When I was first diagnosed with Endo, I looked for a support group in San Diego. A physical, sit-down, meet, greet, and hug support group. And I found nothing. Looking around still, I find nothing. The nearest support group is in Riverside, nearly 100 miles north of me.
I’ve got a few girlfriends that actually have Endometriosis, and it’s good to have them in my life. Bounce off ideas, bounce off of their experiences, be there for each other. It’s fantastic, but we rarely see each other with our busy lives, and talk even less, especially about Endo. I’ve got my boyfriend, my friends, and my family offering endless amounts of love, support, and encouragement, but it’s not the same (no offense, loved ones). I’m part of several online communities which offer what an in-person support group should…but again, it’s…lacking something that I crave.
But today, TODAY, I met an EndoSister, who lives about 20 minutes from me. We connected on Facebook last week and met in person tonight for food, drinks, and hugs. And OH.MY.GOD. The personal interaction, feedback, smiles, laughter, sympathetic ear, shoulder bumps, and hugs. That….that was what I was missing. A human touch, with my same horrible disease, someone I’ve never met, being able to open up to a complete stranger (which both of us did), it was…(insert indescribable word here)! We hung out for about an hour and a half, sharing stories of our Endo, our treatments, our diets, our hobbies, our loved ones, our dreams, and our lives. And when it was over, I feel so close to this no-longer-stranger. So close. And so NOT alone. Maybe alone isn’t the word since I haven’t felt alone since this whole Bloomin’ Uterus button & blog adventure began. But I feel so…so much more inspired, encouraged, stronger, and uplifted since having met her today.
I strongly encourage each of you (yes, I’m talking to you…) to reach out and find women near you that share this disease. (This goes for ANY disease, condition, disorder, etc. that anyone may have…) – Just having someone who has the same issues to physically share this experience with has been an amazing experience. And that incredibly warm, comforting, and understanding hug at the end of the evening: Priceless. Nearly brought me to uber-girly tears.
I look forward to our next meeting. And who knows, maybe our meetings will spawn a small San Diego-based area support group; maybe our numbers will grow.
I’m overwhelmed with emotion at this unexpected surge of…”Feel Goods.” Completely overwhelmed.
Ms. Potter, I am grateful that you had the courage to reach out and find me. You’re a brave, beautiful, and amazing woman and I truly look forward to getting to know you better. Until next time…