After years of blogging about light bladder leakage, it’s easy to spot patterns in the way we women deal with it. While you have your own unique LBL story, it’s helpful to know there’s much we have in common. If we were to write letters to express our feelings toward LBL, it’s likely our perspectives would change over time. Early on, many of us pretend it isn’t really happening. Using wadded up toilet paper instead of LBL-specific pads helps us keep this illusion alive.
If a woman at this stage were to write a letter to their LBL, it might sound like this: Dear LBL, What was that? I was taking a jog, something I’ve done a million times before, and you showed up out of nowhere. Maybe you’re a fluke? Maybe I only imagined you? But then you showed up at my gym. The nerve! I’m simply going to ignore you. Maybe that way you’ll get the hint and leave me alone. Signed, This-isn’t-Happening Helena
As time goes on, continuing to deny LBL becomes impossible. Being “found out” weighs heavy on us. We keep it a secret from family, friends and doctors because we think we’re the only ones this is happening to. Then… eureka! We discover that one in three women experience leaks. We aren’t alone! Women at this stage find their courage.
Here’s the letter these women might write: Dear LBL, You've been an embarrassment. When I laugh, you show up. When I sneeze, you show up. If I drink a cup of coffee, you race me to the restroom. Whether I’m running around with my kids or fooling around with my partner, you put a damper on my carefree mood. I’m tired of debating if it’s worth the risk to go shopping, camping, or do anything that might bring you on. Well, no more! Now that I know I’m not the only one going through this, I’m taking you on. I’m doing my research, comparing notes with friends, and getting support from my doctor. I’m trading high impact aerobics with pelvic strengthening exercises. I’m tracking my triggers, and working with my support team to get you under control. Signed, Rolling-Up-My-Sleeves Sue
It’s exciting to talk with women who decide to learn, share, and grow their ability to manage light bladder leakage. Many find it possible to reduce and sometimes even eliminate leaks altogether. With experience comes wisdom. We women who have “been there and done that” ultimately discover the gifts we gain along the way… because of LBL.
Focusing on those gifts makes it easier to manage challenges, and write a letter like this: Dear LBL, You have been a blessing in disguise. You helped me grow my ability to focus on solutions and become resourceful. You’ve given me the opportunity to find strength in my vulnerability. Because of you I gave up that ego part of me that held me hostage to appearing perfect. My girlfriends share their experiences with me because I make it safe to talk about ways to manage challenges and get on with our lives. I’m now the type of role model I want to be for my daughters. I may not be happy to experience leakage, but I’m happy with the way I handle it. Most importantly, I learned to treat myself with as much compassion as I give to others. Signed, Woman-of-Wisdom
Though every woman’s story is different, none of us are alone. We have a community of support. We have each other. And together we can find many ways to get answers to our questions and live a vibrant life.
What about you? Which letter resonates most with your experience of LBL? If you were to write your own letter to LBL what would it say?