Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Endometriosis Edition

I had my third day back at work yesterday, a bit over two and a half weeks post-op. I've been getting progressively more pain each day at work (probably exacerbated by sitting all day), and it would be easy to be really negative, particularly as at the moment I am not really doing anything but work and rest and sleep, because if I don't, my body will fail. But for some reason, I'm feeling really positive. I've got a lot of changes going on in my life right now - a surprise house move in the next couple of weeks, getting everything together for my year in the UK, changing roles at work, missing my friends and family in Adelaide and some Canberrans that have taken off for awhile, but I'm rolling with the punches. It's great. It's exciting!

Endometriosis has given me lots of blessings in disguises, along with all of the curveballs.

I'm thankful for finding joy and meaning in the quiet time, and not needing to be doing something every second of the day.

I'm thankful for the resilience that endometriosis has given me.

I'm thankful for the people that endometriosis has linked me up with. Up until May 2012, I didn't know anyone that had the same health problems that I did, now I am part of an (almost) hundred strong network in Canberra and have met some amazing and inspiring women that I probably wouldn't have crossed paths with otherwise.

I am thankful for the perspective that having a chronic illness gives me. Since sharing my story, I have had many people share their stories about difficulties in their life with me, and it's made me realise that everyone has problems in their life, and life is a lot easier if you are gentle and understanding with people.

I'm thankful for how endometriosis has made me make myself a priority, so that I can better help others. Before I was diagnosed, I used to say yes to everything and then crash and let people down. Now I can pace myself better (because I was forced to learn) and know that if I take care of myself first, I won't be a burden to others and will be able to look out for others more. (Note: still guilty of not doing this sometimes.)

I am thankful that I no longer feel guilty for not being able to do everything.

I am thankful that endometriosis has made me much less of a jealous person than I used to be. It's quite rare for me to get jealous now, and it used to be a major part of my life.

I'm thankful for the peace that I feel about the future, even though there are so many unknowns. Endometriosis is a disease where you really don't know what is going to happen in the future. I could be infertile, I could need a hysterectomy, I could need a bowel resection, I could end up in pain so bad that I might have to give up my dream career completely. Of course all of these possible outcomes would result in grief, but I am learning to leave that grief in the future. It hasn't happened yet. It might not happen, and there are usually ways of making the best of a bad situation.

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