Daily symptoms of uterine fibroids can be a heavy load to carry. From pain to heavy bleeding, the symptoms that often accompany uterine fibroids can tempt discouraging thoughts and even consistent sadness or disappointment. That said, one can find the silver lining in every cloud… even this one.

Seeing the sunny side of adversity promotes psychological health, a difficult challenge to surmount while living with a chronic medical condition. Difficult doesn’t mean impossible, though, and hunting down positivity brings numerous benefits.

Learning to say no

Your friend needs help moving into her new home? You’ve been asked to digitalize a decade of family photos in preparation for an anniversary party? You’re staying up all night to make a 3D cartoon character cake for your three-year-old’s birthday party? No, no and NO! Value your own energy and sanity levels enough to, and repeat after us, say “NO!” Turning down energy sappers means saying “Yes” to items higher up on the priority list.

Learning that your own needs count

Taking time to exercise, spending money on higher quality food that may help you feel better, booking a professional massage… if these things help toward feeling and functioning better, they aren’t luxuries. They are needs — sometimes only a tiny step above basic food, water and shelter — and having your own needs met gives the psychological and physical strength to attend to the needs of dependents,too.

Learning to prioritize

Chronic pain, heavy bleeding and the lethargy that accompanies anemia makes “doing it all” impossible. For women on the go, the concept of not doing it all is foreign, even guilt-inducing. Energy levels aren’t infinite. What’s most important? Family? Work? Community? Hobbies? Shopping? While groceries can be shopped for online and delivered and not all community projects need to be your responsibility or concern, it may help to work this one out on paper.

Developing understanding

While an easy life is, well… easy, you can do better and are in fact being forced to do so! Developing an understanding of what life is like for people undergoing difficulties makes it more natural to have a little more patience, an extra smile for someone having a tough day and even to recognize when others need a hand.

Supporting others

The average healthy person’s rat race life doesn’t leave much time or mental space for lending a helping hand or listening ear. Still, helping others ultimately helps ourselves and slowing down allows this to happen. We all have a certain level of expertise gained from personal experience and sharing this strength with others gives us our own strength to build further.

Meeting new people

Doctors, fellow patients and online support group members are all potentially fascinating individuals with whom you would otherwise not have come in contact. Certainly not everyone will become a best friend, but don’t we all have at least something small to learn from others? Even those without health worries can benefit from knowing they aren’t alone, all the more so for sufferers of chronic conditions such as fibroids.

Learning new ways to do things

Differing circumstances bring change and change can be a satisfyingly positive force. Changing hobbies, developing healthy habits, switching up exercise routines, using technology to streamline former time suckers such as shopping, banking, bill-paying, sending packages and more, leaves time even after fibroids (yes, there IS life after fibroids and you will get there) for the important and enjoyable parts of life.

So while heavy bleeding, chronic pain, bloating, fertility difficulties and all the other symptoms stemming from uterine fibroids are no fun and never will be, there can be SOME positive outcome from this trying situation. And remember that while you’re working to better life from this side, the scientific community is doing their best to solve uterine fibroids from their side. Feel better!