Beginning a new day, I awoke at 5:00 am today feeling at peace. That in and of itself is a major breakthrough (the peace part, not the waking up early part). You see, for the past few years I’ve routinely awakened in the wee morning hours with thoughts magnified by darkness. Hatred for my dysfunctional body. Anger at the fertile world. Shame at my inability to be a fully functioning woman capable of conceiving. Hopelessness about what lay ahead.
In my semi-conscious state before blogs existed I would get up in the darkness and write in my journal. That effort would set my jumbled thoughts free, but I still felt absolutely alone in my experience. I carried my shame, anger and misery wherever I went. The weight alone dragged me down like an anchor. I struggled not to drown in depression.
What’s different about this morning? I realized how much lighter I feel. I’ve let the anchor go — it’s stuck now in the muck on the bottom. Good riddance!
From Darkness into Light
I’m buoyed by a tremendous community (and it’s made up of some damned fine people — just look in the mirror). Each time I read about your strength, your fight, your stamina and your courage it inspires and propels me forward. You tackle infertility with such raw emotion, grace, and when all else fails: humor. A few of the latest examples:
– Making Peace wonders why she feels so alone — you’re not, my friend.
– Chicklet in Blurb This writes in her blog about the madness and conflicting emotions that infertility causes.
– In A Woman My Age, A’s latest post concerns “coming out” publicly about her infertility and the power of being honest rather than ashamed. I commented that “Each time I baldly acknowledge infertility I feel less confined by it.” (Can I hear an Amen? — or, in A’s case, a Buddhist chant?)
There are many, many more new beginning examples bookmarked. I review them often.
‘New Beginning’ Inspiration in Many Places
You, dear readers, inspire me with your resilience. Addressing infertility’s shame, anger and hopelessness is a complex process. At times it’s like getting lost in a maze, isn’t it? Sometimes I hit dead ends and other days I run free. Along the way I gather little clues to navigate my new beginning.
The clues come when I least expect it. The other night, for instance, I’m watched Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. Who was the guest? Jodie Foster — someone I admire for a bunch of reasons. She discussed the character in her new movie, but her words took on a new meaning for me when I put them in the infertility context.
Here’s what she had to say:
“I wish for instant karmic justice. I think we all do but we don’t want to lay claim to it. Women in general when faced with abuse or faced with rage, they turn inwards. They drink themselves to death…or shoot their boyfriends or destroy themselves. But in this case … it’s an opportunity for a woman to dig deep and say ‘how about maybe I don’t destroy myself and how about I destroy you?’ And I have to say it’s astonishingly satisfying.”
Yes, Jodie, it IS astonishingly satisfying to turn the tables on infertility’s negativity and say, how about maybe I don’t destroy myself. How about I destroy that negativity. Here’s to a new beginning and all that it offers.