I had the privilege of spending last weekend among fellow endo sisters and supporters during the second annual worldwide EndoMarch in Washington DC.
The weekend really opened my eyes to the struggles women with endometriosis share. There were plenty of emotions going around, as you can imagine, with all that energy in one space.
One such happening that got me choked up was a wedding proposal that took place prior to the march. This man stood up in front of everyone and proclaimed his love to one of our endo sisters.
He said that he wanted to put her insecurities to rest about sharing the burdens of life with endometriosis.
He loved her and was ready to be her shoulder to lean on… forever 🙂
Endo Burden & Worthiness
On the morning after the march I had the honor of being a part of a fabulous event called ENDo with Empowerment hosted by Audrey at Rewired Life. This intimate gathering allowed endo sisters and their supporters to connect and share their thoughts.
This man’s beautiful proposal was mentioned again at the event and opened up conversation filled with deep emotions. Tears welled up all around me… and within me.
I think we can all relate to the feelings of being a burden with endometriosis.
We feel bad when the pain or exhaustion hits and we’re unable to function. There is guilt that comes from not being able to fully participate in things, or to have to cancel plans when we are exhausted or in too much pain.
We feel guilt from the expense that comes from this condition, whether that is in the form of medical or alternative therapies, or the extra costs of eating clean. This comes with guilt from not being able to work full time and adding in the extra costs on our loved ones.
I know that I’ve felt guilt or worry after times of wild emotional outbursts that are so common when your hormones are out of order. I’ve described these experiences in the past as “out of body”. Unfortunately it is our loved ones who tend to bear the grunt of this.
Many of us feel broken from not being able to get pregnant, or from surgeries that damage and sometimes remove our lady parts so that possibility is gone.
I Love You For You
With all of these thoughts in play we may question our worthiness. It takes a different kind of man to stand by with endometriosis at play… with painful periods, painful emotions, painful sex and infertility.
(All the more reason why that proposal was such a beautiful thing).
There was a lovely and supportive mother at ENDo with Empowerment whose daughter has endometriosis. She spoke during this emotional conversation and her words I’ve not forgotten.
She reiterated that the people in your life that do stand by you do so because they love you and will do anything for you.
“Endometriosis does not define you,” she said, “They love you. And you just happen to have endometriosis.”
Those words have swirled in my head the past couple of days. I found them quite powerful. I think it is easy to get defined by a condition that has such an impact on our lives.
But endometriosis is not me. And it’s not you.
When I started out on this exploratory healing journey about four years ago, I was faced with that soul searching question: Who am I? The pain with endometriosis sparked a closer look into my true self.
Today, I know one thing for sure… my true self is not endometriosis. Far from it.
That me, is made from pure, unaltered, LOVE.
On the Positive Side?
I’ve been blessed to be able to share this love with a man who’s been by my side and has experienced the trials and tribulations of life with endometriosis.
One of our wedding songs that I picked was by Alanis Morisette called “Everything.” I feel a stirring inside each time I listen to it and I feel like it relates to the same emotions that sparked this post. Through it all… ” you’re still here.”
Sometimes we have to step back and accept this. We are not burdensome. We are worthy of love.
I hope that you’ve been blessed too with support who is still there for you through the thick of endo. It was great to see so many men, mothers and children at the EndoMarch supporting the woman in their life with endometriosis.
It was great for my hubby to connect with some of them. Sort of like meeting an endo sister for the first time…. instant connection 🙂
Did you attend the EndoMarch? What was your takeaway?
I’d love to hear from you….