It feels like a very long time since I got my first diagnosis of having Endometriosis. It was, in the scheme of things, a lifetime ago. I was only 19 years of age and it felt like a death sentence at the time. The words kept repeating themselves, no matter which doctor I visited or how many times I tried to somehow find a different answer: “There is no cure for Endometriosis!” and of course: “There is nothing we can do but subdue the symptoms.”
I admit at that young age of 19 and with so little understanding of Endometriosis or how it worked, what made it worse is that I believed that conclusion. It was hard to swallow. I was so young and my whole life was supposed to happen then. Suddenly, it felt like my choices were taken from me. I was advised to steer clear of highly stressful jobs, jobs where I would be on my feet all day, anything that required heavy lifting. I was advised to just accept that striving hard and working hard would simply not suit my body. The thing was, when I listened to that advice, I did find that my Endometriosis would be less painful and so, I accepted what was told to me.
When I broke the news to my family, my moms first words were, “Well, you have always been a sensitive child and you will just have to take it easy and take care of your health. You only ever have your health, after all.”
Now, I must just say that at 19, I was a very shy, unsure person. I was always seeking approval from others, especially my parents. I didn’t trust in myself or my body and I felt more defeated and weakened by my diagnosis than relieved. It was almost like a big confirmation that on some level, I was indeed weak and incapable. It was also my excuse for just staying “average”. It felt comfortable to stay in that place and to just accept myself as the “weak, pathetic one with Endometriosis.”
I am now approaching 40 and when I look back over my life and especially that period of my life, it feels like that was a different person. I had allowed everyone else’s words and statements and views of me become my reality. I had allowed what they said to be my truth. I had accepted those limitations. I had signed on the dotted line that all of it was going to be my life. The restriction on achievement, the “weak body” image, the “I just have to be okay with being average” was ingrained in me and I took it as truth. Talk about a bad choice of things to agree to!
It was only after the 7th operation for Endometriosis that I just couldn’t accept my situation any longer. I was tired of the life I had created for myself. I was tired of feeling like crap and to be honest, I just couldn’t endure another laparoscopy. It just felt like the fate of doing another one of those was worse than committing to changing how I was treating myself, mentally and physically.
Something strange has happened since I changed my approach towards Endometriosis. When I created this blog over 4 years ago, I had one mission… to cure myself of Endometriosis. In that drive, I have achieved miraculous transformation for my body. I no longer experience Endometriosis pain or symptoms. YIPPPEEE! Within that journey, I had to commit and change the way I was treating my body. I had to step up my game. I won’t say it was always easy and there were certainly moments when I questioned it all but in the end I proved some fundamental things to myself. I wasn’t weak. I wasn’t pathetic and I was stronger than I realized.
I am not telling you this to brag or anything like that but rather to show you that for you to experience transformation with Endometriosis, it takes a certain mental shift. We need to get to a point where we stop listening to those people who tell us we can’t be cured or healed or even get better. We need to open up our minds to the possibility that the body is miraculous and capable of more than we ever imagined.
It took some major shifts for me to believe that it could be possible to get better. I had to read plenty of books and watch lots of documentaries to see other people who had overcome far worse conditions than Endometriosis. I had to let go of my label. See, that label of saying: “I have Endometriosis” was protecting me. It was allowing me to be average, weak, pathetic and all of those things I mentioned before. Letting it go was more about letting go of my excuse for who I had become. I needed to take responsibility and that in itself is one of the hardest things to do.
I now face a different level of growth. I need to step out of being okay with being average. I need to step up and become stronger on a whole other level. It is a level where I can truly reach out and beyond my own limitations. It relates to this business and all that I wish it to be, so I can support and help so many women with Endometriosis. I know there will be tests along the way and I know there are moments when I will want to give up. There will the those who will say it can’t be done but ultimately, the agony of not doing it now is far scarier than sitting on the sidelines, not giving it my full attention.
What limitations have you set for yourself? Have you used Endometriosis to get out of making tough decisions in your life? Has it served you as an excuse on some level? I would love to hear your thoughts…