An anxious stomach. Isn’t that an interesting term and I wonder what it brings up for you.
IBS? Anxiety? Allergies? Endometriosis?
Men, boys, women and girls. Yes, endometriosis is something that those with the Y chromosome can have.
Endo tissue is not histologically identical as uterine tissue, but is similar and commonly ‘blamed’ on the female pelvic organ, for being in places it ‘shouldn’t’ be.
However for some reason, this tissue is not ‘behaving’. It can be in seemingly random places of the body – the pelvis and uterus is the most common place, but this tissue is commonly found on the bowel, the bladder, the throat, the brain and even the eyes. Nowhere is exempt it seems, but the problem is that it is not looked for. This gives the diagnostician small individual clues that don’t quite add up to the whole picture. So an endo sufferer may present with period issues. Diarrhoea. Pain in other places. Bleeding from random spots, painful sex (vaginismus). Then, of course the sufferer may start to question themselves, to feel not listened too, a hypochondriac, frigid. (Would you want sex if you felt so awful?) Then, of course, they are not entirely happy and mental health is affected. Relationships are strained or broken and a whole cycle of ill health continues.
And when does all of this start? Some little girls, even 11 years old, suffer from it. That is a very impressionable age of interpretation of identity (the who am I), to be thrown into this quagmire of symptoms and responses. Many women don’t know until they come off the pill and are told they are infertile due to endometriosis. Dreams are crushed. And even more people don’t have those dots joined, the array of symptoms put together, so go on, the best they can, unhappily.
Many people are told they have this ‘anxious stomach’ and if you feel that maybe you this is you and you aren’t getting anywhere with diagnosis or treatment then try this….
Write down your symptoms daily. Write down how you feel emotionally, mentally and physically. Write the date and, (woowoo alert) write the phase of the moon – it could be super interesting later!
This will give your diagnostician a couple of things to go on
a) you are freaking serious about this,
b) your symptoms are real,
c) you are willing to do what it takes.
Even on your good days, write it down – because there are good days right? They need to be focused on and celebrated because endometriosis is not who you are, it doesn’t define you, it is something that your body is doing.
**Believe the diagnosis but not the prognosis**
So this is where I come into the game. If your body is doing something – IBS’ing, anxietying, allergying, endometriosising, then you are able to change that.
Because this behaviour is not you, it is something you are (unconsciously) doing and by having that slight tweak in the languaging around the issue, it gives it the wriggle room to change. This may sound odd, but when you say a noun, a label, the brain sees it as a ‘thing’ – like a chair which is just that. Fullstop. However when you say a verb which is a word with an ‘ing on the end of it, a different section of the brain is able to process that and, being a doing word, it sees it as something that is changeable.
Here is an short exercise for you to do:
1. Say ‘I am (your name). How does that feel?
2. Then add the ‘ing. Say ‘I am (name)ing’.
How does that feel? Lighter? Moveable? Changeable? Potential?
I am Paulaing and I have the superpower to change every day because today I have changed and learnt something or unlearnt something compared to yesterday.
There is so much more to do for your health than give it over to others to tell you how it is.
The pain, discomfort, frustration, embarrassment, confusion is real with endometriosis but please, not for one second, think that your only option is to be in the hands of others. They are there to support you in your healing, not be in charge of it.
So let’s put you back at the helm!