Unknown Speaker 0:00
I think I was 23 when I was like No 12 yet so very, very long time and then eight years between that and the first time I went to a doctor for specifically that ping
Welcome back to the pyjama interviews. This week, I am thrilled to share with you Danica Kim, who is a Netherlands artist as well as a flight attendant. And she is sharing her thoughts her experience of endometriosis, but also her journey of living with chronic illness. Stay tuned at the end for this week's exciting announcement. And now let's dive in. Welcome to the pyjama interview. Stanica.
Unknown Speaker 0:51
Thank you so much for having me. Very excited to talk to you.
Yes, great. So the first thing I always ask everybody is can you share with us your diagnosis and what that journey was like for you to get a diagnosis?
Unknown Speaker 1:09
Yeah, absolutely. Actually, my diagnosis was very interesting, because I was very painful and disruptive periods for a long, long time. I think it really started when I was 15. But by then, I already had my period for four years. It was 11 when it started so very young, but became very disruptive, disruptive when I was around 15. And, yeah, as I got older, like my early 20s, then it got to a point I ended up in the ER a couple of times because I was so in so much pain all the time that something is wrong, like my appendix is bursting or something. But they could never find anything. I was also looked at by different Gen ecologist and they were never able to find anything. And then I actually met my my husband. And he was the first person that ever told me, This is not normal, what you're feeling because I had sort of figured out this is just how periods feel. Like I'm just weaker than other women. Apparently, they probably all feel this, like for me only for me. It's like this crippling. And he said, like, No, I grew up with a sister. And I really don't think this is this is normal. That just shows like how important it is rights for our men to be educated on women's issues as well. And he went to to through a little Google rabbit hole, and he came up with the term endometriosis. And he said like go to your doctor and ask specifically to be checked for this. And coincidentally, there was just an endometriosis clinic that opened up in the city I was living in, there was a three month waiting lists still. So like three months later, I finally arrived there. And they had diagnose it within their intern diagnose about four minutes through an ultra internal ultrasound.
So how are we talking between 11 years old and you actually being diagnosed?
Unknown Speaker 3:21
I think I was 23 when I was diagnosed? Yeah, I think 12 Yeah. So very, very long time. Yeah. And then I think it was about eight years between that and the first time I went to a doctor for specifically that pain. So yeah, a long, long time. And I felt like angry at first that remember, I was like whoa, my life could have been so different so much earlier if it's like the doctor said just believed me and not told me that it was stressed all the amount of times I've heard it was just incredible. Yeah. But no, ultimately, I was so grateful. They finally found out I started crying in that doctor's office. I remember just I was just expecting another like, No, we can't find anything. It's in your head type of situation. And when they literally showed me the pictures of the ultrasound and pointed out like look, you see these black spots here. That's what it is. It was just it was so bittersweet. There was of course like, Okay, I'm having this disease, which is not great at all, but I was just so happy they they found it and that there was no question about it.
Yeah. This is so interesting your experience because and it might be just beautiful to share with our listeners and everybody in this conversation with us. You're where are you in the world when this conversation is taking place?
Unknown Speaker 4:53
I was in The Hague in the Netherlands. Yeah, they just opened up an endometriosis Club. I think at that time that was called Bruna. VO and yeah, I had a great experience there. So if there's any women in the Netherlands, listening, I would definitely recommend that clinic. And I also recently went again to a hospital in the middle of the country, which was incorrect. And they did the same. Yeah, diagnosis so they were also able to find to find it. And then the other there's hospitals that are not specialised in that and cannot locate it. So it's important to find the right ones and that if you go to your local doctor or hospital in there are not able to find anything to find a specialist just to make sure because they do not all know the same things and what to look for. So that's very important. And it's so hard to question doctors, right? So yeah, it's important to know this and self advocates. Yeah. Yeah.
