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Jessica Williams Shares Endometriosis Diagnosis and 'Pain Acceptance' Perspective on Instagram

Some medical professionals tell people with chronic pain to accept pain and learn to live with it. While this type of “pain acceptance” dismisses chronic pain patients, comedian Jessica Williams shared a different type of “pain acceptance” that’s worth preaching.

Williams was diagnosed with endometriosis in November, though she said she’s experienced pain for at least 10 years. In an Instagram post, Williams wrote she felt sad after her diagnosis, partially because of how she “ignored and set aside” her pain for so long.

The type of pain acceptance William shared isn’t about accepting pain; it’s accepting that your pain is real and not “all in your head.” Not only that, it’s OK if you have to cancel plans or take a sick day. You don’t need to beat yourself up about it and you don’t need to push through if you physically can’t.

“Now in general I’m trying to get better at acknowledging that I am feeling pain and that it is okay and that I can be like ‘ohhhh okay I guess I’ll go home and crawl into bed and play Switch then,’” Williams wrote.

View this post on Instagram

I got another weird endo fever when I was out so I had to call it a damn day and head home early because my bod was like “lol nah sis.” BUT I had taken so much time to do my makeup today & I’m a Leo & felt shortchanged so I wanted to get a picture of my makeup before I began my endo self care routine? ????????????????‍♀️A mess. Don’t worry my mom dragged me for it and was like ????. Also I would like to add that killer ????????cramps ????????ain’t ????????normal????????. I’ve probably had this for 10 years and only got diagnosed last month and even that was after I went to the ER AND two different doctors before finding the solution. People have a hard time believing women are in pain and they ESPECIALLY have a hard time believing that women of color are experiencing pain. So it may take multiple doctors to even get an endometriosis diagnosis- which is banãnãs. I felt relief when a doctor was finally like “oh this is really advanced endo you must be in a ton of pain” but I also felt really sad for all of the pain that I had ignored and set aside for so long. Now in general I’m trying to get better at acknowledging that I am feeling pain and that it is okay and that I can be like “ohhhh okay I guess I’ll go home and crawl into bed and play Switch then.” Anyhooch, LOTTTTS of women have this and I’m learning all about it. Any endo ladies have any self care tips out there? #endometriosis

A post shared by Jessica Williams (@msjwilly) on

It can be hard to accept that chronic pain might mean sitting out on something you wanted to do. You shouldn’t feel guilty when your pain flares or causes you to take a day (or more) off. You don’t have to “push” through or try to ignore it.

Even if you address your pain, it can be difficult to get help if it isn’t taken seriously by medical professionals, like Williams pointed out. She went to the ER and saw two doctors before someone gave her a diagnosis.

“People have a hard time believing women are in pain and they ESPECIALLY have a hard time believing that women of color are experiencing pain,” Williams said. “So it may take multiple doctors to even get an endometriosis diagnosis — which is banãnãs.”

Just remember, your pain is valid. It can hurt emotionally when you have a setback or when your body forces you to take a break, but it certainly doesn’t make you less than anyone else.