This was a tough question for me to answer, and one that was recently asked via email.
I had never been asked this question before or anything similar to it. It really caught me off guard.
I had to think long and hard before I could reply to this person because I didn’t want to give them a false perspective on vaginismus and say that “It’s all about staying positive!” because, truthfully, that’s almost impossible.
How do I cope? This question was swimming in my mind for a full day and night until finally I just said to myself, “I simply have to be honest, even if it’s not some enlightening response. I don’t want to sugarcoat it for her.”
My response was:
“I’m so glad you found this blog and contacted me 🙂 I’ll be honest, when I first got this message, I wasn’t sure how to respond. I had never been asked this question before and I kept thinking to myself, “how do I cope?”
In all honesty, this isn’t an easy question for me to answer. Most days, I don’t cope very well. I don’t want to give you some bullshit response, like “be positive,” because I feel like I would be lying to you when, in reality, I’m struggling with it all the time.
I wracked my brain for the right words to say to you and, honestly, the best advice that I can give is that you must take it one day at a time. It’s so important to have a support group with you as well, whether that is a friend, a family member, a significant other or a therapist. Just let them be there for you so that you can vent and express yourself to them. Even if I turn out to be that person, please feel free to contact me. It’s much better for your body and mind to vent than to let your depression and rage fester.
I know there are going to be a lot of hard days ahead of you, and I know that some days are going to be harder than the others. However, you just have to keep reminding yourself that you are a strong woman and that you can conquer anything. Breathing techniques, yoga, walking, exercises and stretches that my physical therapist gave me (which I’ll provide in a blog soon), are helpful to ease the mind when you’re all over the place. The stretches and breathing are also good for the PC muscles. Maybe even light a candle or create a calming place for yourself to mediate or breathe.
I would also recommend finding a hobby to keep your mind off the vaginismus and worrying about it. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you should pretend the condition doesn’t exist. If you haven’t yet, make sure you see a gynecologist, doctor, a physical therapist, or maybe even a therapist, so that you can get help and treatment for it. Who knows, there may even be treatment out there that works for you but doesn’t work for me?
It’s best to try different treatment options that are out there because you never know what ones may work for you. You might even be fortunate to live in a bigger city, where there are more options out there for you. I live in a small town, where the doctors aren’t that great, and we don’t have a lot of good physical therapists.
I don’t want you to feel discouraged after reading this or think that you’re only ever going to have bad days. Even if it doesn’t seem like it right now, you’re going to get through it. You’re a strong woman and a strong individual. I’d be lying if I said it isn’t hard, but you have to be a very strong person to deal with something like this. If you ever find yourself faltering and your emotions become too much, simply go to your support person and tell them how you are feeling. Tell them that you are struggling and need someone to talk to, even if it’s just a shoulder to cry on.
I truly hope this helped and answered your question of how I deal with it. I’m going to post more blogs soon about exposure therapy and the stretches I was given by my physical therapist. These might really benefit you, so stay updated 😊 “
That was not only honest, but probably the longest email I had ever written. Hopefully, she didn’t just take one look at it and toss it because of all the text 😉
Regardless, I hope this helped someone else who is struggling with coping. It is a hard condition to fight through and it’s not easy to live with mentally and emotionally.
Whoever you are out there that sent me this email, just stay strong and find that support ☺
Featured Image Photography: Manu Mohan, manumohan.com