A message from Jessica Murnane, founder of Know Your Endo:
Seven years ago, I didn’t want to wake up in the morning. Most days I had this secret fantasy that I’d sleep for a week (or even a month), then magically wake up in a time when I no longer felt the sadness and pain caused by my endo.
I didn’t want to die. It was just that being awake meant another opportunity for my endometriosis to bully me. It tortured me to the point that I thought it would be better to be asleep than awake. It breaks my heart thinking about that version of me.
The saddest thing is that the real me was still in there - with all my humor, empathy, creativity, compassion, and love for my friends and family. But that me was buried so deep that I didn’t recognize myself anymore. I had no hope.
And just when I was at my lowest point and faced with a hysterectomy, everything changed. A friend suggested I try changing my diet. I had zero faith it would work (I was actually a little annoyed at the suggestion), but I also had nothing to lose. So I tried it. And my life changed forever.
Cool story, bro. I know, I'm making it sound so easy. But it wasn't. Changing my diet was one of the hardest things I've ever done. There were moments I thought getting a hysterectomy would be easier than not eating gummy bears. But I couldn't deny that it was working. So I stopped feeling sad about it and got to work. I taught myself to cook, developed recipes I actually liked to eat, and even wrote a cookbook about the whole experience.
But it wasn't just the food that changed my life.
Food was the first tool. And that led to a giant ripple effect in my life. Changing my diet helped me manage my endo pain, which meant I could get out of bed again. Getting out of bed meant I was able to exercise again. Exercising helped manage my depression and symptoms connected to my chronic pain. Managing my depression meant a happier me and being more open-minded. And being more open-minded led me to new wellness experiences (ones I still can't believe I do) that have led to new friendships, and even a career change.
Let's be clear. There is no cure for endo. I still get fatigued. I can be moody like the best of them. And I'll never be the person that wears a panty liner on the first day (give me that overnight pad and please, don't forget the wings). But I am the person that doesn't let her endo define her anymore. The person that wants to be awake. The person that's stronger, happier, healthier, and more curious than ever before. And I want you to be that person, too.
I created Know Your Endo to help everyone out there that feels alone, is confused about this disease, or doesn't even know where to start. I know how lonely and dark it can feel and never want anyone else to feel that way again. It's time to show the world how special you are. And most importantly, remind yourself of that too.
I'm so glad you're here.
Jessica Murnane is the creator of the One Part Plant movement & author of the One Part Cookbook (an initiative to get everyone on this planet to start eating one plant-based meal each day), and host of the One Part Podcast (where she brings tough questions to inspiring people).
Jessica has contributed to and appeared in magazines and websites that include Bon Appétit, Goop, Shape Magazine, The Kitchn, Mind Body Green, The Coveteur, Food52, and PopSugar. And has spoken at Apple, Taste Talks, Good Fest, and Wanderlust.
For press, brand partnerships, and speaking - please contact Sarah Passick at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credits: Tim Musho for Glossed + Found (top) + Jeff Holt (bottom)