How I stay positive with endometriosis?

Dear readers, I do not want to pretend I am positive all the time. Nor do I think that we HAVE to be positive all the time. There might be days where you are just in so much pain, that you can not even think about … let alone BE positive. And thatˋs allright… sometimes it even feels good. Everyone (with or without endo) will have days like these. But overall, in my experience, even with pain or discomfort, life is soooo much nicer if you can stay positive. And also… the people around you will like it as well. 😉 I try and enjoy life as much as possible. I try and forget about endometriosis, surgery, aches, and painkillers and I will share with you some thoughts and things, which have always (or mostly) helped me.

1) I am not alone in this. The thought that 170 million people (which is me + 169ˋ999ˋ999 other women) have endometriosis makes me feel normal and feels like I’m part of a big community. I think it’s great, that we live in the digital age, where we can read, hear or see stories on facebook, blogs, websites, podcasts, YouTube of people who go through the same or similar situations. We can help and support each other, ask questions, give hope or advice and just share our feelings with one person in particular or with a whole group. I feel sorry for our grandmothers, who didn’t have this luxury and I can imagine they must have felt really alone at times…

2) another consequence of living in the world today, is that our stories, posts, blogs, etcetera are massively raising the awareness on endometriosis. Not only in the endo-scene, but also in the real world, which includes the medical world! I am very hopeful that this awareness will lead to more funds for research and more medicine students who will want to study and learn about endometriosis. Maybe we will even live the day that a cure for endometriosis is discovered. I stay hopeful. 🙂

3) the fact that there are more and more doctors, specializing in endometriosis makes me happy as well. For me, the most positive moment of the year has been finding a doctor, who correctly diagnosed me with endometriosis, but also proposed to help me. I hope all of you have already found a doctor or therapist, who they trust and who can really help in case something happens.

4) knowing that you have the unconditional love and support of your family and friends. I don’t know what I would have done without the support of my husband, sister and my close friends, in times where I was rolling on the floor from pain or even more before, during and after my endo-surgery. Sometimes, just enjoying a simple home cooked meal or bbq with my husband makes me feel happier than ever and an afterwork drink with friends, talking about the future, possible business ideas we can think of or about life… these moments make me feel alive. I hope all of you have special people around you, with whom you can share the good and the bad times of your life.

5) setting the right mindset. This is not an easy one, I admit. It doesn’t always work and there isn’t a secret recipe for it. But sometimes, just being aware that you have endometriosis, accepting it and making the most of it, will help to make you feel better. I try not to think about the things I can NOT do, but instead, focus on things that I can do.

6) I have always been a big fan of sports and they have always been a part of my life. Since my endo-surgery, I still can not do half of what I did before, but I start slowly taking up (old and new) hobbys and sports. I can tell you: it feels so good. It makes me forget other things and makes me think more clear again. Whether for you this is running, painting, playing chess, travelling, walking with your dog or cooking, I hope you can still enjoy the activities you did before endo or find some new activities which you like. For me, this had shifted from very intense sports to now more easy going sports like Pilates or stand up paddle. I can really enjoy these things a lot!

7) blogging: Writing about my experiences, issues and uncertainties has always had a therapeutic effect on me. I find it sometimes easier to write things down, instead of speaking or thinking about them. Whether it was writing about the guy, I was in love with as a teenager, my parents getting divorced, deciding between 2 jobs or now, writing about endometriosis, it has always helped me to see things more clearly or put them in perspective.

8) chocolate… sometimes nothing helps me more than a piece of chocolate. I talked to a specialist in the endometriosis diet not so long ago and she even applauded this. Her words: as long as it’s black chocolate, it’s not a problem and it should not trigger endo too much. Milk and while chocolate on the other hand, should be avoided. What you readers? Is there any food or drink, which helps you get through the day sometimes? And also, how many of you have tried the endo diet already? I am thinking of testing it… but not today. I first need to have some more chocolate… 🙂

6 Comments Add yours

  1. kimi says:

    I totally roller coaster with my diagnosis. I try to stay positive, and for the most part I am able. But it seems I have a lower threshold for additional stressors. So a couple nights of rough sleep and I am a mess, or I get a stupid head cold and can barely function for a week. Generally though, I try to stay healthy and keep a good routine and I am able to manage fine. Because I also have SIBO (and it’s pretty common to have both Endo and some kind of GI problem like IBS) I follow a Low Fodmap diet. At least I try. It isn’t easy. In addition to low Fodmap my dietitian recommends avoiding alcohol, fried foods, coffee and…. chocolate 😦 SO for my particular issues chocolate doesn’t help. I still cheat and have some chocolate and alcohol once in a while (cuz you gotta live too, right?), but generally I try to keep my diet and it really does make a difference when I stick with it.

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    1. Emmanuelle says:

      Hi Kimi, Thanks for your comment. It sounds like you have it so much under control. I think it is very normal for a person with endo and SIBO to suffer after a short night or a cold. I recognize the feeling. 🙂 chocolate, alcohol and coffee are the 3 things I would hate to give up, but I’m pretty sure it would be good for me too. I agree with you, that you’re allowed to cheat once in a while though. And these moments, you should enjoy and not feel guilty too much. 😉 does sports/training help for you to feel better? I feel like Pilates helps a lot for me. But I sometimes feel like I need more intense sports as well…

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      1. kimi says:

        Absolutely. I think running helps a lot, both physically and mentally. Pilates is great but I think getting my heart rate up and sweating helps, especially with bloat.

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  2. bekkibee22 says:

    Great post, I’m struggling a lot at the moment due to a bad flare up and staying positive has been tough especially as I’ve been signed of work, which I use as a distraction but talking it through with my partner and colleague, I use to use work as a distraction for everything because I was settle and everything was up in the air, but now because I’m settled with my life etc I’m having to find something new as an “distraction” so days where I can’t work or move I have this to focus on. I’m currently going through the Endo diet it’s tough not going to say it’s not but I’m already dairy free due to being lactose intolerant so now adding everything else is a little tough but my partner is being fully supportive and eating and trying it as well. My go to food which cheers me up in sorbet absolutely love the stuff and going to be making my own soon which I can’t wait to try. Thank you again for the blog really helped me today xxx

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    1. Emmanuelle says:

      Hey Bekkibee22, Thanks for your kind Words. I am very happy that my post has helped you. That is exactly why I wrote it. Oh Yes, I love sorbets as well. They make me happy as well. I hope the endo diet will help you and make you feel better soon! All the best to you!

      Liked by 1 person

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