I met my partner at 41 years old and at 43, we made a decision that we would give ourselves the gift of trying to have a family together – it was both of our dreams to be parents. After five years of trying, including two unsuccessful IVF cycles, we let our dream go.
It was a time of complete hell for me. I had trusted my path and myself, and I had always thought that somehow, eventually, I would become a mum. Deep down, I’ve always wanted to be a mother.
I was gutted. I screamed and cried, and I expressed my emotions through painting. I shared a lot with my partner, and I am so pleased to say that most of the time, I was heard and seen.
I grieved deeper than I had ever done before. I felt completely powerless. No one had taught me how to grieve and at times, I didn’t even know what I was doing. I felt weak, overwhelmed, and completely powerless. It was like I had been taken over in every way.
Throughout all of this, the expressive arts saw me through. I learned how to grieve deeply, honor, and embrace this courageous journey of mine. I learned about the power within, about expression – the importance of seeing and hearing ourselves deep down, and about the power of empathy. We don’t always know what is being called to be heard and seen but trusting can support us to stay in empowerment and know we are worthy.
After all my experiences of working with the arts, I wanted to see if what I had learned would possibly help others. So, I put together the tools that I had been using and created an in-person workshop. I loved creating and working with the first participants. I saw early on that there was something extremely special when women came together to talk and create.
In 2018, my heart was calling me to take this online to women from around the world. I was scared senseless, and I had no idea how to do it, but within six months of talking about it, an answer came.
The arts showed me the way with further learning and opened new beginnings and friendships. More tools came into my life, and it made so much sense for them to become part of my offering of therapeutic art skills.
In 2019, I began offering a virtual online retreat. I felt like I had given birth to something huge! We offered 24 amazing guest speakers supporting the cause to empower childless men and women. I felt like I had become alive again.
Throughout the pandemic, my program grew, and I continue to facilitate it, supporting other women to connect and heal through the therapeutic arts.
Helen S., UK
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