As per my usual Monday outlook, this morning I was feeling pretty blue. I read through a few blogs and felt even more blue. I realized I'm feeling a little out of place in the IF blogging community, since I'm not exactly working towards building my family at this time, and I'm not doing much to help the IF community either. Meanwhile my bloggy buddies continue to TTC and graduate into pregnancy and parenthood, Bust Myths for NIAW, and support one another with enthusiasm. I questioned my reasons for continuing to blog here, and wondered whether it was time to close up shop. Then I read Mel's awesome post about the IF divide, and I realized how self-centered I've been.
In my women's group we talk quite a bit about being generous rather than judgmental in our thoughts, approaching people with an attitude of compassion and kindness, and generally making an effort to think the best of others. But, my friends, I haven't been doing a very good job of that.
Those of you who are pregnant may have noticed I rarely comment on your blogs nowadays. I've even stopped following some bloggers because I couldn't handle the content of their posts. On FB, I regularly block friends for sharing (okay, yes sometimes oversharing) about their pregnancies, babies and children. Even my IF friends. True, I need to do what's best for my emotional and mental well-being, but I also don't want to be that person. The one who completely ditches the people who've supported me through my darkest hours just because I have days where I don't have the emotional fortitude to look at baby bump photos or read about fetal heart rates.
In her post, Mel explains that the women lucky enough to have made it across the chasm that divides the IFers still waiting for their miracle from those who've held their babies in their arms truly haven't forgotten the pain and longing that the rest of us still endure. In my bitterness I've built this imaginary wall between "us" (the childless) and "them" (the lucky moms). I built the wall because I didn't want to see their happiness for fear it would increase my own sadness, but I realize now that's completely backwards. Once upon a time I almost made it to the other side myself, and for a few weeks I had a taste of the feelings that grads experience. It was something like equal parts joy, guilt, gratitude, and a deep desire for everyone else still waiting in the wings to have their turn to feel that exhilaration. I wanted nothing more than to be able to take everyone else by the hand who were still waiting, and pull them across that chasm to the other side with me. The truth is, I'm the one who forgot what that felt like.
Who am I to believe I know how easy it is for those on the other side of the IF divide to forget their struggle to get there? And who am I to begrudge them of their joy over making it to the other side? Acting and thinking negatively only encourages more negativity in myself, and separating myself from others' happiness doesn't increase my own happiness, it decreases it. I'm not saying I should ignore my own needs and well-being and force myself to be happy when I'd really rather curl up under the covers and cry. I'm certainly entitled to my bad days. But if I want to be a happier, less judgmental person (and I do), I need to practice being understanding and compassionate in my actions, words and thoughts more often than I practice bitterness.
I suppose in a way I'm busting a myth that's personal to me for NIAW - the one that says I have to be a Bitter Infertile. I'm ready to make the effort to remove the word "bitter" from that title. I'm sorry I let my own hang-ups keep me from being as supportive to some of you as you've been to me.