It’s difficult to deal with.
I repeat this statement like a broken record. But it is the only way to describe endometriosis. This disease is difficult to deal with. It leaves me feeling crappy and destroys my emotions.
A goal for my efforts to raise awareness about endometriosis was to send hope, positive thoughts, and encouragement to other women suffering around me. But what do I do when I cannot even provide myself with these three things?
Sometimes, I have to break down.
I have spent the last few months trying so hard to find the positives of having endometriosis that I almost forgot it is a real disease. It will affect me for the rest of my life. It is a disease that will undoubtedly have many bad days that I can’t hide. I began realizing this these past few weeks.
You’re, like, really pretty.
Throughout school, I never thought of myself as the “pretty” girl in the group. I was self-conscious about my weight, pimples, and lack of fashion. My confidence was constantly set low. But even with the lack-of-confidence cloud hanging over me, a part of me still felt OK. I could look in the mirror, know I wasn’t perfect, but walk out of the house with a little sass.
It was rare that I would cry over my appearance or stand in front of the mirror wishing I was someone else (well, except for my “I-want-to-be-Jennifer-Lopez” stage). I would put on lipstick, lock myself in my room, and dance and sing until my lungs couldn’t handle anymore. I smiled and was happy with who I was, even if boys broke up with me and girls bullied me.
Then came endometriosis.
A few months before my endometriosis diagnosis, I noticed my self-confidence went from low to nonexistent. My weight took an all-time drastic turn: I went from 120 pounds to 150 without any real explanation. My hair was thin and fuzzy, my nails were brittle, and my face looked like a young girl’s mid-puberty. What was happening to me? I was at a loss for what to do because my lifestyle was no different than the years before. I was active and ate fairly healthy.
As I began my journey through numerous doctors, many told me the cause of the changes was just stress. But my symptoms seemed a little dramatic for it to be “just stress.” What I was experiencing was something more. How could an active girl living a high lifestyle go from a normal weight to being considered obese in a few short months?
Diets, like FODMAP, were thrown at me with no success. I began breaking. The girl who refused to stand in front of the mirror wishing to be someone else did just that. Every day, I stood there looking at the monster I had become, tears streaming down my face, wanting to be someone else.
As months passed, I got worse. Crying became an everyday thing. Then I heard about endometriosis and laparoscopy. After numerous arguments with different doctors, I finally received surgery and my diagnosis. Recovery was rough, but I began to feel like my old self again. My confidence was the highest that it has ever been.
For months, I felt amazing. My weight was under control, tears limited, and I looked healthy.
These last few weeks, I have fallen back into my dark place. My routine of standing in the mirror crying over the person I am becoming has restarted. I often throw pity parties for myself because it is the only thing I know how to do. Looking at myself in the mirror, I wish I could be someone else. I sit there wondering how my husband can love me when I look like this hideous monster. As tears stream down my face, I want so badly to crawl out of my skin. I’m uncomfortable in this monster’s body. Where has my confidence gone and how long will it take to get it back?
Life with a chronic illness.
Endometriosis is unpredictable. Every day, I wake up not knowing if I will love myself or spend the day crying. It is a constant battle I struggle with, and will continue to struggle with. But just like anything else with this disease, I will fight. I will fight for days of renewed happiness and confidence.
Follow my journey at lifewithkimberli.
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.