It’s not you, it’s me.
My heart just hasn’t been in it these past few months, and I needed to take time for myself.
Is what I would say if I had formally asked for a break from the blog. Instead, I just didn’t post anything for three months.
In fact, the last time I wrote and posted anything on here was way back in May – it’s now the end of July as I type.
It wasn’t deliberate, that’s for sure. There are drafts upon drafts hidden away in my folder, staring at me half finished and semi researched waiting for me to finish them and make them complete. But for the life of me I just couldn’t bring myself to pour my heart out like I had been.
Being public about your personal thoughts and feelings on the internet, in a way that doesn’t allow you to hide behind a meme or a throwaway comment on twitter, has been a challenge.
But, I don’t want to let it stop me sharing. I believe a problem shared is a problem halved, and if me being honest can help you then it’s worth it.
What’s been happening?
Over the past two months I have been coping terribly with my anxiety. So, whether you want to know or not, get ready for an explanation as to WHY I’ve found it such a challenge.
Firstly, I am approaching one of many hurdles to finding out what is going on with my body. Since I was about 16, I have suffered with the symptoms of endometriosis. The pains, the fatigue and the sometimes debilitating attacks that come with it.
I was rushed to A&E with pains so severe I couldn’t stand, and struggled breathing. It was suspected appendicitis, but the pain subsided way to quickly for it to be that. An ultrasound scan a few weeks later showed I had a large cyst on my fallopian tube. I was 17 at the time.
However, that cyst disappeared, but the pains remained and came in waves. One month good, next month bad.
Since then, I’ve been to appointment after appointment, trying to find answers. As a young girl, you’re expected to put up with bad period pains. Apparently it’s just like that. But when those pains send you to A&E, impact on your day to day life an completely wipe you out for days because of the fatigue and pressure, surely something is wrong.
So, for years now I have tried nearly every contraceptive pill I can take, changing my diet, going for scans and gynecological visits to figure out what’s happening. And now, I’m waiting to hear about whether or not I need a routine operation to explore the problem further.
It takes women on average 7 years to be diagnosed with endometriosis. It’s something that affects 10% of women in the world – that’s 176 million worldwide, is the second most common gynecological condition in the UK, and there is still no known cause or cure for it.
I believe the reason I have been taken seriously for majority of the time I’ve been trying to find out what’s happening is that my mum suffered with the disease for the majority of her adult life, and still to this day experiences slight symptoms. Endometriosis is hereditary, and can be improved by pregnancy, diet and contraceptive pills – but it can’t be cured.
So, as you can imagine all of this plays on my mind a lot. For the three years I was at uni, I put it to the back of my mind and chose to forget about it for my own sake. But when you have to start bailing on nights out, start experiencing severe pain during sex (TMI I know but it’s a very real and frustrating side effect to endo), or lack any energy to physically move out of bed or even get some sleep because of the pain, you have to start explaining why.
It’s a disease not a lot of people know about, and it’s exhausting. For a long time I had doctors make me feel like I was being a hypochondriac and it was all in my head. That the pains I experienced weren’t that bad, that I didn’t actually feel that tired and run down, and that my periods were actually normal and not at all awful.
But, what I’m waiting for now is an appointment to see a gynecologist and – fingers crossed – a laparoscopy procedure to see what’s going on.
SO – as that very lengthy post explains, I have had a lot playing on my mind behind the scenes. On top of that, I have also – starting on the 31st – taken up therapy again. God I wrote that as if its a hobbie – sorry.
But, nevertheless, the past few months of uncertainty and stress has made my anxiety truly reach its peak. Like, panic attacks at work, shakes from my unexplained nerves and just being close to tears ALL the time – it’s the worst. So an increase in my medication and a referral to a therapy service is what’s happened this month. Another reason for my blog silence, because after a day of feeling like that I’ve been crawling either to the gym or to my house and curling up in a ball ignoring the world.
If you also have had a few months of feeling less than yourself, or struggling with something behind the scenes, know you’re not alone.
You’ve got this, we can all overcome these shit times, and the storm does ALWAYS pass.