Not to brag but I was doing social distancing before it was suggested by the government.
People and relationships have always been important to me. Infertility shifted a lot of things in my life. I used to be all about making new friends and investing in people. I’m sure some of the change is simply getting older and wanting to spend more time at home but I also know that infertility had an effect on that too.
Keeping friendships while navigating infertility treatments is hard. Keeping friendships while navigating infertility treatments and those friends becoming pregnant without treatment is even harder. I think relationships without infertility involved are hard. Relationships are all about love, respect, and communication. Those things are always important. When a friend goes through something traumatic, those things become even more vital.
I’ve found myself social distancing for a few years now. I had a few hard breakups that left me a little injured. I’m much more introverted than I used to be. Self preservation I assume. If I’m less invested, it hurts less when the bottom falls out. When I check in with myself, I remind myself that I know that isn’t true. Loss usually hurts no matter what. If it doesn’t, you probably aren’t being honest with yourself.
During some intense loss this year, I’ve done what I needed to do to get by but haven’t been writing much. I have several blogs half written but haven’t been finishing them. Writing is a healthy outlet for me. It’s something I encourage everyone I love to do. Write a letter to someone. Journal privately. Blog and share. I find that writing is such a good way to get out our thoughts out. Put them on paper and let them go if we need to. Sometimes sharing them with someone helps. I need to take my own advice. This is the first blog I’ve written and published of 2020. I think it’s been a bit of a weird year for everyone so I’ll give myself some grace for not writing much.
Loss is so hard. It sucks. It’s an odd feeling to see people you once knew so intimately, evaporate from your daily life and even your memories. Even their faces fade away.
Staying connected can be so hard. I feel like I’m doing pretty well with those I’m still close with but this has been a tough year. I know so many are struggling. It’s ok to say that you are. Not sharing how you feel and keeping it bottled up isn’t strength. You’re scared to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable and sharing your feelings with someone you trust is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself. Being vulnerable has been the biggest gift to me. Some of the most amazing things have come out of embracing my story of infertility and shouting it for everyone to hear. I’m proud of what I’ve overcome. I’m grateful for infertility and the people it’s allowed me to connect with. Sharing my story on stage with Andy Grammer is something that never would have happened if I hadn’t been blessed with infertility. I walked back to Joe after being on stage and so many people hugged me, thanked me, and cried with me. Complete strangers that I instantly connected with because I was brave and shared my story. Maybe they needed to know they weren’t alone. Maybe they needed that hug more than ever that day. Speaking for 2 minutes about my story encouraged someone else. A few words connected me to hundreds of people. That is an amazing thing.
At this point, sharing is quite normal for me. It doesn’t feel overly brave until people tell me that their lives would be so different without me sharing. That I’m their hero. That I stopped them from hurting themselves. That I encouraged them. That I inspire them. That they shared their story because of me. If our words can have such a positive effect on people, why don’t we use them more? I continue to work on connection and not completely socially distancing myself from people. We need each other. We need connection. You matter and are loved no matter what you’re going through. Reach out. We need you.
Pain can bring so much beauty if we allow it to.