V from Bangalore shares their story.
” I often find myself trying to understand the root cause of my PCOS (http://www.webmd.com/women/tc/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos-topic-overview#1) – a condition I’ve lived with since puberty. It is one of those syndromes that sit in the ambiguous shelf of ‘psychosomatic ailments’. I’ve tried talking my ovaries into dropping the damn follicle so I can have my period on time, instead of them just accumulating there and messing with my hormones and my head. They don’t usually heed, but as a 12 year old, I remember fervently praying that I manage to get through life without attaining puberty- because the prospect of having to stay away (Many communities set varying degrees of restriction on menstruating women – Tamil Brahmin homes like mine perhaps win by a mile) on those days embarrassed me no end- and I was granted that- erratic periods since I was I was 13/14, arriving when ever they pleased- absenting themselves for months together. Initially I treated it like a super power, this absence of punctual monthly bloodshed and cramps and almost permanent entry into the kitchen/Puja room. Slowly in college I began to feel a quiet envy looking at the girls whose ovaries performed like clockwork. The crop of unwanted hair and the loss of precious hair around my temples, the constantly bloated feeling and most of all the tangled mess of thoughts bursting in my head were hard to ignore. When I did get my period once in many months I could actually feel the weight of all those thoughts reduce. The more I read, I was gratified to learn that the ‘moodiness’ that I attributed to my birth sign (Linda Goodman, ftw) was actually chemicals going berserk in my head owing to the loss of a fundamental body rhythm.
I’ve sometimes wondered if my inability to be organized, timely, repetitive is a reflection of the untimeliness of my monthly cycles, or is that the cause? For a good amount of time I’ve attributed the root of my PCOS to the trauma of having to declare that I was ‘out of house’ (literally translating from Tamil- euphemism for menstruating) and being denied access to the Kitchen and Puja room (prayer room) – but then I know several women who despised it as much, but didn’t let it get to their ovaries- a little more mental resilience, perhaps? Better happy chemicals in their head? A little introspection reminds me that the prospect of growing up – my body changing itself freaked me out – I wanted to be the eternal child – a consequence of being sexually molested when I was not even 10.
Other times, I remember what a friend who reads a lot of Jung, told me – that disease / disorder is a manifestation of aspects of your personality that you suppress – perhaps not wanting to grow up, suppressing one’s feminine side – I was too proud to cry, too snooty for make up, or to dress up, refused to wax / thread for the longest time – and while I admire women who make these choices because of inner strength and conviction – I know for me it stemmed from suppression and denial.
Most of all, this constant enquiry into why PCOS befell me has forced me to look within a lot, observe my mental propensities, patterns and to acknowledge that I’ve almost buried a little city of worries and insecurities under the carpet. My mind is a lot less jangled and noisy in my 30s when compared to my teenage and early twenties. I verbalize and express myself a lot more. The internet has in its ‘over the top’, feel good’ validation of all our grey shades, taught me self love. A few people I’ve met along the way in their unwavering love and support have helped me ease out and calm down a lot. The multiple elephants in my mental room have been taken note of and lovingly patted and petted. I am hoping one day (though science may raise a cynical eyebrow ) that the healing slowly reflects in my body too “
V from Bangalore shares their story.