This is the second of two guest posts from a patient who lives in Europe. He recently recontacted me about his experience with male infertility and how it affected him. Moved by his story and by his emotional fortitude, I asked him if he could share his remarkable journey with others. The first post is from March 12th.
I had to face the fact that I was my own worst enemy. This was an epiphany for me. By becoming a negative person, spontaneity and creativity had left me, high and dry. And gone with it was the ability to problem solve. For me, once of the hardest things that I have ever had to do in my life was to admit that I was the root of the problem, that I was responsible. The epiphany was that because I was the problem, I could also be the agent of change. I could own this. The rebuilding of me had to start with me.
It was at that point that I reached out to a psychiatrist, Our talks helped me find my way back. Honestly, I never knew that these sides of my character even existed, and was even less aware that they would belch from my soul as they did. These sessions allowed me to vent my feelings and, over time, I felt better and better. It felt like I could take the 800-pound gorilla to the doctor’s office and leave it there. And, funny enough, the “gorilla” began shrinking in size with each session, almost to the point of becoming a small, friendly monkey. And although even cute little monkeys can be annoying, these sessions helped me enormously by providing tools and methods to help me better understand, accept and manage such strong feelings.
Modern societies of any culture, Western or Eastern, are not great at raising men to be in touch with their emotions. And realizing that you are infertile is a very hard blow to one’s manhood on many levels. One of the most concerning issues was worrying about what others were thinking or knew about my situation. Early on, it bothered me to think that they would find out. As I began to heal, however, I began to care less and less about what others thought. I simply can´t control other people’s minds and have no interest in doing so. I also realized that those who are close to me all know about the infertility and nothing has changed between us and how the view me as a person. The rest I leave in God’s grace.
Another realization over the last year is that infertility is not a disability in life. It is in fact the way that I was created. It is part of me. It is who I am. And although I can’t change it easily like, say, losing weight or getting more exercise, I can certainly change how I view it. I can shape my future in any way that I wish. I am the master of me.
The road I took that year was no easy one, but I made it through the year. Leaving this behind me, I can now move forward in my life. I have faced the demons and have come to terms with my reality. I now look upon the future with renewed eyes and see a future filled with happiness despite the fact that I cannot have children.
Please let us know if you would like to continue a discussion of these issues in an on-line forum…