|1- Scratching The Surface.|
Hello......it's tricky to know where to start with my first blog here on The Lotus Network. As the title suggests, I really will be just scratching the surface of what is an incredibly complex issue. This website is my attempt to open the channels of communication for anyone who wants to share their experiences or thoughts on infertility.
I was 35 when I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure (P.O.F), more commonly known as Premature Menopause. I am childless and was single at the time of diagnosis, I only mention this because it adds a whole other dynamic to the situation. I can only imagine the stress that news of infertility places on a relationship but processing it on your own, having the dialogue with yourself presents its own challenges. If like myself you are lucky enough to have friends and family that love and care for you, unless they have experienced this loss themselves, I know you'll understand when I say that, regardless of that support network, I still felt isolated, very much alone with my thoughts and feelings.
What is it that defines a woman? We see an image, how she is built anatomically but when you strip everything away and go back to basics isn't it all about reproduction? A woman can bear a child, a man cannot (although I welcome any men who are concerned about infertility to join this site). I believe this knowing is within all of us, young and old whether we articulate it or not. I respect those who choose not to have children but if conceiving is something you have always instinctively wanted and desired, then the news that you are unable to hits right to the core of what makes you a woman. When I received this devastating diagnosis it charted a course of self discovery for me. I wasn't sure who I was any more. I felt like I had lost the essence of my sexuality, was I less of a woman now?
MON. 12th APRIL 2010
'JUST NOW I BROKE DOWN IN THE LOUNGE AND CRIED SOME MORE. I AM NOT O.K WITH THIS, IT IS NOT O.K THAT I CAN'T HAVE MY OWN BIOLOGICAL CHILD, IT IS NOT O.K THAT I'M TURNING 36 WHEN MY BODY IS ACTING AS IF IT'S 46/56- IT IS NOT O.K!'
It is hard not to feel you have changed on an almost cellular level when every day that diagnosis is with you, initially at the forefront of your mind and as time passes, sitting on the sidelines of your consciousness. I am mindful that the grass isn't always greener, there is someone, somewhere right now who knows tragedy on a scale that I can't possibly fathom. However, I've learned it's about allowing yourself to say " It's not o.k that this has happened to me" and to feel the vast array of emotions that will inevitably engulf you. Grief is unique to each individual, it's not for anyone to say how you should process or move through it but in my experience you can't shut it out. It will just set up camp somewhere nearby, letting you know from time to time that it's still there until you open the door and let it in. I was afraid to do that for a while, what if it never left, what if it was all consuming, bigger than I'd imagined? Would I surface again? If you are reading this and can relate on some level, (or maybe you know someone else who probably can) then just know you are not alone. Ultimately that is what this website is for, to help people connect and find support.
The Lotus Network started as a small group on Facebook, created by myself back in 2011, just over a year after my diagnosis. The initial response was quite overwhelming and it was clear to me that women especially want to talk and express their opinions and concerns. The only downfall was that it was hard to reach a wider audience and I'd always hoped that one day I'd have the courage to set up a website like this. If those humble beginnings showed me anything, it's that through sharing we are more powerful and more useful to others than we realise.
'The lotus grows through the dark muddy water to blossom into a beautiful flower-a symbol of transformation and new beginnings'.....this passage was printed on a card, given to me on my 36th birthday with a silver pendant bearing the lotus flower. Those words inspired the name of the group and subsequently the name of this website. I loved the symbolism, sometimes our selves can feel submerged in muddy water but ever present is our ability to blossom and transform!
There are many issues that emerge from the subject of P.O.F alone, a few of which I've touched upon in this first entry. As I continue to share my journey with you, I will endeavour to tackle these in more detail and I hope from these posts, many other discussions will form.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, I hope you'll register for free, post any comments or questions you may have for me below and continue the dialogue with others in the forum on this site.....Love and light to you, Nia x
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