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The 7 Steps toward Endo Empowerment

I recently hurt my foot and it was taking a long time to figure out what was causing the issue and an even longer time for me to come to terms with it all. What I realised while going through my journey with my foot, is that the stages weren’t all that dissimilar to the journey I had gone through with endometriosis.

So, the idea of the 7 stages is kinda like 7 stages of grief but now we are aiming for Endo Empowerment.

Stage 1: The Curiosity Stage

This is where we are just not sure about what is going on. We might feel frustrated while we await a proper diagnosis. We attempt to Google the answer and find ourselves getting buried in questions, rather than answers. It is a frantic searching. A fearful worry. A wondering on how bad things can be or get. It can feel like you aren’t being heard and that nobody truly understands what you are going through. You might feel isolated with your pain and a part of you wonders if you truly are just making it all up.

Stage 2: The Proper Diagnosis

Finally, we get a proper diagnosis and it puts our mind at rest – partly because we know what we are dealing with but partly because we have something we can tell other people we have. We also feel a little bit better knowing that it is not something we conjured up in our minds!

I know for many women with endo, it can sometimes take more than 10 years to actually get a diagnosis and women have been accused of all sorts of nasty things, in their search to get answers – madness, attention-seeking and that they are just exagerating their pain. In a way, getting that diagnosis allows us to take concrete steps towards improving our health. Sadly, it can also give us an attachment to a label – particularly when doctors repeat phrases like “this is incurable and will never go away”. *Please don’t believe the label.

Stage 3: The Self Pity Stage

I won’t lie to you. I have shed a few tears over the last few weeks with regards to my foot. I know it may seem a little lame, compared to endo pain but I have been used to having all this freedom within my life and then suddenly it was all taken away again. I can’t yet walk the dog or go to the gym and saddest of all, I can’t practice my favorite yoga pose – downward dog!

I was all “poor me” and “my life is all hard now”. I fell into the state of being a victim of what I was experiencing.

Sadly, I see many, many women with endo stay here. They stay here for years and years and years. They stay stuck in a belief that there is nothing they can do and they simply have to live with the pain. Please know that there is plenty you can do and that you are not alone.

Stage 4: The Rebellious Stage

This is the stage where we want to fight against what we have. We resist it. We barrage against it. It is an energy of force and rebellion. You might use statements like: “Endo doesn’t control me!”. “I won’t let it restrict me!” and you push yourself through the pain. It is a place where we don’t want to accept our limitation and we fight against it, believing that we are stronger and tougher than the endo.

I did this with my foot too. I resisted the pain and decided to work anyway. I decided that I could bear it and I could fight against it and my “silly foot” was not going to restrict me or get the better of me.

Well, my “silly foot” and possibly your endo have shown us that this approach just lands us back in more pain and feeling worse than we did before – we might even roll back into the Self Pity Stage at this point 😉

Stage 5: The “I will do anything” Stage

This is where I see many of my clients with endo. They are prepared to do anything to get better. They shift their diet, they take the best supplements and they take on board all the best meaning advice. They want to be A+ students of their health. They have decided to do something about their endo and they will do absolutely everything in their power. Everything! The more the better! And if that ain’t good enough, then they will do even more.

Sound familiar?

This is where I see examples of women eating the most perfect diet, following a strict plan and doing absolutely everything in their power to be well.

I found myself in this stage today. I had read about my foot condition and decided to practice everything I could find. I did the stretches, did the massages, took up swimming and even massaged my foot. I was going to do everything to get better and the more I did the better it would be… right? Hmmm maybe not…

Stage 6: The Nurturing Stage

This is when we realize that it isn’t about doing everything 100% of the time or being “the perfect healthy person”. It’s not about implementing everything we have heard and been told. It isn’t about doing things to the utmost and then just doing more. It is about turning inward and actually listening to our body and what it needs.

I found myself recognizing this today. I went swimming for the first time in a long time and my first inclination was to swim and swim and swim. To push and to do and to allow my calf to loosen up and for my foot to get some flexing and all the things I heard. Luckily, the little voice inside of me slowed all of that down and simply said: “You have done enough for today. It is time to go home and rest.”

One of the things I frequently hear with women with endo is the words of “I have to eat this way because of endo” or “I can’t eat certain foods anymore because of endo”. It is an interesting perspective and is perhaps a little bit of stages 3 (Victim) and stage 5 (Want to do everything!) mixed together. Here’s the thing. It is not about the diet. It is not about the supplements. It is about nourishing your body and actually providing it with what it needs. Sometimes, all your body wants is for you to take the time to make a nourishing meal and enjoy creating it or for you to sit outside, take a breath and enjoy the sounds of birds as they flutter past you. To capture the stillness and enjoy in that serene space for that moment. Nurturing is about taking care of ourselves – on every level. Taking care. Not pushing.

