Endometriosis and Self-Confidence
I think for many of us, we can agree that endometriosis is difficult to deal with. Even on good days, it's difficult. It leaves us feeling crappy and wreaks so much havoc on our emotions.
Sometimes we have to break down
For me, I have spent most of my illness trying to find the positives of having endometriosis (and trust me, I truly have found a lot) that I almost forgot it is a real disease. But it's real... and it is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. And while it is important for us to realize it doesn't have to be our entire life, we are all so capable of so much, it is also important to know it is okay to breakdown sometimes. There will undoubtedly be bad days that we just cannot hide. I started to realize this the other day when I was just cramping so badly and looking in the mirror wishing I could be someone else. And instead of fighting trying to be ok with it, I broke down.
You are beautiful the way you are
I never thought of myself as pretty, especially not in school. I always felt like the ugly duckling of the group, self-conscious of my weight, acne, choice of fashion, and ability to maintain friendships. I was bullied a lot so my self esteem was always set very low. But I still was able to look in the mirror, accept who I was, and go on with my day. It wasn't until high school and college that I really struggled with my appearance. I would sit in front of the mirror clawing at myself... Wishing parts of me would disappear. Wishing I would disappear. I couldn't find beauty in who I was.
And then endometriosis showed up
Before my official endometriosis diagnosis, my lack of self-confidence spiraled. I truly hated the person I was. Hated how I felt and looked. I didn't want to be here anymore. Waking up every morning feeling sick, feeling as if I was 9 months pregnant, was getting old. It didn't matter what I ate, how much I worked out, or what weight loss program I tried. I wasn't getting better. In fact, my weight took a drastic turn. I went from 120 pounds to 150 pounds without any real explanation.
My hair began to fall out, it started thinning, was frizzy, my nails were brittle and broken. My face would jump from teenager acne face to pregnant and water-weight face, every single day. My clothes no longer fit comfortably. What was happening to me. I didn't even know who I was looking at anymore when I looked in the mirror.
Receiving the official endometriosis diagnosis helped me better understand what was going on with me. But I still stood in front of the mirror, looking at the monster I was becoming. Tears streaming down my face wishing for a different life. To be someone else.
Life with chronic illness
As my journey with endometriosis continues, my lack of self-confidence bounces back and forth. Somedays, I feel so confident in who I am. Other days, I still sit in front of the mirror crying hating the person looking back at me. I have learned endometriosis is unpredictable. Every day, I wake up not knowing if I will love myself or hate myself that day. It is a constant battle, for me, for everyone suffering. And a battle that will always be something I struggle with. But just like everything else with this disease, I will continue to fight. Fight for happier days. Fight for confidence. Because no matter how endometriosis makes each and one of us feel, we are beautiful. Always have been. And always will be.
Please remember to love yourself. Be gentle with yourself. And be kind to yourself.
Has intimacy with your partner been affected because of endometriosis symptoms?