If I’d known that not being able to have the child I so desperately wanted was grief my life might have been different. But I didn’t, so after six unsuccessful rounds of IVF I just thought I felt sad and did what I’d always done which was to box away everything I didn’t want to feel.
Even after the loss of both parents I continued to box those negative feelings away, because I believed that if you let grief close you’ll fall apart. And I didn’t want to fall apart.
Except the lid of the box kept bursting open when I didn’t want it to. On the outside I was the confident, capable Lesley that everyone knew however, inside I was falling apart. And believe me; I tried really hard not to fall apart.
People who loved me told me grief was not an enemy, it was a friend. That I couldn’t outrun it forever; I would have to take my armour off at some point and there was magic in doing so.
Does childlessness have to mean life-long unhappiness?
And throughout my sadness, deep inside I wondered, does childlessness have to mean life-long unhappiness?
On my website I started collecting what I call Inspirational Stories, stories of real childless women who are now showing up happily in their life. After a while I realised there were some similarities in what many of these women did and decided to explore these topics in a book.
I always promise readers that I’ll never ask them to go anywhere I haven’t been myself so when I tell you that some of the subjects were grief, letting go, self-acceptance, connecting to my body, writing and gratitude, you’ll understand why writing the book worked its magic on me.
I took the lid of that box which once held everything I didn’t want to feel, I rummaged around inside and I’ve come out the other side a different person. Well maybe not completely different, I am now, eventually the true, authentic Lesley. I am finally comfortable in my own skin and confident when I say that ‘I absolutely love my life, the adventures I’m having and I’m excited about what will happen next.’
No it doesn’t
In the process I answered my own question; you can absolutely be happy and childless.
It makes me so sad when I hear childless women say they will never be happy. I want them to know that it’s not true. In Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness; Inspiring Stories to Guide You to a Fulfilling Life I want to show readers that it is possible to have a fulfilling life, and, using myself and nineteen other story tellers as examples, how to make it happen.
Coming to terms with a childless life changes you. The storytellers and I have made the most of these changes to become the most beautiful we can be. If that’s you too, I hope you take the opportunity to do this too.
Lesley Pyne is the author of 'Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness: Inspiring Stories To Guide You To A Fulfilling Life', coming out on 18th June 2018 and available for purchase on Amazon. Visit www.lesleypyne.co.uk to download Chapter One for free.