8 Harsh Realities Only Those Living With Endometriosis Understand

A hazy shot of a woman in a hat on a sunny day
Francisco Moreno / Unsplash

1. It eats away at your soul

There are countless days that you are curled up in agony. Unable to move or walk you found yourself confined to your bed, crippled in excruciating pain that is indescribable. Whether you have been a sufferer of the disease for a month or for several years, the impact on your mind, body and soul can leave you feeling deflated. Endometriosis can eat away at your soul. You feel that you can no longer lead a ‘normal’ life because you are in constant pain. You fell victim to the disease because you lack control of your circumstances. You don’t get to turn the pain on and off.

2. It is an invisible illness

There are no visible signs that you are physically sick. If you fall and break your leg, you wear a cast and you walk with crutches. But with endometriosis there are no visible signs that you are ill. Your friends think your fine. Your doctor states it’s ‘normal’ symptoms that all women experience during their menstrual cycle. You are constantly told, “you look fine.” But if people only knew that this invisible illness is slowly wrecking havoc inside your body. From severe pelvic pain, to feeling sick, to heavy bleeding and the inability to control your bowel habits. These are just some of the ways endometriosis hurts its victims. Don’t get me wrong; there are infrequent days when you are free from pain. You are able to lead a ‘normal’ life and this is probably why others assume that you are okay.

3. Pain can strike at any time

Depending on the severity of endometriosis the pain can hit you when you least expect it. Some women can go for years without experiencing any pain. Others can be in pain during ovulation and while they are on their period. For some women, every day is a struggle. The pain is so debilitating it can be hard to carry out everyday activities. You become paralysed in fear, pain and stress.

4. It affects your mental health

The condition makes you feel isolated. Family and friends do not realize the extent of your pain. Depression is the worst part. There are days you can’t leave your house. You keep yourself locked away from the outside world. You avoid social interactions. You cancel plans with friends. You feel consumed with anxiety because on your ‘good’ days you are not sure when the pain will return. You may smile on the outside but inside you’re emotionally drained.

5. Your mood swings are unpredictable

Endometriosis can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Your stress levels are heightened making you overthink situations. Unable to control your feelings it can leave other people on the receiving end of your outbursts. You don’t want to hurt the people that mean the most to you but it is hard to keep your emotions in check.

6. It is difficult to explain your condition

When people ask you ‘What’s wrong?’ people don’t expect you to tell them that the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus is growing outside your uterus causing the most horrendous pain. So instead you just reply ‘I just have cramps.’ It gets even more awkward explaining it to your boss. So you continue to suffer in silence.

7. It consumes your life

Endometriosis can be all you think about. It becomes an all-consuming part of your life. From having to watch the foods you eat, to the struggles with sex, to being bedridden for long periods can make you feel that there is no escape. The pain and the bleeding can come at random times so you must always be armed with pads and painkillers.

8. You are a fighter

You are a brave woman. Regardless of the bleeding and the severe pelvic pain you still keep going. You show up. You soldier through and push yourself through the pain because you will not allow endometriosis to define you. On the crappy days, you cry because you feel tired and weak. As you curl into a foetal position the disease tries to beat you. But you are more powerful than the pain. You are strong woman. A true fighter. The fact that you can stand up and face this condition everyday is proof that you are someone to be admired. You will survive. TC mark

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