I write a lot about what helped me to heal. I worry that it sounds easy. It wasn’t. I feel I’ve written a lot too about how hard it was. But I try not to focus on that in this blog. After all, there are plenty of people going dealing with the end of the infertility journey, and the beginning of their no kidding journey, who are going through this now, and writing more immediately about their struggles. I’ve made this blog about living and loving life with no kids after infertility, my thoughts about that, and how I got here. How I got here is what interests me, primarily because it might help others get here too.
Hindsight – with the benefit of time - is a wonderful thing. Now, in 2015, I can look back on the last 12-15 years, and see how far I’ve come, see the progress I was making at different stages of loss and healing, see the decisions I made that were the right ones to take, and the things I did that might have held me back. I see now what I didn’t want to see then, what was hard for me, and where I fell. I see when I was in denial. I see when my own thinking caused me immeasurable pain.
I see too when I had hope, when I lost hope, and when it changed and became hope for something new, for a better, if different, life. I see when my thinking changed, working for me instead of against me. I see my strength. I see my compassion and kindness. I see my growth. I see my self-confidence. I see my resilience, and I see my vulnerability. I see all this now.
But I know that at the time, I felt I was fumbling through my grief, and new life. I felt ill equipped to deal with this. I didn’t have any professional help. I didn’t have advice from anyone who had gone before me. So I didn’t always understand my thoughts or behaviour as I was going through it. I didn’t know what was helping me, and what wasn’t. Certainly not at first. But as I found my community, and received their help and support, I learnt more, and began to help others. It all sounds very altruistic. But it’s very hard (for me at least) to see someone going through pain and grief, knowing how awful it feels to experience that, without wanting to help them, without trying to ease their pain. In doing that, in responding to their losses and grief a few months or a year or two (and later much more) behind mine, I began to recognise what had helped me. I began to conceptualise and articulate what had helped me. I began to understand my own process. I regularly had light bulb moments; so much became clear to me.
I found writing to be very beneficial. It still is, here at No Kidding. Let me clarify that. I find writing with a purpose – either to help others, or for the blog – personally enlightening. (I kept a diary, but that didn't do a lot for me). In writing with a purpose, I am continually learning more - about myself, this community, and people and society in general. I have to turn a feeling into words and – something that is important to me – logic. My Gifts of Infertility series, for example, has required a lot of thought. Writing this series made me realise I still have more to understand, more to verbalise. I continue posting because I continue to be sparked by others’ comments or posts, by ideas they might have or by feelings they’re experiencing but don’t understand. I often start with no idea what I want to say, but just a feeling that there is something to be said.
Looking back, I learn lessons from the past. Those lessons help me live my life, as well as preparing me better for the future. And so I continue to write.