And it's interesting that it was your husband googling like had you googled and everything was it just a moment in time that he found it? Yeah, I
Unknown Speaker 6:03
never Googled my symptoms like that because the interesting thing about endometriosis is it's so many things that that are coming from the same thing, right? So I had these these weird like, leg nerve pains, shooting down my, my right leg. Once I would really have my period, I would be so crippled, I would be just in foetal position on the bathroom floor, not able to move, just like waiting for it to be over. I would have these like back pain sometimes, like, I thought this must be what it's like to have a baby like these cramps. Like, this is like contractions. I would be very tired, or I would lose a lot of blood. And yeah, just all these things together. And you tell people sometimes but they just always they blow it off. You know? It's like, oh, yeah, my period hurts too. And this and that. You just start thinking that you're the problem. And I never I never even considered especially after visiting so many doctors that that kept saying like, Oh, yeah, that's just part of being a woman. The could be anything else. And also the first time he told me about endometriosis, my husband, I could barely pronounce it. And I was so like, no, like, if I had that, like, they would have found it, I get the internal ultrasound like, why wouldn't they have found it? So I was a little bit apprehensive at first, and especially because he kept telling me this is not normal. What you have this is not normal. But for me, it was my normal. So for me, yeah, it was hard for me to accept that. That could be something else. And that that would be something that all these doctors had overlooked for all the these years. That was also a scary truth to, to accept. Because yeah, they just didn't do their job. Right. And that was yeah, that was hard.
And what was the what happened and changed in your life? Then once you had diagnosis? Ah, so
Unknown Speaker 8:08
much because I had never used any contraceptive pills. Before that. And you know, like endometriosis doesn't have a cure. Like they can maybe take some of it away through surgery or? Yeah, they have some, you know, dietary. Yeah, tips. It's all very vague, but the contraceptive and it doesn't work for anyone, but I'm on that now. 24/7 And that changed my life. I don't get my periods anymore. Yeah, so I take I take those the only thing I'm a little bit apprehensive about it's like, I feel it's not good for me for my body to be on that 24/7 for like the rest of my life or till I get menopause and my husband and I would still like to see at one point if we can have a baby. But for now, it was just the best decision for me because it was so life crippling. And once I started that, which was also a process process, it took me about three to four months to really get used to the appeal. And without feeling incredibly sick from that too. But once I got used to it, my life just changed. I did not have to take into account anymore like okay, am I getting my period? Am I going to be at work when it happens? Because I'm a flight attendant. So if that happens in a plane, that's incredibly inconvenient. You know, going out with my friends, I couldn't keep up. I would always be exhausted by nine o'clock. So, yeah, all these things. It really, really made a big difference for me to just decide on this. Yeah, on this way. And again, it doesn't It doesn't work that way for everyone, it doesn't help the same for everyone. But for me, it was definitely a step in a whole completely new life.
And so you had been working as a flight attendant and having incredibly crippling pain at the same time as working as the flight. Like, what? What was that? Like? What were you doing?
Unknown Speaker 10:27
It was a huge problem, and sometimes still is. But then it was a huge problem. And once I started flying, your, your body is going through a lot of hormonal changes, too, because of the jetlag. And you're not getting like enough sleep, and you're not getting timely sleep. And yeah, once I started flying, I noticed that it was getting worse because your your eating is off, you're sleeping is off. And there was a period that I couldn't fly, I couldn't work for about four months. And that was luckily like the same time I had the appointment at this endometriosis clinic so that we were already on the road of like figuring out what it was. And luckily, I'm very blessed them. I'm from a country that has great health care and an employer that was very understanding and gave me all the time I needed to figure this out, which again, is also something not everyone has. So I got incredibly lucky with that. But yeah, it was, it was hard because you feel so guilty, at least I felt so guilty that I couldn't do my job, right, that I had to take this time off to figure it out. Once I started flying again, it went well, for a long time. Actually, this year, I started feeling again, after COVID, you know, things are starting to get busy again and other flights and we're busy again. And my schedule is more full. I started noticing again, that it was not going well for me. So again, had to take a few months off. And now I decided I'm gonna work part time, no longer work full time for the airline because it's just not good for my body. Even when I'm not having my period. It's not. It's just not healthy for me. And that's was a hard decision. But at the same time, it was also such a relief, because every time I couldn't do my work the way I wanted to, I just felt so guilty. I felt I was like, you know, bothering my colleagues, I felt so self conscious. Like every time I had to call my manager again, like Oh, I'm not feeling well, I'm so sorry. I'm just so happy. I won't have to worry about that anymore. But it was definitely definitely a challenge. And I feel so yeah, awful for all the women around the world that have to go through that and have to call their bosses say like, I'm sorry, I just can't make it today. It's the worst, the worst feeling. And especially because so many people do not know about this disease and have no empathy or even person Yeah. perception on what it feels like or what it even means. So yeah, it was very hard.
