6Tessa 1     Tessa is 33 years old and grew up in Thunder Bay surrounded by nature. She began having symptoms of endometriosis as a teenager in the form of headaches and stomach problems. Years later, she’s had to take leave from university, as her symptoms have become more and more debilitating. While her condition isn’t necessarily terminal, Tessa describes how being faced with extreme suffering on a daily basis will make anyone think about death.  Nausea, paralyzed limbs, passing out, dizziness, bladder pain, digestive pain are all things Tessa deals with regularly, “It’s a living hell. it’s a nightmare.” I asked Tessa about what kind of things she’s learned from being in her position, “It really opens your eyes up to cutting the nonsense out of life, you know like, really paying attention to where you put your energy, because I don’t have a lot of it physically…you learn that the stuff that makes you stressed out, the stuff that makes you angry, the drama, the gossip, all that, it really just kind of falls…it’s taught me to choose how to respond…so, really looking at what’s important in life.” When I asked Tessa what feels important to her in life, she talked about  human connection, family, her parents, her brother, her partner, nature and art. When I asked what she was proud of, she said she’s proud of her resilience and how far she’s come.