Thankful for PCOS? Are You Crazy?

thankful for PCOSIt’s Thanksgiving week in the US, and although it’s not a holiday we share in the UK, or in many other countries around the world, it feels like a good time to talk about the power of gratitude and being thankful, even if your immediate response to this blog post was: “Thankful for PCOS? Is this woman crazy?”

Acknowledging and expressing your gratitude daily for the good things in your life has a positive impact on your happiness. Once you start noticing the blessings in your life – however small – they start to increase. People who have an “attitude of gratitude” tend to have improved relationships, less stress and better health.

The Eternal Optimist

Many of you, especially if you follow PCOS Matters on Instagram, could be forgiven for believing that I’m one of life’s optimists. And you wouldn’t be too wrong. I like to believe that I have a good dose of realism mixed in but, overall, I tend to see the good in life and try to make the best of bad situations.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t had my own battles with mood swings, depression and anxiety. When I wrote this blog post – PCOS and Depression – I was going through a lot of stress and anxiety in my life due to health and financial problems. This led to problems with sleep and anxiety attacks. Then my dad died, and these problems increased leading eventually to a diagnosis of depression.

I’m not somebody who tends to express negative feelings and emotions on social media often. You’re unlikely to have been aware this was going on. In fact, I pretty much stepped away from this blog for those years because I wasn’t sure I had anything to offer that was positive and supportive. I know some people find it cleansing and find the support they need online, but I usually turn to a few close friends and family members who will listen and support me without letting me drown in negativity.

There is no right or wrong. If you’re going through depression or other mental health issues, find the support wherever you can. Don’t bottle it up or feel like you should be able to cope because everybody else appears to be coping. You are not everybody else and you never know what others are going through behind their smiles.

Is it Possible to be Thankful for PCOS?

With all that in mind, how do you express gratitude for a life overshadowed by PCOS? Well, aside from the PCOS, I’m sure you have many things to be thankful for in your life – your family, friends, an easy commute to work, the beautiful autumn tree colors, good food, your favorite TV show…

But can you also be thankful for PCOS?

It’s frustrating to hear people say things like: “There are people with far worse illnesses or problems in the world,” when you are struggling to cope with PCOS. While those statements may be true, that doesn’t help your situation when you’re experiencing PCOS mood swings or depression, or you’re trying to conceive and on your third round of IVF.

So, I won’t say those things. But I will share some of the things I’m thankful for that I probably wouldn’t have without my PCOS (and later Hypothyroidism) diagnosis.

Things I’m Thankful For (That I Wouldn’t Have Without PCOS)

  • An explanation for the weird things that happen to my body (imagine thinking that was just normal or never finding an explanation)
  • A greater understanding and respect for my body (many people go through life never really thinking about how their body functions until it’s too late)
  • Knowledge and interest in health matters of all kinds including natural health and nutrition, especially related to PCOS
  • A body that may be far from perfect but functions well enough to allow me to live the life I choose to live. There may have been some adjustments along the way, but few doors have been closed to me.
  • Meeting and networking with fabulous women from all walks of life who generously share their knowledge of and struggles with PCOS. Some I have met in person, others I meet online and follow on social media. I appreciate and I’m thankful for you all and your help and support over the years.

I won’t go so far as to say I’m grateful for the excess weight or the dark hairs on my chin. But there are many upsides to living the life I do, even with the PCOS. I hope you can find some things to be thankful for regarding your PCOS, but even if that seems impossible to you at the moment, take this opportunity to start expressing gratitude for at least one thing in your life every day. It really will change your view on the world and your life.

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