Aside from the pain, the most frustrating side effect of endo is the how much my body changes. Depending on where I’m at in my cycle, what pain meds I’m on, whether I can walk around or not, my body shape changes drastically. I can be so swollen I look several months pregnant, gaining inches overnight. My face gets puffy, my shoes don’t fit, and I can’t wear any of my rings.
As someone who used to have an eating disorder & still struggles with body confidence, this is super triggering. The other night I had to give someone my measurements for them to pick out clothing, and I felt ashamed. And then I felt ashamed about being ashamed – my body is going through a rough time. It should be treated with gentleness, kindness and all the self love I can muster, not hatred, disgust and embarrassment.
One thing that has helped has been investing in clothing I feel beautiful in. Pieces that aren’t so tight they’re uncomfortable, and fit my body when I feel like it’s not my body. For the longest time I refused to buy anything specifically for the times when the endo flares up. Doing so would be saying that this isn’t temporary – it makes it real. Makes it part of my reality, not just something that will pass soon and then I’ll go back to “normal”. But, now that I’ve come to terms with the fact that that isn’t true, fuck it. I deserve to feel good about myself all day, everything. I should have things that make me feel beautiful no matter how bloated and swollen I am.
This Ilana Kohn jumpsuit was the first piece I bought myself specifically for days the endo is kicking my ass. It’s the most I’ve ever spent on one piece, but for me it was totally worth it. When I put it on I feel like ME, even if everything else about my body is throwing me off. And I love it.