Actually, it has been 2 months and 18 days. But the way this year has been going, it feels both like the time has flown by and also dragged ass.I was going to wait until November to write an update on my experience with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, but I am already feeling (and seeing) many of the hormonal “effects” of my condition, and now seems as good a time as any to write a blog.
DISCLAIMER: My blogs WILL have typos. Once I write about an experience, I leave it where it is. I don’t want to look back at them or relive them, so once I write, I don’t proofread. Sorry, not sorry. Either way, take what you need and leave what you don’t.
Let me preface by saying that, this is a hump that I need to mentally deal with before writing I Found Jaymee Part 3. So here goes.
I spent maybe the first month after (and the whole week before) writing the first blog post about PCOS in a kind of toxically positive denial. Yes, I had noticed a slight increase in my facial hair, and yes it was annoying. But after the initial fear and being reassuranced and “soothed” by my gynecologist, I continued on. I made some eating changes and started taking the vitamins I needed. You know, the easy shit. The shit that I was, low key, already doing before I lost (and eventually regained) parts of myself during the beginnings of the COVID19 quarantine.
As many of you have read in previous posts, I was also in a state, and am still in this state, of processing and healing. Part of that healing looked something like what I call “Passive Positivity”. Looking past bad things and only seeing the positive because, if you ONLY see the positive then you are ONLY manifesting good things. So, like in my last PCOS post, I ended and lingered with the positive. HOWEVER, when you have Passive Positivity, it is easy to get thrown off track when the truth of the matter comes knocking at your door.
Mood Swings *Pop Smoke Voice*
I knew that PCOS could increase anxiety and depressive symptoms. So, ya know, I work out, do yoga, write, read, etc. I pride myself on my being happy on a pretty regular basis now. So, IM IN THE CLEAR, RIGHT? Nah sis, wrong. See, anxiety and depression, while serious words and serious conditions, have different hooks, forms, and stages for different people. Less serious, but still relevant are the mood swings and hormonal (emotional) imbalances and fluctuation. Depression is out of the question for me, so I will not even begin to speak on that in the case of PCOS. However, my anxiety comes back in slamming waves, to the point where I feel like I can’t breathe and I don’t want to be seen or go outside. I even get nauseous and light headed. The kicker is, as most of you who have experienced anxiety or anxiety attacks, is that most often nothing has happened to me, or at least nothing that serious. Anxiety just…comes. Likewise, there are more days recently when I wake up and feel ugly, not good enough (physically), unloved or unseen (for whatever reason). Because there usually is no immediate event that has made this happen, I try to attach this feeling to something (i.e. “I feel ugly today because I can see my facial hair, so everyone else can to” or ” someone suggested I try this workout, they must think my body isn’t good enough the way it is” or “Why are they staring at me, do I look that bad?”). Things that I don’t usually, and don’t always think, will attack my brain at random times.
High Cortisol and Stress
PCOS also effects your ability to sleep and your energy levels (low vitamin D, B, and higher cortisol levels in my case) . My motivation had recently been zapped. I didn’t want to workout much. In fact, I was taking a week or so at a time away from running or going to the gym. I was waking up exhausted after full nights of sleep, or simply not sleeping (and still being exhausted). Likewise, the high cortisol levels are responsible for slowed healing (which makes for some pretty ugly scabs and scars), higher stress levels, even in a resting state, and fatigue (as mentioned above) because my body is in a constant fight or flight state. This has taken a toll on not only my mood, but my confidence as well, from time to time.
Of course, I say my affirmations. Of course, I try to be positive for myself and for others. However, it does not take away from the fact that I have noticed these emotional and confidence swings, given how far I have come in the processing and healing process. And yes, I know and have said that healing and growth is a journey, and it happens at difference speeds fo everyone. Part of me feels like getting PCOS slowed down some of my progress. But then another part of m acknowledges that this is just another part of my journey.
All this to say that, the things I was originally worried about, I am not so worried about at the moment (the diabetes, thyroid issues, etc.). The increased hair growth and the dark spots definitely bother me from time to time. The drastic mood swings are definitely an adjustment and the “side effect” that takes the most amount of mental work. But all these things are just things that need to be worked through, things that won’t break me unless I let them.
Things that have helped:
Working out: (I do not need to beat a dead horse with this one) All my posts about working out literally say the sameeeee thingssssss.
Affirmations: Again, saying kind things to yourself and being grateful goes a long way in changing your mood and putting things into perspective.
Acknowledgment: PCOS is there. It’s real. It has real complications. Let it sink in, accept it, and do something about it. Don’t rely on it at a crutch to explain all your behaviors, but acknowledge and understand the part it plays in your day to day mood and routine.
Vitamins: Taking vitamins has really helped. When I miss a day or two without taking them, I notice a difference. Especially with the B complex vitamin that is responsible for regulating the nervous system (reducing stress and anxiety).
Talking: I hate talking about my feelings. But I have some good people in my corner that continue to chip away at that wall I have built and allow me to let my feelings out. I was going on as if nothing was wrong, and that whenever I felt a type of way, I just needed to get over myself. But, I have been able to not only talk about PCOS, but also about my feelings in general, without feeling as though I am being judged or silenced. That, in and of itself, is so powerful for anyone!
Disclaimer two: I am not a doctor, clearly. I am speaking on a diagnosis from MY experience only. Some advice has been given to me by a medical professional, and some things I learned from Google ( I’m deadass).
Well, that’s all I have for you this morning. The next post will be I Found Jaymee Part 3. If you have not read parts 1 and 2, you should definitely go do that. Otherwise, let me know about your Endometriosis or your PCOS. Find me on Facebook or Instagram if you want to check in, or just leave a comment. Regardless, take what you need, leave what you don’t.
Positivity, Growth, and All the things