Caring For Yourself
“…please stow all carry-on luggage in the over-head compartments, and if the oxygen masks do come down,
please secure your own mask first before helping anyone in the seats around you…”
One aspect of endometriosis that is often overlooked is the range of emotions experienced by the woman with the disease. People who do not have chronic disease, might find it difficult to understand the guilt, disappointment, grief and embarrassment that an endo sufferer often grapples with.
For a teenaged girl, telling her friends that she will not be able to go out with them, yet again, because she doesn’t feel well, can create feelings of isolation and resentment. For a young woman, not being able to keep up with the demands of her chosen career despite all efforts, feeling overwhelmed and stressed with her daily responsibilities, or having to accept that she has to turn down an invitation out because stepping outside of her routine could trigger unwanted symptoms, can be similar to a grieving process. For a Mom, having to spend a Saturday in bed after promising her children a day out, or for a woman having to explain to her significant other that yet again, they need to cancel plans or disappoint their family, can induce strong feelings of guilt for her efforts never seeming to be good enough. For a strong independent woman, having to find new ways to explain the spectrum of the disease and its symptoms to employers and coworkers without feeling like she is compromising her integrity, the fear of embarrassment can cause her to lie about her condition. Depression is definitely an issue for women with endometriosis.
“I feel defeated, deflated, robbed, alone…like life is just passing me by…”
When speaking about acceptance and endometriosis, we of course mean accepting our symptoms, but the more important aspect, is in the acceptance of the feelings associated with endo. Coming to terms with the negative emotions, guilt and sadness means remembering that you are a dynamic woman, with or without the endometriosis that has become a big part of your life.
To be a dynamic woman through illness means taking your day one step at a time, not over burdening yourself with unrealistic expectations, and realizing that you are worth a moment of rest! This does not mean that you are weak or that your willpower is lacking. What it means is that you have unique needs in order to ensure that your most vibrant self is present at all times.
Accept what you cannot change at this moment, take moments for yourself to do what you love to do, if one treatment is not working for you look into another, and most importantly seek support from other vibrant dynamic women with endo in a Local Support Group or in the private forum.
The Endometriosis Network