So often we beat ourselves up for what we have not done or for not being “strict enough” within our journey toward wellness. The irony is that this self-talk is worse for your health than anything you may have eaten or not done.

All the kale and smoothies in the world can’t fix the self beating we often do to ourselves!

Stage 7: The Empowerment Stage

This is a place where we know we have the right tools available to us. We know what we need and we can tune inward to get what we need to feel well. We feel a calm state of knowing. It is not coming from a frantic scared place but from a still place. It is a place where we can trust our bodies and the ability to heal. It is a place where we know that within time, we will find the answers. It is a place where we overcome things. We stand strong in who we are and fully trust and surrender to the amazing ability of our body to realign and heal whatever imbalances it may be going through.

Trust. Let go. Be at one with who we are and the ability of our body.

This is the place I want us all to swim in. To play in. It is a place of comfort and calm. It is a place where worry and fear disappear.

 

Come and join me in our new member’s area – if you haven’t already – and share in the journey in reaching this wonderful place of being Endo Empowered.

 

Hugs, Melissa x
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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Jenna

    Change your diet. Stop eating red meat and dairy. Anti-inflammatory foods. Therapy is good to deal with mental. Exercise. Rest. CBD oil. Bible. God.

  2. Melissa

    Hi Kay,

    I am so sorry for the struggles you have been through within your life but perhaps there are some lessons you can gain from your experience? Perhaps there is some deeper need within you that wishes to be heard or something within you that yearns for rest and recuperation and desire to be filled again?
    Thyroid struggles are often an indicator of simply pushing too hard and doing too much and not getting enough rest – not just physically but emotionally. We want to save the world and help everyone and feel like we can’t do it all. Does this resonate?
    I have found myself in a similar feeling this year, which is why I did take some time away from this blog for a few months over COVID. Yes, it is hard sometimes to let go and to say I need “me time” but i also felt I couldn’t be at my best the way I was.
    My recommendation for you is to find something that lights you up. Think back to what you meant about wanting to be a child. What is it you feel you are missing? or missed out on?
    I have found one herbal remedy to be particularly helpful for this type of experience and that is Syberian Ginseng. It is designed to only be taken for a short time – like 3 months but it will give you the booster and realignment with your hormones you are needing.
    I hope that helps and please forgive the lack of response 😉

  3. Melissa

    Chocolate Cysts are quite easy to treat Juliet. Cysts are your bodies way of holding toxins until it figures out where to put them or how to get rid of them. You want to address this with dietary changes but also using methods which encourage circulation to the area really helps. Using poultices and castor oil together can be super beneficial to slowly shrinking cysts. I have helped many women shrink them naturally and there is no need for surgery for them at all!

  4. Kay

    I am reading Juliet’s comment and feel for her. Is there nothing you can do to help her?

    I am almost 50, have 3 children, the last two in my forties, struggled for two decades on and off with infertility, have spent years on different diets, have lived with a lifetime of hypothyroidism that was only properly diagnosed when I was 39. I am tired, frustrated, crazy. The constant up and down with the hormone imbalance (from thyroid) and the limitations from pain have caused a profound strain on my 23 year marriage. I don’t want to die yet because I have young children and I want to see them grow; I want to experience life with them, but I feel like I spend each waking hour thinking about when I get to lie down next.

    Please tell me there is more to you site than just a “pep talk”. Maybe at least, you could be a help to Juliet here. She wrote in May and you still haven’t replied. I’m not trying to be horrible, I’m just very, very frustrated, very, very done. I pushing towards my later years and still feel like I haven’t lived yet. Hormone “issues” have been with me since young childhood (as I mentioned above) and I feel as though I’ve had no childhood, no young adulthood, etc.

    I now have a 6-year-old daughter and I feat that she will inherit this from me, I need for her to not be lost like me. Can you give any advise, any help?

    Thank you and best wishes to you. And by the way, I just discovered I have bunions, so now I’m hobbling around too!

  5. Juliet

    Have been with endo with no a year I have tried hormonal treatment and herbal all have failed.I have a chocolate cyst in mynleft ovary.doctors are recommending me to get a surgery I have no child yet am 22yrs.please help me on what to use the pain is too much before and after periods.

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I'm Melissa

Sick of the medical advice for endo never working?

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