I'm Jealous Of My Best Friend ... Because She's Pregnant

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I'm Jealous Of My Pregnant Friend

Jealousy is like a worm. It crawls in through your ear, with a whisper. It inches over your tongue as you speak words of bitterness.

It feeds on the vulnerable parts of your being. It slithers along, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Jealousy is like a worm.

I despise worms and I despise being jealous. I hate all of the putrid feelings that are a byproduct of jealousy: the resentment and the longing.

I loathe the unpleasant person that I become when that begrudging worm burrows into my thoughts, feeding and gliding and feeding some more.

My best friend is a beautiful girl but I’m not entirely jealous of her fresh complexion and long light hair.

She’s petite, but I’m not entirely bitter about her ability to pull a bathing suit off the rack without wondering if she’s going to look like a can of busted biscuits.

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She’s kind and patient, but I’m not entirely envious of the good fruit that she bears.

I’m jealous of my pregnant friend.

I want to be pregnant more than I’ve wanted anything in my adult life. I have desired to have another baby for years and with each negative test that I toss into the trash, I become more discouraged and disheartened.

One month, though, hope emerged with a positive sign but that very hope dwindled as the plus sign became more and more faint and the bleeding began.

I long for this baby, this child I can picture when I close my eyes, this child for whom I’ve prayed countless prayers, this child who has already been named.

My longing for this child is so intense that I can barely look at a pregnant woman or new mother without feeling defeated, subpar.

But these pregnant women, strangers, who I see waddling around in elastic-waisted maternity jeans, panting across the parking lot or lugging around a car seat, are just that: strangers.

 They are merely passing individuals and I won’t be privy to their pregnancy milestones.

I won’t have to watch them glow and share ultrasound photos or pick out nursery bedding.

Their pregnancies aren’t close to my home or my heart.

But my best friend, who holds a test with a big pink plus sign, my best friend cultivating a seed that was so quickly sown, my best pregnant friend’s jubilant news makes me feel like a stupid child who wants to cower in the corner because she didn’t get picked to skip rope on the playground.

When my friend told me about her pregnancy, my heart sank.

I could almost feel it plummet into the pit of my stomach and become meal for that slimy worm.  

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What kind of friend experiences pangs of dread at her confidant’s joy?

What kind of best friend finds sadness in her sister’s happiness?

I do.

I’m a horrible friend. 

I stewed over her pregnancy for a couple of days but it really hit me when she announced her good fortune on social media.

I watched the "likes" skyrocket and congratulations fill the comments and I began to bawl like a baby.

I hated myself for crying and I tried to suppress those negative emotions but they poured from my eyes uncontrollably, like a child weeping because her ice cream cone fell to the hot pavement.

A child deprived of something.

Rejected. Unlucky. Covetous.

See, I really do desire to be happy for her.

She deserves this joy in her life and I have no doubt what a wonderful mother she will be to this precious bundle, but my heart refuses to be delighted for her because I want my own bundle. I’d be a wonderful mother, too.

Selfish. Egotistical. Jealous.

Thankfully, we possess the kind of friendship where we can speak openly and honestly with one another.

As tears blinded my eyes, I typed a text message to let her know what I was feeling.

I confessed it all: the jealousy and the guilt for possessing such malicious thoughts about her good news.

And she replied exactly what I needed to hear because she’s known the ins and outs of my infertility and miscarriage.

She was kind, comforting and most importantly, understanding.

That’s exactly why she’s my best friend. And that’s exactly why she deserves my utmost happiness.

I’ve decided to rid myself of the selfish and spiteful feelings. It may take a great deal of effort but I’ll do it.

I’ll be the best friend she so deserves. I’ll rejoice in her good fortune and her sunshine, despite this rainy season in my life.

I’ll also make every effort to stave off the other pangs of jealousy that I experience on a daily basis: Jealousy over another’s job promotion, book deal, SUV with electric start, new house, lush landscaping, house-trained puppy, Facebook likes, Twitter followers, hair that doesn’t grow in the humidity, beauty, toned abs, clear skin, awards, recognition, popularity. I’m such a pitiable creature to be so envious of things when I already have more blessings than I deserve. 

Aren’t we all pitiable creatures?

You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars.

Jealousy is like a worm.

It crawls in through your ear, with a whisper. It inches over your tongue as you speak words of bitterness.

It feeds on the vulnerable parts of your being. It slithers along, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

Jealousy is like a worm.

But I refuse to let it burrow into my mind any further. I refuse to let that dirty worm make me an unworthy friend.

I refuse to let it stifle my joy that should be ever-present when my best friend begins to glow and show and one day soon birth her precious and well-deserved gift.

Worms like to surface in rain, just as this jealousy worm has surfaced in the midst of my own storm.

But the sun will eventually shine forth and leave it shriveled and dead.

I never liked worms.

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Susannah B. Lewis is an author, blogger and podcaster. Her videos and articles have been featured in Reader’s Digest, US Weekly, Yahoo!, Huffington Post, Unilad, The Weather Channel, and more. Follow Susannah on her Facebook page Whoa Susannah.