My name is Catherine, and I am one in ten women with PCOS. This year, I made the decision to utilize social medial to become a more active member in the PCOS community. I’m not going to lie. I have been experiencing some feelings of anxiety and embarrassment in discussing my own PCOS experiences. Hirsutism, anxiety, obesity, food issues, irregular menstrual cycles – these are topics of conversations that I would prefer to not discuss. However, this is my reality, and it may be the reality for many of those one in ten women out there. When I was 11 year old, I started having irregular periods that would come and go every 6 months or so. Having PCOS, and not knowing it, made middle school and the start of high school quite challenging for me. My periods would come out of nowhere, and the embarrassment felt after having my clothes bled through in class was upsetting, even slightly traumatizing. And of course, no awkward preadolescent/teenage phase wouldn’t be fulfilled without also developing weight gain and hirsutism. All of this prompted my family physician to send me to an endocrinologist. Unfortunately, that resulted in me being misdiagnosed as having issues with my adrenal glands. After taking medications that further exacerbated my weight gain, caused me to develop a moon face, as well as tumultuous mood swings, I told my parents I had enough and I was not taking any more medicine. It wasn’t until I was about 15 or 16 that I was finally diagnosed with PCOS. I am the classic type of PCOS. My symptoms include being insulin resistant, having irregular cycles, cystic ovaries, hirsutism, and obesity. I have taken birth control off and on since the age of 16, and I have taken differing prescriptions and supplements. I have yet to find a combination that works for me, and despite how frustrating the process is I am hopeful that there will be relief. After I made the decision to use social media to discuss PCOS I began second guessing myself. What could I possibly have to say to women out there with PCOS, when I’m still trying to get my junk together? Then I came across this: This resonated with me. Even though I’m a nurse, I’m also a patient who is trying to learn what is best for my body. I’m struggling with trying to lose weight. I’m struggling with learning what and how to eat. I’m struggling with wanting to exercise while feeling inflamed, bloated, sore, and fatigued. There’s nothing lonelier than feeling like your body is wrong and that you’re different from others. But this community! This community has been making a difference for me. It is one of the most open hearted and giving groups that I have been part of. Having a community, a squad, a tribe of strong women, has been making this a bit easier. It is refreshing to have found women who are focused on building up and healing one another. As I continue to open up on my PCOS issues on social media and in person more frequently, it has become easier to where I want to have these conversations with others more often. My hope is that as I open up about my PCOS journey I will help another woman out there who is struggling with hers.