About a year and a half ago I attended my first Resolve infertility support group. I had finally gotten to the point where I realized that I seriously needed some real life support for this burden of infertility. There were groups that met downtown, or on the east side of the Valley, but nothing here in the west. I emailed the coordinator for the Phoenix area and asked if a west side group may be starting up soon. Seriously, less than 2 minutes later I had an email from her all about a new west side group that was starting up in just a couple of days. As it turns out it wasn't even a response to my email, but rather she was sending out a note to all members. Attending that first meeting, while very difficult to step out and do, has been an incredible blessing.
I found a leader who truly knew where I was and where I wanted to go. The monthly meetings took me through dealing with my miscarriage, through my IVF (the good, the bad, and the ugly), through our decision to pursue adoption, through completing the homestudy and profile book, through our match with Andrew's birth family, through his arrival, through my second pregnancy and miscarriage, and through Andrew's adoption finalization. I've met some wonderful people there, girls who I'm happy to call my friends. A friend who is just a friend now, and not just a fellow infertile.
The past couple of months have been weird, and my attendance has been sporadic. Though still quite infertile (or maybe sub fertile, since I've been pregnant a couple of times), I don't belong anymore. While I love being supportive of those still going through treatment, that support comes with a high price for me. It takes me back with a great big breath-sucking whoosh to a truly horrible and dark time. A time when I knew nothing but fear and failure. While I realize that this should be about supporting others, it just brings back so much pain that I can't offer the support I'd like to. Soooo, after the meeting tonight I told our leader that tonight was my last hurrah . . . . that I'm done. It's time for me to move on and let go.
A real life support group is very different from the support I've given and received from my bloggy buddies (which I also wouldn't trade for anything!). I'm touched deeply by what I read and respond with genuine emotion to my bloggy pals. However, I'm able to keep my feelings in check, and far from the surface. It's the live and in-person tears in the eyes and cracking voices that cut deep to my soul and get that whole whoosh thing going.
She asked me about becoming a leader. I was instantly flooded with fear. Well, maybe a smattering of flattery too, but mainly it was fear. Again, as much as I want to be supportive, and give back to a community that was really there for me in a very real way, I'm just not strong enough to do it now. Maybe later, after the wounds heal some more, but certainly not now.
For now it's just time to move on.