Endometriosis News Column: Dealing with Friends Who Don't Understand Endometriosis
There are many ways in which I am lucky with endometriosis.
Now I run this blog and have worked for an endometriosis charity, not many of my friends can debate the significance of the condition in my life. My work has shown them how necessary the support is, so even if they at first didn't realise the impact it had on me, they can now see the reality of it because they've seen how needed it is for others through the work I do.
When I was first diagnosed with endometriosis, I didn't talk about it because I literally thought the disease stopped at painful periods and painful sex. No one told me it causes all my issues with fatigue, poor health, migraines, hormonal acne, stomach issues, inflammation, etc. So all of these other things I struggled with, I continued kind of not giving them attention, and just wondering about why I would always feel a certain way or get a certain symptom as they popped up.
It was only once I learnt about endometriosis and all the related issues it comes with, that I was able to connect the dots and then finally, relay my experiences to my friends because I had the knowledge and understanding to speak about it. It wasn't like I announced it to all friends at the same time, the conversation came up with friends as I I deteriorated with endometriosis during a bad phase a few years back.
My gut feeling is that some believe that I make it worse, but focusing my attention on it with This EndoLife and just being so aware of it in my life, I know some people think I should just "let go a bit" and one, without saying, I believe completely rejected the way I changed my lifestyle because of endometriosis and sadly, we drifted a part.
I can never really be sure what happened there, because we didn't get a chance to talk about it and I don't think she believed or realised the way I was changing was because of endometriosis, even though that was always part of the conversation. I'm not sure what she thought, my hunch is that she believed I had jumped on the 'clean eating' band wagon and she didn't like that I followed the crowd? But honestly, that's just me looking for answers in the dark.
Unless we have communication again, I'm never going to know and I can't beat myself up about it. But with other relationships, I can do something - I can hold difficult conversations, I can try to help them see what I'm going through and I can try and be a better friend if that's what's needed.
So in light of this, and because I know so many women are facing the same struggle, one of my most recent columns for Endometriosis News is what steps you can take when you are having difficulties with friends, and when perhaps it might be time to distance yourself from someone who is causing you more pain.
You can read the entire piece - Dealing with Friends Who Don't Understand Endometriosis here.