Every journey has 3 parts, the beginning, the middle and the end! Just like every beloved story! This is the beginning of my story here (link to first part)
Now we travel towards the middle, the crucial, the crux!
Growing up with mixed emotions about my well-being or the lack of it, my constant doubt about my feminine attributes, all was extremely convoluted. At times I felt a victim, why me? At times used this as a weapon to hide my honest feelings. It was almost some weird virtual game till I reached a stage where I fell in love, felt I had to be with this man! I almost stepped back from a commitment because I always thought what if he expects ‘normal -marriage-kids-family’ route? What if I cannot fulfil those expectations? Sanity saved me that one time! I sat him down and shared my fears! To talk about the female reproductive cycle with a rank stranger might be easy, but to share it with a person whom you love and foresee a future together, man was that difficult!! Way too difficult! I gambled on honesty and won that day, not only that conversation, but a brilliant future too! I have some take-aways from this stage of life for all the PCOS, PCOD, endometriosis or any female reproductive cycle related disease-ridden girls and women!
Recognize yourself: Coming of age comes with a hurricane of emotions, reactions and parental pressures. These can vary for every individual, but the subtext is pretty much similar. Stay safe, try to be out of trouble-with boys, society or any authority in general. You can be whatever you want but there are riders, conditions certainly apply! To add to this, if your body begins to act up, you put on weight, are perpetually acne ridden, well then there are more restrictions! Suddenly everyone has the right to advice you, from any aunt to the beauty parlor owners to anyone on the street! You are under constant scrutiny about your looks, your clothes, your friends, anything to do with you! Any misstep means a cascade of “I told you so’s” I will say, fade out this din, focus on your talents, on your self-development and move beyond being a mere bystander! Act, stand up for yourself, your opinions and know what you really want, what you really value as an individual and create a solid identity map for yourself. Know who you are and what you want to be! Don’t let any disease or imbalance define your entire being, you are more than that! Always have been, will continue to be so!
Be responsible: This is different in tone and subtext than when your parents tell you this! This is more being aware that your choices in food, exercise, friends and career will always affect you in some way, positive or negative. Just because you have an imbalance in the body, which has a lot of negative side-effects, doesn’t mean you attract more negativity into your life. Break free from bad food habits, bad lifestyle and bad company. You deserve so much more, you deserve better than what you can imagine! Fight for your choices, fight for your freedom to exercise those choices for you alone are responsible for your future. Know that you can create a new story from the page you are on. PCOS does not get a main lead role in your life, you are the protagonist of your story! Make the right choices and be responsible for the consequences.
Future projections: Daydreaming is one thing but creating powerful future projections is something altogether different and potent! I always envisioned myself, healthy, with kids and a happy family and passionately following my curiosity. I went on to create extreme minor details, to the point, how long will my hair be, how should my husband look, how many children did I want, what gender, how would I deal with them as a parent, what type of clothes will I wear at a certain age etc. Did all of this turn out just like I thought? Of course not, but it gave me a blueprint of my own future, I felt more in control of myself in the future. This also altered my choices of friends, food and study. I kept tweaking my details and staying honest to my core projection. This worked on two levels, I was no longer at the mercy of fate or bad luck but in charge of my own future and on another level, I shifted my mindset from that of a victim, luckless person to that of a focused individual. Go ahead, create a blueprint of your best self! You totally deserve it!
Honesty and transparency: As women, however we have been brought up, we all encounter shame on many levels. In our own mind we are ashamed of our bodies, of our thoughts, desires and the outside world makes money by exploiting all our shame, fears and apprehensions. Your complexion is not good enough, your sanitary napkin is not advanced enough, your body hair must be gone. All of this takes away the power from us, the control we must retain when it comes to our bodies. Staying honest with our own selves and committed to our own self-care is vital. There is no need to hide conversations regarding your reproductive health from anyone. Don’t shoo away friends, kids, brothers and cousins from these talks. Inform them, discuss with them for you shall not only spread awareness but create a strong support system for yourself when you need it! Than just gaining sympathy for painful periods or allowing the PMSing joke to drag on in office, stand up for your periods or the lack of it. Be honest, transparent and informed to change the status quo!
Seek help: The internet has laid out an information highway for us all. Beyond just studying about the exact causes of PCOS or any hormonal imbalance, seek to create a community within your community. Join hands with other ladies facing similar issues. Seek doctors, trainers, nutritionists who are open to guiding you towards healing and health. Ask them questions, till you get satisfactory answers. You are entitled to knowing more about your own body! Sharing your experiences will create an open platform to discover the entire spectrum of PCOS, PCOD, endometriosis and related imbalances. Various paths towards healing will begin to converge when you begin sharing your stories with your community.
Watchful waiting: It has taken me nearly 18 years and many more to come, to heal, to begin to recover and understand what a powerful mechanism sits in my body. It has taught me a thing or two about waiting for change to happen. This change will not happen overnight, this change will be more like waves, some merely moving the sand others disrupting lives with tsunami like force! Begin to cultivate patience, calm down. Focus on your healthy meaningful future, work towards an engaging relation with your own body. It is after all the closest friend you have, like with all friendships the understanding, camaraderie gets better with years. So, loving your selfie-perfect body at 20 is very different than respecting your post-menopausal body! Each stage comes with different learnings. Heal and be happy!
All these points are a mere distilled version of many trials and errors I encountered on my way here. No one is bound by these dictates , look at them as a mere starting point, from where your journey, your story of healing PCOS, PCOD begins!