Sunday, May 22, 2016

Butterflies and Blades

I debated whether or not I should write this, but I think it could be important.  People have a right to know that they're not alone.  Especially when it's something that society says you shouldn't talk about.

I don't know that I'll be able to collect my thoughts well, so bear with me.

When I was 14, I started down the dark, lonely path of self harm.  I'm not going to get into the whys and the hows of it, it is what it is (or it was what it was, I guess?).  Long story short, shortly before I turned 19, I made a promise that I'd never do it again - that's what the butterfly tattoo is that's on my hip.  Fast forward to now, I'm 6 years clean, and I almost threw that away today.  I still knew exactl how to take apart a razor; it was like I'd done it yesterday.  I felt hurt, lost, and like someone had ripped my heart out of my chest.  My world was crashing in around me, and I was quickly losing my sense of who I was.  I felt out of control.  I felt hopeless.  Thankfully, I did the right thing this time.  Because I have a best friend with a beautiful heart and soul, I get to continue counting upwards without an instance of relapse.

I'm not writing this for sympathy, and I'm not writing it for attention.  I'm writing this to let people know that if you're struggling with this or anything like it, there is absolutely hope.  I'm not going to tell you that it's easy, because it's not.  But if I've made it to 6 years, then so can you.  It can be done, and you shouldn't give up, no matter what.  You are not alone, and you are strong enough.  You are enough.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

"The Most Common, Devastating Disease You've Never Heard of", by Shannon Cohn

Start here:

What a great article, finally.
Ah, yes, "It's normal." Or "some women just have bad cramps." We're definitely vomiting and crying to get out of class, that's for making me feel like a hypochondriac and a liar./heavy sarcasm
If your period makes you cancel your plans, miss school, etc, that's NOT F*CKING NORMAL. I don't care if 10 doctors have told you that it is, every single one of them is wrong, I promise. 

Endometriosis isn't rare. (Also, world, it's not a damn typo, so stop underlining it!) There is no cure. It doesn't necessarily damn you to a childless life, if it's caught and excised early. Pregnancy sure as hell doesn't cure it (did you forget the part where we said there was NO CURE?) It has nothing to do with sexual assault. It's frequently misdiagnosed as IBS, because it can have a lot of GI symptoms as well (want me to tell you how much fun it is to feel like there's a fire poker shoved up your rear? Spoiler alert: it's not, and it will more than likely make you cry in public places).

There is such a lack of understanding when it comes to endometriosis. It's not just "bad cramps", and please, for the love of god, do not compare yours to mine. Do not belittle my pain, do not try to make me feel like it's not as bad as it is. Do not make me too scared to tell employers or coworkers because I think they'll think I'm just exaggerating.
Yes, I'm one of the lucky ones. I had excision done 3 years ago by a specialist, and that is literally the only surgery I've ever had to have for it. BUT, I also most likely have adenomyosis (a lovely sister tag-along disease to endo), which means that I HAVE to be on continuous birth control, or else I literally cannot work full shifts when Aunt Flo is in town. I cannot function properly. The pain is mind blowing at times. You don't get used to it, no matter how many years you've been suffering.

The pain was so intense at times I would have hot flashes, then dissolve into a shivering, sweaty mess on my cold bathroom floor." This. Imagine the worst case of the shakes that you've ever had from a hangover, and add a razor-wielding octopus inside your abdomen who is desperately trying to escape.

We do not need pity. We need awareness. We need doctors that actually have a clue what they're talking about. We need parents that are educated. We need school nurses who know how to look for the signs. We need OBGYNs that know when to send you to a specialist instead of carelessly performing a useless surgery on you that does more harm than good. We need people to pay attention, and we need people to LEARN.