5 Reasons I'm Grateful for Endometriosis
I know the title of this post is a bit jarring and, to be honest, a few years ago, I would’ve laughed if you told me I would find any reason to be grateful for endometriosis, let alone five. After all, what’s so great about horrendous pain, terrible exhaustion, lots of blood everywhere? Not exactly a positive experience.
Most of my posts on this site are about how to make living with endometriosis bearable. We want to mitigate the effects of the illness and with good reason. But the more I thought about my own experiences with endometriosis and how it has shaped my life, the more I began to see that my struggle with endometriosis has made me the person I am now. And there are some things I can be grateful for.
I’m more resilient
Endometriosis has made me a lot more resilient. Living with chronic pain is no joke, especially when the pain can strike at any time. While you can sometimes plan for your period, a flare-up can come out of nowhere. Being prepared for the worst has definitely made me resilient and able to deal with other challenges in life.
I know my body better
I know my body very well. I didn’t realize that this was exceptional until I chatted with my sister about some issues she had. I can tell when a flare-up is going to come on. I can tell every type of exhaustion apart and I know exactly when I’ve overdone it. I find that a very useful skill.
I’ve become very efficient
Because of the endo exhaustion, and because being in pain makes everything a lot harder, I’ve learned to become really efficient. I’m also really good at planning ahead so that I can manage the bad days better. Being efficient has certainly helped me in my work as well, which is a real bonus.
I have a higher pain threshold
Endometriosis pain can be horrendous, and having to live with such intense pain raises your pain threshold. I’m actually quite proud of how well I can handle pain, not just endo pain. My tolerance for pain definitely came in handy when I had to give birth to both my children. Maybe it’s not something to be proud of, but in a weird way, I think it’s quite cool.
I’m more empathic
Being in pain a lot of the time can make you very grumpy (I know it does me!), but it also makes you more empathic. I’m naturally an impatient and judgemental person, but endometriosis has made me a lot more empathic. Struggling with pain puts life into perspective.
Would I have been all those things without endometriosis? Maybe. But I’m a firm believer in that every experience in life shapes us who were are. And endometriosis, as horrible as the disease is, has given me certain attributes and characteristics which make me the person I am right now. If there is to be one silver lining to having this illness, then let it be this.
Has intimacy with your partner been affected because of endometriosis symptoms?