Surviving Endometriosis Is a Daily Victory
Sometimes, life with endometriosis can feel repetitive and depressingly dull. I am bleeding with no end in sight, taking painkillers like they’re sweets, and feeling deflated at the number of plans I can’t make.
However, I know I am not alone in feeling this way.
I feel heard whenever I voice my struggles in any online forum for people with endometriosis. Words of support come my way, followed by bucketloads of empathy from strangers. There are frank conversations about mental health, posts prefaced with "TMI," and funny apologies for overtly detailed descriptions.
Above all, there is a feeling of genuine connection.
Yet sometimes, I can’t even browse those spaces.
Often my life is so overloaded with worry brought on by life-disrupting symptoms that all I want to do is forget I have this disease. I quickly scroll past posts I don’t want to read. I refuse to identify with anyone describing their latest procedure or lamenting an excruciatingly long waiting list until specialists care.
I want to disconnect in every sense of the world. I want to stop noticing what's happening to me.
If you also feel this way, please know it's OK.
Feelings of failure and disappointment are normal
Yet life carries on regardless. Despite painful periods, stained bed sheets, and dry-cleaning bills.
Because I become so used to the negatives surrounding me, I stop noticing something really important: the smallest of victories.
Life with endometriosis is anything but unevenful
At a recent ultrasound, I was told I have a fibroid that could be causing the pain I am currently suffering. Words like anguish and exhaustion don't even describe how I felt while on the hospital bed, being prodded by the otherwise lovely ultrasound technician.
I was told of the size and location of a fibroid, but as the technician continued her explanation, it all evaporated into white noise. Walking out of the hospital, I felt like a zombie.
Two weeks before the ultrasound, I took part in a 10k trail run, raising cash for my local endometriosis charity. I felt triumphant, running alongside people who were endometriosis-free.
Just like every other runner in that event, I finished the race. Except I am not "just like every other runner."
Living mindfully means recognizing your worth
After surviving that ultrasound, I treated myself to pizza, my favorite food. To remind myself of my badass nature despite my physical limitations, I bought a commemorative picture of my 10k run.
With a chronic illness like endometriosis, getting through each day can seem dull, repetitive funk. Yet, while it may feel uneventful, it is nothing of the sort. Every day you get through is a huge victory.
No matter if you’re currently getting over surgery complications, struggling with your mental health, or wondering what you did to deserve a month-long period. Celebrating the smallest victories is a necessary ritual.
It will show how you just how far you’ve come.
We don't get to run, work, or care for our children and loved ones pain-free. Yet, we persist. I don't know what is if that's not the most victorious of lives.
Has anyone ever said the following to you about your endometriosis?