Sunday 21 June 2015

Know your place.

Nicely general-period-pain article about natural relievers in The Independent. Never going to be geared for the terror of endometriosis/adenomyosis pains but still... I dared to glance at the comments. "Man-up" and "stop moaning" and "anything for a quiet life" said by men who were, I think, trying (and failing) to be funny.

When it comes to "normal" period pains, I expect they hurt. I wish they didn't. I wish that they didn't hurt or disrupt plans and exciting times.
I only ever had endometriosis period pains, and the ones I had were (as you may know by now) so appalling and all-consuming that I had to have about 100mg of morphine every day, not just with periods. Every. damned. day.

Point: my Dad was and is not all ewwww and icky and "get on with it" when it came to periods and women's things. He could see how awful it was for me and didn't shy away from comforting or helping when needed. He empathised. He cared. He loved. (Past tense because of post-period era.)

I have some of the most kind and empathetic-to-period/end-trouble male friends I've known. Mark, Simon, Wombat, Lucas, Stephen, to name only several. They have been infinitely more kindly about it all than some female (now-former) friends. ("Have you tried walking when you're on?")

The dismissers are so empty when it comes to empathy and kindness. Obviously. Baffles me. I'm referring to these dismissers here and throughout, and absolutely not all men.

Still seeing so much beautifully-misfired misogyny and sexism on a subject which was hidden and played down (and still is) by the people in charge (i.e. men) shows that the mindsets of those blinkered dismissingers are SO FAR in the past, so opposed to feminism/equalism that they  embarrass themselves with such lack of education. Some said they thought women who have period pains should be grateful that there are painkillers and medications that help some women.


Really? Is that meant to make me rethink my humility? Or put my pain in to perspective? Someone else is OK? Great. We all feel so much better now you made us see it like that. Haven't we been silly?

And the number of times endometriosis-related pains have been apparently-wilfully ignored by doctors - played down, underestimated, plainly ruled out as even existing - can surely only add to that idea of "it's just a regularly-occurring thing that you all have to live with so why are you still complaining?". All for attention. Obviously. We love it.

"You told us it's a taboo subject so we don't talk about it" - "you"? You mean, women? Why is it taboo? Who said it was? And when? Many years ago? When women were not allowed to vote or work? Equality? Pah. Should stay where they belong. Because men said so?

By that way of thinking, does that mean that all women are to blame for you having a problem with talking or hearing about wombs, and bleeding, and sanitary towels, and stained knickers and bedsheets and pyjamas, and the fucking PAIN OF IT ALL? That's not women's faults. Blame blame blame. Don't you ever stop?

If you find a natural solution to your pains, I truly am glad for you. To have a seemingly well-meaning boy tell women so matter-of-factly that "there are options" for treating period pains... it's so unbelievable that it's hilfuckingarious.

[Edit: on 07.08.2018, I removed part of a paragraph, as knowledge and opinion changed re that subject. Learning equals humility. I was wrong.]

Friday 19 June 2015

You make me feel like a...

See, I know I'm bitchy and wretched when the hormones rage. I've known these facts for a painfully and depressingly long time. I do not require reminding whenever someone with "issues" decides to blame me for how they feel when they're having another tiresome tantrum.

No person can make anyone else feel anything emotionally. If you blame someone for how you feel, you give them control of your emotions, of your life, and it means that you don't take responsibility for (or "ownership" of) your own anger or jealousy or feelings of inadequacy or, more wonderfully, your happiness.

No-one made me sad about something; I decided (although, obviously, it's more complicated than "wanting") to feel that way, probably because I care.
No-one made you feel less than good; you didn't believe you were.

It took me decades to realise that, by changing how I think, I know and believe I can and do care less about things that really are not important - or important enough - to me: I AM ALLOWED to not waste my time and effort and golden, priceless energy on worrying about people who don't deserve my precious time; I CAN not concern myself with opinions of people whose only apparent enjoyment is berating so viciously people they don't like; I CAN not pretend to be interested in something which bores me and not worry about protecting everyone from bad things.

We CAN feel those things and not feel guilty. No-one will make me feel guilty for being ill, for being depressed, for not having a job, for being me. I do not let them.

It's been a liberating and difficult process. *shudders at "process"* I didn't know I was capable of not feeling guilt for not doing more at home. I didn't realise until far too late that other people can not make me feel anything, emotionally. Anything. My mind is mine.

