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The Shame of PCOS

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Old 03-31-2013, 01:55 PM   #1
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Default The Shame of PCOS

My PCOS reared it's ugly head almost as soon as I started puberty. For the last 10+ years, I have had to deal with the side-effects of this ugly disease. Since I was a teenager, I have struggled with the shame of excess facial hair, having my beautiful, thick, curly head of hair thin to nothing, and dark brown patches of skin on my neck, between my breasts, and on my hands (as well as other places). When I was younger and didn't realize what was going on, it made me feel dirty. I would stand in the bathroom and scrub at my neck for hours until the skin was red and bleeding.

To this day, I still struggle with these things. I have come to accept that my hair will never be thick and lovely again, and have resigned myself to having short, boyish hair that I hate. But what bothers me the most is the facial hair. I shave my "beard" every morning, and after so many years, I am tired of it. I've only been in one relationship, but it made me realize that my PCOS affects me more than I knew. I would not DARE let him see me shaving my face. The thought made me want to die. And I didn't allow him to touch my face, for fear that he would feel the stubble. I never let him see me even remotely naked in any kind of light, so that he couldn't see the discolouration in various parts of my body. I never felt pretty, because I couldn't do my hair the way I wanted.

But now, I have had weight loss surgery. I have lost over 60 lbs, and I am not going to let my PCOS deter me from living a fulfilling life. I don't want to feel ashamed of who I am anymore, I want to be able to celebrate my triumphs. Maybe one day, my hair will grow back thicker, maybe not. I'll just keep trying to find a hair style that makes me feel girly and sexy, and in the meantime, have fun with new styles. I will save up so I can get laser hair removal, and if that doesn't work, then I already have a best friend in my shaver. Either way, I will meet a man who I feel comfortable telling about my disease, and he will be accepting and make me feel beautiful, beard and all. If not, then he is not deserving of me.

There are so many women who suffer from PCOS. I REFUSE to be ashamed as one of those women any longer. Because my shame means that every other woman with PCOS has something to be ashamed about too, and that simply is not true.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:15 PM   #2
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Laser hair removal is one of the best things I've ever done for myself. I highly recommend it and it isn't as expensive as people fear.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by GoodnessGracious View Post
Laser hair removal is one of the best things I've ever done for myself. I highly recommend it and it isn't as expensive as people fear.
Me toooo! I need a touch up since my weight regain has triggered some regrowth, but I'm just so glad laser hair removal exists in the first place! My mom is terribly scarred from years of electrolysis. *shudder*
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:14 PM   #4
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I really love this post. It tugs at my heart, the pain you have endured because
of the symptoms of PCOS. I don't have PCOS, but I do have a full beard, mustache and bushy unibrow (all jet black) that I swear is a full time job to keep plucked. I can't shave because of sensitive skin. So, I can relate in that area. It is humiliating at times.

Congratulations on your loss thus far, and major props on your outlook. I have no doubt that you will be one of the success stories here with such a positive attitude.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:41 PM   #5
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The dimensions of wellness are not only about the body bucket. (Physical Health).

Living with a chronic illness like PCOS affects us in other "health buckets" besides just that one -- and the bucket of "mental health" is one of them.

For me, I haven't had a huge problem with self esteem/body image kinds of things. My mental health challenges have been more with anxiety, and frustration in getting health care and shoot -- even just a DX!

But you post resonated with me too. Even though my PCOS path doesn't take the same route yours does... I know what it's like to feel ARGH with it.

I'm glad you are making peace/accepting and coming to a place where it is more like...

"Fine. I have PCOS. I have to deal with having PCOS in my life.

But PCOS does not have to have ME. My whole LIFE doesn't have to be just about having PCOS."

Hang in there!
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