How can I quit the voice in my head saying that I'm a 'weak' person because of my illness?

I was always brought up to be strong. I was taught that we go to work every day and we don't let ourselves down. Now I find myself in a situation where every three weeks I try so hard to fight the pain and weakness but I ultimately end up succumbing to it and lying in bed struggling with the journey to and from the bathroom. Most people don't understand because they cannot see what is happening from the outside. With my boyfriend I feel less of a woman because between periods and biopsies I spend most of my time 'unwell' down there and with my employers I feel like I just let everyone down.I am aware of the whispers and the uncertainty from colleagues. If she is really that sick how can she bounce back so quickly in a few days....etc...etc. Friends try to understand but I know that many don't.I am so tired of feeling like I am failing at the moment.

8 Replies

  • Didn't want to read and run, I have no great words of wisdom for you but understand where you're coming from. I think that voice in your head can probably help you stay strong and get through this horrid period of your life. You have to learn to be kind to yourself. Men seem to have less of a problem putting themselves first I have found!! Anyone who is less than supportive is not worth wasting energy on worrying about, let them think what they like at work, you know it's not your fault or choice to be like this. Virtual hug for you today xx

  • Hey lovely, So sorry to hear you're feeling like this lovely. I was in the same position as yourself not so long ago. The best advise I was ever given when i was feeling this way was from a lovely lady on the Endo helpline, she basically told me its ok to feel like you cant get out of bed some days, its ok to look after yourself, if anyone else feels differently as hard as it is they are only adding to your distress and will make you feel worse than you already do. Its hard for people who don't have this aweful desease to understand the effect it has on us. I found taking my finace along to endo meetings helped him understand and coming to my specialist and hospital visits. Luckily he has become fabulously understanding since being with em through my recent surgery as he finially understood the gravity of it I think!! Another good reference for people who don't understand is the spoon theory, you may have heard of it but if not just google it. It's really great for family and friends to understand a little about how living with a chronic illness feels.

    I hope some of this helps, if you feel like you just need a chat with someone who knows how you do feel, feel free to message me


  • I understand how you feel, I have been knocked for six with the pain every 3 weeks! My work let me work from home but I know some people in my workplace don't understand and I can tell they are getting tired of me being off all the time. I have started running (when I'm not in pain) and I push myself and tell myself I can beat this, after a run I feel so much better and empowered and it really helps me to stay focused. Running may not be for everyone but I know it helps me and helps me forget all thats going off even if it is just for 30 mins or so. Hope that helps xxx

  • That's so familiar... my default is to think of myself as someone who can't cope, because no one took my pain seriously until I was 36. So I'd had 23 years of being told to stop being pathetic and that there was nothing wrong with me other than stress. One of my sisters used to tell me that she never even took one single paracetamol when she had period pain and that she didn't have time to be ill, unlike me.

    All you can do is try to take one day at a time and be kind to yourself.

  • Something I learned in many years of psychotherapy was to stop myself when that voice piped up and just say no, that is not true, and repeating positive affirmations e.g. I am strong and lovable, or whatever works for you. Over time, the voice got much much quieter. Try it? Just be consistent and firm telling the voice it is WRONG. Hang in there x

  • p.s. colleagues who have no idea about endometrosis and think their 'normal' periods are hell are difficult. I don't know what anyone else's pain is like, and they might feel awful, but it is hard when you feel guilty for having good days ...

  • Hi hun, I know exactly how you feel re work colleagues. It's been a long battle trying to get people to understand when you're unwell. I ended up collapsing in pain in the office last year. Over the years, I've just stopped talking to most of tje people in my office and have one or two close friends who I lunch with.

    Believe me, it will get better. You just have to tell yourself that the pain you go through is real and to hell with what everyone else thinks. Put yourself first and don't worry about what others think.

    As long as management are fully aware of your situation, nothing else matters.

    Take Care xx

  • I totally feel an extent I am very similar in that having suffered since I was 12 (now 32) it's so ingrained in me to get on with it I am surprised when I read that people go to A+E etc with endo. I managed all through school/ uni etc without any effective pain relief believing i had no option. I fought for 16 years to get diagnosed thru a lap and from this point at least yoy are "in the system" with access to specialists . What treatment have you had? What are your current options? I suffer with depression/ anxiety and have had treatment for this but never really linked it to endo. Pm if you fancy a chat. Hugs lovely girl xxx

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