Tw: mention of suicidal thoughts
I have not felt in control of my body lately. I’m not sure I ever actually had control, but that is beside the point. The lack of control feels even more apparent now.
I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome in January. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that basically means your hormones do whatever they want instead of what they’re supposed to do. It can cause irregular periods, mood swings, increased or lost hair, acne, weight gain, and pain.
My case came on suddenly. After about ten years of typical hormones and cycles, suddenly they went out of whack. Eventually, blood tests and an ultrasound confirmed PCOS.
I was upset and scared by this new diagnosis, but I adjusted. My doctor put me on birth control to help regulate my hormones. I thought it was settled.
Unfortunately though, my body still seems to be confused. I’ve now developed more symptoms: rapid weight gain, excessive thirst, fatigue, increased emotionality, etc. And unfortunately, many of these symptoms point to type 2 diabetes, which is not uncommon with PCOS. Last week, I had a glucose tolerance test, and the results weren’t terrible, but they weren’t typical. My ob/gyn referred me back to my primary doctor for further evaluation.
I am terrified. I’m upset. I’m shaken. I think the most upsetting part of it all is feeling out of control. My body is changing, rapidly. I may be developing a secondary condition. And there’s not much I can do, at least in the immediate, to stop this. I desperately want to feel in control of my body.
With my history of mental illness, my brain out of habit then turns to the worst. How can I have control of my body? I can end it. My brain jumps to suicide as the only way to have control, though when I’m thinking rationally I know that isn’t true.
I want to brainstorm other ways to feel in control of my body. Some friends helped me create this list. Options include:
- Take a cold shower (and other DBT TIPP skills)
- Take a soothing bath
- Draw all over myself in pen
- Cover myself in temporary tattoos
- Scream into a pillow
- Go for a sprint until I am out of breath
- Let myself sob
- Choose to treat my body with love and care
All of these actions can give me a sense of control over my body. It may not feel the same as unhealthy coping skills or thoughts, but since they are healthy coping tools they ultimately give me the most control. And now I have them listed here for the next time I’m upset about PCOS. What are healthy ways you give yourself a sense of control over your body?