The last few weeks have been quite challenging. I feel like I have been on a rollercoaster ride with my emotions going up and down and in all sorts of different directions! Half the time I was excited about new prospects and the other half, I spent wondering whether or not I was truly aligning myself to my true potential—yes, a very heavy thought… filled with the endless funnel of more heavy thoughts!
It has given me heaps of time to truly reflect on myself and in doing that… I inevitably turn to those ridiculous theories you probably have come to expect from me! This one is probably one of the worst ones, as it has no real medical logic behind it but nonetheless, it is a theory and it would be interesting to see if it resonates with you.
I don’t know about you but when I was younger, I used to drive myself really hard. I always wanted to be the best; I wanted to be “successful”. I pushed myself and tried various different ways to get ahead of the pack—mostly thinking too much. I was head-strong and determined and there was nothing that would stand in my way! If something was worth getting, it was worth fighting for… and all that kind of talk! I did jobs which pushed every part of myself and tested my strength. I was going to fight like the big boys!
This is where the theory comes in. The more I fought and drove myself, the worse my endo got. I would bury it and keep going—I was strong after all!
My theory is that these are very male dominant features. That drive, the pushing, that fighting… they are very MALE. Now, in the hormone world, there are two opposing hormones to the female hormone: the estrogens and the testosterones. The predominant female hormone is actually progesterone (that is actually a medically based fact). Progesterone is all about reducing, calming and slowing down growths and inflammation in the body.
So, my question is this… as we drive ourselves with our thoughts, perhaps…. we also drive or manipulate our hormones? In other words, the more driven we are and the more male tendencies we have, the more we push down the naturally soft, female progesterone hormones.
Estrogens create growth and build stuff and when we are adamant about being successful, much of that success is a drive for “more”. We want more money, more responsibility and more material things. Are we perhaps indirectly creating more “growth” with endo by having this “more” mindset?
The theory goes even further than that. I have always felt that my endo was much better when I had something in my life that I could nurture—like a pet or a partner. I also think this may explain that deep desire of many of us to have children. We want to love something and care for something! I think this would drive up the natural progesterone in us—on some mental level. So, we think about loving and nurturing and it will trigger more of the natural progesterones. I also think this explains why, when we look after ourselves by caring for our bodies, taking heaps of time out and doing creative and “nurturing the soul” kind of things, that we feel better.
I know this is a strange connection to make and I would love your thoughts on it!
The conclusions are obvious:
- Focus on being grateful for what you have and stop always wanting more of what you don’t have.
- Love yourself, love those around you and enjoy giving love to others.
- Push yourself to give, rather than to take.
- Always be true to your real emotions.
I know it is a little out there and perhaps there are some things that don’t quite add up about this theory but I found the correlations quite interesting… what do you think?
This Post Has 7 Comments
Hi, first of all Mel thanks for continuing to introduce us to new ideas and theories. I really enjoy reading your posts
I find my opinion to be somewhere in the middle of all that was said in the previous comments.
I’ve done hard jobs in the past, as in “man” jobs carrying heavy loads around, working with construction guys, working out in the woods, being in charge of crews. I never ever considered this work to be more a man than a woman’s job – there were plenty of women doing the same tasks as me. We were treated no differently than men, who were actually very respectful of us.
What I noticed is that some women thrived in this environment. I also did for a while, but then stress caught up with me and my endo and discomfort flared up in a bad way. I tried another same kind of job, this time with a lot more pressure, responsabilities, and resentment, and my endo also flared up to the point I had to stop working.
I think it’s a case by case story and is all about what’s right for YOU at a specific time in your life, and YOUR personal BALANCE (like was said in another comment). What kinds of stress can YOUR body take (man or woman)? If you are a woman and thrive on success (and have endo), if success makes you truly happy maybe it’s not that “masculine” feature that’s unbalancing your life and making your hormones go out of equilibrium. Maybe it’s something else in your life, or you’re not giving yourself enough downtime elsewhere to equilibrate your energies.
On my healing journey, I had to accept who I really was. Like you Mel, I was success driven, I had the “I don’t stop till I drop” kind of attitude, and I always wanted to be right. As I look back, part of those attitudes were my personality while others were defenses against emotional wounds I had.
I’ve done a lot of work on myself since then, and realized that having all this stress, anger, rage, resentment, “I’m the strongest” attitude …it’s those emotions that hurt our bodies, whether we are a female or a male. It may be thought that, in general, women have a different way of expressing that internal emotional strain, and it actually goes into our physical bodies in the form of Endometriosis or other ailments. Men cope in other ways, but it hurts them just as much. They hide it, but you’ll see it come out physically or behaviourly.
I think less stress, holding a baby in your arms, nurturing a garden or a pet, getting away from the crazy city for a while, loving yourself, accepting that someone can love you with all their heart, finding a life that works for YOU…all these things make you healthier and bring balance within and will help your hormones eventually balance themselves out.
Happy balanced souls = happy body cells 🙂
As for my journey, I’m not doing the stressful job anymore, although there are parts of it I really miss. I’m working on finding a balance where I’ll never let my body break down like that again but still work in an environment I love. It’s a process, it’s not easy. But the rewards will last a lifetime – so I’m going to keep on working away at it.
I think you are on to something however I do not think it is all or nothing, black and white, male vs female, but rather, perhaps part of our healing is seeking and creating a BALANCE in our life, emotions, aspirations, thoughts, and hormones … ? I definitely agree that our dominant culture commends and encourages “male” \ testosterone-driven attitudes and activities and that we ALL, including many men, would benefit from focusing on gratitude, giving, and love. THANK YOU for your blog and all your insights Melissa!
Great blog Melissa… I agree with you on this one; most of the jobs I have had are high pressured where I push myself to be the best and take on a lot of responsibilities and the dreaded stress that comes along with it. While I was off on my mission to be the best my body suffered in a big way but I chose to ignore it as it held me back when I wanted to move forward.
Now that I have been out on sick leave with the last few months I have had a chance to finally relax, listen to my body & see the bigger picture… This has lead to many a night lying awake, mind on over flow, thinking about how I need to really listen to my poor battered body and do a major over hall on my way of thinking when it comes to work. So now I need to find a new path, which I am very excited about, and do something which does not involve high stress levels but still is creative…
Thanks again for all your wonderful words, hugs 🙂
I don’t buy the idea that ambition is a “male” thing and I think that saying so is damaging to both women and men. But I do certainly think that stress is not good for the body, and it’s certainly true that caring for others and being social is a big stress reducer!
Glad you got it 🙂 Wasn’t sure if the whole thing made any sense to anyone else 🙂
I totally agree with this. My endo was at it’s worst at my last job where I was an office manager. It was high stress and I had to “take command” and lead the staff. I became angry often by how things were handled by the owners of the company and that anger fueled my days. All very “male” emotions. I quit that job finally and my endo has improved drastically. This experience is definitely teaching me to be more loving, more joyful, more grateful, and to take it easy!
I love this Mel theory!!! I think this is true for many of us.