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How Endometriosis Has Affected My Self-Confidence

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Difficult to deal with.

This first statement seems to become a broken record, but it is the only way to describe it. Endometriosis is difficult to deal with. It leaves you feeling crappy while destroying your emotions. A part of my wanting to raise awareness about endometriosis was to send hope, positive thoughts and encouragement to other women struggling around me. But what happens when you cannot even provide yourself with those three things?

Sometimes you have to break down.

Sometimes you have to break down. I have spent the last few months trying so hard to find the positive of having endometriosis that I almost forgot it is actually a real disease. A disease that will affect me for the rest of my life. A disease that will no doubt have many bad days that I will not be able to hide. These last few weeks, I have begun to realize that.

You’re like really pretty.

Throughout school I never thought of myself as the “pretty” girl in the group. I was self-conscious about my weight, my pimples and my lack of fashion. My confidence was constantly set at low. But even with the lack of confidence cloud hanging over me, a part of me still felt OK. I could look in the mirror, know I wasn’t perfect, but walk out of the house with a little sass. It was rare that I would cry over my appearance or stand in front of the mirror wishing I was someone else (well, except for my “I want to be Jennifer Lopez” stage). I would put on lipstick, lock myself in my room and dance and sing until my lungs couldn’t handle anymore. I smiled and was happy with who I was, even if boys broke up with me and girls bullied me.

Then came endometriosis.

A few months before my endometriosis diagnosis, I noticed my self-confidence went from low to not even existing. My weight took an all time drastic turn. I had gained weight without any real explanation. My hair was thinning and fuzzy, nails brittle and my face looked like a young girl going through puberty. What was happening to me? I was at a loss of what to do because my lifestyle was no different than years before. I was active and ate fairly healthy.

As I began my journey of numerous doctors, many told me it was just stress. But my symptoms seemed a little dramatic for it to be just stress. What I was experiencing was something more. How could an active girl living a healthy lifestyle gain so much weight in just a few short months? Diets, like FODMAP, were thrown at me with no success. I began to break. The girl who refused to stand in front of the mirror wishing to be someone else, did just that. Every day I would stand there looking at the monster I had become, tears streaming down my face, wanting to be someone else.

As months passed, I became worse. Crying became an everyday thing. Then I heard about endometriosis and laparoscopy. After numerous arguments with different doctors, I finally received surgery and my diagnosis. Recovery was rough but I began to feel like my old self again. My confidence had been the highest that it’s ever been. For months I felt amazing.  My weight was under control, tears limited and I looked healthy.

These last few weeks I have fallen back into my dark place. My routine of standing in the mirror crying over the person I am becoming has started again. I throw pity parties for myself often because it is the only thing I know how to do. Looking at myself in the mirror I wish I could be someone else. I sit there wondering how my husband can love me when I look like this hideous monster. As tears stream down my face I want so badly to crawl out of my skin. I’m uncomfortable in this monster’s body. Where has my confidence gone and how long will it take to get it back?

Life with a chronic illness.

Endometriosis is unpredictable. Each day I wake up not knowing if I will love myself or spend the day crying. It is a constant battle that I struggle with and will continue to struggle with. But just like with anything else with this disease, I will fight. I will fight for that day to be happy and confident again.

Follow this journey at lifewithkimberli.

Getty Image by Vmelinda

Originally published: April 11, 2018
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