I’m about to make a huge life change. This decision has been years in the making, and endo has played a big role in dictating how and when it’ll happen. While this isn’t a how-to column with my usual practical steps, I hope my story will help some of you who are considering making life changes. I also hope to show how these might positively affect your experience of endometriosis.
I’ve always battled depression and anxiety. They’ve been with me for so long that they’re almost considered personality traits of mine. But in the past few years, the impact of endometriosis on my life and how I’ve had to manage it has caused these conditions to grow and take lead roles. I’ve been able to manage them with mindfulness, supplements, and exercise, but I’ve known for a long time that an even bigger change was needed.
Three years ago, we moved into our beautiful flat in a small village-like town in London. I’ve been a Londoner all my life, and while I’ve done some traveling, the dream has been to escape London and globetrot ever since I can remember. Opportunities and health have kept me tied to London for longer than I had hoped, and in the past few years, that’s really started getting to me.
When we moved into our current home, it was like walking into a cocoon of safety. When I worked in charity as my health spiraled, the only place I felt comforted and safe was my home. I yearned to work solely from there while I licked my wounds and recovered mentally and physically. Central London had become a place that I wanted to avoid and the city was too much to handle with my delicate senses and brain in the midst of depression and anxiety. I needed to retreat into my cocoon, so I could emerge out of it whole and new.
At the same time, I knew I eventually needed to spread my wings. I knew living in London was having a restrictive and negative effect on my body and mind. The stress of the city and the frustration of not living the life I imagined was also impactful. So, I’ve spent the past three years changing my jobs, my hours, and my commute. In the last year, I’ve finally been able to work for myself from home. The empowerment and anxiety relief I’ve felt has been invaluable. It’s given me a huge chance to slow down, and finally center my condition and mental health around me, rather than around a job and a city.
All along, I also knew this move to freelancing was my London exit opportunity. And my safety cocoon has served its purpose. These four walls have comforted me after days filled with pain or anxiety at work, and as I’ve gone self-employed, they’ve been the workspace that doesn’t ask anything of me, other than to be myself.
And after a year of this recuperation, I’m ready. I’m ready for a new life. The quiet and safety of working at home alone have slowly morphed into a kind of isolation, which isn’t good for well-being, especially when living with a chronic condition. And while I still love my home, I know it’s time to fly the coop. I could go and get a workspace in London, but while I need to be around people again, I don’t want to travel in the city. And I’ve been yearning to escape it for years.
And so, my partner and I are moving to a seaside town that has a strong community and is a hub of creativity with some incredible workspaces. It’s been a decision we’ve been mulling over for years, and it’s finally time.
Changes like this can have a huge impact on health when living with endometriosis and I’ve considered this fact every step of the way. It can be easy, when unwell and living with mental health conditions, to be scared of change in case it causes you to relapse. No doubt, I’ve had these fears. But I’ve spent months and months working through them and considering all factors.
Following dreams might take a bit longer with endo, and what I desire may change along the way as my needs and health change. But living a life that is closer to my values and desires is possible. This change is a part of a bigger plan to travel and explore in an endo- and mental health-friendly way, and I’m excited to share this journey with you as it unfolds.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.