Boo to Taboo: Living with Endometriosis

Written by Jemima Palfreyman. Originally posted here.

This is a blog post I’ve had formulated in my head for a while, but I just haven’t got around to doing.

Whilst I think it’s a great victory that mainstream papers like The Guardian are raising awareness of Endometriosis and the ongoing struggles we face, and it’s important that we continue to make people aware of how we need to talk about this, it has always irritated me that womens’ health articles still gloss everything with a folorn looking picture of somebody’s perfectly toned tummy. Whilst saying we need to talk about this, we are still afraid to visually confront the reality of a condition like this. Somehow it’s more comfortable for us to see pictures of people with limbs missing or a facial disfigurement than to see what a condition like this is really like.

So, whilst I appreciate the effort that a portion of the mainstream media is making, may I suggest these more realistic portrayals of life with endometriosis. Because is sure as heck doesn’t look like this.

Unfortunately, I don't get to spend all day stood looking into the distance like this.

Unfortunately, I don’t get to spend all day stood looking into the distance like this.

It may, perhaps look like THIS.

I'm not entirely sure you SHOULD feel the need take this many painkillers every day...

I’m not entirely sure you SHOULD feel the need take this many painkillers every day…

Or this.

Imagine feeling like somebody has reached in through your scars to wring out your bladder with a pair of harpoons, when all you want to do is pee.

Imagine feeling like somebody has reached in through your scars to wring out your bladder with a pair of harpoons, when all you want to do is pee.

And believe me, we WISH our tummies were that flat all the time.

My epic food baby definitely helped with this one. But bloating can be so mad amidst endo sufferers we are commonly misdiagnosed with IBS.

My epic food baby definitely helped with this one. But bloating can be so mad amidst endo sufferers we are commonly misdiagnosed with IBS.

I regularly wish that “zombie chic” was a thing.

This is my "I can't remember the last time I had a night that didn't involve getting up at LEAST five times to pee" face.

This is my “I can’t remember the last time I had a night that didn’t involve getting up at LEAST five times to pee” face.

Which, understandably, along with the constant pain, means you probably won’t be needing these.

Okay, so I'm not saying we don't need underwear. But don't waste your money on the hot stuff.

Okay, so I’m not saying we don’t need underwear. But don’t waste your money on the hot stuff.

And finally, a personal favourite. Some may say I should feel lucky to be surrounded by this much luxury!

Completely overwhelmed by getting twice as much luxury as your regular girl!

Completely overwhelmed by getting twice as much luxury as your regular girl!

Dear Media,

Please feel free to use any of these, my treat. But please stop bullshitting to the world that our affliction is the odd little tummy cramp we may need to periodically caress with graceful misery. Because it’s actually a lot less pretty than that.

Love from,

An endo sufferer who’s sick of the taboo!

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Jemima Palfreyman is a professional musician who also dabbles in sporadic blogging and stand up comedy. She has been living with endometriosis since the age of 14, but was only diagnosed in April 2012. She is a vocal advocate for challenging taboos about women’s health struggles and her other hobbies include gaming, running and smashing the patriarchy. Find her blog here.

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