Yeah, I really want to come in and talk about this, because what you're talking about is your personal lived experience. But what we don't talk about is how many women this is happening to. So 47% of Australian and close to that American Americans are living with chronic illness, over half of that are women. So just from an Australian perspective, that means that 6.7 million Australian women are working and living with chronic illness. And that's because 70% of women who live with chronic illness are working. This is a huge number. And what it means is that this is incredibly invisible in any workplace, it feels like you're the only one but you're not. You're not the only one. And it also means if we talk about this just culturally, because I know this is a topic, you know, you and I can really get into is that we have had progress in equality and diversity and inclusion. And all of that has become pretty normalised in a lot of big companies. But what is invisible for women living with chronic illness is that we don't fit into that box. And because it's invisible, the resources and the support that actually can make us stay in our careers contribute our you know, beautiful gifts and talents have the understanding where managers are educated about chronic illness and what it actually means. It means that not only are we economically not surviving and thriving, like we're just not. We are giving up all of that and we can Don't get work that works for us in the ways that work for our bodies. And COVID has started to change this conversation. But this is a huge advocacy role that we are now on the verge of. And this is a huge focus. Now, it's both a huge focus in my personal work working with companies. And I want to be super clear with everybody. You know, this conversation is happening in companies, it may not be visible yet. But there are those of us who are working very strongly with big companies about bringing this to light. And we're in the first stages of that awareness. But when chronic illness is seen as the same level of diversity as disability and the same level of diversity of neurodiversity, and the same level of diversity as sexuality and non binary, because it's so big for all of us, when that is normalised this conversation is going to be different, and the working environment is going to be different.
Unknown Speaker 16:06
under percent that is so true. so beautifully, but yeah, absolutely. And especially in the flight attendant industry, the majority of people that work there are women. So I knew I could not be the only one struggling with that in that company. So yeah, no, absolutely.
And one in 10 Women live within Dr. Mutulu, osis. So it's actually there's a huge amount, but what happens is like you, there's choice points that are made, and this is the right choice for you. There's no question that going part time is the right choice for you. And for some women, it's not really feeling like a choice, and it doesn't bring them benefit. It's like it hubs, their income, etc.
Unknown Speaker 16:51
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Whereas you
can have different you've got a different
Unknown Speaker 16:56
process. Yeah. And I was also fortunate enough, I have my art next to this, I run an art shop. And yeah, I made the decision to just put more energy in debt and see if I could make that the bridge to the income I'm losing. But for people who do not have that option, or yeah, do or not schooled in anything else, or are in a country where it's just not that easy to have access to health care without a steady job. That's so hard. I can't even imagine what I would do. If I didn't have the options I have right now. Because it is so crippling, I don't think people realise how crippling it is and also mentally, how what a struggle it is to not be able to live up to society's expectations of being a healthy person and contributing in your work environment and making a living for yourself and your family. Like this disease is so so much more than just a bet period. Right? What they always say, it's so much more than that. And yeah, it's so good to bring awareness to that like what it means. And actually, I think yesterday friends announced that they are going to take 20 million and put it in endometriosis research, which is such a when they made this whole statement about how it's not a women's issue. But it's an issue for the whole society because of the amount of women that struggle with this and that cannot do their work properly because of it. And that is the number one reason for infertility among women. And it's finally time to figure out what is causing this because we don't even really know that yet. Like what is actually causing endometriosis even that we do not know. And I cannot help thinking that if this was a disease mostly seen in men, that we would have an answer to that a long time ago already. But this is a great step in the right direction. So I was really excited hearing that yesterday. Yeah.
