In the new lodge we are working the owner has a little girl. She is a very fragile girl and she reminds me of myself at that age. She was born underweight, seemed to get sick easily, has all sorts of food sensitivities and is very small and skinny. Well, she has a cold at the moment and didn’t go to school today. I overheard her calling her mum and the first thing she said was, “Why did you leave me alone, mummy?” It really broke my heart not just because I felt sorry for the little girl but mainly because this was the key feeling I had when I was sore and sick.
I think I always wanted someone around to make me feel loved when I was sick. It was partly to have someone make you tea or to get you things but mainly it was about the company and that someone would spend time with you and care for you. I am not sure why.
There was a patch in my life where I actually rebelled against this emotion. I felt like I didn’t want to be dependent on someone to this extent. I didn’t want to be a “burden” to anyone. I didn’t want them to feel obliged to be there for me. So, I rebelled and didn’t show weakness. I didn’t show them my pain or my struggles with endo. I even rebelled against the feeling of “being alone”. I actually created “a little world of Mel”.
In this world it was all about me. I think I actually reveled in my “Mel World”. I could wallow in my own misery of having endo. I could be mopey and sad and grumpy, all on my own. It was my own space and I didn’t have to explain myself to anyone or feel guilty for anything. I know it sounds depressing and perhaps it was a form of depression but on some weird level, I actually enjoyed my little misery world of Mel. It gave me a sense of comfort. This was my disease and no one could possibly understand it! It was like this little secret that only I would ever truly understand.
Sometimes I still retreat to the little world of Mel. I find it gives me a sense of calm to be able to retreat there… maybe because as we all know, our partners couldn’t ever really get this or maybe because we all share some level of self-pity with endo.
I still get those feelings of needing love. I hate it because James really loves me so much and shows me and gives me love in such a special way and yet, somehow there is still this innate longing for more on certain days, usually a few days before I am due! If I don’t feel it, then the inevitable self-pity and feeling alone emotion seems to set in!
It is a hard one to shake but over the years, I have found a few things that seem to help me.
Do something lovely for someone else
I personally find the most rewarding way of giving is to pick someone I barely know and help them in some small way. I might find someone in a support group that is open to help and really guide them on what they can do to heal themselves or I might just write a message to someone I haven’t written to in a while and share how much they mean to me. It is amazing how healing this process is. It is not just about the response you get back from the person you have helped but it really makes you reflect on yourself and often how lucky you are as a person. It makes you grateful and makes you think of things to be grateful for, rather than how crappy endo is or any of those silly thoughts!
It is easy to make “getting love” about those around you! We might blame our partners for their lack of showing us love or question our friends’ true loyalties and question how much others really love us, when we don’t feel we are getting enough love. Thing is, it is not actually normal to need love from others. We should be fulfilled to love ourselves enough and any extra is just a bonus!
When I was single, I made a point of loving myself every Friday night. This involved treating myself to all the things I really love. I would have a long hot bath with some of my favorite oils, do a hair mask or face mask, followed by a body scrub with natural stuff found in my kitchen, paint my toenails (with natural paints of course) and finish it off with a hot shower. I would inevitably pick a lovely book or movie to watch or sometimes I would just sit and draw or paint. I sometimes just sat outside and soaked in the stillness of the night, depending on the time of year of course. The point was, it was my night and I could do whatever I wanted with it. It also made me feel incredible and so delicately loved!
Meditation and yoga
There is something weird that happens when you do meditation and yoga. You find a sense of calm deep within yourself. It is this space that makes you calm and content, without any thought or searching. It is just there and it is stable and safe. It took me a while to recognize this with yoga and to develop the skill of meditation but when you find it, it is truly special!
It is okay to feel alone and even wallow a little with endo. We all do it, whether we want to admit it or not. The thing is not to beat yourself up about it. Just recognize it and make a point of doing something to make yourself feel better. Questioning it and trying to resolve it is actually worse. Just let it come in, recognize it and go… Oh I need some lovin’… let me do something for myself.
When you are feeling stronger, you can maybe assess this emotion with some EFT or something but I have personally found it worse to psychoanalyze it at the time. It is inevitably just those nasty hormones…
The thing is, you are really not alone with endo. I am sure you know that on a logical level. There are so many women now that share endo and with support groups, which are positive and healing, we can all share what we feel, without feeling judged or silly.
What makes you feel better on your “wallowing days”? How do you “snap out of it”?