It’s surprised me that throughout the past 10 years since my diagnosis of endometriosis and how prevalent it is when talking to people, that so few people in the public eye talk about it, educate about it and help the rest of us feel that little bit more normal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from a celeb worshipper (apart from maybe Cumberbatch and Mel & Sue) but as we are so bombarded on a daily basis wouldn’t it be lovely to find some common ground and publicity about a disrespected, undermined and female condition from those who can spread the message far and wide.
Just some of the women who have been affected include: Marilyn Monroe, Dolly Parton, Hillary Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Emma Bunton, Cyndi Lauper, Julia Bradbury, Anna Friel, Myleene Klass, Tori Amos, Hilary Mantel. If you have any time, take a look at any one of these women’s stories. Where there is endometriosis there is more often than not pain and infertility and depression; Marilyn Monroe became addicted to painkillers, Dolly Parton has suffered severe depression as she has been unable to have children, Hilary Mantel hated her body and never felt in control of it and was forced into a hysterectomy at the age of 27.
If people shared more of their, obviously painful, stories perhaps we would all know we can make it through somehow, and also let our family, friends and doctors know how to support us better.
So how refreshing to see some people really open up recently. Padma Lakshmi, Hilary Mantel and Susan Sarandon have long been vocal endo warriors, but now it seems younger women are becoming much better about speaking out and not hiding it. I watched a bit of Grease Live on the ol YT and was so impressed by Julianne Hough joyfully bouncing around and then remembered reading about her endometriosis experience (http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20245751,00.html). Quelle inspiration! But then I can’t find anything about her since 2008 so I hope she is thriving and enjoying life.
Then we have Lena Dunham and her searing honesty – so much of what she says about not wanting to let people down or show weakness resounded with me. Well, I say resounded, I mean it was like an air raid siren call to arms in my head. This is one of the reasons why I feel so passionately about promoting strong women, because I know what it is like to be pummelled into the ground just because I have women’s bits.
Lena’s Story: http://www.lennyletter.com/health/a160/the-sickest-girl/ and http://www.earnthenecklace.com/how-girls-star-lena-dunham-manages-her-painful-endometriosis-condition/ (reading the book my brilliant nutritionist wrote – it works!)
Update (thanks Elena 😀): Lena recently posted on Instagram her need to take a break and how lucky she is she’s got a job/bosses that understand. A massive reason I’m now self-employed, for the flexibility and physical rest. So glad she’s being open about this:
The singer Halsey has also been tweeting about her experiences: http://www.mtv.com/news/2733649/halsey-opens-up-endometriosis/
“Emo moment; but if any of you suffer from Endometriosis please know you aren’t alone. I know how excruciatingly painful it can be and how discouraging the disease can be. To feel like it’s gonna limit you because of how debilitating it is. To miss school and work, or even worse to GO and suffer through it anyway feeling like a prisoner in your own body. To maybe be worried about ‘never having kids,’ or dealing with crazy treatment suggestions.
I was recently diagnosed after years of suffering and finding myself doubled over backstage in the middle of my sets, or fighting back tears on an airplane, or even being in so much pain I would vomit or faint. With doctors essentially telling me I was being a big baby about my period, or misdiagnosing PCOS, etc etc.
Finding out that I have endo was the most bittersweet moment because it meant I wasn’t crazy! I wasn’t a ‘baby’! I had every right to be feeling like the world was caving in. But it was terrifying to find out. Just know I’m here if you want to vent. I have managed to live a wild, incredible, and unpredictable life with Endo, and I’m here for you! x” Halsey
In the future, I would love to be part of a service to all girls and women diagnosed with endometriosis: to offer a comfort pack (heat pad, endo & nutrition book, Spatone iron sachets, perhaps a punchbag 😉 ) and counselling/coaching. If you ever know anyone with endometriosis, send them my way, I’ve learnt some important and painful lessons about the help available out there. It’s so rare that we actually get to express our symptoms and how we feel and that compounds the problem beyond anything manageable by one person.
Thanks, Lena. Thanks, Halsey. We need more of this x