Yeah. And I want to come in on this conversation, because you've you've mentioned your artwork, but let's really have a conversation about this. I mean, your artwork is not only beautiful, but you're quite successful in this process. And I really want to just gently open that floor to you. And you know, when did your artwork start? And this clearly to me, I mean, your artwork just is so beautiful, and speak so deeply to the feminine experience. And it's quite political about the feminine body and the feminine experience. I'm not sure if you see it that way, but I really love to hear about what is it that you're expressing through the art as well as your journey with it.
Unknown Speaker 19:49
Thank you so much. It's so sweet. Yeah, I started an Instagram account in 2017. And actually it was not art focused. It was very I poetry focus, I just started writing, I had just left my church community and I was very much struggling and reflecting on what had happened to me there. And especially as a woman, my experience in church and the things I was taught and the things I felt were a little bit taken away from me there. So it was very therapeutic way of dealing with it and connecting with other women on the Instagram platform, other writers other creatives. And it was first completely anonymous, like no one knew of my life, that I was doing that. So it was also very safe, right, I was able to share everything, all my frustrations, all my new learnings in that way. And then actually, that blew up, I think I gained 80,000 followers in the first year or so. And it came to a point that I could no longer hide it from anyone. And then I think Facebook merged with Instagram at that point. And because my number was connected to the to the account, all my my friends got like a message on Facebook like, oh, follow. My real name is Dominique follow the Nika Nika chip right here. So that was, yeah, quite a shock for everyone, like, Oh, you're writing this, especially from the background, I am very religious. And, you know, I got to be very feisty sometimes in my poems, and also sexual and yeah, so that was, I felt I had a lot of explaining to do at that time. But it was also a relief that everyone finally knew. And I also feel that at that point, I was able to really grow because now, I wasn't hiding anything. I was embracing it, I was like, Okay, this is who I am, this is who I want to be. And this is what I want to do. And then it slowly started changing from poetry alone, to, to making art because in the end, Instagram is a visual platform, and I just noticed that it was even a greater way to connect with a bigger audience. Which I was right about in the end, because yeah, it grew to almost 300,000 people, which is so amazing. I'm so grateful for every single day, I still can't believe. Yeah, I'm able to do this. And yeah, I really focus on the the feminine experience, like you said, I really love drawing women's bodies. It's, it's also for me, a way of unpacking of what I was taught growing up about a woman's body and how it was perceived by society. And my main goal is to, to show women just Yeah, and their bodies in a way that's that's not sexual, but still beautiful. In in all shapes and sizes. And yeah, that's, that's mainly, yeah, if you want to say political, that's my political goal that women's bodies are seen as, as not something that has to be sexualized constantly in the media. Yeah.
It's also what I really connect with this, there's usually a bit of prose or a sentence or just something that's really potent. It's, I mean, it speaks to me every day, when I see it. It's just beautiful. And there's a really different perception and tone that's coming through your work, then the beauty filter of Instagram, or who a woman should be. There's, there's a beautiful, philosophical approach that's almost underpinning it. And it's curious to me about, yeah, what is your perception of life? It's not just non sexualizing women, but there's other things that you're talking about with it. And I'm wondering if you would share with us just some of that from your perspective.
Unknown Speaker 24:05
Yeah, absolutely. Ya know, I always accompany my work with the Yeah, quote, affirmation first, it was a little bit longer poetry because of course, I was coming from that, that poetry background in the very beginning of the account, and yeah, I kept it in by writing little something with each artwork. And, yeah, for me, I started discovering after I left church, I felt there's so much information out there that I was never allowed to read. And I just I really got into Yeah, I didn't let go of that spiritual side. I felt like I was expanding on it. And I read so many books and I suddenly was allowed to read books on reincarnation and like, stuff like that. And it was just so interesting to me to have my whole worldview expand. And I felt you a stronger connection to God or the universe or the divine or whatever you like personally want to call it then when I was still in church. So for me, I sometimes feel I get these lines in my head, the these quotes, sometimes they're from writers that already exists, and then I credit them. But sometimes they just come to me and I feel it's always to tell someone that's that's watching it something and that they're loved and that they're part of a bigger plan or that they're not alone, whatever they're going through. And it's always so lovely to receive these messages saying, like, oh, I don't know how you do it. But I was just going through this thing. And then I read your affirmation for today. And it was just exactly what I needed. And I feel sometimes I get really, really guided in that. And that's sort of my, my job in this world to make people feel a little better. And we're on social media so much. And I hope that my art when it pops up on someone's feed, it does not make them worry about what they look like if they are, you know, doing enough if they're keeping up with society, but that they have like a quiet moment to reflect and feel like, oh, okay, well, this is what it's really about. And you know, I'm worthy. And I'm allowed to take up this space. Yeah.
