I Am Thankful for my Body: An Endometrial Manifesto

Let’s be clear; i’m not thankful for the medical debt, the emergency room visits, the horrible pain. I wouldn’t wish this disease on anybody, and it genuinely breaks my heart that so many people have it, and how many of those people may never even realize they have it…..blows my mind.

 

No, i’m not thankful for these things. I am not thankful for the days where i’m too bloated to put real clothes on (though i thank myself for an addiction to oversized t-shirts). I’m not thankful that i haven’t had sex with my partner in over 3 months. I’m not thankful that my period cramps are sometimes paralyzing, that i can’t sleep, that i’ve gained weight.

 

Here’s what i am thankful for:

Those same people who my heart aches for, who suffer from the same disease, who number in the millions; now, i have a connection to them that i may never have had otherwise. If you are a fellow endometriosis fighter, then you understand. We can sympathize with one another. We understand the pain that nobody else seems to. The days where we wake up and immediately wish we could just fall back asleep, because it hurts too much to even move out of bed. Those of us who have been forced to let our grades decline, call in sick to work too many times – nobody else understands us the way we understand each other.

And i am thankful for that.

I’m thankful for the fact that i understand my body better now than i ever did before. I still feel in the dark a lot of the time – but i have a light now, too. Some days it’s a small candle flickering, and others it’s a spotlight burning. Now, i understand what my body needs. I know what food will have a negative effect. I know how much exercise i can endure without it hurting too much – and even how much will actually help the pain go away. I can tell now when my period is going to be a bad one, or when i will be blessed with a light one – like the ones i used to have. I know what my vagina prefers during my periods. Pads, a diva cup, and frequent showers. No baths, please. I know how my flow will be – at the beginning it was so unpredictable, so different from the periods i’d had for my entire life prior – but now, once again they are familiar, and i am thankful for the regularity. I can tell, now, how my mood will be affected at certain times of the month and what that signals for me. I know how much rest my body likes and needs. I know what not to do when the pain comes.

I am so thankful for the connection and deeper understanding of my body.

I wish i could say that i was thankful always. That there were no days where i cursed my body. Questioned its motives. Cried and cried.

But it’s my body.

And i am thankful.

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