Be bold, Be Brave, Be free.

One topic of conversation started on my online Secondary Infertility group was focused on if any of us have shared our struggles with infertility on a social media network to people other then close family and/or friends. I find this to be an important discussion because  Secondary infertility is truly made out to be, by society, a taboo topic. It is also a very private topic for some, so I can truly understand those people who choose not to talk about it openly. In all honesty, it took me quite a while to be bold and share my struggles with this. Whether you share your journey with Secondary Infertility or not, it is really a personal choice.  No one says sharing such a personal matter is mandatory,  however, individuals should never be made out to feel that they can’t share their journey with others.  Unfortunately, this is the case for many people who struggle with this.

Therefore, I was deeply saddened by the amount of people in my group who responded with answers such as, “It scares the crap out of me”, “No, for the fear of being judged”, “I haven’t, but I wish I was brave enough to”, “Part of the reason why I keep my infertility quiet is because it’s such a taboo subject that is to be kept quiet”, “I’ve lost friends from being honest”, “I tried to, but the responses were, why would you want another when you have x,y,z”, “I’d rather suffer privately, as the important people know”, and “My infertility is too painful to post about”.  These responses saddened me not only because this is how these people are feeling, but because they wouldn’t have to feel scared or feel fear of sharing if society was more open, educated, and empathetic as a whole about talking about the topic of Secondary Infertility.  Women, men (couples) should not feel ashamed, embarrassed, or like they have to hide behind this health issue.  Shame on our society for making this a taboo subject nationwide, especially when society puts such an emphasis on the importance of mental health-depression, being one of the biggest side effects of secondary infertility.  It’s when we talk about important and such huge issues such as this, and come together as a society to make people feel comfortable we begin to help lift the burdens of this struggle, we learn about another human beings hardships and in turn are able to give another human a little empathy and compassion and less judgement.  It also allows us to work together to find answers to help them cope.

On the opposing end of this, I was delighted to hear that there were some very bold and courageous people in my group who did openly share about Secondary Infertility.  Although those who did openly share, a few had some obvious hesitation initially doing so.  I am proud of these women for stepping up and sharing because you help to encourage others to do the same and you also help many going through similar hardships to feel less alone.  Kudos to you!  There should be absolutely no shame in that.  I first wanted to share my full response to this question that I shared with my group.  I said, ” I have {shared openly on social media}.   I find although it takes a lot of courage to share and be open about my struggles, it’s somewhat therapeutic to do so and it gives me a voice on something I am very passionate about. Of course, when you begin to open up you take that risk to be subject to other’s comments and insensitivity as well as their ignorance {and lots of judgments} and you truly have to be ready for anything-for some people this could break you when you are already in such a fragile state of mind. I am in a place where I feel strong enough to deal with anything-and in a sense the more people comment to what I have to share, the more I become open to shed light on my situation and to be a voice and to even educate from my own experiences. I share on Facebook openly and I also have a blog that I have openly shared. I am a firm believer that nothing will change in the infertility world unless we are our own advocates, so I was beyond ready to share. It was also my mission in sharing my journey with others-to hopefully help others, as well as make another person feel less alone perhaps.”  Other people who said they openly shared made comments such as, “I have only shared a little on Facebook”, By sharing, I’ve gained a lot of new friends who understand my struggles, so for me it was worth it”, “I was nervous at first but it was a weight lifted off our shoulders and in doing we opened the door to have others, some even close friends, feel comfortable enough to confide that they were also struggling with infertility. We went from feeling completely alone in this battle to gaining a huge network of support. People have been absolutely fabulous to us”, “I did this a little while ago because I felt I needed to vent and have people understand what I was going through. I feel better for getting it all out in the open”, ” I have shared a variety of times. It helps me not feel stressed or sad to talk about it. I’ve had positive comments and I figure if they don’t want to hear it they can ignore it or quit following me. It helps me to share things occasionally”, “I have received a lot of positive support this way and have also received a lot of thanks from other ladies that were suffering alone but have since shared their stories as well”.   It is my hope that one day those who want to share, but feel like they can’t due to being scared, out of fear of being judged, or because of how society portrays Secondary Infertility, that one day these individuals can find their voice among the crowd of people who do not understand and stand up and boldly be the face of their struggle openly and without any reserve.  

Without any hesitation people freely should be able to talk about Secondary Infertility if they want to and choose to do so.  This is such an important conversation to have within the already difficult battle we are fighting.  It’s so hard to be closed about a topic that is so much apart of so many people’s lives.  It’s a hard battle to fight alone, we all could use extra support to continue on fighting.  The way Secondary Infertility affects people is deep and beyond the surface.  It affects our every single day.  We can’t keep ignoring this and it is quite ridiculous that it is considered a taboo subject.  Nothing has ever changed in this world from people sitting back and staying quiet about topics that matter, that should matter to everyone!    The future is in your hands.







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