It goes without saying that we are all feeling isolated right now. If your fertility treatment was paused and you were left anticipating a treatment restart, isolation only enhances feelings of disappointment and uncertainty.
For some, normal support systems may be diminished. They may feel that no one else will “get it” and that there is no one to talk to. Partners may not be able to fully provide the support needed.
It’s important to know that you are not alone.
Support groups are a great way to connect with others and while we are unable to meet face-to-face, there are others just like you who are feeling the exact same way.
I lead three monthly virtual support groups on Zoom for infertility, single women, and pregnancy loss at Fertility Centers of Illinois. All are free and available to anyone who would like to join. Drawing on my 20+ years of counseling as a licensed clinical social worker, my goal is to create a safe space where you can share your experiences and feelings while gaining support, coping skills, guidance, and information.
If you find yourself on the fence about whether or not you should join, I’d like to share some reasons why a support group may help you.
You won’t feel alone. Now more than ever, it’s easy to feel isolated, lonely, and alone. These feelings can also bring about depression and an increased desire to isolate, which can make someone feel worse. Connecting with others can break the cycle of isolation and lift you from loneliness.
You can share your feelings with others who have been there. To be able to say exactly what you are feeling with a group that will understand you on a deeper level is both empowering and validating.
You’ll feel better. Getting things off your chest gives you space to breathe, and in the process, you will release stress, discomfort, and anxiety. You can fill that space with positive thoughts and feelings that can quiet the mind and bring about hope.
You’ll learn a thing or two. You’d be surprised what you will learn in just a one-hour virtual meeting. As group members share their personal experiences, this may provide helpful information that can benefit you. By sharing coping strategies with each other, you may learn something to assist in managing stress through your journey. No one leaves a group session without new gems of information and inspiration.
You will gain hope. Releasing your thoughts and feelings creates the mental space to see things differently, and in a more hopeful and positive light. The power of having a compassionate and enthusiastic community rooting for you and supporting you will lift your spirits.
You will be more patient and understanding with yourself. When you meet with others who have been through similar circumstances, you begin to see that you are not alone in feeling the way you do. You will also see that others are struggling as well and that we all deserve kindness, patience, and understanding.
You will help others in the same situation. Believe it or not, you have gleaned insight and wisdom on your journey that may help someone else. Whether it’s shared information on treatment, strategies on how to share your journey with others, or how to cope with disappointment, your experiences are valuable and may be the spark of hope for another.
You don’t have to spend a cent to join. All the support groups are free, so you don’t have to worry about your budget.
Upcoming Support Group Dates:
To RSVP for an upcoming support group, visit our events page.
Monthly Infertility Support Group
Saturday May 16, 2020 | 10-11am
Saturday Jun 20, 2020 | 10-11am
Saturday July 18, 2020 | 10-11am
No Partner Needed: Support Group for Single Women
Monday Jun 01, 2020 | 6-7pm
Monday Jul 13, 2020 | 6-7pm
Together We Begin Again: Pregnancy Loss Support Group
Saturday Jun 06, 2020 | 10-11am
Learn more about support group leader Susan Rizzato, MSW, LCSW, a professional with over 30 years of counseling experience helping thousands of patients on their journey.