How Can You Pursue Your Dreams When You Have Endometriosis? Part 1
My two big passions in life? Endometriosis and personal growth. All my life, I have been a go-getter, having big dreams and ambitions.
But, of course, endometriosis can have other plans for our dreams. And if you’re a creative or ambitious person, this can be one of the most frustrating parts of the disease.
When I was 21, I started a magazine with my best friend. We were soaring past the 100mph mark; Everything we did was at triple speed and rest was for the weak. I worked all hours, every day and it got the point where I felt guilty for even seeing my dad on Father’s Day and made sure I got home to work ASAP. Yet inside, I was a mess. I was anxious, panicky, stressed, and living off toast and coffee because I didn’t have the time or money to eat well. I was exhausted and emotional, and found myself crying in the mornings whilst I tried to get ready for my day. I tried to speak up about our pace, but I didn’t feel confident in my feelings that we were going too fast – except for the fact that I wasn’t coping and I didn’t know why. Everyone else was doing fine; In fact, most of the team seemed to be thriving off the adrenaline and crazy schedule. We’d all have our down days, but no one seemed to be falling apart like I was. Eventually, I was so exhausted in the mornings that it felt like my body was made from lead, it was hard work even just to move my legs.
During fashion week, I found myself hiding in a phone box crying and had to go home. Eventually, unable to offer an explanation for my exhaustion other than believing I was ‘weaker’ than everyone else, I stepped down from my role as Deputy Editor and eventually left the company altogether. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, and the wound is still sore.
Fast forward to this present day, and I can now look back and see that the way we were working wasn’t sustainable and I was of course, unknowingly battling endometriosis and the fatigue that came with it. But even though our pace of working was insanely demanding, it’s not unusual for start-ups. There’s a mentality you’ll hear and see everywhere in business media. So many business gurus and leaders tell you to ‘hustle, hustle, hustle’ and tell you that if you’re not getting up before sunrise to work on your business, then you’re not working hard enough and you’re not serious about your goals.
Important lessons learned
Well, I’m here to tell you, you can pursue your dreams and manage endometriosis, without falling apart. That’s what I’m doing – and in fact, my work is thriving. I work hard, for sure, but I go to bed at night. I don’t wake up before 7am unless I have a train or flight to catch. I take time off to rest. I give myself boundaries and limits on my working hours – sure, I bend them a lot, but I no longer think it’s normal or expected to work until the early hours of the morning and sure as hell don’t do it.
If pursuing your dream feels impossible with endometriosis, in my next article, I’ll be taking you through my tips to reach your goals and look after your health, even with endometriosis. Read Part 2 here.
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