And the other thing that we've done in that process, which is beautiful, as well, and deeply feminine, is that you've been able to take the gift of what you have. And then you've also made the decision to be an entrepreneur around that, that that gift is not sacrifice, that that gift isn't owned by somebody else, that that gift is your gift. And it's your talent, and that there's a commercial arrangement that goes with that. And so I'm curious about how that process started to unfold for you, where it started to become a commercial process in an entrepreneurial kind of way.
Unknown Speaker 27:02
Yeah, for sure. Yeah. No. I think when I made this switch from making art, it was about a year later that I had started noticing that people were like, Oh, can I can I buy a print of this art? Where can I get it? And then I started thinking, Okay, let's see, how can I go about it? And yeah, I started my own website, you know, which was an investment of maybe a couple 100 Euro at that time. It was like, Okay, let's do this. I'll start with like, I don't know, 10 prints and see, see what happens where it gets me found a little supplier that could make it for me. And yeah, it started that in 2018, I believe. And then, yeah, it's the orders just started flowing in. And it was amazing was like, Oh, this is something I actually can do. Maybe like, this is something I get to make a living of. And I expanded on that expanded on the products, and especially as my following grew. There's also always companies, you know, interested in, like, how can you illustrate this for us? Or can we do collaboration? So that was an amazing way of? Yeah, like you said, starting that entrepreneurial spirits, and I registered as an official company, a year or two ago now I think 20 Yeah, 2020. And, especially when the pandemic hit, I realised this is something that just can keep going, even when the stores are closed, like my online shop is just there, people are in their homes, they want to make it prettier, because they're constantly in their space. So they're going to buy arts. And actually, for me, the pandemic was one of my best business years because people were just trying to make their their homes nicer. And so it was a great start for me, and a great nudge from the universe has been going the right direction of like, this is what you're supposed to do, like go chase that dream. And sometimes, you know, it can be scary because it's not steady income. Like for example, like the last couple months, I've been very slow. And then of course, I started working part time with my other job. I will not lie, it's not that I'm constantly super confident, like, oh, yeah, I got this sometimes it's a little shaky, like, Oh, this is a slow month. Okay, hopefully, it will get better again next month, you know, and that's all part of it. And I do feel comfortable in this journey. And I feel like you know, I was so led to do this, that it that it cannot turn out to be something very negative in the end, you know, it's always better to try it and then not to try so yeah, I'm very excited that I got to also do the commercial aspect of it because I just love that people have something that I made in their home. That's that is so amazing. It's so can't wrap my head around that.
And it's also recently appeared in the film as well, like it's not just in people's homes. It's in analysis. Well,
Unknown Speaker 30:00
I know Yes, in the end plus it's it was a Dutch series surrounding the queer experience. And they made a movie for Netflix. And they reached out to me if they could showcase my art and in the main characters department, and of course, I said, Yes. So it was very excited. Yeah. So fun to see that. Yeah. Yeah, stuff like that. That started happening. So that was amazing. Yeah.
And it's also the you've had one income that has been stable to provide for you to take the risk a little bit at a time. Yes. And
Unknown Speaker 30:37
I would definitely recommend that. Yeah, I would recommend that I think Elizabeth girl, Gilbert also says that in her book, Big Magic says I would definitely recommend a job that can provide for your creativity, because it is true, like the moment you you start cutting back on your, your job, your creativity is going to take a little bit more weight of the responsibility of making an income and you you don't want it to you don't want to cripple it, you don't want to cripple your creativity. So I think she says, like, hold on to that job as long as possible. Which I agree to a certain point, you know, I do think at one point, you need to take the risk, and you need to follow your dreams, but just make sure you have either like an emergency fund in place that you can live a few months without being stressed about, you know, money and that kind of things. And yeah, just just give it a go, you know, be responsible make a plan. But yeah, it is it is helpful if you have a steady income to support your creativity for a while. Yeah, absolutely.
