worry, I'm checking it.  And letting go of worry.  And putting aside My Ultimate Plan.  One way or the other, it will happen, and Shoes and I will grow our family.  Rosie will have a human sibling.  We'll take family vacations to cheesy resorts.  We'll stay up all night with sick kids.  All of it.  

All the Everythings.