Daria Bailey, FCP
Do Not Let Anxiety Control Your Charting
I am someone who unfortunately struggles with anxiety. It is been something I've dealt with since I was 15 years old. It comes and goes, but none the less it is a thorn in my side. And I know anxiety disorders are on the rise and we hear about them all the time, but it is a real thing that disrupts a lot of lives.
"Have patience with all things. But first of all with yourself."
-St. Francis de Sales
Charting when you have anxiety can come in many forms and be for different reasons. I see this in myself and in some of the clients I work with. Trying to figure out how to keep going and use the system correctly can be a little tricky when you are crippled with a daily unease.
I find in times when my anxiety is at its highest I have a really hard time trusting myself. I become so unconfident in my observations and even in my ability to use the system. My trepidation gets in the way of my common sense and my full knowledge of what I am doing. I always have to take a step back and remind myself, "I can do this, I know what I am doing, I can trust my judgment on all my observations". You just have to take a deep breath sometimes and give yourself a kick in the pants, you know? You can do this! You have got this!
Having a support system is one of the best ways to cope with stress and anxiety. Finding someone to support you in your mental health is always important, but also when you are trying to use the method. My husband has been such a great support. He reminds me of everything I have learned. He helps keep me even keel. He helps me when I am in the raging storm of my angst. The man is basically a saint for having to deal with the tornado of my moods.
Now, maybe you aren't married or maybe your fiancé isn't too involved just yet in your charting. That does not mean you are alone in any way. This is where your practitioner comes in. Each time I meet with a client I remind them, they can always text me if need be. Sometimes you just need some reassurance and I love to be there for my clients. As practitioners we are here to support our clients not just to learn the system, but also in the uncertainty we can all sometimes face.
There are times when anxiety in charting comes from your intention of use. I have talked about this before in a previous blog when I mentioned how my husband and I feel we are in a place to not have anymore children. With this decision comes, using the method to avoid. We have chosen to avoid for a few reasons, one actually being my mental health, and we know intercourse can really only happen on days of infertility. This can sometimes bring anxiety to again, "what if I missed something?" Or how will this effect my marriage? Is this sustainable? What it really comes down too is trusting your discernment and in God's plan for our family. With this comes, always being open to life. Do I feel like I could handle another baby? No I do not, but there is always a chance God could bring another bundle of joy into the mix. This brings me great peace, knowing his plans are greater then mine.
This type of anxiety can also happen when you are trying to conceive. Been in this place too! When we were in the throws of our secondary infertility I was a bit of an anxious maniac when it came to my charting. I was obsessed with getting everything just right. Checking with my doctor and practitioner to make sure everything looked okay and if it didn't what was the next step we had to take to make things perfect. It was a lot. And in the end I think it truly held us back from the progress we so desired to see. Anxiety and stress can be very detrimental when it comes to your cycle. And to be honest we had to take a step back for awhile and just let things be. I took a break from charting for about 2 or 3 months just so I could breath and feel normal again. I needed to get myself in a better head space about having another baby and what it was going to take to get there.
If you find yourself in a place of anxiety when charting...I get it. But there is hope. Remember because whatever season of life you may be in, you are not alone. Anxiety does not and should not keep you from using the Creighton Model System with great successes. The fears, the stress, and the apprehension you may feel can be overcome. For myself it took counseling, taking an anti-anxiety medication, communicating with my husband about how I feel, and trusting God always has my best interest and the interest of our family as priority number one.
If you are struggling with anxiety in any way, we can ad want to help. We have resources we would love to share with you. Living in a state of constant worry is so taxing, but it certainly does not have to be that way. Also, if you worry you can't use a natural system because of your anxiety do not let that hold you back. We are here for you every step of the way.