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.