The other day, I heard an interesting interview with someone who had experienced mental illness. She was talking about survival and recovery from mental illness, and the stigma that is often attached to it. She was a strong, strong woman, and she announced proudly that she was not ashamed (why should she be?), and that she refused to buy into the social stigma.
It struck me that there are similarities with infertility. There is a social stigma around infertility, and specifically around childlessness (a word I prefer not to use). I suffer from it still from time to time, even though I fight it, even though I don’t feel this way most of the time. But there are times I feel ashamed, times I feel less, times I just don’t want to share. And yet, like those who suffer from mental illness, this is not my fault, and it is not a judgement on my personality or character. Am I buying into the social stigma? Or am I just protecting myself, exercising my own right to remain private, and choosing my battles? I hope it is the second. Because I want to emulate this strong woman who was vibrant and full of life and a surviving spirit.
And I think that is what we are trying to do here on our blogs – battling that social stigma, refusing to feed it, in fact, crushing it and refusing to let it find – pardon the pun – fertile ground here. Social stigma, I'm showing you the door.