Each of us faces a time when when the holy well within needs tending. When we’re no longer able to bestow blessings on others because we’ve overgiven, or when something precious has been taken from us, or life’s demands are too great on our fragile system. But when the moisture goes out of our lives, and we’re no longer able to see beauty or converse with magic, we must ask ourselves how we can replenish our well-ness...
March is Endometriosis awareness month and it is the time when I honour and celebrate myself for choosing my own treatment and going with holistic therapies instead of letting the ‘butchers’ take away pieces of my sacred flesh.
Not long ago, I was brave enough to write about prolapse which stepped into the spotlight just when I was having Endo under control.
Yet, there are many days when I do not want to get up, there are lots of days when I feel ugly and being sick becomes a curse.
Isn’t it exhausting to work hard every day to make the spoons count, to look healthy and professional and to be positive? OMG! ... to be overwhelmingly positive because we have to focus on our blessings and not on our sufferings...
Let it be!
I mean, only when you have lived with a chronic disease and chronic pain on a daily basis, you can fully understand the amount of effort we put to be positive every day and keep on with our lives, even when you have to give in and make peace with a body that can no longer do what you used to enjoy.
I know there are people who have it worse; they were born with pain and disease. I was lucky: There were times when I went to the gym twice a week, did Tae-bo, Aerobics and rode my bike to work every day. I could climb hills, carry my children and grandchildren, do all the housework and move the furniture around home every time I felt like a change was necessary.
When POP broke in my life I found myself disconnected from my Shakti, I felt useless and helpless as a woman and I was lost in a world made for healthy people with no physical disability. Physicians made me feel there was no way out for a woman in her early fifties.
Learning about the Spoon Theory, Dr. Christiane Northrup and Dr. Bri from FemFusion Fitness , has helped me on my journey to emotional healing and peacemaking with my body. But this is a huge onion and peeling off never ends, so it seems. If I am careful with my diet and I take care of my body, there are nicer days and I can make use of my mornings. Then, I feel happy, I do meditation, I can even go for a walk if the weather helps, I go back to B-School with a clear mind, I do gentle exercises and start a self care routine. I feel like I can reverse and improve my condition and I feel truly powerful.
But shadows are there waiting, it might be some stressful situation, it might be a poor diet because of lack of abundance, it might be the moon or the hormones on their way down to the hidden secrets of wounds yet to be healed; it’s a lot easier and faster to feel sick, bloated, in pain and physically disabled.
Waking up in pain and discomfort can be really discouraging, no matter what meditation you try or what attitude you adopt, you can feel it’s not going to be an easy day. You do your best; you get up early, have breakfast and take your pills. You try not to schedule activities involving other people in the morning, because you know whatever happens with your organs after using the toilet may determine if you have to go back to bed or you can have a normal day. Mind you, when our organs are out of place, fighting with gravity, it’s really hard to align your chakras and balance your energies.
Once we are feeling lost down the dark hole of pity, it is useless to count how many hours we can be productive and to keep track of how many hours we spend in bed trying to relieve the pain or ease our discomfort. I tend to get grumpy, depressed, sad, lonely, tired, exhausted; and I feel totally overwhelmed by reality.
I have learnt to accept my moods, like the phases of the moon. “This too shall pass.” I allow myself to feel awful. I respect my pain, my sorrow and my grief. Because I know that the harder I try to achieve the jovial mood, the longest the time I will spend trying to create a kind of energy I am not able to radiate.
Struggling to be positive when you are not, can cause killing headaches, insomnia, digestive issues and can make your condition worse.
I agree, movement is good, my body knows it, but there are days and sometimes weeks, when my whole system needs only to rest and relax; and when I finally manage to get some good sleep, I need lots of that, until my own body gets tired of the bed and tells me it is enough, even when it is 8.00 pm and I will only be up for a couple of hours. I used to believe chronic fatigue was something you could ignore or avoid just with your attitude; it is not.
Every time I write one of my therapeutic stories or I write a post sharing my experience with other Endo sisters or women with POP before their sixties, I tend to celebrate by believing it is the end and that every difficulty has been finally overcome; there is no easy and magic way out; there is no instant perfect solution. There are baby steps, there is patience, there is tolerance, there is respect, there is the slow journey of belonging, and there is the humble learning of acceptance.
I am 53 now and I will be 54 in September. It’s been almost 4 years since this nightmare started. Have I managed to completely heal myself from inside out? No, I haven’t. Have I managed to reverse my condition? No, I haven’t. Not yet. Have I been able to get my life back? No, I haven’t. Have I succeeded in feeling happy in spite of? No, I have not. Have my condition got worse? No, it hasn’t. I have managed to keep the same stage all these years.
I have learnt to feel less guilty for the short and long naps I have to take several times a day. I have learnt to feel less ashamed for having to cancel appointments or even take a day off out of the blue. I have learnt to enjoy the good moments, the sunny days and the rainy days, the simple things one does not normally feel gratitude for: cooking, cleaning, making the bed, ironing some clothes, working at the computer, helping other people, making a change in other people’s lives or just being able to climb on a bus.
We are constantly bombarded by posters, quotes, videos, TED talks, inspirational movies, gurus, teachers, masters, coaches and different posts on social media. I do share that kind of content and I try to cheer up people who need it, but I have also learnt to hold the space for those who are too tired to climb up the dark hole. I’ve learnt not to pull them because everyone has a different pace and timing. So, come on, give me a break...
I may need more than one break and some breaks may be longer than others.
"I believe dignity emerges in the way you finally carry your own story. Through your painstaking reframes to write yourself as the heroine at the helm of your own life, your losses cease to consume you. They are not forgotten or made invisible, but rather aggrandized in your telling, passed on through the line of mothers and daughters, as the mythical ‘obstacles to flight’ that they were. But dignity also lives in one’s willingness to step wholly into a new life of love, even as its first strands are being woven together to create a shape that will warm you." - Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home (belongingbook.com)
I am a holistic therapist and I help people build and repair their own bridges. That doesn’t mean I am perfect and totally healed and cured. I cannot be Zen 24/7. There are times when I am just a regular woman living on this planet trying to keep all her s... together.
If you need a helping hand, I am right here. I can either tell you a story or sing you a sweet song, but I can also stay quiet and just let you know I will be here.
We all need that.
If you love someone who suffers from Endo, chronic pain, any other chronic disease or even chronic fatigue, there is no cure, not yet; so there is not much you can do to change that reality. But you can hold the space for that person; you can learn about the little things which make our days better or easier, you can realize when a hug is needed or when you should wait for a call.
I do believe many of the health issues my body and I are dealing with are the result of not listening to my body, of not ‘tending the well’ as often as possible. Thus, to be fair, after so many years, we both deserve to be heard, to be tended, to be cared, to be respected and to be honoured.
Even in my darkest hour, I will never forget that I am light, so, sooner or later I will fly once again, like the Phoenix.
I am light
Please accept this guided meditation as a gift.
You might also like to read:
My life with POP
Being an unmothered child