And it's also the case that you've done this. And as you say, it's not like everything's been cured with the chronic illness experience. It's like it's still a process that you're managing at the same time. Yes. And so what does that mean for you? What have you learned about managing your body or managing your experience around what your body needs, particularly in these, like, these are two very strong experiences that you're having in terms of working?
Unknown Speaker 32:17
Yeah, that's true. Yeah, for me, the reason to cut back on flying is because it already takes a certain hormonal issue away with like the sleeping schedule and stuff. But for example, I do barely drink any alcohol anymore, because that's still despite like being on the pill and stuff that still triggers really bad leg pain for me. I think it has something to do with the oestrogen that alcohol makes. But yeah, and I dietary I eat super healthy, I do yoga, almost every day. And that's just my way of coping. Like I'm not saying like, that's the way for everyone to do it. But that's just my way that I feel like okay, I can manage the pain that way. There's, there's days I'm completely fine and I've no pain at all. And there's days that I do feel that get for me, it's just always my right leg, like the crippling like, like nerve nerve pain, like on my side, sciatica. And that can be so so painful that it just makes me nauseous and not want to move. But at the same time, it also makes me want to move because I feel like movement makes the pain less. So that's that's where the yoga comes in. So yeah, it is a constant search for what works for you and what does not and how I can change my daily life to make my body more comfortable learning to listen to my body. Now the thing is like I have to pee, like all the time. Like, that's, that's also a thing that you think like okay, like whatever. But if you're just going about your daily life, and you're somewhere where you have not don't have access to a bathroom, I just have one cup of water. It's so annoying. And it's so disruptive. Like just the other day yesterday, I think my husband and I were driving them like, Okay, I need to find a bathroom now like I just literally at one sip of water, but I have to, we have to pull over somewhere. It's just stuff like that, that I have to be constantly aware of where I'm going to be at one point like where in life am I you know, going to find myself and not have access to these things. So yeah, that that's definitely a constant struggle, and it's definitely better than it was before. But it is something that will always be part of my life and that I will have to manage one way or another. Yeah.
And so what has been the emotional process for you like how have you been emotionally with this up and down I can hear the highest that the artwork and I imagine that being a flight attendant was something that you really wanted at one point, but what actually has been the emotional journey for you say in the last Last eight, nine years.
Unknown Speaker 35:04
Yeah, I think like I said, like at the beginning, it was very bittersweet. It was very, like, Oh, I'm so glad I finally found out what was what was the issue. I also felt angry about like all the people who never took me serious that, that I believed them that I was like, Oh, it is in my head, like I am the issue. I am just stressed or, you know, I'm making this up. Maybe I don't want to go to school or something? Or does that kind of stuff that made me feel very insecure about my own knowing about my body and thinking like, Oh, can you can you bring really make up pain? Because I'm feeling this pain? Is that really something I can make up. So that was definitely the beginning of it. And then I also felt really grateful that I was able to manage these symptoms now. And then when there's like a setback, or like the last few months that I had to stop working again, for a bit, I felt again, really guilty because I was like, Oh, I finally found out what was wrong with me. I have these these pills now that helped me manage the symptoms. So why is this happening again? And how can I tell my my boss again that, that I can't do this? And they just feel very guilty? Very, I felt like a little bit ashamed to like, embarrassed of, yeah, just off myself with my body, then I feel angry. I'm so young, like, why is my body not working the way I wanted to? And then that was going better again, and then I feel really, really grateful. And I'm like, yes, it's getting ready to take on the world. So it is definitely a roller coaster of emotions. And I think we just need to learn to accept that that's, that's okay. You know, we've been gaslighted in a way so many of us for such a long time, that our symptoms are not valid, or that we have created them. And it is, it is going to take some time to also unlearn that, because I still sometimes have it when I've like this incredible pain that I'm like, Yeah, but do I really isn't really so bad. Am I just, I mean, just making this up isn't really that bad? Can I really just go to this thing? And that I really have to tell myself? No, it is bad. Your body's asking for risk. Rest. Yeah. Just listen to it. And then that's going to be a journey for a while, I think. Yeah.
