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Shock and Denial | My 7 Stages of Grief With PCOS

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Almost all of us have experienced the moment in life when we receive news or information that we are just not prepared to hear.  Most of us are familiar with that feeling of “shock and awe” when we are presented with bad news that we weren’t expecting to come our way.  Whether it be the termination of a job, the loss of a loved one, or a major tragedy in our society, there are some things that we just can’t be prepared to hear.  Finding out that I had PCOS was one of those days at the doctors that truly caught me off guard.  I had actually read about PCOS and done some personal research on the topic while in junior college.  So, sitting on the examination table in 1997, and having the doctor confirm that I had PCOS was completely overwhelming for me.  I had read about the possible side effects and residual health implications that  came along with PCOS. So, I knew what it meant for my life, to be diagnosed with this disorder.  I knew that there was a long road ahead. 

That day I left the doctor’s office feeling very numb.  I wasn’t even equipped to deal with the possibilities of extreme weight gain, infertility, hirsutism, and all the other side effects that come with PCOS.  So I just went into a state of denial.  This doctor didn’t know what she was talking about.  Yes, I was missing my periods for months at a time. Yes, I was challenged by weight gain. Yes, I had extreme moods swings. However, to me, that didn’t mean she was right. I decided that the symptoms I was experiencing were purely coincidental and that I would just ignore and forget what the doctor said to me.  I didn’t tell anyone at that time.  I just kept the diagnoses to myself and continued on with my everyday life.  I made a clear decision to ignore the potential situation going on in my body, because I felt absolutely unequipped to handle it.

On my journey with PCOS I was in my first stage of grief: “Shock and Denial”.  I was overwhelmed by what the doctor had said to me and by the things that I already knew about PCOS. So I just chose to deny the truth of what was going on with my body.  However, that didn’t stop the process that was taking place with my health and within my body.  Even though I chose a state of denial, my situation was very real and my health was being drastically effected.  A Body Relationship Truth is that, even though we ignore our body and our health, the issues within our bodies do not go away.  Although we may be ill equipped to deal with challenging health issues, we cannot afford to ignore them.  It is up to us to reach out for the support and help that we need to face our health and wellness challenges head on. By doing so we can live fruitful and productive lives.  For those of us who are challenged by diseases or disorders, part of loving our body is acknowledging our unique situations and reaching for the help we need.  A body with health challenges should not be ignored, it must be loved in a unique way. 

What about you? Have you received a shocking health diagnoses that you have chosen to ignore or deny within your body?  Do you feel overwhelmed by the diagnoses? Have you chosen to pretend that you do not have challenges in your health?  If  this step in my journey resonates with you, I’d love to hear from you. 

Read About My Next Stage of Grief With PCOS: “Pain and Guilt” 

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Ivy Cooper, The Body Relationship Coach™ is a professional health coach and body image expert. She offers education, empowerment, and encouragement to help people build health, loving relationships with their body and self.

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  • http://www.radicalselfie.com/ Akilah S. Richards

    Thank you for sharing this in such detail. It’s so important that we talk about the emotions associated with health issues, and not just the issues themselves. I’m learning so much from your posts, and it helps me manage my relationships with others. I say that because mood swings, for example, are often attributed to personality, when in fact, there can be chemical issues involved. When I know that, I can meet the person WHERE they are, instead of deciding HOW they are in general. Much appreciated, Ivy!

    • / Ivy LaArtista

      @Execumama:disqus I am so glad that this is informative to you and you are able to take that information and be open to understanding both the illness and the people who live with it. Your willingness to understand and embrace my story and the information that I share is encouraging to me. It means that surrendering to the process of vulnerability and openness is worth it because it’s making a difference to people like you. Thank you for reading and commenting!

      • http://www.radicalselfie.com/ Akilah S. Richards

        You’re welcome!

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