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.
September 21, 2007 3:32 pm
Enjoy that peaceful, easy feeling, my friend. May it revisit you every morning :-).
September 21, 2007 4:31 pm
Perfect…just the perfect entry to invite me to ask what I’ve wanted to ask a community of fellow infertile women for a long time. When we stop feeling inadequate because of our infertility diagnoses, what makes us feel fierce? The pair of slacks you pulled on that made you look fabulous…that mile you jogged without getting out of breath…that report you turned in that had your co-workers calling you brilliant… What inspires you and makes you feel like you have a calling (other than having children)?
After BFN several months ago, I thought I’d cuss my body up and down forever when I (surprising myself) had the opposite response: my body is amazing and HOW DARE YOU say it has failed. It serves me every day and allows me to lead a beautifully unique existence on this planet.
Here’s what Stevie Nicks said about her child-free status:
“I don’t really need children. I have a niece who’s six, who certainly fills my life up as far as a child goes. I’m gonna just work on my work. I don’t think the world is going to have that much of a problem with me not being married or having a family. I don’t think that’s why I came here. I have something that’s really important to do, and I don’t think I’ve done that yet.”
I think about that quote, and wonder if my “bad eggs” have another plan for me.
September 21, 2007 8:58 pm
Great post. I’m glad you’re finding some peace. It can be elusive.
September 22, 2007 12:03 am
I was going to post the same article. On the topic of coming out about infertility, we do it amongst our peers and family. These ladies did it in front of the entire nation. In an era of celebrities who literally are showing us more than Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, I am inspired by their courage.
I too am inspired by the women I read every day – including you. We have had to deal with decisions that battle nature and confuse our souls. I am thankful that we have this opportunity to bare our souls to each other.
September 22, 2007 3:07 am
Here’s to many more mornings like this.
September 22, 2007 10:46 am
I wasn’t a Dixie Chicks fan until the whole Bush incident, then I liked their bravery, then I watched their Shut Up and Sing Movie and discovered two of them had IF issues and it made me a complete fan. They’re people we can relate to, and people who talk about it openly. Glad you’re having such a great morning:-)
September 22, 2007 1:23 pm
I agree, both with your comments and Ms. Foster’s observation. I think it is marvelous you have found a community with whom to share not only your grief, but your growth and strength.
September 22, 2007 3:49 pm
Glad you woke up to a great morning and got your Gemini spirit back! I hope you (and all of us) find that sense of peace every morning.
(and I’m 6/2–I’ll keep checking the horoscopes for the both of us b;)
September 23, 2007 12:52 pm
This community of ours are incredible, and keeps me strong when I feel less so. Thanks for being part it!
My bags are almost packed, and on top is a special white file with a very precious story that needs to be finished – I can’t wait! I have so many things to tell you about your book, all good, don’t worry 🙂
September 25, 2007 4:56 pm
I’m smiling reading this post because its just nice to know you are finding peace after all you’ve been through. Thank you for continuing to make a difference and making sure none of us have to battle this alone.
September 29, 2007 3:19 pm
Here’s hoping that peaceful mornings like that the one you described become a frequent occurrence! I’m so happy to read that you are feeling lighter and anchor-free. Thanks for the link to A’s post. Amens all around!