POF is enough to drive anyone crazy and I don’t mean the dating site!…
Jokes aside, having premature ovarian failure/insufficiency has a HUGE impact on an individuals mental health.
When we think of mental health, we instantly assume the worst. Whether it’s mild depression to someone actively attempting suicide due to feeling so desperate and helpless.
We forget though, that our mental health and state of mind can be good too. And we have all experienced GOOD mental health, we just forget what this feels like far quicker than we forget what it feels like to experience poor mental health. For example, if I asked you now to think of a time when you felt really sad, I am sure it is far easier to recall, than if I asked you to think of a time you where you were really happy.
Why is this? Have we become so consumed by what we haven’t got rather than what we have got? Are we obsessed with greed?
This past week I have made a point of looking at the sky everyday and being thankful just to be alive. I will look at the moon and remind myself how beautiful the night sky can be and how grateful I am to see it.
However, I cannot deny the negativity I have felt over the past two years or so since my POI diagnosis. I can definitely recall a few times where I felt my mental health was in the worst possible state I had ever known. I will not deny that sometimes I felt like dying. And I will not deny feeling incredibly pissed off at the world, at God, at my family, my friends and at myself.
I have failed.
I have failed at motherhood before it even began and I have failed at detecting the early warning signs of my condition. I have failed at becoming a grandparent, I have failed at providing my parents with grandchildren. I have failed at giving my siblings opportunities to become aunts and uncles.
I have failed at living my life for my age, menopause free. I have failed at experiencing this life changing transition when i am supposed to, at the average age of 51…
I have just failed.
These are all feelings that overpowered my mind at diagnosis. And even now they can still creep up on me, sometimes It feels like only yesterday I was informed.
The difference is, hindsight and reflection is teaching me the importance of good mental health.
To have failure we must also experience achievement.
I have achieved at keeping my head above water, even when I felt like I was on my last breath mid-drown.
I have achieved at carrying my body when I felt I couldn’t even stand.
I have achieved at waking up every morning.
I have achieved working full time and studying, regardless of having a fatigue condition.
I have achieved at raising awareness and creating bonds with others who have POI/infertility.
I have achieved at smiling through unimaginable pain.
And my biggest achievement has to be biting my tongue and holding it together, when others do not censor what they say or how they act towards someone going through a life changing experience. And believe that shit is tough!
I have felt the upset, the rage, the guilt, the throbbing in my womb and the throbbing in my heart since diagnosis. But I have also felt growth, wisdom, unconditional love and the warmth from empathetic reactions.
I am grateful for my mental health. It has put up with a lot. But also taught me more than I could ever imagine.
My eyes are open, my heart is pure.
Whatever stage you are at in life, if you have POI, infertility or neither of these. Ask yourself, how is your mental health today?