While I love a good life mantra, I find myself hating certain inspirational quotes. The carpe diem kind seem most at odds with my endometriosis life. Sometimes it’s “live life to the fullest,” others it’s “time is precious, make the most of it” printed on a mug or against a sunset background.
Hate is a strong word. It’s charged with a strong degree of anger, like Godzilla ravaging through Tokyo, or when the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in “Ghostbusters” stops smiling. But there are times when I read one of these quotes and want to punch a hole through a brick wall.
For most people, inspirational quotes can be very useful. Leaving your troubles aside and pursuing happiness seems like a good life plan. Yet, what happens when you can’t do anything? When you have dreams, aspirations, or maybe just some chores to do but achieve zero; when you are lying on your bed, feeling like your mattress is a fridge and you’re a tiny magnet, physically drained and curled up in pain.
I spent my weekend in bed, failing to go on a hike, attend a first-aid course, go to a friend’s barbecue, and make veggie burgers after buying all of the ingredients. My period arrived and turned me into a powerless, sick human being. I missed out on life because of my body.
When my endometriosis becomes this bad, it’s like repeated baseball bats to my stomach. Then there’s the painkiller extravaganza to soothe the cramps and leave me comfortably numb. My brain is a fog and my limbs a wobbly mess. I can’t do anything productive or even speak properly. It’s like I’m no longer a human being.
Even though endometriosis is not the kind of illness that reduces your lifespan, you still feel like you’re being cheated out of your own existence. It’s an emotional ordeal. You look in the mirror and you see a healthy and potentially strong person. In reality, you feel like you’re covered in tar, longing for your duvet and a bucket of painkillers.
What’s behind my rage?
I know what sparks my anger: a familiar, suffocating feeling on my chest, commonly known as anxiety. When I see things that remind me of what I “should be doing,” my emotions get the best of me. This is not living life to the max. There is no carpe diem with a bad endometriosis flare-up.
Spending so much time bed-bound is a lesson in self-care. Throw all the inspirational quotes at me but don’t expect me to budge. There is no use in fighting when you can barely walk. There is nothing to be gained from propping yourself up, stubbornly struggling to stay vertical. I’ve learned this the hard way, making mistakes I wouldn’t when functioning normally.
Today, it’s the calm after the storm. I have woken up physically tired, yet at ease. My muscles no longer feel tense and I have stopped bleeding heavily. I walk around my flat and it doesn’t hurt. I can wear makeup and proper clothes and even manage to walk my two dogs.
Looking back on my weekend, I realize there is nothing “Instagram-worthy” about it, but it’s as real as it gets. It’s my endometriosis life, the one that certain quotes don’t quite cover. The one that needs you to stop, remember that everything is temporary, and calmly wait for the storm to pass.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.