In December, I had the best period I’ve had in years. I got a few minor twinges, took a painkiller, and … nothing. Zilch. Zero. Zip. I was away for a two-day trip to the country and was terrified my period would ruin it if it came. I was also stuck with limited options as to what I could eat, and I was worried that these limitations would end up having a negative impact on my pain levels. But it came, and it went, and I was fine — I was normal! In my mind, it was nothing short of a miracle.
I had been working on my endometriosis in two ways. Firstly, I had been trialing some natural supplements (more on those another time). Secondly, I had been listening to my RTT recording over and over, envisioning my body healed and cleansed of disease and toxins.
This month, I prayed for the same experience but knew in the back of my mind I really overdid it at Christmas. I also wasn’t listening to my recording and I ran out of the supplements. I hoped that whatever miracle had granted me a pain-free period would have lasted a bit longer, but alas — it did not. And my period really showed up for the occasion. I was in agony; it was one of the worst periods I can remember. Every time I thought the pain couldn’t get any worse, it did, and I was consumed by it completely.
I won’t lie — I was bitterly disappointed. I almost felt betrayed by my miracle-granter. Sometimes it can be really heartbreaking when we’re trying, hoping, or working really hard toward a good period. But there is a process I think we can go through to help us get back out on the other side of this emotional and physical pain and start trying again.
Sob it out
I was pretty strong for a good couple of hours. I usually find that when I cry during the pain, I feel worse about it all, so if I can keep my head above water, I try to. But eventually, the pain became so unbelievable that I cracked just a bit. I allowed the disappointment to flow — the anger, the frustration. And then the tears stopped. I still grimaced with the pain, but the disappointment faded and I found I had a bit of strength left to keep trying.
In many situations, crying can and does help. When you’re balling your eyes out, it might not feel that way, but afterward, we often feel the calm descending after the storm. Our bodies and minds have had their release. The pain is no longer squashed inside, trying to get out. Let yourself feel the disappointment, then try again next month.
Don’t beat yourself up
I am guilty of negative self-talk. I often have a “you try hard, just not hard enough” story on repeat in my head. This situation was no exception. I had done so well the month before, taking my supplements religiously, listening to my RTT recording every night when I went to bed, eating all the right things. Yet, my last period gave me a sort of premature confidence that I could loosen the reins over Christmas and, boy, did I loosen them.
When the experience turned out to be quite the opposite of my last period, I was tempted to berate myself. But what good would that do? I made the choices over Christmas – empowered choices — and deep down, I knew what the toss-up would be. At the time, I was happy to make them. I enjoyed myself and I wouldn’t change it. So instead, I did my best to remind myself that it had been worth it and rode it out.
Keep a diary
While in Copenhagen, my diet mainly consisted of coffee and bread. It does make me sad that the consequences of doing these things can result in such severe pain, but if I’m honest with myself, I knew I hadn’t just treated myself a bit, I had gone all out.
Keeping a diary will not only help you recognize your triggers, it probably also will give you less of a surprise when it comes to your period. Eventually, you’ll hopefully be able to determine the type of period you’ll have as you get to know what helps it and what makes it worse.
Hold on to hope
Finally, please don’t stop trying. I was disappointed because of how good my period was the month before — and so that’s my hope, that’s my proof that I can have a good period.
Hold on to any positives you can find, and keep going.
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.