Fighting Like A Girl: Talking About Endometriosis

Fighting Like A Girl: Talking About Endometriosis

There's no shame in being honest, especially when it brings awareness about a disorder that is rarely talked about.
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About four months ago, I found out that I am at risk of developing endometriosis, if it hasn't developed already.

The news came suddenly when my estranged mother responded to my plea for her medical history, so that I could know what to look out for later. I figured that there wouldn't be much for her to tell, that she may only tell me that her family has a history of heart disease, and I could go on my way. Looking back now, I realize how clueless of a mindset that was.

My mother was so matter of fact about it, admitting that she had a hysterectomy to combat the disorder. I was left reeling, not sure what I was allowed to feel. The things that I associated with my concept of womanhood — my period, my ovaries, my uterus — suddenly found themselves under attack, no longer personal, there in the description I found during a frantic Google search. To this day, I still haven't been diagnosed, because I'm still in denial.

I struggled with the concept the first two days after Mom told me. It seemed so rare, even though one in every 10 women suffer from the disorder, meaning that, on my college campus alone, about 1,298 girls out of the student body of 21,634 students are suffering (assuming that the male to female ratio is 2 to 3). It seemed so implausible that something that lines my uterus, makes it possible for me to have a baby, could be growing where it shouldn't be and causing me pain.

For the first two days, my mind was just a gif of Jessica Day from "New Girl": "I was sabotaged by my baby box."

Then on the third day, Lena Dunham of "Girls" fame wrote about her life with endometriosis. I wish I could say that the sky cleared, the sun shone, that all was bright and beautiful again. I wish I could say that her article brought me comfort and solace. But the article and her honesty was just the beginning of me paying attention.

As someone who suffers painful cramps that keep me sidelined two to three days during my period, I hadn't thought about a disorder as the cause. I was told that bad cramps were a badge of honor ever since my first period, that I was "becoming a woman." Even when the pain has me nauseous and unable to move, I still think, "It's okay, could be worse."

Unfortunately, that kind of thinking is why many women ignore the pain, insisting that it's normal. It's the kind of thinking I've been guilty of and it's a dangerous way to think.

It's March now, and it just so happens to be dedicated to endometriosis awareness. Though I'm scared, I know that I need to visit my doctor and figure out if I, too, have the disorder. But I needed to have this conversation first, to let you know that endometriosis is a real thing, a legitimate disorder. You don't have to quietly suffer just because we live in a society where "menstruation," "ovaries" and "uterus" are seen as taboo words. True, there is no cure for endometriosis — but there is treatment, from surgery to remove the tissue to hormonal treatment via the pill or IUDs. There's still hope, and that hope is strengthened when we become aware of it.

Yes, I don't know if I have endometriosis — but my mom does. My sister might. Girls all across my college campus may be suffering in silence. The girl who sits next to you in class, who asks for notes because she couldn't make it to class due to a harsh pain around her pelvis. The girl down the hall from you, who you never see, because she's usually curled up in bed, wishing that she knew what was going on with her body.

I may not know what the circumstances are for any of you, but it won't stop me from trying to bring awareness to it. Now when I see an article about Dunham, I don't think about needing to watch her show, or read her book (though it's certainly on my list). I think about the battle she's fighting, about the battle that my mom is fighting.

Endometriosis is a battle, but we can fight it like girls: strong, beautiful and, above all, hopeful.

Cover Image Credit: pexels.com

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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​The Motivation To Get Back To The Gym Only Comes From Yourself, Not Online Fitness Influencers

After a long winter break, are you ready to get back to grinding?

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My winter break was filled with time spent with friends, family, working, and of course, eating lots of food!

Too much food to be completely honest. My holiday food baby is still kicking with late night cravings, and endless amounts of french fries that I absolutely DO NOT need to keep consuming from different restaurants.

My latest excuse from bringing myself to the gym is from being too tired- although I work incredibly late (till around 2 A.M almost every night) I can't help but feel drained and empty the next morning to get myself up, and run 2 miles on the treadmill. It just doesn't make sense to me why I would do such a thing when my body is clearly over-exhausted from late nights at work.

Getting to the gym is like a mind game- you wanna go and get back into shape, but you feel restricted when you haven't been there in approximately 9 years. You have to get in the car that's freezing, walk into the gym filled with people who are in much better shape than you are, and find some way to get yourself motivated to get back on the grind you used to know and love before the holidays started.

Working out in this society is something many post about on social media, especially influencers. Fitness guru's flood Instagram and YouTube with the latest workout routines, as well as show off their "bikini body" and their body progress. This can easily make women who are not consistently going to the gym or eating health feel bad about themselves because they may not have the same body figure. Although it could be motivating to see others working out online, it could also be damaging to one's mental health when they don't have the same level of motivation or body figure.

It all comes down to your mindset and attitude about working out!

Sitting in bed waiting for yourself to just go back to the gym and pick up from where you left off isn't going to make the process any easier. Relaxation mode is completely different than the grinding mode, people! If you want something to change, whether it is to lose weight or just to tone certain parts of your body, it won't happen unless you put effort to do so. This means your body, but also your mind needs to be ready to make that change. If you are in the mindset that you want to sit back and relax, there is no doubt that you wouldn't have a good work out because the entire time you are tirelessly running or lifting, you would be wishing you were home in bed doing nothing.

Your mind needs to be equally as prepared to set goals for yourself in the weight room.

The best ways to motivate yourself to get back to the gym are pretty simple- changing your diet by including healthier options could help, drinking lots of water, and even putting on a pair of work-out leggings could put you in the mindset to get back to the gym. As long as you are working out to better yourself physically and mentally, and not comparing your body type to others on social media, you will feel more positive and get a better work out in rather than feeling the need to compete with others.

Working out regularly is about self-growth- it's about doing what you can to see the changes you want to make with your life. It won't happen overnight, but it is possible! It is finally 2019; a new year filled with new beginnings. Put yourself out there, get motivated, and do what you can to live a healthier lifestyle.

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