It wasn’t an easy thing to put my life out there in the way that I did. I’ve always felt safer hiding in the shadows, speaking in soft whispers and treading my footsteps lightly so as not to disturb. At times I’d convinced myself that it was a form of kindness – me not wanting to shake up things around me in case I end up disrupting, disrespecting or hurting anyone. Maybe that’s true sometimes, but I eventually recognised that mostly it was a matter of me not wanting to be seen. I grew up feeling uncomfortable about drawing attention to myself. So, I’d hide behind the protective shields I’d became accustomed to, findings reasons and excuses to keep me in the safe confines of my comfort zone.
I guess that I found myself in a desperate place, uncertain of where to turn. The depression and challenges that came with subfertility and recurrent pregnancy loss were eroding away my self-esteem, leading me deeper into a dark and lonely place where I was constantly stressed and anxious. I didn’t know anyone else who was going through what I was. I felt isolated, inadequate and as though I was failing at a simple thing most women were supposed to be able to do effortlessly. I carried so much shame and kept it all hidden, so afraid of the judgement I might face if people knew, until eventually I reached my breaking point. During the lowest period in my life, it became more and more evident to me that I needed to rescue myself. So, I searched for some kind of therapeutic outlet to help me process everything. One day, frustrated and exhausted from walking a lonely road that seemed endlessly littered with obstacles, I broke down, cried for hours, then began writing about what I was feeling and exploring how I could alleviate my emotional turmoil. I’m still not sure why, but I ended up writing personal pieces about what I was experiencing and what was helping me through it all, and then sharing this on my blog and social media platforms. This may not be a big deal for some, but for me it took some courage to share my vulnerability publicly. Something in me pushed me to take that leap despite my fear of feeling exposed.
Naturally, doubt crept in, but just when I was questioning whether I’d done the right thing, I started getting messages from women who had read my posts. Many were heartfelt messages telling me that they were moved by what I shared because they too were struggling to conceive or silently grieving a miscarriage. I discovered that I was not alone. There were many women like me who were living a similar experience and feeling unsupported and confused along their journey. This allowed me to make some really meaningful connections with people who understood exactly what it was like. As the months unfolded, I soon found a whole new community and support system that I didn’t know existed before. It opened up the door and directed me to safe spaces where I could express myself and also feel understood. Suddenly I was freed from a space I felt trapped in. I also received a lot of positive feedback about what I was writing about my personal fertility journey. My voice represented a demographic of women who were often overlooked by society. This encouraged me to release my fears and keep sharing my story openly and honestly. It inspired me to keep writing and speaking up about the emotional fallout of my difficult fertility journey and the things that were helping me cope and heal along the way in the hope of helping other women too.
It’s crazy how taking that one step outside of my comfort zone completely transformed the desolate space that I inhabited and guided me to a place where I found friendship, comfort and a new sense of purpose. The change that it catalyzed transferred to other areas of my life too. It allowed me to release the shame, be myself more freely and to have the courage to take more uncomfortable risks. It eventually led me to becoming a professional fertility blogger and support coach for women who grapple with subfertility, a career change that has felt so right for me and deeply rewarding. My experience has demonstrated to me how important it is to follow your instincts and speak your truth. It has shown me the impact that sharing your voice can have. When you share your story honestly, you never know who you may affect or how it could change your own life for the better.