As told to Brandi Lytle
I met Nicci Fletcher, a fellow childless not by choice survivor, during World Childless Week 2017. Her positive attitude, beautiful way with words, and involvement in the childless community inspired me. I was impressed when she and her husband, Andrew, decided to publish The Childless Not By Choice Magazine, amazed at their willingness to help the CNBC community and at their savvy business skills. To me, Nicci is a bright, outgoing, confident, childless woman.
As I read Nicci’s Story, I realized that she has fought to become this beautiful person. In fact, childlessness stole her “mojo,” as she puts it. But she made small changes that helped her to become “unique and vibrant” again…
What difficulty were you struggling with?
I’ve never been the most outward going, gregarious person. I struggled with being incredibly shy when I was younger. I could never fathom why people would like me. I was nothing special. I was simply “normal, boring Nicci” and for many years, I hid behind my shyness, hardly poking my head above the parapet.
That had changed during my early 30s. This ugly duckling finally became a swan, happy to let my uniqueness and vibrancy for life shine out. Unfortunately, a decade later, infertility stole my new-found confidence and I retreated into my shell again.
Why had you lost your joy?
I became a shadow of my former self as my failure to conceive and the death of my dreams of motherhood took over my life. When I look back, I realise now that I was actually even more shut away in my own little painful world than I had been in my 20s. Loss of fertility, moving to a different country (which was great, yet at the same time a huge struggle), inability to work, having no after-work social life and little general social life, all took a toll on my self-confidence. My mojo packed its bags and fled to the far side of the moon, perhaps never to return again. I certainly wasn’t thriving. In fact, I wasn’t even surviving. I was merely existing, and only then because I got up, breathed, and ate because that’s what you did.
What good thing (no matter how big or small) helped you to start focusing on the positive?
The first thing I did was reconnect with creative writing. I’d loved writing when I was younger, yet stopped when I was 16 due to a disastrous careers advice session at school–the advisor laughed out loud when I said I wanted to be a writer. After my failed IVF cycle, a close girlfriend suggested I started writing again. She’d heard it was very cathartic, so thought it might help me heal. I wasn’t convinced, yet thought, “What have I got to lose?”
I’ve now written and self-published four books, with another four in various stages of being “works in progress.” I also have about 50 ideas for books on my “writing bucket list” for when I have time (ha ha) to concentrate on my writing. Fulfilling a life-long dream of being a published writer gave me the desire to reach out to my mojo and entice it back to home to me.
What would you like to say to others who are going through the same struggle that you have overcome (or are in the process of overcoming)?
I think the main thing is that even the smallest change can have a huge impact. For years, the only clothes I wore were either black or very dark blue–they reflected my mood and my desire to disappear into the background. When I wrote my first book, I started to add a coloured scarf to a black outfit. My mood lifted. I added a pair of colourful earrings. My mood lifted further. Now, I have colourful tops and a SCARLET dress!
That little change you think is so small it is not worth the hassle of making can be the start of something big. There is a snowball effect to healing–once you start, it slowly gathers momentum until one day you wake up and think, “The unique and vibrant swan is back!”
Beautiful one, have you lost your “mojo?” What small change can you make to rediscover your “unique and vibrant” self?
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Or better yet, share Your Good Things Story. You never know who you will inspire!
Photo Credit: Xochi Romero on StockSnap.io