I think sometimes we don’t realise how much we have to be thankful for. We spend so much of our time trying to find out why we have this Endometriosis, what causes it and most importantly how to reduce it’s effects on our lives! It dominates so much that it is hard to see past anything else but wishing it was just gone and could be washed away like a wild flood.

Thing is, we should actually be really proud of ourselves. We have struggled through amazing feats and we still manage to keep going, to keep searching and to still stay positive that somehow we will find an answer, a solution or at least something that will make this pain all go away or at least subside for the day.

I think Endometriosis makes us more compassionate people. We feel more emotionally, which I believe translates into an understanding of others. We can share in others pains and misfortunes as we have undoubtedly experienced some degree of what they are going through. I believe this makes us deeper and more unique individuals. Think of how simple we would be without really experiencing the depths of pain and the joys of not having any! I know this is a strange, indirectly positive stance on Endometriosis but I think we really don’t recognise how much Endometriosis has gives us. It teaches us so much about ourselves and forces us to find a way forward.

I have been reading this book about how to make more of your life. In one of the chapters, the author was going on about not giving up when times get tough. Thing is, with Endometriosis, we actually have little choice. There is strength in that. We have overcome great things mentally by overcoming episodes of pain, which we have all experienced to some degree within our lives. This actually translates into other areas of our lives, if we allow ourselves to draw on this strength. We eventually get a place, where something has to change and we have to make that change. This takes courage and positivity to believe that the next thing will offer us some glimmer of hope, that perhaps we will be better off.

I know when I have had episodes of pain, I have mentally been able to talk myself into a state of calm, where the pain subsides. So much of that is years of practice but I also think it shows how powerful our minds can become.

I also think we have to be brave and be ready to stand up for ourselves. This is sometimes so hard for me. This means, asking for a gluten free, vegetarian meal at a restaurant, not drinking alcohol when everyone else is and saying no when we know something is going to affect us badly. It is so hard to do these things. It makes me feel so uncomfortable sometimes that I shy away from even going out or being in those situations, cos I don’t want to stand out as being “special”. I have my brave, “stand-up for myself” days but sometimes I just want to crawl into a little ball and hide away from it all! Even worse, when I just give in and eat it anyways, just to avoid the “why are you on a special diet?” conversation….

On some level we also become teachers and informers with this same dilemma. I often find, once I open up in social situations about why I am on a “special” diet and actually explain why sugar, wheat etc are bad for me, that it opens up a whole new conversation, where I am helping educate others. I often find others will actually come forward and share their own struggles with digestion, diabetes, being overweight and it offers me the opportunity to help them, through what I have learnt. I am sure you have learnt quite a few things through having endo, that can help others.

We need really good friends and partners. The best way to test what a real relationship of any kind is made of is to see how those around you handle things when you are sore, emotional or even worse are stuck in a self-loathing self pity state! It really proves who your real partners are in life. Sadly, many people don’t fit the bill but those that do are such loyal, hugely giving and loving people. This is a great thing! We therefore have the best friends and partners in our lives, who support us and care for us, no matter what! I would much rather have a handful of those, than a whole bunch of false, materialistic friends! It is an even better test for men! What better way to test his love for you, than to experience one of those “I hate the world!” moments! If he still sticks around after that, well you have found your true love!

I know Endo can also be a very lonely place as sometimes we don’t find those “gold” people to share life with. This in itself makes us stronger. We find ways to be happy with our own company and to find enjoyment with just ourselves and the things around us – nature, art, playing, sharing and giving! I actually really enjoyed finding “me” and just exploring all aspects of myself!

Thing is, no matter what we keep going. We keep searching and we keep trying and I believe that if we all do that, we will find a cure. The answers will come. We just have to trust in that. Let it go for a little and trust that the answers are there for us….just waiting for us to be ready to hear them.

Never forget how special we all are. Endometriosis has made us better, stronger and more compassionate people!