I vividly remember being in sixth grade and some of my female classmates started whispers about a period…..not the one for punctuation either. I was so confused. It was like a secret cult they were all apart of. There I was, left in the dark.
I went home and asked my mother about it. She deadass curved me.
Sometimes I wish so many things weren’t stigmatized in the African community. Or maybe my mom was just shady. Regardless I was lost so turned to the next best thing: Gurl.com And yes I just checked if it’s still up and running. Unfortunately seems as though it’s long gone and the address re-routes you to Seventeen magazine’s online site.
Back to Aunt Flo. I scoured the site for hours. I learned all that I could about this evasive subject. Patiently awaited my period, with excitement too smh.
It never came. There I was, maybe 15, assuming the worst at this point. I was convinced I was defective honestly. What’s wrong with me? Was I not a girl? To be fair, my itty bitty A-cup training bra wasn’t reassuring either. Puberty had forgotten me. So I prayed for Aunt Flo. Until I lost hope. Then one random day it came. The coveted red dot appeared.
*cue angels rejoicing and a harp melody*
I rushed home with excitement to tell my mom. She threw a pad at me and that was that. No ceremony. Rite of passage acknowledgment. Not even a birds and bees talk. So I made do.
I thought man, this shit is HELL. How dare I pray for this? The personal betrayal. Years later and I still think periods are a scam. The shitty part? I have PMDD. Once I was grownt, I had a Pap smear and it wasn’t until I talked to a gynecologist that I realized I had an unnecessary heavy ass flow. I thought all women leaked like Niagara Falls on their period. I also thought everyone’s lasted 7 days. Imagine my surprise when I realized some girls only had one for 3 days???? OR that it was light??? Yet there I was, dealing with the period from hell. Although a bummer, at least I now know why my period sucks the way it does.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m anemic because of my period or is my period the way it is because of my anemia. Regardless, it’s frustrating. No matter how great things are…..my dark passenger puts on her best show when my period is on the horizon. Nobody loves me. I’m an idiot. I hate you all and have no energy or strength to do the most basic things. I have panic attacks that convince me I’m going to die right then and there followed by panic attacks about having to haunt my house if some bitch replaces me. Then anxiety thinking about my funeral procession. It’s a whole thing. Crying spells. Light sensitivity. Resting bitch face. Fuck is a diet? Chocolate and soda for breakfast makes sense. Rage and impulses. I can go ages without spending money but a day or two before my period, she always threatens to empty out my bank account. Why do I need money when my body is about to give out on me anyways? My emotions are turned up upside down whilst the hormone monster is out to play. It’s exhausting and I feel like a shell of a person.
Then let’s not forget the actual period itself. SIS is heavy. Like with a vengeance. Confession: I used to sit on the toilet for foreverrr to give the clots a chance to pass. Which would be awkward af now since I live with jay so I stopped. lmfaooooooidontwanthimtothinkihaveashittingproblem. I have to sleep with a towel under me. I spend the day paranoid my pants are fucked up. Countless period panties have been thrown away. My energy levels are low because I’m always tired from my insides beating me up.
Now I’m sure your period isn’t this bad. Im happy for you, truly. I wouldn’t wish this shit on anyone. If you also deal with either a heavy period or extreme pms, I’d suggest seeing a doctor. There are medical procedures that can be done, brith control to stop your period, and more…. I’m weary of any of those options simply because I’ve dealt with heart problems growing up so don’t want to aggravate anything. Or have birth control make it any worse.
So what do I do?
Well I used to throw things, get very impulsive and fall out of love with everyone and everything a couple days before my period. The new me is a little more mindful.
- I keep notes of my moods and thoughts. By recognizing I’m in crisis mode, it helps me not feel as helpless. I can talk myself down from my impulses and negative self-talk.
- I try to exercise. EXERCISING definitely definitely helps. Did you know most athletes have extremely short periods? Exercise cuts down the days you bleed. Since I’ve gotten a little more lately, periods aren’t as obnoxiously long. Exercising can also lessen water retention, which alleviates bloating and reduce cramps.
- Lots of water! Blood thickens if your body is dehydrated. More water, less clots! It also flushes your system out faster
- Ginger, spinach, broccoli and lots of vitamin C also help. They help your progesterone levels and break down your uterine lining quicker. Also reduces your cramps!
- Communication! I try my best to concisely explain to Jay how I am feeling, why I am feeling it, and we try to see how we can help my emotions. It’s important to never put blame in your words. Something like “I feel _____ when ____ happens.” From there see if the issue at hand is a misunderstanding, can be fixed/avoided, or not. Sometimes just saying your emotions out loud is enough to take you back from HULK to Bruce Banner.
- Reset and recharge. Sometimes I just let the days where I’m affected force me to relax. I’ll lay in bed, binge watch something funny and eat some chocolate. A little gentleness with yourself is important!