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June 21, 2021

BEING WITH PAIN – A day in my life with Endometriosis

I’ve had a rough few days. It’s not the pain that’s the worst, but what my mind makes out of it. All the places my mind wanders:
* what if it’s always gonna be like that?
* what if the pain will stay this time?
* what if I’m not gonna be able anymore to do the things I love?
* what if there are some more serious issues
* what if….
* then the shame of having had so many health issues in my life.
*The guilt: ‘Maybe it’s my own fault’.
*The thought of not being ‘good enough’ because of it.
……… and so the mind keeps going… going to all the places… trying to solve it…. Trying to figure it all out……

Today I CHOOSE not to get wrapped up in it. I watch the stream of thoughts. I realize it’s only that – THOUGHTS. Not all thoughts we think are true. In fact, most of them aren’t. Without the thoughts the pain is just pain. Discomfort. But no fear, worry, or any of the other emotions on top of it.

And so I meditate on the pain. Just being really present with it, feeling it (How does it feel?), breathing some space and softness in my body. My mind wants to wander. I bring it back to the present moment. Back to WHAT IS NOW. I cry a little. That’s ok.

I feel a sense of clarity. I connect to my inner peace that’s always there, independent of all circumstances. At least I can practice that now. I think of all the things I’m grateful for and how lucky I am.

I am not my pain. And I am not my thoughts.

I AM.

WHAT IS ENDOMETRIOSIS?
1 in 8 women suffers from a disease most people have never heard about.

As many people (women) have Endometriosis as Diabetes. And yet, the majority – even some doctors – have never heard of it, let alone are able to pronounce it.

So what is Endometriosis (short ‘Endo’)?
A tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus, most commonly in other areas of the abdomen, e.g. on and in other organs like the bowels, bladder, kidneys or reproductive organs, on muscles, tendons….

Unlike the endometrium in the uterus that gets shed with every cycle, this tissue stays in the body. That also means the condition progresses over time. It can grow as lesions, endometria or cysts; it can stick together organs that are meant to move freely; it can affect bowel and bladder function; it creates a lot of inflammation in the body; it can lead to fertility issues and more. Sometimes Endometriosis is mistaken as heavy and painful periods, but it’s so much more that.

What are the symptoms?
* painful periods (hint: it’s is not normal having to stay home from school/work every time or needing heavy pain medication)
* reoccurring pains in the abdomen or in the back
* digestive issues like constipation
* bladder issues like not being able to empty the bladder fully or having pain
* fertility issues
* Please note that the symptoms are very divers and every case is different.

Endometriosis is a chronic condition and the only reliable treatment at this point is excision surgery.
It’s important to spread awareness so that women can get diagnosed and treated earlier and do not have to suffer from chronic pain for sometimes decades. Because there is a lack of knowledge, painful periods are often considered as ‘normal’, and because the disease has a genetic component, mothers of women with endo often don’t know it any other way either. Hence we are told ‘that’s just how it is as a women’.
Please share this so that someone who needs this information will receive this and can seek medical help.

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