I’m lying on the bathroom floor, blankly staring at nothing. In this dissociative state, the coolness of the tile on my skin helps with the nausea. I’m waiting for the day to pass or the pain, whichever will end first.
Since I’ve thrown my Percocet prescription in the garbage, I spend my days alternating between the floor, the tub, my bed, and my computer, surviving while searching the screen relentlessly for a miracle. Deep down, I don’t trust my body anymore; I don’t trust myself. For hours, I wipe tears to see the monitor more clearly. I hop from forum to forum, looking for solutions and people to help. All I find are sadder stories, hopelessness, and horrible statistics.
This is one angle of my story. This is the point of view that was healing for me to write. I have journals filled with darkness, the images of my pain coming to life on paper, but this is not the story I want to tell today. Reading other endo sufferer’s version of my experience on these forums didn’t help me. It made me compare myself and made me feel small and weak. There were so many worst stories than mine, yet I was at rock bottom.
We all have control over our story, what we say about it, how we define ourselves through it, and how we use it. It helped me to believe I had agency over my pain, to believe there was hope, to believe this life was worth living.
This is the story I want to tell. This is what I want you to know.
You have control over your story
When 2 people live in the exact same situation, they tell 2 different versions of the events. We frame our story according to our perception, interpretation of the environment, past experiences, expectations of the future, and attention and ability to focus. All these affect the way we see what happens and the meaning we give to it. As I understood my perceptions, the impact of my past, and my expectations, I got off auto-pilot. I unpacked the idea that I was a powerless victim of my circumstances. I noticed how much I worried and ruminated. When you know better, you do better. I started to shift my narrative.
How to consciously create self-prophecy:
- Become aware of the “colored glasses” you’re wearing.
- Chose to focus on the good. See the big picture.
- Make peace with the past experience that you carry as a reference.
- Notice your expectations and your attachment to the event unfolding a certain way.
- Practice mindfulness. Ground yourself in the present.
You have agency over your pain
Since there’s no cure to endometriosis, and doctors couldn’t really help, it felt impossible to help myself. Who am I? What do I know? The truth is that no one knows you better than yourself. With patience and effort, I find exactly how to enjoy life despite the pain and how to manage my pain.
How to empower yourself with your healing:
- Let go of what you are told you should do.
- Self-study with curiosity and kindness.
- Acknowledge the pain and the emotions linked with it, journal, listen instead of fight yourself.
- Research and work with trial and error.
- Your thoughts influence your actions, and your actions bread your results, so choose, do, create the outcome you want.
- Keep track of what works and what doesn’t.
Find hope and choose to live
Moving from hopeless to hopeful is the biggest shift that happened for me. It’s not a switch, it’s a subtle, gradual change. The switch is the choice. The choice to live, to try, to show up and give it your all. It’s the choice that you’re worth it, that this thing we call life is worth it. One day you wake up, and you feel different. It took me 3 months, to be honest, but I started to feel lighter, more motivated, and simply happier. Today I look back and can barely believe how far I’ve come.
How to shift out of hopelessness:
- Watch your inner critic.
- Communicate non-violently with yourself.
- Your thoughts influence your actions, and our actions bread your results, so stop digging the hopeless hole.
- Quit comparing yourself to others.
- Move your body and your energy.
- Practice gratitude and loving-kindness.
- Hope and joy are contagious, so surrender yourself o the right people.
- Celebrate the small wins
So this story is not about my descent into the darkness. It’s a reminder about the possibilities that lie ahead, no matter how dark the times are now.
I feel better than I have in years. I’m not a super-human. You can too.
Listen to the podcast episode Yoga, Chronic Pain and Mental Health