Saturday 25 May 2019

My strength surprised me – Lena Dunham marks one year since hysterectomy

The Girls creator and actress said that she has felt the ‘presence of the divine’ in her own way over the past year.

Lena Dunham has marked one year since her hysterectomy (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Lena Dunham has marked one year since her hysterectomy (Jonathan Brady/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Lena Dunham has marked a year since undergoing a hysterectomy, and has told of her surprise at her own strength in having “vulnerability and feeling it all”.

The Girls creator and actress was 31 when she had the operation following a battle with severe endometriosis.

In a post on Instagram, she shared two pictures of herself – one taken a year ago, the first night after her hysterectomy, and one taken now.

Lena Dunham posts a year after her hysterectomy (Lena Dunham/Instagram)

Referring to the first image, the Girls creator wrote: “I was smiling but my eyes say it all: full of anxiety and grief that I couldn’t locate through the layers of pain meds and benzos.

“Severe undiagnosed PTSD, feelings that my worth and purpose were being taken from me, angry and self-pitying with no sense of how I’d emerge.”

The writer and TV star said that she had dyed her hair electric blue after much of it had “fallen out in odd clumps” and that “if you’re gonna spiral why not SPIRAL”.

She added: “The second pic was taken tonight, happy joyous and (substance) free.

“The last year hasn’t been all roses and Kenny G songs, but it’s been proof enough for me in the presence of the divine. The divine – it’s been there in the kindness of my family, friends, chronically ill folks online.

“It’s also been there in the moments where I cried myself to sleep, shocked by the sounds coming out of me. It’s in the light slanting on my comforter, the resilience of my best friend’s baby clonking her head then giggling, the new hairs sprouting at my temples.”

Dunham said she mostly found it in “my own strength, because who the f*** knew”.

She added: “And I don’t mean strength as in powering through. I mean strength as in vulnerability, feeling it all, taking it as it comes and dancing even with a hospital grade pad in my underwear.

“I surprised myself. I bet you can surprise yourself too.”

Lena Dunham (Lena Dunham/Instagram)

Golden Globe winner Dunham has spoken openly about her health issues and three months ago shared a poignant message as she marked nine months since the life-changing operation.

Along with naked pictures of herself, showing off her tattoos, she said: “I’ve never celebrated the 9 month anniversary of anything and I realised last night why that number feels so funny – I won’t ever do it the way I planned to.

“My body is mostly healed and every day I find a new bruise on my heart, but today I offer myself gratitude: from the most pained place, I somehow knew to choose myself.”

She also revealed that she had named her uterus Judy, and had a tattoo reading RIP Judy across her ribs.

Press Association

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