Saturday, March 15, 2014

EndoMarch2014: The Aftermath

So, I'm kind of terrified to write this post.  I guess that's my disclaimer.

Going down to DC for the EndoMarch did not have the effect on me that I expected.

On Wednesday, I left my house to drive down to Washington DC by myself (mistake #1).  The drive down wasn't bad, there was decent weather and not too much traffic until I was almost to the city.  Most of the drive, I was thinking about the fact that I wished I wasn't going alone.  I kept trekking on, though.  Tried to think about all of the people that I was going to be meeting once I got down there.

I got to my hotel in DC, showered, and got myself ready to go to Local 16, where a bunch of people were meeting up that night.  I walked to the restaurant and stood outside the door, too scared to go in, wishing I had someone there to help me through this.  I finally walked through the door and was pointed in the right direction.  Anxiety kicked into high drive, and I was brought around the room while being introduced to people.  After standing in the restaurant for a few minutes, just listening to the bustle and conversations around me, it didn't take long for the disconnect to set in.  I didn't feel like I was connected to these women like I thought I would feel.  There was so much discussion of multiple surgeries and daily pain, and that's not my life anymore.  Following the feeling of disconnect was an immense feeling of guilt.  Here are all these women who are suffering every day, and I had one surgery that basically gave me my life back?  How is that fair?  It made me feel like I didn't belong there.  Like I wasn't really one of them because I wasn't suffering the same way.  I did my best to put on a smile and socialize as much as I could.  But I was honestly so thankful when it was time to go back to my hotel for the night.

Thursday morning comes, and it's time to get ready to go to registration and the symposium.  The symposium was very interesting, and it was nice to hear about some research that's being done behind the scenes.  Dr. Camran Nezhat (among the other doctors) was very inspirational to listen to.  After the symposium, we went outside to the National Mall for a ceremony, unfortunately outdoors.  There were videos of interviews, speakers, and a musical performance by Sheryl Crow.  We then walked from where we were back to the auditorium that the symposium was at for the reception.  In all honesty, I stayed at the reception just long enough for it to be socially acceptable, and then I went back to my hotel room and went to sleep, trying not to think about how I was feeling.  While I was so grateful and happy to have spent the day with an incredibly wonderful person that I'm so glad to have finally met, I was filled with so many more unpleasant feelings.

I managed to hold most of these feeling off until the drive home.  It was once I finally got out of the heart of DC that I broke down and started crying.  All I could think about was how stupid I was for thinking that I would be able to handle that event without anyone there with me.  There were multiple times during my drive home where the tears just started rolling down my face.  I just wanted to get home.  It was a heartbreaking couple of days.

I feel terrible for writing about having a bad time while I was down there, but I really think that I needed to let this out.  I don't want anyone that reads this who was down in DC and met me to take any of this personally.  This was all about me, and my feelings of loneliness and abandonment.  It truly was nice to meet a lot of my endosisters, and some of you were incredibly inspirational.  I just know that next year, there's no way I'm going to try to do it alone again.