Misconceptions of Living With Endometriosis: Part 1
As many of you I am sure can relate, living with endometriosis is far from easy. We constantly are trying to explain ourselves, may sometimes feel guilty, and have to deal with people and their misconceptions. That all can become so exhausting.
It isn't easy, but I have learned that I really do not have to explain myself to anyone... and that I certainly should not feel guilty for having this illness or for the things I can and can't do. Our health is the most important and we should not focus our time on anything else, especially others opinions. We know what we are capable of and how we should take care of ourselves.
But I still wanted to debunk some common misconceptions about those who live with chronic illnesses.
"How we look must be how we feel"
This can not be anymore incorrect. The thing about having an invisible illness is it is just that, invisible. Our pain is deep inside, where no one can see it. Majority of the time, I am not feeling well, no one would ever be able to know. Just because someone has done their make up, fixed up their hair, and has gotten dressed does not mean they feel ok. Looks can be deceiving. Please watch what you say to others even if they look like they are feeling ok. You do not know what they have going on inside of them. And you do not understand how hard and brave it was for them to show up regardless of that pain.
"It's all in our heads"
This one hits hard for me. Because for years before my diagnosis, doctors told me it was "in my head" and I "just wanted attention". As someone who knew something was wrong inside of her body, this statement broke me, every single time. And now, with a proper diagnosis, I cannot help but stress this enough to ALL women out there, it is NOT in your head. No matter how many out there try telling you that. Pain is not normal.
"We have no ambition"
What it comes down to is that we really just have no energy. But you better believe we have ambition. Fatigue hits us hard most days as our body deals with daily pain. We want success just as much as the person without a chronic illness does. It may just look a bit different for us to achieve. Never assume someone does not have any ambition. You do not know their story, what they have been working hard on, what they are going through. If anything, having a chronic illness has made me even more ambitious than ever. I crave and desire to be successful and help prove to others a chronic illness will not stop me.
"If we are happy, we must feel fine
Just like with how we look is how we must feel, this is also incorrect. I am happy most days, but not because I feel ok (at least not every day). I am happy because I am grateful for the things in my life, even if endometriosis makes it a tad bit harder. And I choose to see those things as much as I can. This is another misconception that hits me hard. I like to share a lot of positive things on my social media and somedays it annoys me that people think I am better because of it. While I don't want to be sick, the truth is I am. I am just learning how to live life with out always seeming like it. And sometimes, that means putting a smile on and staying positive.
Have you ever had to explain any of these misconceptions to anyone in your life? Stay tuned for Part 2. I will debunk a few more misconceptions those have about living with a chronic illness.
Have you ever experienced any of the following symptoms?