Olá from Lisboa!
This week I was going to do a very different (and much more nsfw) post. I’m currently on holiday though, and it’s made me want to talk about something a little more relevant to my current state of mind.
As I have talked about in a previous post, I am in a relatively good place with my endometriosis and adenomyosis symptoms. Sure I have my flare-ups, high pain days, and chronic bleeding, but I’m getting better at managing those. I’ve slowly learned that a lot of my pain now is a reaction to my stress levels. I’m not sure how many of you have found this, but the second I get stressed I know that will translate into pelvic pain. This means that my priority these days is working on my mental health.
Chronic illness can cause us stress and anxiety in any endless number of ways. A big one for me is wanting to treat myself, or simply have a normal life experience. This is usually something that I will feel guilty, or bad for wanting. Which can sound ridiculous I know. For years though there have been too many things I have said no to. Not just because I was currently in pain, but out of fear of what pain it could cause. This happened so often that in the end staying home just became the default option. It just wasn’t worth it to go out. It also became a convenient excuse to hide behind whenever my anxiety reared it’s ugly head, and meeting up with a anymore than one or two other people literally sounded like hell on earth (it sometimes still does).
Over the past couple of months though, after a lot of therapy and hard work, I have somehow subconsciously made the decision to start living my life as fully as possible. Too much time has been spent in bed at home being safe. I want to live my life and start saying ‘HELLS YEAH’ to all it has to offer. Yes some of these experiences may result in pain, flare-ups and a few down days, but that’s something I’m willing to go through so I can say yes, I had pizza in Naples and it was the best bloody pizza I’ve ever had. And can I tell you something? It is the most exhilarating feeling coming to this realisation.
I came to Lisbon thinking that I was going to be really strict, not eat anything I shouldn’t, and be all over my symptoms like a rash. And what happened? I had bloating and pelvic pain before I even got on the plane. We are going to experience these things sometimes no matter what we do. It is the nature of chronic diseases such as endometriosis and adenomyosis.
So far this holiday I have eaten delicious cheese and drunk amazing wine and chocolate cake for my brother’s 30th birthday (I mean, that was never not going to happen). As you may have guessed, I’ve had a case of the bloats and low level pain on the daily. But you know what? I DON’T CARE! Instead of focusing on the pain I remember the custard tart from the best shop in Portugal. And it was so very worth it my friends. I am on holiday with my whole family, including my parents who I only see about once a year and have flown all the way from Australia. The more strict I am, and the more I cut myself off, the worse I feel mentally.
Endometriosis, or any chronic illness you may have, rules so much of our lives. I want to tell you it’s okay to want to bust out sometimes and say ‘to hell with it!’. It’s okay to go and get too tipsy and treat yourself when you really need it! The good it can do for your mental health far outweighs any damage it may do physically. This may sound a little morbid, but there is currently no cure for endometriosis, adenomyosis, PCOS (the list goes on..). We are going to be dealing with these bitches for a long time coming and we don’t deserve to be living in fear of what our bodies may do next. We deserve to live a full life just like anyone else.
Now I know that sometimes getting out of bed just isn’t possible. Chronic illness can be physically debilitating which does put limitations on what we can do sometimes that we just can’t get around. But I’m just so sick of the constant fear and guilt when I want to do something that could make my endometriosis or adenomyosis flare up. In the end the stress caused by feeling guilty and not living my life causes me more pain (mental and physical) than the thing itself would end up causing.
Thank you for listening ladies, I hope I’m not the only one that feels this way!
Holla if you do too!