Don’t Ignore…The Elephant in the Room.
Many of you probably know 1 or 2 couples that are openly struggling with infertility, and probably 3 or 4 more who are doing it in silence. I used to be one of those struggling in silence…but I refuse to live with the elephant in the room any longer. I speak up when I see it necessary, help when I can, and try to raise awareness to the fact that infertility is more common than most perceive and that elephant isn’t getting any smaller.
4 Things You Can Do To Out That Elephant!
- Speak Up – If you are living with infertility or know somebody who is, share your story or speak up for those to ashamed to do it themselves. It is painful, scary, and often silence feels like the easiest way out. But it’s not. Ignoring the elephant in the room only makes things worse. Trust me, I know first hand. For years I shoved my feelings deep inside and hid my actions and fear from those I loved. In doing so, I became depressed…to a point that I should have asked for help…but I couldn’t see it. I was so consumed by my inability to make a baby that it was the ONLY thing that mattered. It wasn’t until I finally saw what I was doing to myself, and addressed the elephant in the room, that I could move forward with life. The small act of talking with others was a huge help in bringing me out of depression. The more I talked about it, the easier it was for me to move forward. And moving forward doesn’t mean that I am happy with the fact that I struggle with infertility.
- Advocate – There are many ways to advocate for those who struggle with infertility. Speaking up for people with the disease is one powerful way. If you can do more, I suggest checking out RESOLVE. They can keep you informed on legislation and help guide you in ways to advocate at a national level. Be it through awareness or legislation. Do your part….advocate for those who can’t find the strength to do it themselves, for those who are just finding their voices, and those who are on the front lines. We need to educate the nation on the impact infertility has on people, and the injustice those diagnosed face. If we don’t speak up, that elephant will continue to grow. PLEASE click here to see how you can help.
- Allow Yourself to FEEL – Allow yourself to openly and truly feel all the emotions that come with infertility (no matter if it is you that struggles, or you are somebody who loves someone who is). I can name at least a dozen emotions that I feel daily! Fear, confusion, hopelessness, hope, weakness, strength, anger, frustration, loved, longing, grief, and supported. They come in waves. Sometimes I cry because I’m sad, and sometimes I cry because I can’t believe how supportive my husband and my family/friends are. A few years ago I realized that every emotion I have is valid and that I need to embrace those feelings, learn from them if they have something to teach me, and move forward with life. They make me who I am and are part of this journey. As a reminder I got a tattoo of a lotus blossom and the Reiki Symbol for emotional healing. Every time I see it I am reminded of how far I’ve come, and that beauty can come from the darkest and murkiest of places. Push the elephant aside and really feel.
- Do Your Research – If you have a question, ask. There are dozens of issues that can impact people with infertility. It is hard to keep the facts straight. Asking questions and getting a clear picture of what is happening or what to expect is important. Understand that information on the web is ENDLESS, but should not be considered as the final say. There is a lot of conflicting, false information on the web. If you find something that is of concern or interest, write it down and ask your RE. And if you don’t feel you can do that…you need a new RE. I wish I had known this 4 years ago because I could be in a very different place in my life had I known what I know today. Additionally, if you feel there is a problem, trust your instincts and seek help. Don’t wait. I know it is hard, and the information you receive is probably something you don’t want to hear, but the sooner you hear it, the better off you’ll be. Arming yourself with information is powerful.
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Don’t ignore the elephant in the room.