It's Valentine's Day. A day which brings up all sorts of feelings - romance perhaps, but maybe guilt, shame and loneliness too? Yet today I don't want to talk about the romantic kind of love. I want to talk about the greatest love of all - the love you have with yourself, self-love.
How Does Self-Love Change Your Experience of Endometriosis?
I can't count the number of times I've heard someone say something unkind about their body, or reject because of endometriosis. And I understand the feeling - I've been there. It's about feeling betrayed, let down, weak and angry. Over time this can build into self-hatred and bitterness towards our own bodies.
I've been thinking about this a lot recently, and how self-love, or a lack of it, can change our experience of endometriosis. And so, in honour of Valentine's Day, and bringing it back to the longest relationship you'll ever have, I've written a column on self-love and endometriosis on Endometriosis News.
Your body’s failed you.
You’re just too lazy.
Are you offended? Good. You should be.
Here’s the thing. I don’t think you’re weak, I don’t think your body’s failed you, and I sure as hell don’t think you’re lazy.
I actually think that you’re inspiringly strong to deal with a disease that confuses and surpasses the intelligence of pretty much the entire population and medical industry. I think that your body is doing the best it can to fight off a disease and keep you going every day of your life, functioning as normally as it can, breathing, moving, thinking, being. And I also think that you’re amazing for getting through life to this very day — even if by the skin of your teeth — despite the fatigue, pain, and countless other symptoms you’re fighting. I think that takes motivation, perseverance, and determination.
So why am I saying this?
Because, many mornings, when I roll out of bed at 7, 8, or 9 a.m., that fleeting thought, “You’re just too lazy,” stirs in my mind. I swallow my guilt, I tell myself tomorrow I’ll do better, I try to fight off the feeling that I’m a failure.
Because, although I don’t believe my body’s failed me, I have been there. I have felt that I picked the short straw of health. I have hated my reproductive organs and fantasized about cutting them away. I have looked in the mirror every day of my teenage life and wished I saw something else. I have punished myself through starvation, hours and hours of exercise, deprivation, hateful self-talk, and isolation.
Because I compare myself continuously to others. How have they moved so fast up that ladder? How comes they’re so much farther ahead of me in life? Why don’t I have the energy, strength, and stamina that they have?
It’s February. The month we’re supposed to shower love onto our partners, if we have them. And if we don’t? Well, many of us can feel bad about it, even though we’re completely content being independent every other day.
But I want to move away from the romantic kind of love that we see all over the shops right now. I want to get back to one of the most complicated types of love out there: self-love. The relationship you have with yourself.
To read the full article, click here.