It’s been a year since that decision…
I had gotten used to a pain level of 5 or 6 being a good day. Since being diagnosed with Endometriosis at the age of 14, I had been on a myriad of pills ranging from birth control to pain pills, muscle relaxers, hormones, and mood stabilizers. Sometimes more than other times, but always a baseline of birth control with the purpose of regulating my hormones and controlling my cycle. In March, 2012, after being off all other pills for over 3 years, I chose (with much consideration from the health professionals around me) to quit taking birth control. This meant I was taking ZERO pills. Since the age of 14, I wouldn’t be taking anything. I was scared to trust that my body could regulate itself. But in the months prior to this decision, I was really beginning to feel that birth control, as a means to regulate hormones, was more of an emotional crutch than a necessity. I wanted to know if my body could function without the pills. This decision became a test to see if I was as well as I wanted to be. I had to try.
It’s been a year since that decision. I remember feeling the weight of the world being lifted off my shoulders as I realized, I was fine. I was fine. I WAS FINE!!!! My body did what it was supposed to do. In fact, it did it better than I had ever experienced. My cycle was lighter and almost unnoticeable. No pain, and no crazy emotions.
A good friend has since asked me what I was going to do to celebrate such a victory. Victory? Celebrate? I just started crying. Those really big, uncontrollable tears. The tears where attempting to gracefully them wipe away is just pointless. I am tearing up now, as I write this…it’s still rather surreal to consider this a victory. But, I believe this question alone has lead me to tremendous emotional growth. The growth I needed to not only be willing to write this blog, but able to write this blog. And the growth I needed to understand what celebrating life looks like for me. I discovered a few ways to celebrate… a few short term indulgences like fancy dinners and spa days…but more importantly deeper, more meaningful ways to celebrate which lead to happiness. I discovered wedding photography. I’ve been a wedding photographer going on 5 years, but now I know why I love being a wedding photographer. At a wedding I get to celebrate life and be surrounded by incredible love. And as I photograph a beautiful bride, glowing from within, I get to feel beautiful right along with her.