Many apologies for the delay on this post. I started writing it a few weeks ago and it has been delayed by the death of my dad. I’m still grieving but am trying to get back to my normality.
Normality for someone with endometriosis starts and ends with pain. For some of us, it’s incessant. We live in constant pain or dread of pain. In some ways I can’t help but think it would be easier to get it all over with in one go: rip the bandage off. Unfortunately life isn’t like that for those of us with endometriosis. We have to endure an endless roundabout of pain, no pain, dread of pain, and pain again. Unfortunately, Chronically Creative knows all about “Why me?” She’s particularly eloquent with this blog post.
When I was struggling with my symptoms and achieved a diagnosis of my multiple chronic illnesses I couldn’t help but ask why me? At that point in my life I was married to the first husband and struggled with my symptoms alone. I felt helpless. I felt angry. Unfortunately, before I became a bit more relaxed with my conditions “Why me?” was a regular question that passed through my mind.
The original ending of this blog post went like this:
These days I don’t ask “Why me?” anymore. Instead I’ve learned to accept my fate. I’m not delighted with my illnesses but I have to focus on the positive or I’ll find myself in the middle of depression again. My endometriosis, PCOS and insulin resistance is as much a part of me as my left arm. I’ve had to learn how to love my flaws as well as qualities. My illnesses remind me to delight in my healthy days. My illnesses give me empathy – much more than others. Empathy makes me a better person. No matter what’s made me a good person, I’m glad for it.
However, after my dad lost his fight with Parkinsons at the tender age of 66, I cannot end the subject where I originally stopped. With Dad gone, I am reminded that “Why me?” is a destructive question. Dad used to ask “Why me?” He was a spiritual man but was dogged by a disease that no one should have to endure. Consequently, “Why me?” became a barrier to accepting his predicament. In spending time trying to find out why he never found the answer: why not?
I say the answer is “Why not?” because everyone suffers. If struggling and suffering is an essential part of human existence, why shouldn’t I suffer? Why should I be singled out to be the only one on the planet who lives a joyful life? Wouldn’t a singularly joyful life leave me unable to appreciate the simple things like a pain-free day? Wouldn’t a joyful life lead me to be an ungrateful person? A pain-free life would leave me unable to make light of woe. A pain-free life would leave me a shallow half-human.
Because I would be shallow and unable to appreciate the suffering of others, I would not be a good person. I would be selfish. I would be self centred. I would not be someone I respect. Just think: how much suffering could we alleviate if we applied the “Many hands make light work” rule discussed by Confucius?
Of course I don’t have to like suffering, but I have to appreciate it for what it is: a prerequisite of humanity.
Wishing you many pain-free days!