Being strong-willed and determined and confident in oneself is not a universally easy way to be. I wouldn't claim to always believe in myself. Health, both physical and mental, are constantly influencing me, in every way, whether I'm aware of it or not. But I will always know that, however and whatever I feel, it is not because someone else has controlled my emotions.

Your mind and your heart and your soul are all yours, and no-one can ever make you be or feel anything. You are, in all probability, magnificent and wondrous and capable of stupendous things.

And my exceptionally-difficult-to-cope-with hormone imbalances still don't mean that other people aren't sometimes whinging, selfish, arrogant little fuckbollocks. It's not actually always me with a problem, or mood, or proverbial bee in my proverbial bonnet.

I am not your emotions, and you are not mine. And that takes us back to the women's magazines of cruel criticising, and blatant bullying, and you'll-never-be-good-enough-you-stupid-big-fat-failure "journalism".

More often than I wish I knew, I've seen people let themselves believe that their emotions are dictated by others. And I've seen both kinds of people become passive-aggressive dickheads.


Really? Are you sure about that?

Monday 2 March 2015

Young(ish), Wombless, and Rather Pale.

Last year, nearly a whole year ago (18th March), I lost my uterus. How careless! I have a beautiful 5-inch-long scar on my belly. Hooray! It is my favourite of my dozen or so scars, not least because I think it vindicates what I said for about 20 years.

My pelvis is still being an idiot, continuing, as it always bloody does, in giving me the pains and aches it always has (since I was 12). Only my left ovary remains of my reproductive system, messed up as it was. GOOD BLOODY RIDDANCE. Not so bloody anymore. HA-HA. IN YOUR FACE, WOMB.

I have to keep my ovary because my team of quite super doctors and I don't adore the prospect of having crumbly bones, thanks to osteoporosis.

This is endometriosis for me. This week is Endometriosis Awareness Week. This month (in some places on our glorious and wonderful planet) is Endometriosis Awareness Month.

Please, don't suffer.

Please, change doctors if your current one belittles your reality.

Please, don't be scared to ask for a referral.

Please, talk about your pains.

Please, ask for help.

Please, don't be ashamed of what you can or can't do.

Talking about periods and vaginas and wombs and fallopian tubes isn't dirty, it isn't weird, and it isn't disgusting. You are not dirty, or weird, or disgusting if you want to talk to someone about your pains and periods and fears. I'm one of millions of women told, for years, it's all perfectly normal. It wasn't. It isn't. And I'm one of many millions of women who don't know what painfree means any longer.

Talk about your bits! VAGINAS! FALLOPIAN TUBES! OVARIES! BOWELS! POO! DYSCHEZIA! Open your bowels and talk about endo.

Friday 23 January 2015

Time to Talk

Long time, no post. But look! Here's one, now! Here is my #Take5ToBlog post.

1. HI MY NAME IS... Lucy, and I have experienced (and still do experience) acute clinical depression, severe anxiety and panic attacks, suicidal contemplations, and OCD.

2. My mental health has affected every part of my life; friendships, sleep, some semblance of a career, relationships, appetite, education, hobbies, my closest family, and so many more aspects have, in some way, be it enormous or weeny, been affected by my mental health.

3. My greatest source of support has been my parents, as a whole. Together. As one... "thing". (Sorry Ma, Pa.)

4. My hope for the future is that a unicorn will swoop me away to Sparkly Rainbow Land. Failing that, I hope that I'll keep on gaining confidence and be able to volunteer and/or draw for cash, again.

5. I'm taking 5 on Time to Talk day because mental health isn't something to hide or be hidden. So many people experience some kind of mental health trouble, and I think that no-one who has felt anything from a hint of anxiousness or the worst of bi-polar ought to be ashamed.

Accepting things that I can not change has been one of the hardest challenges in my life, and, since I did, I loathe myself far less than when trying to fight it all. Ultimately, when fighting so fiercely to deny what was real, I failed to progress at all, and felt even more miserable, even more of the time.

I don't like any of my mental bothers but I have learned, grudgingly, to accept that they are part of what makes me me. Without them, I simply would not be who I have become, and I'm a lot more kind to myself now (sort of), even though I still occasionally have a panic attack and frequently have sobfests. Or maybe it's because of, not in spite of, those things.

Come, join me on my mental journey! Find me online, but know that I may take a year to respond. Not a year. Exaggerated. A while. Probably.

(This is openly-shared on here and on facebook, so, if you want to pass it on (with credit where due, obviously), please do.)

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