It’s been a while. I apologise, I have been busy with work and other things. I am back now and hoping to be more organised with this blog. What a great time to come back though? As today marks a whole year since my diagnosis of PCOS (December 3rd).
When I thought about writing this blog, I thought about what I wanted to achieve; to help others and enable myself to get feelings out. I did however plan to start writing this blog today; the one year anniversary. Then as September is PCOS awareness month I decided to launch it then. I still wanted to write this blog though, because I feel there is so much I need to say. For me and others.
I could sit here and reiterate how I felt the moment the doctor said the words ‘you have PCOS’ but we’ve been through that in another blog. Instead I want to discuss how it feels a year on. Because I think we all (at least I know I did) think that once we hear those words, we have the paper confirmation, we know what’s going on in our bodies that somehow the pain gets easier, the problems go away, the anxiety drops and it’s all a happy ever after. Truthfully I don’t feel that.
Sure a diagnosis helped me gain some confidence. Mainly about my weight. I’ve always been bigger, and as a teen I struggled so much with my weight. I tried every diet imaginable. I was bullied all through school. I was that girl who bowed her head when that uneducated, judgemental, thinner person gave you ‘that’s why you’re fat’ look in the chocolate aisle at the shops. Now? Yes I still worry about my weight, yes I still wish I was thinner, yes I want to lose weight. But now I know I have a condition that means losing weight is harder for me. I know that I could give up chocolate forever but I’ll still struggle, so that one cube isn’t going to kill me. I now understand that change has to be for me, and that my progress may be slower but it will be worth it. My relationship with food and my body has changed (not where I’d like it to be but anything is better than nothing).
Before I had a diagnosis I was bullied so badly at school for excess hair (especially on my face). I cried shaving, somedays I was so self-conscious about leaving the house I simply wouldn’t leave. I hated wearing my hair back for fear of my excess hair showing. Now? Now I still have days where I cry in the mirror as I put shaving foam on like a man. I still have days where seeing people makes me worry. I still have days where I cry because I feel unattractive because of my excess hair, and wonder why anyone would ever chose to date me. I still stay up far too late searching for places that do electrolysis or what’s the most permanent, effective and cost efficient way of removing my excess hair. And yes sometimes I dread going to work because I have to wear my hair back and I fear people seeing my excess hair. What I have learnt though in the past year is life isn’t like school. People don’t point out the excess hair, they might see it, they might comment behind my back but very few people in life are nasty enough to point it out directly or rudely. In fact I’ve began to feel that maybe people don’t notice as much as I do, maybe actually they are so busy in their own worlds they don’t care what’s on my face. I notice because I am the one who has to shave everyday. I notice because I’m the one constantly checking the mirror. I notice because it’s my body. Others? Who knows? I have also become more empathetic to women with excess hair myself. I mean I think I notice it more than I used to because I am all too aware of my own excess hair, but I have also noticed this feeling I get now where I want to hug these women and say ‘I get it, and you’re bloody beautiful’. Obviously I should state I don’t go hugging complete strangers, pointing out something they are probably all too aware of because that’s weird. But if any of them do read this blog (they probably don’t), I love you and society sucks.
I make a lot of jokes. It’s my coping strategy, I use it often to deflect my feelings. But underneath it all is sadness and worry. I try to convince people I’m fine, because I don’t like talking about things (worst thing to do I know). But a year on and this big ‘everything’s amazing’ hasn’t actually happened. Yes I can see the improvements and sure however small they may be they are huge to where I was. But underneath it all I’m still that scared, upset, worried, mess I was a year ago. I mean sure doctors actually listen now I proved I was right and they were wrong, but that doesn’t make appointments easier. It doesn’t make shaving any better. It doesn’t make me feel less sad when I see mothers with the kids at work and some days I just watch and wonder if I’ll ever have that. It doesn’t make the lack of awareness and education less frustrating. It makes that anger at a judgemental society worse. And that makes me sad more often than not. I don’t want to be a downer or negative nancy, but we all do it – we all search for the happy ever after, we all cling desperately to that hope that things will get better. And I think they do. The blogs I read before I created my own every woman was so positive and happy, but I rather suspect that took them years not a minute after diagnosis.
Some days I really wonder what the point of fighting for a diagnosis was. I haven’t really got the answers I was looking for. Partly that’s lack of awareness and education. Partly it’s me and who I am. Partly it’s that hope we cling to. Partly it’s a condition that is still being researched. As I say, I went on a lot of blogs, and saw so many wonderful women who were really positive, writing about how things have changed and their lives now. That helped knowing things can get better. I just wondered when my own life would. If it ever will? A year on and you still wonder, you still question, you still live in the unknown, you still have the same emotions.
So to those of you in the same boat as me. I’m sure it does get better. I live in hope it does. Maybe those fears, doubts, worries, upsets will never fully go away, but I’m sure they do get better. Time, it just takes time. So not to end this blog on a depressing note, I want to say this year hasn’t been what I expected. It hasn’t been this ‘life is good again’ feeling. I still struggle (more often than I care to admit). However I’ve made small steps to the outside world that are huge to me, and I can’t help feeling proud of those achievements. So to my bearded, cuddly, cysters WE ARE GOING TO BE OKAY!