Although this post differs from the others, I promise it’s a good one! A couple weeks back in my American Literature class, students were assigned to write a two-page essay titled “This I Believe” and later develop it into a speech for the class. Of course, my mind always refers back to my journey with polycystic ovarian syndrome whenever a creative writing opportunity pops up… so that’s what I wrote about. Except, I took a slight spin on the whole “This I Believe” prompt. Instead, I chose to write a letter to my future daughter describing what it’s like to gain a large amount of weight in a short period of time while receiving inspiration from my previous blog posts. Grab some tissues guys because this one is deep! Here it goes…
Dear Beautiful Daughter,
I write to you years before you will step foot on earth and an even greater number of years before you will have the symptoms. The symptoms that I have suffered from. The symptoms I’ve endured the past two hundred days and will have to endure until the end of my life. I remember the exact day of my diagnosis when the endocrinologist pointed at the ultrasound in front of my worrisome face saying bundles of cysts were taking shelter inside my ovaries. But, she stood there stunned as I was the first in my family to have them. With a deep passion for children, I left the hospital troubled that you, my daughter, would experience the physical and mental pain just as much or even more than I have… and still do.
I know how intimidating and frightening facing the unknown can be. Not knowing how much the number on the scale will rise, how the side effects of your medications can negatively impact you, or the number of puddles that will form from your tears can be terrifying. A fatigued daze may come over you during school as assignments seem to eat you alive. Please don’t worry. I hand you this letter on the day you’re diagnosed to instill a sense of bravery and hope in you as we, together, embark on our odyssey.
From experience, I can tell you the roughest miles of your journey will spurt from the weight gain. There will be mornings when you rise from the comfort of your bed, you weigh, and you’re suddenly two pounds heavier. And, weeks when you notice your hips have gotten a bit wider and your stomach slightly pudgier. When you stand in front of the mirror observing your new curves, your panicked eyes will notice channel of lines crawling up and down every inch of your body, like spiders forming a web. Stretch marks may not be the most attractive accessory a girl can wear, but embrace those unwanted tattoos as if you paid for them yourself. Act as if they’re battle scars that you’ve received, winning war after war.
The reminders of your transforming body may cause more heartbreak than the physical presence of the weight. It’s those subtle reminders that always get to me–smalls turn into larges, stretch marks span a further distance, working out is a greater task, thighs begin to cause friction, and judgment become more prevalent. People will make assumptions as to why your size had increased at such a rapid pace. It’s guaranteed people who don’t know your story will judge you. It’s also guaranteed that people who do know your story judge you too.
As your body adjusts, your mindset needs to as well. Trust me with this, I’ve lived your life. Actually, I’m living through it this exact second. I’m not going to sugar coat things… gaining sixty pounds in six months can take a toll on your body and brain. There will be days when endless tears flow down your pearly skin. And days when you want the world to stop revolving.
But, no matter the glances you observe. No matter the whispers you hear. No matter how high number on the scale rises. You have to continuously reassure yourself that weight does not determine beauty. In order to survive this emotionally draining process, accept yourself for who you have evolved into, knowing that your model-like appearance may never return. Be patient with yourself. Regardless what leg of the journey you stand in, how confident you are, or how involved you are with promoting body positivity, at some point or another you will likely compare an aspect of your body to someone else’s. Shy away from that behavior to accept yourself as your own.
Daughter, the trail you hike along will seem never ending with sharp twists, turns, and unwanted surprises. Some portions a more exhausting trek than others, but nothing you can’t handle. Along the way, you will feel like you’re no longer in the presence of God. You will feel as if the devil has kidnapped you, taking you to the shadiest, most horrifying spot in hell. But, I can promise you will escape.
Just remember, you have been given these struggles by God, who believes that you possess the mental toughness to handle all thrown your way. He chose a special young lady like you, knowing you would be the utmost perfect person to combat your way through. Remember, He doesn’t do things to us, but rather for us.
Xxx Keelie Lyn
Quote of the Post: “If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies how different our ideals of beauty would be”