When we’re first diagnosed with pelvic floor dysfunction, prolapse or diastsis recti we immediately go to a dark place. At first you feel frozen, then you feel angry, sad, and eventually you feel numb. You truly feel like you have lost your entire identity. How come this has happened to me? And then usually you spiral into a depression. You have no idea how many women message me daily about this. And yet it is still taboo to discuss these challenges. WHAT THE FUCK!? (Yes I like to swear, it really helps me get out my true feelings).
I’m going to explain to you how I got out of this depression after I was diagnosed with my prolapse over 3 years ago.
I spent the first 6 months, after my diagnosis, crying. I didn’t want to leave my room and I felt like my whole life was over. Dramatic? Not in the least. I was grieving the loss of my body. I was angry with the constant pain. I was saddened by the thought that I would never move in a way that would make me happy ever again.
How did I get through this?
I changed my thought process & I surrounded myself with people who were proactive and gave me hope. I also stopped reading negative stories and stopped reading shitty info on google.
My thought process went from, “there is no hope to there is so much damn hope.” How?
I started thinking of my prolapse as an injury. When I started comparing it to something like an ACL injury, it helped me put things into perspective. I know that all sorts of people have injuries and that in due time they can heal. Thinking of my prolapse as an injury helped me understand that my pelvic floor dysfunction did not & DOES NOT define me. Sure, it makes things more difficult, but it does not control me. I am MORE THAN a prolapse. Once I stopped thinking that my prolapse was allowed to control my life, I stopped feeling suffocated by the “limitations” I thought I had. Not only did I stop feeling suffocated, but I started talking openly about my prolapse. The more I opened up the conversation, the less stressed I was. This is when my healing journey began.
Honestly, I used to fear every fucking movement I made. How I sat, how I stood, how I walked or how I picked up my children… I mean who the F wants to live like this? That isn’t living. I used to think that this was the only way I could heal and prevent things from worsening. But this was the farthest thing from the truth. Changing my mindset is a huge part of what helped me become symptom-free and heal. The less I let the negative thoughts control me, the less consumed I felt by my prolapse. This might sound outrageous but when I look back and reflect on my healing journey, I know that this is the truth.
I stopped judging myself. I stopped comparing my situation to others. I started accepting my prolapse. I started accepting that some days would be good and other days would be bad. I stopped criticizing every movement I made. I stopped letting the fear of “What ifs” control me. Acceptance led to hope and hope led to healing. I truly believe our brains limit our ability to heal. In my experience this couldn’t be more true. By accepting that YES I could make things worse, I stopped fearing the worst because I had accepted it. The fear no longer had power over me. And SO WHAT if I made things worse? I can’t stop living my life. And SO WHAT if I make things better?
And You know what I started doing?
I started exercising and moving without fear. If I felt symptoms while exercising, I thanked my body, for giving me a damn sign that that movement wasn’t the most successful for me. So instead of stopping that movement altogether? I moved in a different way. OR I changed my breathing patterns. OR i changed my positioning. Then each day I was able to exercise more and more because I stopped fighting against my body and I started working with my body. Until eventually one day I no longer had a prolapse. Some people say it’s impossible to heal a prolapse & to that I say “it happened to me.”
My biggest piece of advice is to find a pelvic floor pt who will help you achieve your goals. A pelvic floor pt who is proactive and not fear mongering. Search and search until you find a pt that understand YOU.