Ten years ago, at the age of 19, I found myself lying on a hospital bed surrounded by medical staff running a bunch of tests and trying to work out what was “wrong” with me. A cyst on my ovaries brought up terms like complex, cancer, PCOS and a few other scary ones. A few days later, the cyst they were concerned was cancerous had disappeared, but the diagnosis was final. I have PCOS.
Looking back, since I was 15 I knew that something was “wrong” with me but I can’t recall how I felt when I finally got a diagnosis. I mean, I had my answer as to what was “wrong” with me but I was also a mess. I just didn’t want to accept that something so major was happening to me so I buried my head in the sand, got my Pill prescription and pretended nothing was happening to me; I was just fine. Ignorance is a bliss, right?
Six years after my diagnosis, my body was suffering from the untreated PCOS and (ab)use of birth control pills. I was struggling with mood swings, anxiety and depression, while recovering from an eating disorder – a desperate attempt to control my PCOS related weight troubles. A second hospital admission kick started my healing journey; I stopped taking the Pill, picked up running and yoga, introduced healthy eating into my busy life and focused on being happy and taking life in strides.
Do I struggle sometimes and wish that I didn’t have PCOS? Of course! I am only human. However, PCOS taught me that we are all recovering from something. We all have one thing that we would change or that we struggle with, and PCOS is mine. I am just an average woman battling what one out of 5-10 other women battle every day! I am a creative professional, a blogger, a daughter, a sister, a girlfriend, a friend, and many other things, but I AM NOT PCOS. I simply have PCOS and I will continue to overcome it daily! That’s why this year I completed my first ever half-marathon and I am about to cycle 52 miles (84 kilometres) from Manchester to Blackpool post-midnight. PCOS can’t define or defeat me!