I speak with a woman who deals specifically with traumatic loss and PTSD, and it has really, really helped me. I feel no shame in sharing this because there is no shame in seeking help when you need it, and anyone who makes you feel that there is, probably a) has never walked in your shoes, and b) is not a healing person to have around you at this already difficult time. Honestly. This world that we have been thrust into can feel so big, so impossible to conquer. If there is one thing I am proud of myself for in how I have handled all that has happened (miscarriage, child loss, subsequent infertility) it is that I knew I needed help, and regardless of what I thought people might think, I got it.
Throughout the last year plus, my therapist has brought many little tidbits and techniques to my attention to try out. Some of them are pretty involved, and difficult to explain, but on my last visit she shared a technique with me that I thought might help you too. It is called PAGL, and I am going to give you the Reader's Digest version below.
I read alot of babyloss momma's blogs talking about how tough certain decisions can be to make.
"Should I go visit my child at the cemetery?"
"Should I not?"
"Should I try to conceive again?"
"How do I know if it is the right time?"
"Should I return to work?"
"Should I move and start over somewhere else?"
"Should I continue this friendship with someone who I have known for years but really hasn't been there for me since my loss?"
"Should I share the news of a new pregnancy?"
"Should we wait until the baby is here and alive to share the news?"
You get the point. As if grief weren't messy and difficult enough, it sometimes feels so magnified by the questions that swirl in our heads, especially if there is the added burden of feeling pressure to do what those around you think you should do. Or, what you think they think you should do.
What my therapist shared with me is called The PAGL Technique. It was developed by Dr. Thomas Hora, and I am sure what I know about this technique is very basic, but if you go and google it, you can get more in depth information.
PAGL stands for Peace Assurance Gratitude Love.
Basically, the way it was explained to me, is that PAGL is a way to pray on each of these issues and come to a decision that is right for you. When I say prayer, I don't mean religious prayer, more of a meditation, however if doing this through religious prayer helps, by all means do what feels right.
When an issue plagues your mind, for instance
"I just lost my child, and we have been invited to a party where there will be other children..."
close your eyes, think about the situation at hand, and pay close attention to how your body and mind respond to it. If it is the right thing for you (and the right thing to do by society's standards, and the right thing for you are two totally different things and that is okay, this is about what is right for you) so if it is the right thing to do, it should bring into your heart a sense of Peace Assurance Gratitude and Love. The idea being that if you feel PAGL about a certain decision you are making, you can feel confident that it is the right one for you. If you don't feel PAGL, something in your body, the universe, your mind, I don't know, is telling you to move in a different direction.
Since entering this new world of IVF, alot of questions have been thrown our way.
"What to do with frozen embryos?"
"Would we be willing to freeze embryos?"
"Would we be comfortable with assisted hatching?"
"Are we comfortable with the process of IVF itself?"
Each of these questions/situations can veer off in several different directions, and I have been quietly, prayerfully reflecting on each, closing my mind and body off to what I think others would think of them (whether they would judge them, support them, condemn them, push them) and instead searching for whichever option brings me the deepest sense of Peace Assurance Gratitude and Love.
I am certainly no expert on PAGL, and don't claim to be one, but really it makes total sense that the right decision would be that which feels right.
I know that the readers of this blog come from all walks of life. Babyloss, Infertility, Life in General, and that is why I thought this would be such a good technique to share, because searching for answers that bring the most Peace Assurance Gratitude and Love into your heart is helpful, regardless of the situation.