Pretty much any form you fill out these days asks about your medical history or current medications. Every single time I get to that question, I pause and have an internal debate within my poor little head. Do I tell them? Is there any point telling them? What good will it do? The other question I struggle to answer is, do you have any medical conditions which will impact your work (or along those lines). Again, do I bother mentioning it? Honestly, most people don’t even know what endometriosis is, so then they would have to ask and I would have to give them the whole spill about it. Is it worth that awkward chat?
Now I am a very open person, so I don’t mind telling people but I do understand the hesitation for some women. It can be a really confronting and personal thing to talk about. Trust me, I know. Periods were not talked about when I grew up. I mean, don’t get me wrong, my mum and I talked, but it was private (check out About Me for more info) . It still shocks me when some women are super open and can talk so freely about it they don’t care if it women, child or man who hears. I am not saying that you have to be that open, but there are benefits to telling people.
However, there are also cons but we will talk about that in the next couple of weeks. So let’s talk about the pros of telling people.
Firstly, it can help build friendships. Not too long ago, we had a new staff member join at work. We became pretty close work colleagues quite quickly however when I discovered she also suffered from endometriosis, it allowed both of us to open up on a much deeper level. This has resulted in a great new friendship where we can bond over our endo journey and all the dramas which come with it. I have other situations where opening up to someone has allowed them to feel safe and share their personal struggles. It is crazy the new friendships I have created just by being honest.
Secondly, it raises awareness. This is pretty straight forward but still worth a mention. The more we talk about it, the more people know. I am still shocked by the number of people who say, “what’s that,” when I say I have endometriosis. For such a common disease, so little is known about it. So if we can talk about it and the issues it causes, it would help people understand what we are going through.
Thirdly, it can help you. I know it sounds silly, but it’s really important for us to chat about. The main thing I felt when I was diagnosed was alone. I felt like there was no one who understood what I was going through. When I found out that some of my closest friends also suffered from it, it was a huge relieve. It is such a big part of my life, so I need to be comfortable to talk about it, mainly for my sanity but also to know I am never alone.
So there you have it, three reasons why you should tell people. Honestly, there are many more, but I personally think these are pretty excellent.