Discussion of news topics with a point of view, including narratives by individuals regarding their own experiences

This article is part of the Lily Lines newsletter. You can sign up here to get it delivered twice a week to your inbox.

Living with an invisible illness like endometriosis can mean constantly doubting your symptoms. I was always wondering if I was just being overly sensitive. But I’m not sensitive; once, I broke my arm and didn’t see a doctor for a week because it didn’t hurt that badly. I wasted time doubting myself and spent years feeling very sick and spending money to treat symptoms that were clear signs of endometriosis. Thanks to the kindness of a stranger, and an online resource hub created by a former nurse, I found the information I needed to get back on my feet.

March marks Endometriosis Awareness Month. The illness is brutal, and it affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, according to Endometriosis UK. On average, it takes 7.5 years for women to receive an accurate diagnosis. I hope that more women gain access to the resources they need to get better.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this comic that was featured in the Lily Lines Thursday newsletter suggested that there is only one effective treatment for endometriosis. A number of medical sources suggest that other treatments may be effective as well.

I used to hide my dad’s addiction. Now I can talk about it, but I’m still learning how to cope.

Recently, I realized I needed to let go of the weight of this secret

I used to think I wasn’t like other girls. Here’s why that was all wrong.

A lot of us are conditioned to be unhappy with the idea of being a woman

I felt disoriented and lost after being raped. Here’s how I found my way back to happiness.

I’m not here to tell you what to do or how to feel, but I’d like to offer what helped me most