Yeah. And I think what you've brought is a very, very important point. And I want to just illuminate that with us together because you're a storyteller, your art historian, poetry storyteller. So one of the things that's happened is we've inherited a story of illness that is man made, that is about women's bodies, about what it means to be in a woman's body and have pain and also the mind is apparently making is anything wrong with a woman usually has something to do with her mind is sort of the history. That's so. So this story is something that we need to understand that has been internalised. But it's a cultural story. And just like whether it's religion, whether it's whether you're not religious, and you've just inherited because religion is pervasive as well throughout our community, you don't have to have a religious faith to receive the Judeo Christian approach, and internalise that, and it's the story we need to address. And the story actually needs to change. It needs to be my story is one of beauty. My story is one of I am magnificent, I am living with chronic illness, and there are many, many choices available for me. And some of that choices for you as well is a creative choice there's creative choice in this process, but that we don't have to internalise the story that our life is over there is loss there's no question that there's grief and loss but that's not the end of the story.
Unknown Speaker 39:15
Yeah, absolutely yes so beautifully put like there's there's growth everywhere and yeah, like I said, like I can see that there's a slow change coming in society that more and more people are aware of this and when I tell people now I have endometriosis weigh more than even four years ago now know what it is but she's a great when I think yeah, so absolutely. And also sharing it through my art I shared a bit of my my story with endometriosis and it has been so comforting to connect to other people who also have this disease and to find out that you're not alone and that there's such a community to be found with fellow and a warrior errors and how everyone is coping differently. But how there's so much comfort in just knowing that you're not alone.
Yeah. And that's what I really want to thank you for because we discovered each other through Instagram. And once again, I reached out gently to you. And I reached out because you had talked about your experience within tau. And that was the invitation for us to connect. And you were so gracious, I could hear your joy and excitement of yes, I want to talk about this, I want to share this. And that's really what I want to share with every woman listening to us. You know, however you have found us. We are all in this together, this experience of chronic illness is feels so personal and can feel so lonely. And particularly in the middle of the night when you're on the floor. There feels like there's no one else there. But actually, we're here and we're here with you and you are here with us. And we are part of community together. And Danny it's just beautiful for us to meet each other and find each other and create community this beautiful soul connection that we now have together that's so personal. That will continue as we both weave in the world.
Unknown Speaker 41:20
Oh, that's so beautiful. I just got this like beautiful image when you said like when you're alone in middle of the night on the floor, just got this beautiful image of like all this times I've like been in foetal position. But then like in spirit, like all these, like women surrounding me that are going through the same, that's such a beautiful image. And I think it's so important to be vocal about this. Because even now, when I talked about endometriosis, on my platform, I get so many comments from from, from girls, especially very young girls, like, oh, I have these exact same symptoms. But I've never thought that anything was wrong with me. And they end up going to their doctor and finding out that they have this disease because of an Instagram post. So it's so important to keep informing and educating people. Because we say like, yeah, one out of 10 people has endometriosis. But in reality, it's probably a lot more because so many still do not know. So yeah, it's, it's beautiful. We got to connect on this and hopefully, inform people even a little bit more today. Yeah,
yeah. And for us, for everybody to see themselves in us and what resonates, and then what's your own personal journey and what's different. So we're gonna put all of the connections for Danny in her Instagram and how you can find her artwork and her shop in all of the notes. And I really want to thank you. I know you've got up very early in the morning. So I want to thank you deeply for spending that time as we've crossed the zone. And I'm really grateful that you've shared your real and raw experience, and that you are also not in just the survival process with the chronic illness that you have found a way to expand and express in ways that are right for you. And your body.
Unknown Speaker 43:13
Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me and all your insight for questions. And thank you so much for shedding a light on this and using your platform to Yeah, educate others on this is so beautiful and so important. Thank you.
It's my pleasure. Thanks so much for joining us. If you want to explore connecting and working with me, Michelle, you can chat to me at Michelle irving.com.au/chat. And we can book on a time to connect. And stay tuned for next week's episode where we have another gorgeous, magnificent woman sharing with us about how to navigate chronic illness in an empowered way.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai