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Struggling To Support Your Endo Sisters

Editor’s Note: May 13th-18th is Women’s Health Week! Join us as we highlight women’s health issues (including endo!), and share messages from strong women across the world.

When I first got sick, I searched “endometriosis” on Instagram. I immediately followed as many women as I could. A sense of belonging and understanding poured over me as they followed me back. Listening to other women’s stories online helped me understand the disease more. There just really wasn’t enough information on Google. It also helped me find positivity during such a scary time. I couldn’t be more grateful for social media for bringing us all together.

Making endo friends

Before I knew it, I was making so many friends. Friends I could message with questions, complaints, and fears. They welcomed with me open arms, making me feel as if we had been friends for years. When I’d be awake at 4 am with horrible pain, I had people to talk to. Days when I’d spend countless hours in the ER, I had women messaging me sending their love and support. After failed treatments, I had people offering their suggestions for what I should try next. I know that I’m not alone when I say that finding this community changed my life. Through these women, I found blogs to read, podcasts to listen to, and advice everywhere. Months turned to years, and now I consider these women some of my closest friends.

Taking a step back

As you begin to get closer to your endo sisters, you realize how many dark things you experience together. You live not only through your own ups and downs, but there’s too. But on days when I could hardly get out of bed because of depression, I sometimes had trouble reaching out. It’s not easy to pull positivity out of yourself sometimes. I would feel so helpless that I couldn’t give endo sisters the relief they deserved. That I didn’t have the answers they needed. At that time, I felt guilty that I wasn’t cheerful for them. I felt as if I couldn’t be what they needed. Some days, it would even be hard to respond.

Realizing it’s okay

On the days that I felt I wasn’t supportive enough, I realized something: These women understand me, and we feel such similar pain. I’m not the only one who sometimes needs to take a step back. I can’t feel guilty for feelings I cannot control. There is no right or wrong way to process being sick. Endometriosis is hard, discouraging, and a wild rollercoaster. Everyone will have days when they break down and feel as if there are no answers for anyone.

But when you put us all in a community, it’s amazing. We can share about ourselves and learn from others. There can always be times that you need to tell your friends that you’re struggling- Being supportive is hard when you feel you can’t support yourself. The best thing about expressing this is that your sisters will always understand. Depression is out of our control, and something all of us may experience. We pull ourselves out of these times by knowing we aren’t alone. Even if it means taking a step back sometimes, our community will always be there.

*Does this advocate’s experience resonate with you at all? We would love to hear your experiences, thoughts, and stories in the comment section below!*

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.