Thursday, March 3, 2016

Audrey's Story - Endometriosis Awareness Week 2016

I cannot tell you how excited I am to start off Endometriosis Awareness Week with Audrey's story. When I went to Facebook asking to help; asking for women to share their stories about endometriosis Audrey was one of the first people to reach out to me.
I love that her story is about finding and embracing herself, about showering herself with unconditional love, about self-care.
Audrey is a writer, speaker and spiritual growth coach.  You can connect with her via social media here:



This is Audrey's Story

For years I felt pressure to tell my story with endometriosis in a certain way; how long ago were you diagnosed, what stage is the disease in, what's your pain level, how many surgeries have you had, etc. (For the sake of discussion, I was diagnosed at age fourteen with stage 1 endometriosis and incredibly high, consistent pain. Over the next seventeen years, I had four laparoscopy surgeries, two rounds of Lupron, and ingested more prescription pain pills, muscle relaxers, hormones, and mood stabilizers than I’d like to admit.)

I never identified with this formula. I clearly have "endo stats" but, it wasn't until about a year ago that I accepted that my medical history is not my story.

Owning my endometriosis story starts the day my endo ended. My story starts the day of my fourth laporoscopy surgery as my surgeon told my husband and I there was no visible sign of endometriosis. My endo story starts the day my specialist told me, "There is nothing more I can could do for you." My endo story started the day I embraced my demons and embraced that endometriosis is in my heart, it is in my head, it is in my spirit, and it is in every cell in my body.

Endometriosis hurt me.

Endometriosis hurt every single part of my being. Endometriosis took me away from me. I didn't love me. I didn't love my body. I didn't love living my life.

* * *

Did you catch that? No visible signs of endometriosis were found! How great! I was free of the disease! This was supposed to be the best day of my life, everything I had dreamed of…endometriosis was GONE! Except I was in more pain than I had ever been. I didn’t know where to turn. I didn’t know what to do. I clung to medical professionals more than ever; racing down the rabbit hold of more experts, more tests, more treatments, and more pills. I went to every specialist in any discipline that seemed like they might have an answer as to why I hurt so bad. My quest for LESS pain only created MORE; more chaos, more confusion, and more obsessive thoughts of how much my life SUCKED.

Throughout 2008-2009 my perspective and beliefs were shifting. And more importantly, my heart and intuition were staging an intervention. I didn't know it at the time, but my story was just beginning. What I identify with as my endometriosis story is the journey to dig out of the hole coping with endometriosis and chronic pain put me in. In dealing with day-to-day life with chronic pain and disease I created many unhealthy habits; disconnection from myself and my body were the worst of it. Between the fog of medication, the "I'm Fine" mask, and a high pain tolerance, my body, mind, and spirit were numb. Owning my pain and my endometriosis meant accepting the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual pain and trauma I'd avoided for over half my life. Welcoming pain and trauma as a part of my story sucked, I never wanted any of it. I wanted (and thought I was living) a life of perfectly checked boxes off the “you’re-supposed-to-do-this-to-have-a-sucessful-life list".

Today my life looks very different than it once did. I no longer have the 8-5 corporate career I went to college for. I no longer feel pressure to keep a perfectly clean home, or attend every social gathering I said yes to. Most days I get out of bed around 8:30am after doing body work and listening to inner wisdom. Once or twice a week I have therapy sessions alternating between acupuncture, kinesiology, trigger point and energy release massage, and chiropractic. I know my body requires a lot of maintenance to remain pain free and at optimal physical, mental, and emotional performance.

I now allow myself to feel all feelings and sensations, even if theyre uncomfortable or painful. I believe my sensitive body is powerful and I view physical pain or tension as communication from my emotional body; a road map for uncovering negative thoughts and beliefs. Listening to my body is a tool for discovering unhelpful mental patterns and beliefs. I've made it my business to honor my body and to listen to my body, and to inspire women to do the same.

I am obsessed with self-care and maintaining unconditional self-love because I know what the opposite feels like. It's pretty shitty. It took my living through darkness and hitting rock bottom to be okay with spending any amount of time, money, and energy on my wellness needs. I am worth it. So are you.


Now I know my endometriosis story has power. My story picks up where the doctors left off. My story starts where I discover and embrace me. All of me. I am the only one with the power to shower myself with the unconditional love needed to dig out of the corner this disease put me in.


Audrey Michel began sharing her journey to wellness in her blog, “Rewired Life,” in early 2013. By that summer, her love of writing began to fill the pages of her new book. As her passion for sharing her message expanded beyond writing and into public speaking, Audrey discovered how vulnerability in storytelling inspires and empowers audiences to become their best selves. Whether it is in our personal lives, relationships, health, or businesses, we all have obstacles to overcome and layers to peel back.
As she recounts in her book, Rewired Life: A Journey to Untangle Chronic Pain and Endometriosis, Audrey endured chronic pain and disease for half her life. At her breaking point, she finally let her internal wisdom speak up and speak out, leading her on a path to self-discovery and true healing beyond what Western medicine offered. Through it all, she learned to acknowledge the mind-body connection and its healing abilities, and after 17 years, she is pain-free and symptom-free. In her book and blog, she shares her breakthroughs and methods of discovering deep inner connection and personal growth.
As a writer, speaker, and spiritual growth coach, she brings positivity, wellness, and inspiration to empower women to heal. She mixes elegance, honesty, emotion, and empowerment with a hint of feistiness and fashion. Audrey knows our bodies are powerful and hold a wealth of information and when we learn to interpret the messages, we hold the key to healing our bodies, minds, and spirits.
Audrey is an avid meditator, spiritual seeker, and advocate in the endometriosis community. In her spare time, she enjoys being with family and friends and likes to read, golf, and hike.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing Stephanie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank YOU for your willingness to be so honest and open with your story to help spread awareness and understanding of Endometriosis.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your story, Audrey.
    And Steph, you're doing a great thing by spotlighting this and I hope these features help lots and lots of people. xoxo

    ReplyDelete

Hello there and thank you for taking the time to post a comment over here at Educational Anarchy. In encouraging you to comment with differing opinions, I also ask that you keep all comments "nice". I reserve the privilege to not only delete your comment if I feel that it is offensive, a personal attack or otherwise obnoxious, but to also use it as possible future blog post material.