You might have clicked on this column, full of curiosity, wondering how anyone could ever find anything positive about this disease and all it entails. Well, let me explain.
I have a really lovely life. I’m not showing off or anything, but I do. I have a beautiful little family of my own ― a loving partner who works extremely hard to support us and a very energetic 2-year-old who brings laughter to each and every day. We live in a nice house, and although it’s not our own, we have made it ours. We go on a good old British holiday every year. I own nice clothes, albeit the majority of them thrift-store. There’s very little I want for.
So why am I in mourning for my previous life?
Some might call me selfish. I might have everything some of you are wishing for. But, occasionally, my mind wanders back to my old life and the possibilities of what I could have now, had I been able to continue on that path.
I was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was 21, and although I had some very low moments in the ensuing years, I was working toward a successful life. I had a career that generated a good salary, which in turn enabled me to have a car of my own, get out and about, see friends regularly and afford whatever I wanted. All of that was progressing me toward a better place. I could have eventually bought a house with my partner, we could have maybe gotten married, traveled abroad every year, bought whatever we needed when we needed it. But endometriosis took that away from me.
At 28, with no prior warning, I found myself in the hospital when my endometriosis flared up, and at that moment, everything changed.
I could no longer work, could no longer drive, could barely walk anywhere, let alone get out and about. I was on a cocktail of prescription medications that left me groggy and unable to focus on anything. Over time, the problems with my health just seemed to escalate. I became dependent on those around me, and with that, I lost myself. I have never regained what I lost.
Had this been my choice, I would have had no problem with my life changing so drastically. But it wasn’t. I felt imprisoned in my own body, like I was looking out on this whole wide world but unable to reach out to it. Everything I had in my embrace previously, now was just out of reach.
Can you imagine what that is like?
I am incredibly thankful for what I have now and I am probably more grateful for it now then I ever would have been before, because none of it has just been handed to me. I have worked so hard for every single aspect of it. I have worked hard to maintain some semblance of a life, because I could have sunk into a pit and lost everything.
And that is exactly what has led me to find the positives in my endometriosis. Even writing this, it sounds odd ― positives in endometriosis?! Am I mad?! Has all this medication finally gone to my head?! I originally titled this piece, “Why I am thankful for endometriosis,” but I’m not thankful for it, not in the slightest. But I’ve had to find some positives in all this. I can’t mourn the past and the what-ifs forever.
Endometriosis has given me a new perspective on life, a new life. In a hugely long-winded, roundabout way, it made me a mama. It has given me new opportunities to write and support others in similar circumstances, and made me realize what, and who, is important. It’s stopped me being the flighty girl I once was, made me more mature and responsible.
Was I really happy before or am I just looking back on my previous life with rose-tinted glasses? Would I have really gotten everything I wanted or would I have worked myself into the ground to get it? And, I must remind myself, I still had endometriosis back then. Even though it didn’t cause me as many problems as it does now, it was still there. There were still occasions it ruined and still times it got me into trouble, with time I missed from work.
Endometriosis dealt me a new hand, led me down a different path. I will never know where that old path was going, but I am bountiful in all I have now.
You can follow more of my journey over at www.emlwy.com.
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.