The myth: you're alone. The truth: you're not.
Resolve, the National Infertility Association, is holding a "bust an infertility myth" challenge.
There are a host of myths surrounding infertility. I'm not even going to get into the whole "just relax" nonsense. But there is a certain myth that I think a lot of us infertiles struggle with.
When I first learned I couldn't get pregnant without medical help (you can read more about my diagnoses- PCOS and endometriosis- here), I struggled with a lot of emotions. At first I was in denial, then scared, and then came the deep sadness that I still carry with me. Unfortunately there have also been many moments sprinkled with anger, jealousy, and shame.
I never wanted to be a part of this battle and I hate that I am. At first, the worst thing was that I felt like I was the only one on this team. Pregnant women, new moms, heck even women who simply menstruated seemed to surround me.
I was alone.
But that's just a myth.
Unfortunately, one in 8 women know exactly how I feel. Every time I see this number, I shudder. I can't believe there are so many people on my team.
Once I started opening up about my problems, I felt a small weight lifted off my shoulders. It felt so good to get my feelings out there.
Talking with my family and friends really, really helped me. But connecting with the others like me helped so much more.
Meeting people who felt the same exact way I did filled such an amazing void. I learned that seemingly endless crying fits, giving pregnant women dirty looks, hating my body, and other crazy emotions were actually completely normal. We could be sad for each other but so relieved we weren't the only ones fighting infertility. And when you learn a fellow infertile gets pregnant, you'll still feel a pang of the "why not me's" but you'll also be filled with hope.
My plea to my fellow infertiles is to know you're not alone. Please seek out support from others, especially others like you. If you don't know anyone in real life, look for a support group, read blogs, or hit up twitter. I promise there are people out there just like you, and connecting with them will really help.
I'll never know the reason why I had to fight for my fertility. But infertility taught me an amazing lesson: people are good. People want to help you and genuinely care about you. I'll never ever forget the support I've gotten from others- both real life loved ones and internet friends. I can't believe I ever underestimated the awesome power of human compassion. I can never thank them enough.
This journey has taught me that no matter what you're facing, you're never alone. Whatever you're going through, no matter how "shameful" it may feel, please open up and share your feelings with someone.
To learn more about infertility please check out these incredible resources: