Ffion Atie | goldthelabel.com
No, I’m not referring to Drake’s album. I’m talking about YOU, the person reading this. As I sit on my couch, hair tied up, tea in hand, I can’t help but to pause and appreciate this moment for so many reasons. Most notably the main reason being because it has been a long day for me. I sift through my troubles from earlier today and can’t help but to think I need more nights like this. Too many times we’re made to feel as though we should constantly run on life’s hamster wheel; which I agree with while we have the advantage of youth, but I do also believe in watering your own grass. It may sound foreign but think about it. When you’re on a flight (and actually listening) the safety demo instructs us to secure our own oxygen mask before helping others in the event of an emergency. Too often we forget that it’s fundamental to make sure we look after ourselves for so many reasons. While it’s okay to be Superwoman (or Superman) and rock the “S” on your chest, remember that even super heroes need to take time out every now and then to look after numero uno.
Last month was Endometriosis Awareness Month which made me reflect on a lot, but i’ll get into that later on. Endometriosis is defined by the National Health Service (NHS) as a “common condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb (the endometrium) is found outside of the womb”. The tissue can grow in various parts of the body, for example, on the ovaries or fallopian tubes, the bladder, and various areas. Never heard of it? Me either… until my doctor speculatively diagnosed me with it. Disclaimer: this is not a pity party or a sob story.
Endometriosis affects 10% of reproductive-aged women which equates to 176 million worldwide (The Guardian 2015), but somehow it’s still taboo to talk about things like your period…imagine that! The one tricky thing about endometriosis is that there isn’t a way to fully diagnose it outside of having a surgery (laparoscopy). The most common symptoms can range from painful or heavy periods, pain during or after sex, bleeding between periods, persistent exhaustion and tiredness, discomfort when going to the toilet and so on. These symptoms are synonymous with a number of other conditions; leaving many women often overlooked and labelled as a hypochondriac.
One thing I want to make clear about endometriosis is that nobody should ever make you feel like these symptoms are normal.
In my own case I’ve experienced symptoms since high school and felt that there was never any sense of urgency from every doctor I saw, and “just dealt with it”. One thing I want to make clear about endometriosis is that nobody should ever make you feel like these symptoms are normal. If you are limited or no longer able to carry out everyday activities (during or in between periods) that is not normal. If you think you have any of the symptoms mentioned I would encourage you to talk to a doctor and look into it.
Fast forward to 2014 I began a long road of tests, scans and countless doctors appointment to try and figure out what was “wrong” with me. I met a consultant who automatically knew the answer to all of my questions and who knew how we could get to the bottom of it; surgery. Having never gone under the knife this was obviously a big deal for me, but long story short everything worked out! While I only had a mild case, the experience taught me a lot about the importance of self care; not just physically but for your mental health too.
Constant stress and worry have the potential to manifest themselves in a physical form and lead to long term health issues (heart conditions, high blood pressure etc). Our bodies are connected to our mind; we’ve all heard the saying “the mind is a powerful thing” so what you think is ultimately what you become. Be kind to yourself; choose your battles in life because that $10 that Aunt Dorothy’s daughter owes you is not worth your peace. You can’t put a price tag on that. Nobody is immune to the demands of life but having a strong support network can make those obstacles feel a little more manageable.
This isn’t a post to encourage laziness or excuses, but what I hope you take from this is the power of rest and the importance of looking after yourself. As I mentioned before, if you can’t look after yourself how can you do for others or fulfill all of the things God has called you to do in life?
Stay on your grind but don’t work yourself to a grinding halt. You owe it to more people than you think…
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
– Matthew:11:28 (NIV)
“If you get tired learn to rest, not to quit”
If you’d like to know more about Endometriosis please speak to a doctor or visit: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Endometriosis/Pages/Introduction.aspx
Alternatively, if you would like to know more about mental health speak to your local doctor or visit: http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/mentalhealth/Pages/Mentalhealthhome.aspx
Keep up with Ffion via Instagram @fijilife
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