A Letter to Those Who Have Lost Hope

A Letter to Those Who Have Lost Hope

Hello, it’s me, your hormonally challenged columnist. To those who don’t know me, I am a writer, Madonna expert, and a butler to two sausage dogs. Also, I live with chronic pain. My ovaries hurt almost daily. My pelvic discomfort occasionally renders me unable to walk. My tailbone regularly screams at me. In fact, many parts of my body yell at me quite often. I also bleed a lot.

I am writing this in unsettling times, even though nothing is ever settled. Nothing is ever guaranteed. Right this minute, I am in a strange city, confined in a flat with my two dogs. I cry daily, missing all my friends, feeling like a failure. Yet today, I thought of YOU. 

Maybe you’re also fed up of living in physical or emotional pain, or struggling to earn a living. Maybe you are frustrated at being unable to pursue the things you want. It could well be that, like me, you live in chronic pain due to endometriosis. Maybe you’re angry at politicians, or at the entire world. Perhaps you are experiencing heartbreak or grief, or both. 

Yet, from my little corner of the world, I want to share a secret with you: Even in this state of chaos and negativity, there are millions of bodies holding unlimited amounts of good. I’m talking about other people.

In fact, people are all we’ve got.

I know that saying that will either result in a high-five from fellow “Fleabag” fans or a justified “No, people blow!” from the rest. Please bear with me.

It is normal to experience feelings of bitterness or mistrust, especially if life has thrown at you the trickiest of cards. Opening up yourself to others takes incredible courage, because it involves exposing oneself to more hurt.

The now infamous line from my copy of “Fleabag: The Scriptures.” (Photo by Jessie Madrigal)

I’ve known selfishness, I’ve known evil. I have been physically attacked and abused. It could have turned me into a girl with no friends and a dried-up heart. In fact, for a while, it did. When I got my diagnosis, I shut myself up even more. Yet, human kindness kept knocking at my door, like an annoying pushy neighbor.

If I had chosen to remain closed up, I wouldn’t have been there when my friend invited me to Brighton Pride, missing out on dancing with thousands of revelers. If I had stayed hidden in my bedroom, I never would have participated in a spontaneous singalong of Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” with a dozen smiling strangers at a Brooklyn café. 

Even in the worst of times, when all I wanted was to disappear under my duvet, there were others preventing me from going under, just because. There was that Spanish hospital porter who told me about his beautiful wife as I shivered from cold and fear on my way to surgery. Or the bright-eyed junior doctor who used all the tenderness she could amass to explain my scary diagnosis as I woke up. 

An overwhelming majority of human beings are good.

They may think differently, dress differently, love in ways you don’t, or vote in ways you never would. Yet, just like you, all of them are capable of incredible amounts of good.

Most people are just waiting for a chance to show love. When the coronavirus hit the U.K., the National Health Service called for volunteers, and within hours, hundreds of thousands had signed up to offer help in whatever form. In my neighborhood, many have reached out to their most vulnerable neighbors, offering to do their food shopping. This is happening all over the world. 

Permanently expecting nothing but goodness … and tasty treats. (Photo by Jessie Madrigal)

My dogs, daily sources of wisdom and bad breath, go up to humans seeking only love, while I cringe at the other end of their leashes. Jarvis in particular has suffered at the hand of unkind humans. And yet, from strangers he expects goodness — preferably in the shape of biscuits.

Don’t let whatever is keeping you down prevent you from looking around.

Don’t let past hurts make you close yourself up to others — you will miss out on the great moments that make this life an amazing roller coaster. Plus, whenever you disappear for a little, you are sorely missed.

Don’t give up on humanity. Stay open. People (and dogs) are all we’ve got. 


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.