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My Dysfunctional Relationship With Endometriosis Has Left Me Feeling Isolated

My Dysfunctional Relationship With Endometriosis Has Left Me Feeling Isolated

relationship-endometriosis

At 20 years old, I became more comfortable spending my Saturday nights in a hospital bed than at a party. I became a muted version of myself, trying to fill the shoes of the pre-Endo girl I once knew. A worn-out, exhausted, and damaged me was trapped inside of a normal-looking human.

I didn’t know true loneliness until I was surrounded by friends who were drinking, laughing, and jumping up and down to “Every Time We Touch” by Cascada. I wasn’t myself anymore. My true, authentic, “I don’t care what anyone thinks of me” self.

Was it possible to spend one night without worrying about whether I was infertile or whether my left ovary had gotten itself stuck to my bowel again? (And, oh God, let’s not forget the need to pee every five minutes.)

As my Endometriosis got progressively worse, so did I.

Hospital visits became far too familiar. But, these visits were inevitable as I was unable to manage my own pain. My record so far is five consecutive days spent admitted. I was completely sedated the entire time. And, of course, received zero answers.

If one more doctor tells me I could have had a cyst accident I think I might completely lose it.

The next three years were nothing but a back-and-forth between: “I’m not going to let this disease defeat me” and “I give up; I can’t do this anymore.” I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that this disease is forever. (I’m going to be in a relationship with Endometriosis, forever.) It’s something I have to live with for the rest of my life. I shut myself off from the rest of the world because that was the easy option. Because, when you can’t even rely on yourself who or what can you rely on? I watched the relationships I built over the past 20 years dissolve.

My routine now consists of work, home, and then bed because most of the time, my body cannot deal with anything more than that.

Social outings are risky for me. It takes extensive planning and quite a bit of calculation on how much pain medication to take, outfit options (in case I bloat up like a pufferfish), and how I’m going to get home (quickly) if a pain attack comes on.

Most of my friends genuinely understand, but there are still a few who act disappointed in me for my “lack of effort”. They just don’t understand that I’ve decided to choose myself and put my health first. Even so, I’ll always feel endless guilt for every bailed plan, every rescheduled drink, and every night spent home in bed.

Endometriosis feels like a nasty best friend who’s jealous if I spend time with anyone else.

 

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