You Are the Captain of Your Soul
Updated: Jul 23, 2019
I’ll start by telling you why I’m writing. Why I need to write.
I’m writing because there are 3.5 million people in the UK alone who struggle to get pregnant every year; and while they test and cry and wait and bleed and hope, there’s not a lot out there to suggest that something good can happen. And I’m not talking about that elusive ‘BFP’.
During the 26 months of fertility fun we went through (one uterine operation, 6 rounds of Clomid, 4 rounds of ovulation induction and one successful round of IVF), I learned more about myself than I ever thought possible. I changed into a more patient, more confident and happier person. Despite how difficult it was, the process became a huge part of who I am now, how I look at the world and how I approach all aspects of my life.
This uplifting effect was unexpected!
But don’t get me wrong.
There were many occasions where I felt like a shell of a woman. There were many occasions where I felt jealous, angry, sad – desperately sad – impatient, stuck, terrified.
But all I had read and heard about was how stressful, difficult, sad and invasive a fertility journey would be. How the ups and downs could wreck relationships. The emotional upheaval, the frustration, the pain. There was absolutely nothing to suggest that going through a fertility journey could, in any way, be a positive thing.
I started sharing my story because I want to share hope – not hope that you might get pregnant, though that too – but hope that this doesn’t have to be the worst time in your life. It takes some time, some effort and a bit of determination. But you can make this time truly count, and turn it into some of the most formative, productive, exciting months or years, full of incredible memories- not just difficult ones.
So that's why I'm here for you, hosting my podcast, running my 'Think! What not to Say' campaign, hosting live events, courses and working with brands and companies because I want to represent and advocate for the person behind the cycles/uterus/sperm who isn't just a number, whose pain IS valid, who is grieving even if they've never been pregnant and who is going through one of the most difficult and misunderstood experiences there is.
I have interviewed some amazing people in the fertility world on the blog and the podcast and there is so much more to come.
My number one piece of advice in a nutshell for you?
Day by day.
Suddenly, everything becomes a lot bloody easier when you just take the pressure off. Day by day, you take whatever is happening and you accept it. That’s it. You process whatever feeling you’re having in that moment and you don’t worry about the next day. How do you do this?
It takes practice, but you do it through learning how to be present. Mindful. Aware. You do it through learning to acknowledge when you need help or support or when you need to be alone. You do it through learning when you need to distance yourself from a friendship to preserve it for the future.
You do it to know when to listen to that voice saying: ‘I need water, broccoli and vitamins’ and when to listen to the one saying: ‘I need wine and an entire packet of hobnobs’.
In my view, both are very valid.
Disclaimer: I am not trained in any fertility support/mindfulness/counselling in anyway! I am just a girl, standing in front of the internet, sharing what I found and hoping it can bring some comfort, positivity and maybe a laugh here and there. I talk to people who are trained in all kinds of things but also lots of people who just have super helpful things to say.
Lastly, and just for you:
You are amazing. You are strong. You can do this. As my pal (ahem, famous Victorian poet) William Henley says:
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
I believe in your infinite ability to cope, and not only to cope but to live a happy, fulfilled and joyful life while you go through one of the most difficult challenges life can throw at you.
You are the master of your fate and you are the captain of your soul.
(That was Will again.)