I have no idea where the past year has gone. It only feels like yesterday that we were leaving 2016 behind us and looking forward to what 2017 was going to hold. As I look back, theres been a lot of good that has come my way, but I also recognise that its been a pretty tough year too.
My health has taken up a huge part of my year, and not in a good way. I spent the majority of the year waiting for my operation, but as I was doing so my health deteriorated quite considerably. I've had multiple days out of the office, and missed out on family/friend engagements more than ever before. I've had many trips to the doctors or hospital, whether thats through unexpected pain or planned appointments. Finally, and perhaps the biggest bump in the road, was the confirmation that my consultant can now justify the hysterectomy that no one wants to think about, but that is inevitable in the next couple of years.
Its been a rollercoaster ride, one that has tested my positivity and at times one that has managed to break it too. It has forced me to deal with thoughts and feelings that I would never have hoped to have experienced, including the realisation and confirmation that I will never be able to carry my own child. Or know how that first baby kick will feel. For me this has been the hardest part of the journey. I know I will never be okay with these feelings, but I am learning to find ways to cope with them instead. This year has made me learn more about myself, and re-evaluate what I thought my future would look like. Its not always easy but I feel like I've come on leaps and bounds in tackling my own demons, but I also appreciate I still have a long way to go too. I'll admit I've spent a lot of the year feeling like my body is failing me. But its easy to forget all the good we have in our lives too.
Endo may have taken a lot from me but it has also given me a lot too. I have made so many new wonderful friends through the Endometriosis UK support group and social media which I will be forever grateful for. They have taught me that I am not alone and that its okay to not be okay. I have learnt that I have to listen to my body more than ever, and that actually I'm the only one that will suffer if I don't. Having these people in my life has helped me more than words can say and I know that I have made some friends for life. So I never thought I'd say it but thanks Endo, you've done something good for me too!
I can't forget all the other good things that have happened in 2017 either! I've made many more happy memories with my friends and family. Holidays, weddings, days out, birthdays, BBQs and so much more! I was accepted into the Global Talent Programme at work which was a massive achievement and brings exciting opportunities for 2018 including a 3 month secondment (hopefully abroad!) to look forward to. I purchased my lovely new car which still manages to make me smile when I look out the window (sad, yes!). And I even started the exciting prospect of looking at new houses to buy. These things are what keep me sane in my darkest times and are the memories that I am trying to focus on from my year, rather than the heartache and pain which can so easily consume you.
For those who are also suffering, with Endo or other, remember you made it through another year, yes its been hard but you did it. Be proud of your achievements and look forward to what the new year holds. Focus on the positives and what you have, rather than what you don't have. I'd like to finish up by thanking everyone who has been a part of my 2017. I hope my family, friends and fellow warriors all have a wonderful pain free Christmas, and a very happy New Year. Lets continue to be bigger, better and stronger in 2018, and lets kick Endo's butt!