Endometriosis and Mental Health
Mental Health is quite often an avoidable subject. Many people don't want to discuss it so not to offend, or they don't want to share experiences due to embarrassment or people treating them differently. Well many of you that read this blog know that I am here to talk about everything, with a no BS attitude! So lets talk mental health.
I think for me mental health issues became apparent before I started my periods so began before Endometriosis. I had a childhood full of panic attacks, which turned to anger problems around the age of 14 and in fact I think a lot of that anger was due to not being able to cope with what was happening to me. Age 12 is when I started my periods and straight away I struggled to cope, not just with the pain but from embarrassment. Being at school I was already getting bullied for being skinny and for having panic attacks. Along came my super heavy and crazy painful periods making me throw up and pass out... and cue even more bullying. People would think I was a freak, didn't understand why I was always so unwell and didn't really know how to address me. I missed plenty of school which caused me more anxiety that I wouldn't get the grades, but then I was missing my part time job in a clothes shop at the weekend which meant an awkward chat with the boss that ended up in me being let go (they didn't want to officially fire me).
Being in pain constantly is not only tiring on the body but my god its hard on the brain. In my experience of having endometriosis you feel like a failure all the time and this really does start taking a dent to you. When you have to cancel plans because you are really unwell, or when you are at work and you just simply can't smile as much any more it really knocks you back. Often I feel like people get annoyed with me when I say I am not feeling well, and other times I wonder if they even believe me. This is so upsetting and to feel like you don't even want to say your not well isn't nice. Judgement from others when they have no idea what you are going through makes you feel like absolute crap.
Sex is painful (I did say I would talk about everything on this blog!), and believe it or not that can seriously harm my mental health. Although my partner is the most understanding person in the world and I have never once felt any kind of pressure, disappointment or anything other than support from him... it still affects me. To feel like you don't want to be intimate with someone you love at times when you are in pain and you know for a fact that your cramps will make you feel worse is rubbish. I don't want to feel apprehension like that ever! You know the worst part? Having to constantly wear a sanitary towel because I am always spotting! Like I just want to feel attractive in nice underwear! Spotting a lot makes me feel gross, and although it is a total normal and natural thing, it gets tiring. It makes me annoyed, angry, sad, self-conscious and insecure.
This brings me onto the upset, struggles and heartbreak I feel what I think of having children. I was told at 16 that if I wanted children that I would need them soon. That is a terrifying thought! I was not in a good place at the time mentally, in an awful relationship and felt suffocated with this worry that if I didn't have children I never would! I decided that it would not be right to get pregnant and I had every faith in the universe to make this right. Last year when i had my second operation I was told that i should be okay with children and that fertility support would be available for me when i was ready. Now I know that I will be fine to have children, and although it may be difficult, I have every faith. The heart-breaking part is that I want a little girl so bad but I can not bear the thought of her getting this. It would kill me to see her in so much pain and I know my mother has felt this fear also having suffered Endometriosis herself. It worry's me so much and makes me so sad, however like my mother does, I will support her always throughout it.
I have had really dark times. I've had breakdowns, there has been far too many tears. I have felt like saying "just get rid of my womb now"! But I know I am not alone! All of us that have this disease know exactly what it is like to feel like this. In the times that I just want to give up and the times that I want to run away and hide in a corner, I try to think of others that feel this way too and remember that I am not alone.
What I want out of this blog, is to help support others. I want to ensure that we all share our experiences and support each other and if anyone wants to talk about their mental health then please get in touch!