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My Endo Flare-Ups Killed My Social Life and Nearly Ended My Marriage

My Endo Flare-Ups Killed My Social Life and Nearly Ended My Marriage

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It was raining again this week. Just another day of gloomy skies, thick and humid air, and yet another excuse not to venture outside of the house for anything. And why should I when I can throw on a blanket and watch another episode of “Downton Abbey?”

 
I find myself a slave to the weather – anything beyond a cool, sunny day and I am miserable and in pain. My calendar is a blank nothing – just slots thoughtlessly filled with binge-watching Netflix and binge-eating ice cream laced with acetaminophen.
 
The other day my husband glanced over at me and asked a question. (It was a question that I’ve heard many times before, causing the same gut-crushing feeling as it always does.)
 
Do you want to go to a BBQ next weekend?
 
My mind immediately shouted “NO.” In fact, there were many times in the past I have told him “no” only to blame it on the outgoing nature of our two-year-old son. I would say I didn’t want to chase him around the yard or that I was worried about him destroying someone’s house with his overt energy (which is completely plausible).
 

But, it was more than that. It was the fear of an old foe slithering up inside me as I tried to tame my three children while I plastered a fake smile on my face for the people I didn’t know.

Unknowingly, my saying “no” over the years has caused a silent rift between us – one that I didn’t even realize that mattered until it blew up in my face… My husband and I had almost ended our marriage.

He was hurt and angry whenever I would make excuses not to go to places or participate in activities that were important to him. I missed countless softball games, bowling tournaments, and the occasional Saturday afternoon party hosted by his friends.
 
He felt that I was avoiding his social life for selfish reasons, and I suppose I was. I’ve lived with the fear of being in pain for so long that I just stopped going places. I feared to encounter that oh-so-familiar flush of heat Endometriosis gifts me with whenever it decides to rear its ugly head and the sweat that beads under my hair, my lower back, and (oddly) behind my knees. Hot flashes were only the tip of my anxiety-filled ice burg. How could I possibly deal with the pain that inevitably strikes after eating something? (Endo-related IBS)
 
Soon my life started looking a lot like a fish bowl. It was almost as though I was looking in from the outside, watching these terrible things happen without having even the slightest bit of control.
 
All I could do was hope and pray that my kids would do something disruptive, so I could use their actions as an excuse to leave. How could I explain to people that even though I looked fine, my insides were on fire and I had no way to put it out?
 
I never did tell him how panicked the thought of going somewhere made me feel (not to mention chasing after our kids while having a flare caused me to freak out). I was perfectly content staying hidden in our house armed with a thousand excuses.
 
Now (three years later) my husband is my biggest defender and advocate, even though he was the one I had disappointed the most. While he vaguely knew about my struggle with this disease, he finally witnessed the pain I inadvertently hid first-hand.
 
Even so, there are still days when the pain is so unbearable I end up shaking in a ball on the floor. But to know I have someone who is willing to fight with me and for me helps ease the fear of unexpected flare-ups more than he will ever know.
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