A year ago, I didn't know.
I didn't know I had a syndrome. Syndrome. A scary word that describes a variety of symptoms. Great if you are the one with the syndrome. But those that don't. They just don't understand. I get it. A syndrome is usually just a combination of odd symptom. How can anyone really understand.
This time last year, I didn't know. I didn't know that this syndrome was in my body. I knew something was wrong. I knew it years ago. I went to my doctor years ago with my concerns. She and her nurse literally laughed at me. I dismissed it. Ten years later, another doctor that I was seeing for a different reason said my concerns were valid. She wanted to investigate further.
She did investigate. She did describe a syndrome that explained, well, most of my adult life. My constant weight gain no matter what I did. The constant feeling of fatigue. Mood swings. Embarrassing hair where it shouldn't be. Slight (or not so slight) depression. Tummy issues. The list goes on.
She saw it. It really hasn't changed much. And at the same time, it has changed everything, All those moments where I hated my appearance, where I didn't like myself, where I didn't understand why all my work was in vain. Suddenly, I had an excuse. It wasn't it an excuse to stop. It was an excuse to explain why everything I tried didn't work.
A year ago, I didn't know. I hated everything. I had all but given up. Nothing I tried had worked. Why keep trying?
But someone saw it. First, someone saw that I needed meds to help control the mood swings. Oh how I fought it. Those meds somehow equaled defeat in my mind. I was so wrong. That doctor suggested without pushing. She made me feel in control. And I finally agreed she was right all along.
And someone else saw it. She saw that my body was fighting against itself. She let me know that all my efforts of the past hadn't been in vain. My body just didn't operate like it should. It was hard to hear, but freeing at the same time. Suddenly things made since.
A year ago, I didn't know. I didn't know that I had been living with a syndrome that caused my body to react to even the most basic of food in a different way. I didn't know that my moodiness that some times drove people away could be a result of this syndrome. I didn't know that the anxiety that kept me up at night was a part of this syndrome.
But I can't blame everything on a syndrome. I made some decisions and accepted some choices that still effected my life a year ago. Let's face it. I thought I was a strong person a year ago. Really, I was a weak person who was trying to be strong. It was all a façade.
This year, things are different. Not drastically different, but different all the same. Yes. I have this syndrome. People can choose to believe it or not, but I have it. I can't fix it, but I can work to control it. More importantly, I can work to effect the control this syndrome has over my body. I take my meds. I try to make smart choices. I try to focus on the good. I also try on just accepting myself as is. I may never meet society's version of acceptable, but I'm willing to be the best me I can be.
And that person is stronger than she has ever been. She faced a lot of challenges, issues, and hurt from the past. That will always be a part of me, but it no longer defines me. This year, I plan on being my own person.