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This Woman’s Endometriosis Halloween Costume Shows How Painful Living With The Disease Can Be

Many people live with chronic illnesses and conditions that are not visible to the human eye. For these individuals, it can be extremely difficult to explain and have others understand what they go through on a day-to-day basis.
21-year-old Sinead Smythe knows what it’s like to live with a chronic condition that is nearly invisible–she has endometriosis. The condition affects 176 million women worldwide.

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Women and young girls who are suffering/trying to find a diagnosis should NOT feel ashamed to speak about periods, pain, and mental health!! Unfortunately we are made to feel ashamed and feel like we're hypochondriacs , even my professionals. This isn’t just a BAD PERIOD. Endometriosis stops you living. PROFESSIONALS NEED EDUCATING as well !!! Period pain can be horrific full stop. BUT you have absolutely no idea what it feels like for a young girl or women with endometriosis. The only way I could describe it -  Shattered glass trapped inside your lower abdominal and your lower back! A cat trying to claw its way out. Somebody carving your insides out like a pumpkin. The pain is constantly there, and it doesn’t leave. You sit on the toilet dripping in sweat from hot flushes continuously crying. You can feel your womb contracting, your body goes stiff and you can’t do anything but cry out for help. These flare ups don’t only last minutes, they can last hours, weeks and months. Having to fight a battle with your own body is extremely exhausting. Imaging needing a shower? But in order to shower you have to sit on the floor huddle up. I visit A&E almost every period, ovulation and even in between because there is no pain relief that knocks it off slightly. THE PERIOD HORMONES - If looks could kill during this week, my lord!!! I have to go into my own little cave and lock myself away because I’m like a fire breathing dragon, then I’m extremely loving and an absolute emotional WRECK (to the point I laugh at myself because I know I’m being hormonal) Migraines, sickness, completely crippled.

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Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue usually inside the uterus escapes and transfers outside. The tissue attaches onto other organs and parts of the body and causes immense pain, scarring, bloating, and heavy periods. Smythe has been outspoken about her condition on Instagram quite frequently.

For Halloween this year, Smythe decided to channel her condition and give people an actual view of what it looks like to live with endometriosis. She posted a photo of her “invisible illness” saying:

Just because endometriosis is invisible. Doesn’t mean it isn’t there! (affective feeling of imagining what endometriosis would look like if visible)
Imagine your own body going AGAINST YOU.
Imagine a sort of cancer that won’t kill you, but you will live with forever.
Imagine finding out there is no cure.
Imagine knowing you will have to live with this for the rest of your life.
Imagine constantly being told false information by professionals… ‘’have a baby it will cure you’’ or ‘’have a hysterectomy it will cure you’’
You are actually made to feel like this is your only option.
It causes fertility problems.
Being told to have ‘child’ when having a children may not be an option for you.
Anxiety and depression emerge, you begin to forget how to keep it at bay.
Crippling pain that stops you from doing the hobbies you love.
Excruciating pain that stops you from being employed and making a living.
Bloating so much you look 6 months pregnant.
Constant trips to A&E for help.
Pain that feels like fireworks are trapped exploding throughout your body.
Pain that feels like a cat is trying to claw its way out of your abdominal.
Pain that feels like your organs are being carved out like a pumpkin on halloween.
Pain that makes you physically sick.
Pain that feels forever lasting.
To feel so horrific and no-one believes you because you don’t look unwell. I hope this message is powerful. Happy Halloween my loves X

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Just because endometriosis is invisible. Doesn’t mean it isn’t there! (affective feeling of imagining what endometriosis would look like if visible) Imagine your own body going AGAINST YOU. Imagine a sort of cancer that won’t kill you, but you will live with forever. Imagine finding out there is no cure. Imagine knowing you will have to live with this for the rest of your life. Imagine constantly being told false information by professionals... ‘’have a baby it will cure you’’ or ‘’have a hysterectomy it will cure you’’ You are actually made to feel like this is your only option. It causes fertility problems. Being told to have 'child' when having a children may not be an option for you. Anxiety and depression emerge, you begin to forget how to keep it at bay. Crippling pain that stops you from doing the hobbies you love. Excruciating pain that stops you from being employed and making a living. Bloating so much you look 6 months pregnant. Constant trips to A&E for help. Pain that feels like fireworks are trapped exploding throughout your body. Pain that feels like a cat is trying to claw its way out of your abdominal. Pain that feels like your organs are being carved out like a pumpkin on halloween. Pain that makes you physically sick. Pain that feels forever lasting. To feel so horrific and no-one believes you because you don’t look unwell. I hope this message is powerful. Happy Halloween my loves X

A post shared by S I N E A D S M Y T H E (@sineadsmythe) on

People online were grateful and praising Smythe for bringing awareness to such a debilitating condition that so many women across the world are living with–many whom have trouble explaining to their own friends and family what having endometriosis is actually like.

When it comes to Halloween costumes, making a statement that represents millions of women worldwide who may not have a voice to showcase their everyday struggles is a win in my book. Thank you for being a powerful voice in a silent world, Sinead. Brava!