By Michelle Young, an A4L Community Parent
When I was 23 years old, I received a life shattering diagnosis. Infertile.
This became my title. How I identified myself. My fight. Only, infertility is hidden. I was fighting alone. I have lot of experience in invisible battles. Dealing with a past abusive relationship, more psychological than physical, I had no bruises on my skin, but scars on my heart. I’ve also had a decade long history of battling depression and anxiety, which intensified at the grief and loss I felt when I got diagnosed with infertility.
Adoption became hope. It became joy. It was my light in the dark. Something to look forward to. Something to fight for, instead of against.
I poured all of my energy into it. Supporting groups, helping out, writing and sharing my story in the wait and after as an adoptive mom. And just like that, I turned something isolating and devastating, into something beautiful by connecting with others and finally coming out from the shadows.
It took a lot for me to share my personal struggles with infertility and mental health. To me, they are absolutely intertwined. When I was looking for help, I sought out books, but didn’t find any. I was so desperate to find something to relate to, something to grab hold of, but found it wasn’t discussed much in books. I decided to write my own story in a way to help others who needed to feel understood and heard. I finally published a poetry book in November 2017. Salt & Light is a book where I share my personal journey through these invisible battlefields. In the short prose and bite-size poetry pieces, I exposed myself and stepped out of the darkness. Many people in my life have joined me and shared their stories since I opened up about mine. There is great healing in community and knowing we are not alone in our fights. We love to share joy, but we also grow stronger by sharing our pain and growing together as we heal.
In my community, I’ve been able to help many others who are struggling with battles they’ve kept hidden because of the fear of being judged by others, or from the devastation of admitting they are struggling out loud. They know now that they can talk to me about it, because I’ve been there and I won’t judge or humiliate them in anyway, because it’s my story too.
Writing has been an escape, a healing and a battlefield where I’ve fought many obstacles. I hope that you find peace and strength in the words I’ve fought hard to lay out in my poetry book Salt & Light. I pray that you never give up hope in your journey and that you always look for the light in the dark. It’s worth it.
For more information, please visit https://michelleyoungauthor.com/