Lack of Self Love For Many Years…
As a young girl, I took the mean words of other kids to heart. As I grew into an awkward pre-teen, I let the opinions of boys and mean girls take precedence in my mind. By the time I hit high school I’d developed significant self esteem issues.
As a teenager, I got into alcohol and drugs. Mindlessly driving these poisons into my young, developing body. I think I wanted to disconnect from my reality at the time. I was unhappy and just didn’t care….
Looking back on these times makes me flinch. I realize that I was quite disconnected from my body for the majority of my life.
I believe this disconnection is related to the lack of self esteem I developed as a young girl, as a young woman — or better put — a lack of self love. I suppose I never “learned” to love myself. Perhaps I failed to ever really be “lifted up”….
In my twenties, when I moved out on my own, I was forced to feed myself and quickly realized that I really had no idea how to do this. I consistently ate fast food – cheese burgers, french fries, milk shakes, pizza, brownie sundaes – LOL.
It didn’t take long for these food decisions to take effect on my body. I gained weight – only hurting my underlying self esteem issues. This got me paying attention to calories (more so than the actual food that I was eating). I went to the gym and would run on the treadmill but was never really successful at losing the extra weight.
I developed gastrointestinal issues and suffered with daily headaches and frequent migraines, but I didn’t connect the food to body to health connection at the time. I ate things because they tasted good to me, because this bad food was around….everywhere.
It took the deep cry of endometriosis pain — absolute body shaking pain, pulsing in the center of me — to wake me from these habits.
Importance of Self Love for Self Care
One of the many lessons I’ve learned from other wellness warriors like Jessica Ainscough and Kris Carr — and from watching lots of Oprah and the Biggest Loser 🙂 — is the importance of self love in healing.
Things really change when we make the decision to do so for ourselves — because we want to feel better — because we know that we are worth it. Period.
One such book recommended by Oprah is a book called Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth. A major take away I have from this book is this — If we feed our bodies with “junk” food — with food that is bad for us — then we are essentially betraying ourselves — hurting our souls.
Geneen Roth speaks of the relation of food and trying to “fill up” something that is missing inside of us. I find this relevant with myself and sugar. In stressful times (or times of pain) I often instinctively reach for sugar (in my opinion one of the most addictive, destructive drugs).
Makes sense, as sugar instantly “lifts up” the body….Seeing the connection? (Oprah mentioned having several A-Ha moments reading this book – LOL).
Geneen Roth recommends simple advice. Before reaching for something to eat, stop to connect back with yourself.
Ask: Am I really hungry? Why am I eating right now? How do I FEEL right now? Am I happy/sad/bored? What is this food going to do to my body? What nutrients is it going to provide me? How is it going to make me FEEL.
I believe this relates to mindful eating. Something that I lacked for much of my life. I had no relationship with my food outside of the fact that it tasted good. Really stopping to consider what I am eating (and why) has made all the difference in my natural journey to heal endometriosis.
When I realized that I was restricting myself from different things not because I couldn’t have them, but because I didn’t want them (for the ways they make me FEEL) — then my mind completely shifted (in a good way), and I was better able to stick with healthy choices that are good for my body (and mind).
Can I Love Myself With Endometrioisis?
I recognize that self love is difficult with endometriosis — loving a body that radiates pain is not always easy. I know that many a time I’ve thought how much I hate the body that I’ve been given.
These thoughts come more on my pain days, or on days where I struggle with the whole infertility thing, or in the “crazy” emotional days leading up to ovulation….or my period…so pretty much all the time…LOL.
There have been days when I wanted to physically remove the emotional pain in me — out of me. While I have never been a “cutter” – at times like these I understand this practice. Cutting to help bleed out the sheer emotional pain inside. I think at these times I would almost prefer physical pain, as if the physical pain was validation for what I was thinking inside my head.
Any hoo on a lighter note…. 🙂
I write about this emotional pain because I feel it is real and exists in the community of endo sisters. We have a hormonal imbalance and this does play into our emotions.
The trick then is to kill the pain. Relax the mind. Simple as that. Right? 🙂
The Road to True Healing…
I’ve found near elimination of my endometriosis pain after two years of natural healing through:
- and positive thinking
By feeding my body the foods it needs – i.e. lots of veggies, and an important balance of alkaline to acid foods, and eliminating those my body was essentially allergic to — gluten, dairy, soy — I immediately started to feel better.
Without as many daily aches and pains, my attitude improved, helping to keep the dark thoughts at bay. I do still sometimes get the crazy, hormonal over the top emotional swings, but they are becoming fewer and farther between.
I feel like a lot of this deep pain and dark thoughts have been extinguished with the detoxing that I’ve done over the past six months or so. I have completed four liver and gallbladder cleanses, a kidney cleanse and have been consistently juicing to further detox my insides.
I believe that this detoxing has truly helped with the pain I get during my periods and I know that it has had an effect on my mental well being.
My attention has been on detoxing the liver, as it is said that the liver is the main storage depot for anger. When our livers are sluggish, our bodies are unable to release itself of the toxins we interact with on a daily basis, then this toxicity just builds up. “
Of equal importance is the fact that the liver is responsible for filtering out the excess hormones (likely estrogen) in our bodies that we also pick up from our daily environment or that which is left over from taking birth control pills.
Since completing the liver and gallbladder cleanses I have felt calmer overall. I feel my mind is clearer and I have episodes of “crazy” 🙂
To keep my mind in check on a daily basis, I find that yoga is a key ingredient. Taking time to focus on the breath, while stretching out the body and stimulating the lymphatic system, is only a good thing for the body and mind when seeking true healing. When I do not have time for a full yoga practice, then I take 20 – 30 minutes in mindful meditation.
And the changes that I’ve made have resulted in weight loss (losing those stubborn ten pounds I was running and running for in my mid-twenties), and a leaner, more toned body that is easier for me to love 🙂
Personality for Endometriosis
On a side note, I recently read “The Profile of an Endometriosis Woman” that relates women who have endometriosis and what is commonly referred to as a Type A Personality. I know that I fit rather perfectly into this profile 🙂
I saw something recently about how Type A Personalities tend to have self esteem issues that develop as a child – whether it be from your parents, or mean, abusive people in general.
The Type A comes into play as there is always that desire to impress – to achieve – perhaps to make up for something that is missing — inside. Self love. Because of this Type A personalities often have stress and anxiety issues in there lives.
The message that I take from all of this is the importance of “lifting up” young girls. To remind them that they are beautiful – that they are strong – that kids are mean – don’t listen. You are beautiful. You are worth it. Please let all the little girls in your life know this. (And don’t forget to tell yourself too. Because you are worth it 🙂
On the Positive Side?
I believe now, after coming all this way, that self love is key to healing endometriosis. I have connected the food — body connection as well as the mind — body connection.
I want to feel better now for me. Because I am worth it. I deserve to feel good. I deserve that which best for my body, that which best for my mind.
I have learned many lessons on the continual road to self love. I know now that this life is truly a gift. This is evident when we stop for just a moment and look around at the wonders of this world – the simple yet complex system in nature, the wonders of the human body (and it’s natural ability to heal), the wonders of new life, the discoveries and animation of movement and spirit.
The body the gateway to our human experience — vehicles for our souls — we must take care of it — we must feed it with the best food and nutrients that we can. We must nurture it with rest and eliminate physical stressors. We must take time for ourselves to explore creative paths, to find laughter and contentment. To find peace.
Peace with Endo 🙂
Much love to you. I hope that today you too find this love for yourself. It is only then that the true healing happens.