Andie M. Hayes

Author | Artist

Filtering by Tag: endo stories

Endo-Me-Tri, "Oh, Sis!"

So, yesterday an old college friend asked me about endo and infertility. I answered his question and then I thought to myself: “When did I become this big endo expert??” Since getting diagnosed with endometriosis 4 years ago I’ve had anywhere from 10-15 people—some close friends, some friends that used to be close, others people I barely know—ask me about endo. The questions have varied. Some folks have thought they had endo themselves, some have thought a family member or friend had it, some just had questions about how it affected me in general, but all had questions, questions for me.

That’s when I realized, I haven’t become her, this great big expert on endometriosis. I am her. Let me back up for a minute. I’m not saying I am the end all be all of endometriosis information because I’m not. I’m really, truly not. There’s SO much I don’t know about this disease raging on inside my body that it scares me half to death; but, at the same time, I am endometriosis. What do I mean? I’ll tell you.

I am strong. I am resilient. I am determined. I am resourceful. I am angry. I am fueled by the pain that lives deep within me. I am the very thing that has taken over me and I have taken that pain and made it my own and I am using it to make myself stronger and more powerful than I have ever been before in my life. I am all the things endo is, but better. New. Improved. But, I’m also beaten down. Sickly. Defeated in so, so many ways.

As I write this I’m being treated for walking pneumonia. That’s right, kids. Pneumonia. In the middle of summer. Well, I guess it’s “technically” still spring until June 21. But whatevs. It’s Georgia and it’s swampy and it’s hot and I’m totally getting off topic. Endometriosis!

Basically, this post is to say thank you to all of you who have come to me for advice about endo. Thank you for feeling that you can trust me with your health concerns. Thank you for not ignoring my pain and taking my story at face value, but for really taking my journey with endometriosis to heart. It really means a lot when people come to you and ask for advice about something as serious as a chronic illness and I didn’t realize that until I got here myself. When people ask me about endo I don’t feel like less of a person. I don’t even feel like a sick person. I feel like someone that can help others because of my unique situation. I couldn’t do that before.

Please don’t confuse this for me saying that I like being sick. In no way, shape, or form do I like having endometriosis and adenomyosis, but I have found a slight silver lining and that’s being able to help others get through their diagnosis or prediagnosis every once in a while. Having someone to help navigate through the mess surrounding endo is a blessing I didn’t have when I was being diagnosed, and so I like to be there when I can.

So please, keep asking and I’ll keep helping. Let’s keep the conversation flowing. Let’s keep the conversation simple. But mostly, let’s keep the conversation about endometriosis open.

Fear and Reasonable Doubt

So the past few days have been pretty big for me. I submitted to four journals and pitched to five magazines, which for me is HUGE. I’ve been writing for YEARS. Literally years. Maybe since I was eleven or twelve and sure I’ve had some stories published. A few in my college literary journal, one in a friend’s journal post college, but I’ve always been terrified of publishing beyond that. I mean, yes, I am a published journalist. I wrote for a magazine for three and a half years. The entire tri-city area and beyond has read my work so the question still remains: Girl, why are you so scared?!

And to be honest, I don’t have an answer. I guess it’s the same fear every artist has. The fear of not being accepted. The fear of not being liked. The total and complete fear of rejection. Yes, that’s it. Rejection. I’ve only been rejected twice. And both times were when I tried my hand at poetry. Honestly, I knew I’d get rejected. I’m no poet. I’ve never been one and frankly I don’t even like poetry enough to try to write it. I’m an interviewer. A person that likes to get down and dirty with the details. A storyteller. Always have been, always will be.

But, I’m also an artist. A terrified artist. It’s not as if I haven’t been trained properly, because I have. But for some reason the confidence that I’ve needed to show the world my true raw talent never built up the way it needed to. People love my art…they just don’t love my prices. That’s not my fault, right?

Making it is hard. As a writer or an artist. Try doing both. stares. But I’m learning that in order to make it. To really, really make it you really do have to put yourself out there. SO guess what kids! Andie’s been doing some very hard things lately!

First, I’ve been writing and painting like a mad woman (those things aren’t necessarily hard, but they are very, very important to the task at hand). I’ve been researching journals and magazines that fit my art and my endo stories. I’ve been working non-stop with my mom-editor on pitches, cover letters, author bios—things they DO NOT teach you how to do in undergrad mind you. I’ve been eating, sleeping, and dreaming success! I’ve been teaching myself to become FEARLESS!!

I’ve been thinking about those guys that talk about going out there and grabbing success by the gnads, ya know. And I’m doing it. Now, do I know if Oprah will write me back? No! She probably won’t! But, I wrote her! I PITCHED AN ESSAY TO OPRAH WINFREY’S MAGAZINE, Y’ALL! And you know what, I’m excited about it! Not about the fact that she might like my idea (I mean yeah that’s exciting too) but just by the sheer fact that I finally had the guts to do it. I was finally confident enough in myself as a writer to say “you know what, if that girl can do it, I can too”.

And I finally, FINALLY took the leap and stopped doubting myself.