An Open Letter To Halsey From A Fan Also Living With Endometriosis

An Open Letter To Halsey From A Fan Also Living With Endometriosis

Thank you for giving us a voice.
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Halsey uploaded this Instagram post after undergoing surgery to battle and treat her endometriosis. When I came upon her photo and read the caption, I was immediately brought to tears.

This lead me to write the following "thank you" letter:

Halsey,

Ironically, at the very moment that I read your most recent post on Instagram, I was in bed drugged up on the max dose of Ibuprofen and Tylenol, icepack under my lower back, heating pad on my stomach, trashcan on the floor (in case the nausea I had been experiencing since 3 that morning turned into the real thing), tears already in my eyes from the excruciating cramps (that had lead me to actually pass out on my way to the bathroom), in a very deep fog of anxiety and depression over how helpless and alone I felt, and how god damn tired I was of being in constant, invisible pain that only I could see. There I was, a fan with endometriosis, experiencing my symptoms at an all-time worst—finally getting the validation that I had been searching for so desperately for so many years.

I live in chronic pain that really can’t be seem by those around me. About 14-18 days out of every month, I experience the above symptoms on all categories of the pain scale, sometimes separately, sometimes all at once—too often all at once—and on those days, it is the hardest. I live with a relentless black cloud hanging over my head, knowing that today might be a good day, but tomorrow might be bad enough to keep me from doing what I want to do, or worse, what I need to do. Or, what might be even worse than that, is the elephant in the room at doctor’s visits and family get-togethers when my questionable future as a mother is brought up- that elephant being that statistics might be against me when it comes to my fertility, especially since I have already miscarried once.

No one really gets my disorder because they just can’t see it. We as humans are programmed to only believe what we can physically see and endometriosis may as well be crowned as the champion of playing hide and seek. Since I was 18, I was labeled with IBS, a gluten allergy, a dairy allergy, told to lose weight, told to exercise more, told to sleep more, told I was a hypochondriac, put on countless diets, prescribed a long list of vitamins, pain medications, antidepressants, and birth control pills. I did everything I said, I followed the diets perfectly, I took the medications, I even lost 50 lbs. Nothing changed. 4 doctors, 3 specialists, and 2 procedures later—here I am, properly diagnosed. I have at least been able to begin to somewhat manage my symptoms. I at least have a name for the monster inside of me.

"For those of you who have followed this battle of mine or who may suffer with it yourself, you know the extremes to which it can be mentally exhausting and physically painful."

I didn’t realize how serious it was until I was in the hospital a week after my 18th birthday. After passing out from the cramps a few times, the nurses asked me to rate my pain. I said I was a 6 or a 7. They ended up having to give me morphine and thought it was my appendix or something serious. It wasn’t my appendix. Later, the doctor comes in to tell me that I rated pain as a 6 or 7 that most people would have rated as a 10. I was of course confused and said: “it just feels like the worst period cramps I’ve had yet, but not much worse than they normally are.” That is the day that I realized the pain I had been experiencing for years wasn’t normal.

It too often feels like I just can’t do the things I want to do in life. It too often feels like I am doomed to be alone. I want to be a mother, I want to be a healer-- I want to be strong. My endometriosis threatens all of those things and it is nearly impossible not to let it completely burn out my hope and desire to be motivated. You, Halsey, lit that fire inside of me again.

"If you suffer from chronic pain or debilitating disease please know that I have found the time to live a crazy, wild, rewarding life AND balance my treatment and I hope so much in my heart that you can too."

Halsey, thank you for validating my disorder, my pain, my depression, my setbacks. Thank you for reassuring me that I can still live an adventurous, full, happy life despite my endometriosis. Thank you for reminding me that there is hope and there is joy and there are opportunities to do great, big things even if I am a little broken. Thank you for reminding me that I can be strong and in pain at the same damn time. Thank you for speaking out about a condition that is so common among women, but so uncommon among conversations. Not only do your words apply to endometriosis, but to any invisible illnesses and chronic pain disorders that fly under the radar simply because you can’t see them.

Our pain may be silent, invisible—but our pain is real. We can still be strong, be adventurous, be motivated, be unstoppable and be anything we want to be and be in pain at the same time. We may be a little broken, run-down and burnt-out, but we are still here, we are still living, and we will not stop living altogether just because we are living with chronic pain. Halsey, you are proof of that.

Thank you.

