As a kid, I knew I was different in many ways.
I marched to the beat of my own drum as I enjoyed being indoors and reading books, while many of my other friends enjoyed going outside and playing.
None of those things ever really bothered me until we grew up and it became the norm to look at what was on the outside rather than what was on the inside. We chose friends based on how "cool" they were and whether we "fit in" with them, rather than choosing someone because they were genuinely your friend.
It was around that time that I started really noticing how different I was. Not only was I different in my mental state and on how I perceived things, but my biology was different too.
I was fifteen years old when I was diagnosed with PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, but It wasn't until a few months later that I really understood what PCOS was and what it meant.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. There are many symptoms that include weight gaining, struggle with weight loss, menstruation irregularity, acne, and excess hair growth.
PCOS meant that I was going to have to really take care of myself, a bit more than other people my age.
PCOS meant that in the future, there was a chance I wasn't going to be able to have my own biological children.
PCOS meant that I was going to be different in ways that I wasn't comfortable with all the time - it meant that new insecurities would rise that unfortunately, not everyone would be able to relate to.
I wish I could say that with time, insecurities like these end up disappearing, but they really don't, they just get easier to understand and manage.
What doesn't get easier to understand or manage, is how at times, PCOS made me feel less of a woman.
How disgusting I felt with myself because there were certain things happening with my body that I just couldn't control.
I hated the fact that I had to depend on medication so that I could look and feel like a regular person.
I hated that I wasn't going to ever feel comfortable with dating because I was growing facial hair, to me, nobody was going to find that attractive, therefore I wasn't going to ever be attractive to anyone.
I hated that my sexual orientation would be questioned because I never had a boyfriend or one night stands.
In order to prove myself and regain my femininity, I would go above and beyond to dress as feminine as I could. I would wear makeup even when I didn't have to and curl my hair just to prove that I was a woman.
Anything to regain something that took a blow on the daily.
Even though I still struggle at times, I've grown to understand that PCOS isn't the end of the world.
My womanhood isn't gone just because of a disorder. On the contrary, It's making me stronger as a person. I'm more secure of who I am now and who I aspire to be.
In my life, I've met a total of two women who also have PCOS and it's those times that I realize that I'm not the only one going through this.
I'm not the only one who felt wrong and defected, who felt less than what she really is.
Other people share my pain too and understand what it's like to have PCOS, they understand that it often puts us in a mental block that's hard to bring us back from.
It's those women, however, that I will forever praise with all my heart and soul. We aren't any less than who we are, we are strong, kind and beautiful women.
Would you look at that?