The Dichotomy of Life

It was a weekend of life's brilliant dichotomy for me; the complicated grey.


The bad with the good.

The dark with the light.

The thorn with the beauty.

I'm not sure sure any woman enjoys their yearly exam at the OB/GYN but Friday was my day.

The bad, the dark, the thorn

I spent an hour waiting in the waiting room with only parenting and pregnancy magazines to read with no cell service. And, a few uncomfortable pregnant women as my company (who I feel empathy for in their discomfort, jealousy toward their blessing in becoming a mother, all combined with a tiny piece of pissed offness).

The good, the light, the beauty

Once back in the exam room I can't help but laugh as I try to fit my ass in the paper drape left on the exam table for me (which I have never quite figured out how to use). And, despite being the healthiest I've ever been my curves still rip it almost completely in half.

Then the actual exam, no explanation needed, it is just the bad, the dark and the thorn.

Then the good, the light, the beauty as my doctor actually spends time with me. She truly believes in my story and is excited about the book and the blog, Ever Upward. I feel like an actual person with her and not just the woman who can't have kids.

The balance of dichotomy

The dichotomy continued with my kid filled weekend.

The bad, the dark, the thorn is having to be around a child that is very difficult for me. All wrapped up with the good, the light, the beauty in people who believe in my story, my progress and my message. All to come home to three of my chosen children spending the night with us for the first time for what is sure to be the first of many fun slumber parties; they are the good, the light, the beauty. Quickly followed last night by a pregnancy announcement that feels unfair; the bad, the dark, the thorn.

What I am figuring out is that this ever upward recovery I fight to live every day will always be filled with the dichotomy of life.

The good comes with the bad. The light comes through the dark. And many times, beauty comes with a thorn.

We don't get one with out the other.

And thank God, because it provides us with immense perspective, gratitude and our truth.

There will be days where shaking off the bad, the dark, the thorn just really isn't that easy. I will admit I worked hard to shake it off all weekend. But, what I really needed was to allow myself to move through it all.

Because, sometimes, we just have to sit with it, moving through it and allow it to pass. Trusting that if we do this work the good, the light, the beauty will quickly follow.

After all, this is exactly the truth and the light of ever upward.

Sometimes I need the reminder too, to which life and God* will always provide.

The moments of the bad, the dark and the thorn make the moments of the good, the light and the beauty even more amazing.

And so, I will breathe it all in, embracing and trusting it because I know it is my authentic truth and because it is the only way through to my ever upward.

To read more about my journey make sure to pick up a copy of the soon to be published Ever Upward: Overcoming the Lifelong Losses of Infertility to Own a Childfree Life.

If you found this post enjoyable, inspiring, helpful, hopeful, interesting or even infuriating ;), please take the time and the chance to share it through your social media! More shares means more eyes, means more people helped and the message heard on a wider scale. Thank you! Justine

*Or whatever you believe in, for me it is God and Jesus as my savior.

** I’ve recently joined the the Infertility Survival Kit’s blogroll and blogging feed.  The Infertility Survival Kit is an iPhone app and mobile friendly resource site to help busy patients reach valuable resources on-the-go.  I just added Ever Upward to their blogroll.  This is not your average boring blogroll list with links… it is like a blog Rolodex and includes any information you need to get in touch with me, my blog and all my social media networks along with many other amazing bloggers in the community.   When you are looking to catch up and stay connected to blogs in the infertility community… hop on over to the Infertility Survival Kit’s blogroll feed.  You can find me and many other bloggers over there supporting the community, one post at a time!

Download the App Here OR GO TO Mobile Friendly Directory from any device to access our mobile resource directory and blogroll feed.

***This post also linked with Amateur Nester's Link-Up.

Shame Died a Little Bit More: Truth Telling My Authentic Light

My last few posts have been some of the most difficult to write but also the most freeing and helpful. I have learned this last week that these last few posts have not only been helpful to me, but to hundreds of others as well, as Ever Upward was featured on a weekly round-up post on Marie’s wonderful blog ( It was also shared by people other than my close family and friends (thank you, thank you, thank you!). Which means my views went up.

The message heard on a bigger scale.

And most importantly, shame died a little bit more.

I, along with others who have shared the blog posts, have received private messages thanking us for sharing the links, for speaking the truth about infertility and sending their support. However, I can’t help but notice how few people actually share the blog or publicly comment on it. I do not feel anger and sadness because I need the blog to gain fame or because I’m seeking validation, but because it shows just how strong the shame of infertility is.

Why are we not talking about this more?!

Statistics currently show 1 in 8 couples suffers with infertility, with some studies saying it is more like 1 in 6.

1 in 8.

Possibly, 1 in 6!

And yet most of us suffer in silence, alone with only our partner by our side (and our IVF docs pushing another round), thus, putting more pressure on our relationship. Aren’t the hormone treatments, painful procedures, waiting games and the vast amounts of money we spend doing enough damage to our relationship?

I am speaking my story out loud because otherwise it is invisible to the world, which means it feels riddled with shame, disgrace and indignity. But the thing is, many of the most difficult struggles we all suffer with are invisible; depression, autoimmune disorders, infertility, etc., etc.

I don’t think we all need to be the poster child for our stories, pains and losses. And this isn’t what I am trying to do through the blog. I’m writing, sharing and speaking loudly, my authentic truth, because it heals me, makes shame impossible to live inside of me and because it helps. It helps me, and I am learning it is helping others.


And ultimately, this is my true authentic light. 

I help.

I can’t not help others, as this would be like asking me to not breathe.

Speaking, and owning, our truth is the only place any of us will find peace, understanding and wholeness.

The blog writing and the authentic truth telling is not for attention or pity or ‘fame’ but for understanding, empathy, not feeling so alone and helping. If my truth telling, my light, is too much for you and makes you uncomfortable, cringe or point the finger of judgment, well, that speaks more about you than me. And my only hope for you is that one day you find, fight for and own your own authentic truth and light.

As this is the biggest and strongest weapon any of us have against shame.

Brené Brown often compares shame to gremlins. Gremlins when exposed to the light die. Shame when spoken and owned can no longer exist.


So I will shine the light on my invisible sufferings.

I will never be a mother.

I will never fulfill what society, and what some say God put me on earth to do.

I am a survivor and thriver of anxiety and depression.

I am a fighter and a helper.

I am figuring out how to accept, like and even be proud of my childfree life.

I will live my life, sometimes minute by minute, seeking, fighting for and living out loud my ever upward.

And, I hope my story helps you to do the same in your own way; find, fight for and own your truth, your ever upward.