In honor of "Your" Awareness Month quickly coming to a close, I thought it would be appropriate to write you a letter. Truth be told, I had planned on crafting a great piece of hate mail making you aware of how you have ruined my life and the lives of so many undeserving women around the world. How you have ravaged our bodies with pain, emotionally abused us, and stripped us of everything that makes us women.
Then...I thought about it...I think we can all agree that this world is brimming with enough hate and frankly, the women you've affected are anything BUT victims, so why paint them as such? No, instead, I wanted to write you a letter to thank you. That's right, I said thank you. A tough perspective to sometimes keep - especially this morning, when you woke me up at 2:30 am aggressively and perpetually making your presence known - my body in pain and making it impossible to fall back to sleep for the rest of the night.
In 2008, when I was diagnosed with you, Endo...specifically, Deep Infiltrating Endometriosis, I had no idea that your name would hold such irony. I thought the irony lay in your medical acronym: DIE - but the truth of the matter "infiltrating" was where the real irony revealed itself. Why you ask? Because you have tried to infiltrate every single part of my beloved life and spirit. You have worked tirelessly to embed yourself in all I once found joy in - my marriage, my subsequent relationship, my career and my friendships - my plans for becoming a mother, my mental and emotional health, my hobbies, my self-confidence and sadly, even my faith.
However, after years of meeting as many woman as I have that are "lucky enough" to know you, Endo...I have realized it's not personal - it doesn't matter what type or stage you haphazardly choose to bestow upon us, your one and only goal is to paralyze us by way of havoc, terror and pain.
What you have gravely underestimated is this, Endo: Despite your relentless attempts to victimize, devour and overpower our bodies, minds and spirits, despite us seemingly appearing weak, broken and overcome when you first wage war on our bodies, we are simply taking stock, recalibrating, reevaluating...reawakening.
Though we'd never wish this on anyone or anything, by attempting to attack the very being of what makes us women, by attempting to suck the life out of the very organ that brings life into this world, you, Endo, have chosen the wrong sex to prey on.
We're survivors. Fighters. Overcomers. Victors. Life-givers. We are, woman after all. You have miscalculated our pliability, our strength, our mental and emotional intelligence. You have unknowingly and unwittingly empowered us. Bringing us together, reminding us of our unbelievable strength, our terrific wills, our unconditionally loving and forgiving hearts and our resilient spirits.
When I was a little girl, after my parents divorced, my Mom had a sign hanging in her bathroom that read, "A woman is like a tea bag - you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." -Eleanor Roosevelt
So, thank you. Thank you for showing us that we are stronger than we believe. Thank you for allowing us to see our limitations and surpass them each and every day we are here. Thank you for sifting out the people in our lives that weren't strong enough to stand by us and blessing us with the people in our lives who are strong enough to stand with us. Thank you for giving us other women to draw strength, wisdom and support from. Thank you for reminding us of the smallest of things to be grateful for.
This Endometriosis Awareness Month know that you may win a few battles, but the women you're fighting against, and who are fighting against you...will never allow you to win the war.
Christina H Chororos founded Kairos Chronic Pain Coaching in the fall of 2017 after obtaining her Integrative Wellness Life Coaching certification from the Integrative Wellness Academy.
She is a decade-long deep infiltrating endometriosis sufferer, speaker and, suicide prevention + chronic pain patient advocate.
For more information, please visit kairoschronicpain.com