Thursday, May 23, 2013

It gets better

This week, this PostSecret really struck me. I remember reading things like this when I was in deep in the bowels of my depression, when the endometriosis treatment wasn't working either and I just wanted to give up. I remember thinking that whoever wrote these things didn't know what they were talking about, that things couldn't possibly get better when you felt that wretched with no one to help you. I remember the light of the end of the tunnel growing dim and eventually going out. I honestly didn't believe that things were ever going to get better. I thought I was going to be in that much pain and that unhappy for the rest of my life. I saw it getting worse too. I couldn't get myself out of that mindset. It is so difficult to see the light when you are in that dark place.

Part of the reason I have been so happy for the last couple of months is because of the lack of pain and fatigue I have had. The other day I got my first taste of sharp pain in about six or so weeks. It hit me when I was walking down the stairs at work and I had to stop and hunch over because it felt like someone was pulling a thread through my abdomen and tightening it, not allowing me to stand up straight from the sharp pain. Having six weeks pretty much pain free put me under the illusion that I'd mastered my illness. I know that I need to keep in mind that my endometriosis is still there, even when I have the good weeks, but it still comes as a surprise when it happens, because it can happen anytime, anywhere.

To be honest, I am a little scared about this European holiday. I wonder if I am taking on more than my body can handle. I worry about the fact that my period is due to hit exactly when I'm going to be on a long haul flight between London and Seoul, with no access to a hot water bottle, so I'm going to have to resort to some powerful drugs that I haven't used in about a year if the pain gets too bad. I'm hoping that I have another pain free period (well, with my regular drugs) like my last one, but I need to be prepared as well.

Even if it turns out that this holiday is too much for my body, I know that I have been through this before. I have an excellent psychologist, even if my GP is on maternity leave, so I have that support. I've also gotten to the stage (thanks to my psychologist and GP for believing in me and coaching me) that I now believe that if I do get burnt out, I will be able to coach myself back out of the hole. I don't want to spend my youth having to avoid taking chances and having experiences just because I'm worried that they will backfire and I won't be able to cope.

It's been a slow change. I've been seeing my psychologist for about nine months, I've been on anti-depressants for seven, and I've been Mirena-free for five. These were all steps I had to take to get here. It's cumulative and can sometimes seem glacial in speed. But it pays off eventually.

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