Love,

A Fan & A Fellow #EndoWarrior

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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What The 2019 'Season Of The Crab' Means For Your Zodiac Sign

It could be a super emotional month for everyone.

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It's officially summer, and that means it's time to dive into the watery depths of Cancer season on June 21. There is a different energy in the air; different from the vibe in Gemini season. Each sign can expect to notice its effects, whether they are obvious or more subtle.

Cancer season means you're probably going to feel more moody than usual. Maybe you're crying more often. Maybe you'll feel more dreamy and intuitive. Maybe you'll be more irritable. Whatever the case, it never hurts to know what you're about to get yourself into.

So what does Cancer season mean for you, based on your zodiac sign?

1. Cancer - 21 Jun to 22 Jul

@rebeccahmac_

Happy solar return, cutie crustacean!

This is one of the dreamiest times of the entire year for you, but lacking structure and planning could prove stressful. You're in an imaginative zone and you may not feel like settling down before chasing the stars, but you must think ahead so things will work out.

2. Leo - 23 Jul to 22 Aug

@lolasuxs

Cancer season will find you exploring who you want to become, and what you want to leave behind. With your season just around the corner, this is also a magical time for healing and exploring yourself. Journaling, creative pursuits, or talking things through are wonderful ways to nourish your soul.

3. Virgo - 23 Aug to 22 Sep

@nahomi.17

This Cancer season, you'll find that the stars and the moon are asking you to rest. You will be faced with many choices and decisions this month. Enjoy your time fostering whatever creativity comes to mind. Do not force yourself to go out if you're not feeling up to it. It's okay to be you and be alone sometimes.

4. Libra - 23 Sep to 22 Oct

@tiiffahh

Cancer season and Neptune retrograde begin on June 21, causing you to need to pause and reflect on your goals. Change can be uncomfortable, but every small shift brings us closer to our goals. Be willing to take a risk, and let the universe push you in the direction of happiness and adventure.

5. Scorpio - 23 Oct to 21 Nov

@jordansavannah_r

Cancer season finds you traveling and opening new doors of opportunity. Are you really gaining anything by holding onto the past so tightly, Scorpio? Set your sights on new dreams, and leave all those people and situations that are holding you back in your rearview mirror.

6. Sagittarius - 22 Nov to 21 Dec

@zelzhcabbage

The question Cancer season asks you now, Sag, is whether you'll run away from your past, cling on to it, or do the emotional work necessary to process it and let it go. Appreciate the memories you are making and try not to get too wrapped up in the little things that annoy you. This is a time for experimentation.

7. Capricorn - 22 Dec to 19 Jan

@xxadriiana

You love your deadlines and goals, but remember that taking care of your emotional health will ultimately help you be more efficient! Trust your intuition, take it slow, and use the energy for play and creativity rather than detailed planning.

8. Aquarius - 20 Jan to 19 Feb

@yeeshibee

Cancer season this year is all about being comfortable and doing what you know, so go ahead and stick to that. This is also a great time for you to check in with yourself when it comes to wellness and your habits.

9. Pisces - 20 Feb to 20 Mar

@stephdangle

This Cancer season, the heightened emotion that is in the air will bring you natural happiness. Go out, have a wonderful night under the summer stars, and use your experiences for inspiration. It will reinvigorate your soul to be more creative and more adventurous.

10. Aries - 21 Mar to 19 Apr

@marilang_

Cancer season finds you focused squarely on your personal life. It's a wonderful time for an adventure. Go on that hike. Wake up early and drive to the beach. You'll feel an inclination to do it all-- and you can! Remind yourself that you are capable.

It will be hard to stay focused because the vibe just feels so good, but Neptune's retrograde brings intriguing messages to your dreams, so pay close attention to your inner voice at this time.

11. Taurus - 20 Apr to 20 May

@belendenike

Cancer season causes emotions to be even more extreme so you'll probably reach your breaking point this month, Taurus, but you are never alone in the problems that you face. Remember to control your temper long enough to cool off and take some relaxation for yourself.

Take a day off and drive around with the windows down. Take five days off and drive to the beach to hang out and reflect. Whatever it is that you need to feel better, it is time to do it this month.

12. Gemini - 21 May to 20 Jun

@nicolenaone

Cancer is a sign that's all about security and protection, and you're really feeling those vibes right now. Your confidence is running high, as you are feeling more in control of your life. Get rid of the elements in your life that won't propel you forward.

Just as the moon and ocean cycle, so do we. Cancer is that strong energy that gets you up in your feels; it's sure to be a ride.

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