In life I think we all have a plan. Regardless of how free or easy going we consider ourselves to be, I think that deep down, we all have at least a vague ‘idea’ of how we would like life to pan out for us.
So, what happens when that plan turns out to be totally flawed? When a spanner, that you never expected, is thrown in the works.
I, and those around me, are very aware that unfortunately (as much as I’d like to be) I’m not an easy going person who has a relaxed idea of what she wants to happen in life. I am full of stress and thrive off structure and plans. My life, since being a child, has been pretty much planned down to a T in my head.
Although, I do have faith that life itself has a plan for me. And that sometimes/often, it’s a different plan to my own. My motto would be ‘everything happens for a reason’… It sounds rather contradictory from a woman who thrives off controlling her life, but that helps me to cope when my plans go wrong. It helps me to remind myself that it will get better, it has happened for a reason.
I like to think that when things go wrong, it’s a time not to feel self pity, but a time to reflect on how precious life is and how lucky we are to have everything we are blessed with. Love, health, family, friends, and to simply be alive.
So this year, when life threw its biggest spanner in the works for me, I had to stop, and remind myself that this was happening for a reason.
But, as human beings, we do have a horrible tendency of pitying ourselves. I asked the usual questions, why me? Why now? What have I done to deserve this? What possible reason could this be happening for? There isn’t one, surely?
This year, just prior to turning 21, I was diagnosed with Endometriosis.
But a diagnosis of a gynaecological nature wasn’t such a shock to me. For 6 years, along with many other symptoms, I had been suffering with on-off crippling pelvic pain which regularly landed me in A&E. And in the last year or two prior to my surgery it had become chronic, and unbearable. I had done my research and I knew my symptoms matched many conditions. But there was one condition that fitted the part the most – Endometriosis.
The doctors told me this was impossible as I was so young. I knew it was possible.
The shock for me, was being told I was right. The professionals were wrong. But doctors are always right, right?
After surgery I cried with relief, that finally people would believe me. Although my illness was invisible to the eye, under the surface it was very much real. It wasn’t in my head, I didn’t have to convince people I was unwell anymore. People knew now. Professionals couldn’t doubt me, people I loved could now begin to understand… Understand when I cancelled plans because just standing was unbearable, understand when I was so low that I wouldn’t even want to talk to people, understand that I was frustrated because every walk of my life had changed dramatically – and because of that, I cannot be a ‘normal’ 20 year old.
But then, there it was, the big word going over and over in my head. ENDOMETRIOSIS. Then came the hardest thing, my own understanding.
What did this mean for me? It meant that the most important plan I have in life, is in jeopardy. The thing I have dreamt of since I, myself, were a child, may never be a reality now… I may never become what I want to be – a parent.
Then came a whole bunch of spider-webbed worries formulating in my mind. Infertility, IVF, adoption, miscarriage, complications during pregnancy, future surgeries, and what felt like a million other things I could possibly face. And the worst part? I can’t predict what’s going to happen. I can’t make myself feel secure with plans (as I usually would), because this is truly out of my hands… And there it is, my biggest fear – no control.
So, here, my journey started. My chronic illness, and me. Sometimes it feels like it’s just us, every day. Can you imagine spending every day with your enemy?