My last few posts have been some of the most difficult to write but also the most freeing and helpful. I have learned this last week that these last few posts have not only been helpful to me, but to hundreds of others as well, as Ever Upward was featured on a weekly round-up post on Marie’s wonderful blog (http://journeyingbeyondbreastcancer.com/2013/12/29/weekly-round-up-72/). It was also shared by people other than my close family and friends (thank you, thank you, thank you!).
Which means my views went up.
The message heard on a bigger scale.
And most importantly, shame died a little bit more.
I, along with others who have shared the blog posts, have received private messages thanking us for sharing the links, for speaking the truth about infertility and sending their support. However, I can’t help but notice how few people actually share the blog or publicly comment on it. I do not feel anger and sadness because I need the blog to gain fame or because I’m seeking validation, but because it shows just how strong the shame of infertility is.
Why are we not talking about this more?!
Statistics currently show 1 in 8 couples suffers with infertility, with some studies saying it is more like 1 in 6.
1 in 8.
Possibly, 1 in 6!
And yet most of us suffer in silence, alone with only our partner by our side (and our IVF docs pushing another round), thus, putting more pressure on our relationship. Aren’t the hormone treatments, painful procedures, waiting games and the vast amounts of money we spend doing enough damage to our relationship?
I am speaking my story out loud because otherwise it is invisible to the world, which means it feels riddled with shame, disgrace and indignity. But the thing is, many of the most difficult struggles we all suffer with are invisible; depression, autoimmune disorders, infertility, etc., etc.
I don’t think we all need to be the poster child for our stories, pains and losses. And this isn’t what I am trying to do through the blog. I’m writing, sharing and speaking loudly, my authentic truth, because it heals me, makes shame impossible to live inside of me and because it helps. It helps me, and I am learning it is helping others.
I can’t not help others, as this would be like asking me to not breathe.
Speaking, and owning, our truth is the only place any of us will find peace, understanding and wholeness.
The blog writing and the authentic truth telling is not for attention or pity or ‘fame’ but for understanding, empathy, not feeling so alone and helping. If my truth telling, my light, is too much for you and makes you uncomfortable, cringe or point the finger of judgment, well, that speaks more about you than me. And my only hope for you is that one day you find, fight for and own your own authentic truth and light.
As this is the biggest and strongest weapon any of us have against shame.
Brené Brown often compares shame to gremlins. Gremlins when exposed to the light die. Shame when spoken and owned can no longer exist.
I will never be a mother.
I will never fulfill what society, and what some say God put me on earth to do.
I am a survivor and thriver of anxiety and depression.
I am a fighter and a helper.
I am figuring out how to accept, like and even be proud of my childfree life.
I will live my life, sometimes minute by minute, seeking, fighting for and living out loud my ever upward.
And, I hope my story helps you to do the same in your own way; find, fight for and own your truth, your ever upward.