My endoversary was yesterday. Six years ago, I finally received validation of the pain that haunted me since I was 12 years old.
It took a long time to get that diagnosis, but in reality the journey had only begun.
I look back on that overwhelmed 29-year old woman, and I can see just how far I’ve come in the last six years. While it’s no doubt that endo sucks, it has taught me some profound lessons.
Today, in remembrance of another year, I’d like to share six truths I’ve learned along the way.
#1.) You are strong. So strong.
Endometriosis has rocked my world with intense pain. I’m amazed sometimes how I’m still here, how I’m still standing. Somehow I’ve made it through.
There’s only so much that others see of that. The worst of the pain is behind closed doors, hidden from view. I know what goes on behind those closed doors.
Allow me to remind you that you are strong, love. So strong.
As a health coach, supporting other women with endo, I’ve held space for the pain.
I’ve read your stories and your messages to me. I’ve felt the emotions that come with a condition that strikes at the very center of you.
I’m amazed by the strength I’ve been witness to.
#2.) You are worth taking care of.
Endo forced me to take better care of myself. It gave me no other choice. It helped drive my attention to the power of nutrition, sleep and setting boundaries.
There was a point along the way when I realized that it was up to me. My daily choices matter because they impact my quality of life.
For the first time, I understood that I was worth it. I deserved my respect and attention.
#3.) You are more than your body. You transcend the physical.
The acknowledgement and separation of my physical body and higher self, my soul, has been one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned, because it helped shift my ideas on worth and perception of being broken.
I learned that my physical shell is not the true “me”. My higher self is whole, perfect and complete, regardless of what goes on with my body.
My higher self serves as a witness to the pain and reflects love and genuine understanding.
#4.) You are brave.
It’s hard enough dealing with a chronic, invisible illness, let alone one that deals with menstruation. For me, that topic came with a lot of shame. Periods were hush, hush. I didn’t talk about that stuff with anyone.
Endometriosis taught me to speak up. As I shared my experience, I connected with other women who have endo too. The conversation doesn’t come up, however, unless we talk about it. We must draw the attention.
Allow me to remind you that you are brave for doing so. Share your story. I promise you’re not alone.
Endometriosis is misunderstood and unpredictable. You are brave in your very existence, for moving forward despite insurmountable circumstances. You are brave for still being here.
#5.) You are sensitive.
Of course you are! Cells similar to those from your sacred womb space are misplaced and they set off an alarm when toxic factors come into play. With endo, I know right away if something doesn’t serve me.
I’ve connected with a lot of highly sensitive women in the Peace with Endo community. I consider myself to be a highly sensitive empath. So, I pick up on other’s energy.
Once I realized this, my life changed. I started to see that many times the emotions that I was feeling, were picked up from someone else.
I feel things deeply. I don’t like to watch anything violent. I’m sensitive to sounds and smells. I get drained after being in a space with a lot of people. Relate?
#6.) You are an intuitive being.
The changes that I’ve made because of the pain from endometriosis, have helped me to build awareness of my body and mind. I’m able to recognize my personal triggers.
Endometriosis forced me to slow down, to rest, to care for myself. It got me into meditation, which created space to restore and receive.
Endo taught me to trust my intuition and to listen to the messages of my body. I’ve learned to trust the voice inside that serves as a guiding light on a journey that’s been dark sometimes.
On the Positive Side?
Endo helped connect me to you! My endo sisters are some of the most compassionate women I’ve ever met.
Pain does that. It makes you appreciate good days. It teaches you gratitude. It forces you to slow down.
Pain can be the greatest teacher and catalyst for change. My life’s not the same as it was six years ago. I’m in a much better spot mentally, physically, emotionally and spirituality.
For that, I am grateful.
Thank you for being here with me on this journey.
What have you learned from endometriosis? How has your life changed since you were diagnosed?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.