November 18, 2010

The Infertile's Manifesto

Infertility is... so many, many things, I have learned.

Thank you for such beautiful, moving, thought-provoking responses to yesterday's post, Fill in the Blank. Mum's still the word on where this is headed, but I was so moved last night as I read through all of the responses. Your answers reflect so many stages of the infertility journey: the anguish, the bitterness, the exhaustion.

I was moved and gave pause for the weariness in your words:

"Draining, crushing, the hardest thing I have ever had to go through, hell, suffocating, bullshit, a raw deal, soul sucking, overwhelming, depressing, devastating, a disease that changed my life and perspective forever..."
What stood out for me the most - to be honest, surprised me the most - where the attributions of hope. For all of the pain in these responses, there is hope and even joy to be found. I was so inspired by the subtext of your fighters' spirit throughout the responses. You've written your own manifesto of hope, strength, perserverance.

Photo by Steve Johnson via Flickr.

The Infertile's Manifesto

Infertility is the most devastating natural disaster you'll ever survive.

Infertility is something that is not going to break me.

Infertility is a journey that makes me stronger.

Infertility is not going to get the best of me.

Infertility is not defining me.

Infertility is not the winner.

Infertility is not our fault.

Infertility is not all I am.

Infertility is not the end.

I have to say, it is very humbling and deeply moving to put something like this out there and receive such raw emotion back, because what I have learned is that through it all, there is hope. And even if you don't feel hopeful today, it's still there. It's still just as much a part of our journeys. And when you don't feel hopeful, you're always welcome to come back to the Fill in the Blank list and say so: be angry, be dark, and rage against the cruelty of this indiscriminate beast.

And when you do need a moment of hope, then come back to this list, to the Infertile's Manifesto. Listen the echoes of our hearts. Feel this pulse of hope that beats steadily as we walk this path.

. . .

I realized I have yet to answer my own fill in the blank. So here goes.

Infertility is...

...what has brought me to each of you.

It has allowed me to make deep connections spanning continents, cables, and experiences. It has been a catalyst: I have become a different person, and it's up to me to be happy with myself, to be comfortable in my own skin, to forge a new path for myself and imagine a new story as we build our family. It has been a defining moment, but does not define me.

For all of the pain, the heartbreak, the stress, the fear: I'd never take it back. I'd never wish this on my worst enemy- but I'd never take it back.

Thank you for giving me such hope.


Justine L said...

I love this. In fact, I said something very similar to a friend that I bonded with over stillbirth initially ... I now count her one of my closest friends. Loss brought us together, but our love for each other is the glue that makes the friendship stick.

Alex said...

Beautiful, just beautiful!

KT said...

I like your post; I also enjoyed going back and reading everyone's post from yesterday!

FET Accompli said...

This was a great post, and yesterday's comments were so powerful. The only thing I might note is about starting off the manifesto with "Infertility is the most devastating natural disaster you'll ever survive." I'm also a cancer survivor (including relapse), so I might have a different perspective. There are other devastating natural disasters that people can survive. Infertility is awful, but it might not be the "most" devastating. This would depend on the other life experiences of the person who has also battled with infertility.

My Hopeful Journey said...

It reminds me of a post that I wrote also called Lessons Learned from Infertility.

It is weird how something so terrible brings us some amazing things like people we would have never met or appreciation of things that we never used to appreciate!

rebecca said...

Thank you for sharing this, so inspiring and beautiful! And a reminder that we're not alone in this crazy IF roller coaster.

myinfertilitywoes said...

I am here via Rebecca above and am so grateful she's shared your post - this was amazing to read. Thank you! I need hope, believe me, and I will surely think of this and actually post it to my 'favorite posts' area :)

Anonymous said...

Thank You. What a wonderful post. Just spot on.