“It Was Just Like Her To Take A Cause Too Far”

The above quote is from “A Short History of Women” by Kate Walbert

What can I say about the incredible and honest discussion that has gone on in the comments of The Pain Olympics post? I have a greater understanding now for why they happen. More to come.

Today I read a post that was eerily familiar, by Courtney. Check it out.

I’ve had several discussions with Darcy about his utter bewilderment with my involvement in the ALI community. “When are we going to stop discussing infertility?” he wondered recently.

I try to steer clear of talking about my blog with him, which is funny because Darcy is in the blog business and it is he who first suggested I start one. He had no idea it would turn into the world of its own that it has.

And as I have stated repeatedly, I don’t want to blog solely about ALI. The truth is, I don’t. But my passion for advocacy remains. I do see writing as an advocacy tool. I am a writer, I have always written in my career and in my volunteer efforts. It makes sense that I would write to advocate for better public awareness of the disease I suffer from.

But I have to stop and always remember the long term. What am I doing? Has Faces of ALI done good work? Has it made a dent in how the general public sees infertility?

Eh. I’d say the verdict is still out. Those profiles do go (relatively) viral and get viewed thousands of times on Facebook and that can only be a good thing. But has it led to any of my subjects (or really ANYONE awesome in our community) being featured in the newspaper of record in an honest, accurate piece? Or on The Today Show or Good Morning America where the greatest visibility still exists? No. That is still the end game, in my mind.

(I will say that Pinterest is pretty great tool for advocacy I’m finding: tons of views of Faces of ALI come from there. So if you want to share any of the tales, please feel free to pin away! :))

Extreme Advocacy

Here’s where I worry that advocacy takes away from the here and now. I agonized over stepping away from the Bitter Infertiles podcast as a regular panelist, but the truth was I could not sacrifice the time. The podcast needed several hours over the weekend and my family needed that time from me, too. I feel sad sometimes that I no longer get to discuss such relevant topics with those brillant, funny women.

In my comment to Courtney’s post, I noted that if I was alive in 1910, I would be working to try to get women the right to vote. In 2013, I work to try to open the public’s eyes to what infertility is.

Have you read “A Short History of Women?” It’s about the legacy of a woman who performs the ultimate sacrifice for her cause: she starves to death for the right for women to vote. Something that has many ripples in the subsequent generations of women, both within her family and at large. (Women DID get the right to vote, and you could argue that the “Iron-Jawed Angels” did play a significant role in obtaining that right.)

I do have a hard-earned family (arguably A goal of my cause, although not THE goal) and I do not want to lose sight of that in any way shape or form. So balancing my passion for changing people’s minds with just living a “normal” life needs to happen.

Do you find that you tip over the edge into too much advocacy? Do family members express bewilderment over your blogging?


Filed under Blogging

8 responses to ““It Was Just Like Her To Take A Cause Too Far”

  1. I do repost alot of things on FB to make people more aware but I don’t discuss it much, unless soemone asks. I only have 3 friends that know that I blog- my family has no clue. I’m not even sure I’d call what I do much more than venting online. Instead of screaming, crying or driving someone crazy with another rant, I punch the keyboard.

  2. My family generally does not know about my blog. Dh does, of course, and I know he doesn’t quite “get” my attachment to my online communities & friends. I never would have guessed myself that, almost 15 years post-stillbirth, 12 years past infertility treatments and 5+ years of blogging that these issues would still be playing such a big part in my life. It ebbs & flows from time to time, but I’m still here….! & I don’t expect to be going anywhere soon. ; ) It just goes to show you what a life-altering experience infertility/pregnancy loss is and how it continues to affect your life.

  3. If you are passionate about the cause that is important to you, then I don’t see a problem. We need more people talking about infertility to bring it from out of the shadows. Only by chipping away the myths about infertility will we have a chance to finally have our voices heard. I’m amazed how many of us exist, yet we remain powerless because the majority suffer in silence. Most are too afraid to come out, and I understand their reasons. But in order for someone to listen and understand, the other person must first speak.

    Keeping your passions a part of you life is healthy as long as they don’t consume your life.

  4. I think for me, right now, my partner understands why I’m blogging because I’m still in the thick of my infertility journey. If I were to have another kid and build my dream family, I don’t know if my partner would support me staying in the community. I wonder a lot if I will continue writing in the future when our infertility is resolved. I think I probably will if we don’t have a second child, either biologically or through adoption or even if we do adopt because then infertility will have permanently affected my life and it will e something I’m always living with. But if I have a second biological child I don’t know what kind of ties I’ll feel I have to the community. A really interesting topic to be sure. Thanks for bringing this up.

  5. SM

    My husband, sister-in-law, and best friend are the only ones who know I blog. I think my husband and best friend are the only ones who have read it at one point or another. They understand why I need it and how it makes me feel. I think I will continue to blog even after our foster/adoption is complete. Infertility will always be a part of me even if I’m not actively TTC or going through endless paperwork. It will affect my life and the way I parent for years to come.

  6. I have told both of my sisters about my blog, but I don’t think either of them gets why it is so important to me. My little sister’s in India, and last Christmas she was traveling to Hyderabad, and I tried to get her to meet up with a blog friend who lives there. She was totally uninterested, clearly didn’t see how much it would mean to me (and probably the other blogger, too). It’s hard to explain to people who don’t blog.

  7. My husband knows blogging is important to me but is uninterested in what I actually write. He doesn’t really “get” my attachment to it or the online community either. I decided a long time ago that I don’t really care what he thinks – it’s important to me. I know of at least one friend who regularly reads it.

  8. I’m an advocacy chicken and even my husband has never read my blog. :). I admire you for diving into the deep end!

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