Suffering from endometriosis and other autoimmune diseases has been rough. They take a toll on your everyday life. I feel mentally, physically, and emotionally drained. Days of “Why me?” and “Will this ever go away?” pass through my mind. Daily tasks are a struggle and finding the strength just to get through the day becomes my main priority.
I know what you are thinking: “Then how in the world is there a silver lining?”
We all struggle. We all have our own problems. Some people go through things that are just downright horrible. Reality is, that is life. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Even when it seems unfair. It is how we react to the situation that will help us through the rough times. Searching for our silver lining can help us find acceptance and appreciate the things we do have and are capable of doing.
Following are five silver linings that have helped me accept having a chronic illness:
1. I’m not alone
On some days, I feel like I am alone and the only one suffering. The reality is, I am not. Many women out there are suffering the same exact illness as I am. The love and support received in this community remind me why I am grateful. Without this illness, I would have never met the amazing people I now have in my life. Instagram and Facebook groups have been wonderful places for me to express my illness and turn to others for advice, strength, and friendship.
2. I’m my own advocate
Those suffering understand this well. Doctors not listening, believing, or caring about what we have to say becomes difficult. Years ago, I never spoke up. I took what the doctor said and went on my way. Now, I have learned to advocate for myself and fight for what I feel needs to be done. I speak up, demand, and take charge of my own health. Advocating for yourself is such an important skill for chronic illness sufferers to learn. It does not stop there. Having a chronic illness has led me to start my own blog and advocate for others as well. When others come to me for advice about endometriosis, it reminds me why I was given this illness — to help others.
3. I need to be understanding
As someone with a chronic illness, I know suffering and pain. I know what it is like to not feel well all the time. Because of this, I have learned to become more understanding of others. Everyone has their own story and battles they are fighting. When I see someone hurting just as badly as I am, it makes me want to reach out to them and let them know they are not alone.
All of my life, I have never been a patient person. When I need or want something done, it needs to be done that very moment. Patience is something I have learned to have over the last year. Having a chronic illness requires a lot of waiting. You wait for doctor’s appointments, wait for results, wait for a diagnosis, wait to feel better to do certain things and wait for treatments or medicines to start working. I have learned to take a step back, breathe, and wait. The doctor will get to me, my treatments will someday work, my results will come in, and I will receive the proper diagnosis. I have learned to have patience with myself and understand that I am doing the best I can.
Before my diagnosis, I pushed through my pain, and many times, overdid it. Not having a diagnosis, I felt guilty taking time for myself. My chronic illness has taught me to take breaks, relax, and continue when I am ready. Without feeling guilty.
So, as much pain and agony endometriosis adds to my life, it has also added a lot of good. I feel like I have finally found the person I have always wanted to be. Even if I am not able to do certain things anymore. While endometriosis does keep me hostage some days, it has also freed me from becoming someone I was not. It has opened many new adventures and opportunities that I do not feel would come to me if I didn’t have this illness. Some days may feel as though the world is ending, but I continue to turn into a badass woman with more faith than fear.
Follow my journey www.myendojourney.org.
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.