We talk about Endo, the physical pain, the loss of quality of life...but what about the impact it has on our mental health?
The anger is what I remember first. Why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this? Where was the help I needed?
Then the sadness, depression over the loss of a life that was supposed to be. Wondering, what will happen next? Will the pain ever end? Will THIS ever end?
Disappointment, feelings of guilt because I felt like I was no longer good enough. Not only was I not a productive, working member of society but I was unable to be the wife, daughter, sister, friend I wanted to be. Endo took away the opportunity for me to become a mom but also the titles and roles of dad, grandparents, uncle, aunt from others in my life
Needless to say, all this provoked a lot of anxiety. I remember my first anxiety attack. I couldn’t move. My body felt like it was breaking, my skin hurt. I couldn’t lie still, I felt restless For months, I attempted to manage it with deep breathing, chamomile tea, lavender, THC/CBD but nothing eliminated it completely I took Ativan for a procedure once and found it made me feel better overall. So I started taking it occasionally to manage my anxiety but I was relying on it more and more as my problems grew As the discussion of anti-depressants came up with my GP, I realized I wanted to avoid that route if possible. I decided to dissect my life and address the factors that were causing my anxiety. But not every factor had a solution, or one that I liked, so this led to stressful times I have discussed stress before and the importance of managing it. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to managing stress because each of our lives and circumstances are different but a lot of it is about your mindset and approach when faced with difficult times I didn’t see it then but I see it now that for me, managing my emotions had a lot to do with acceptance of Endometriosis and Adenomyosis
I had to accept that while some of me still existed, the new me could not be the old me. I had to learn who I was, what I liked and could do. I had to learn to love myself and love the life I had. Of course it was hard and still is hard
Managing emotions that accompany a chronic illness is a daily job. In my weaker moments, I acknowledge that I am sad, that I am hurting, but I also acknowledge that I am stronger than I have been and have overcome more than I ever imagined. And I don’t let myself ever forget that
Roop Bassra, RN
BSc Psychology, BSc Nursing