I want to talk to you about my period.
I’m writing this because at least for a while, as I write, my mind will be a little distracted. There’s also things I want you to know; but more importantly, there’s emotions I want you to feel.
Everything I’m feeling right now is real to me. And it shatters me.
And I think the world needs to know.
It’s now 05:42 in the morning, and for the past 90 minutes, I’ve been writhing around in pain, sobbing hysterically, and hating my body for doing this to me every month.
And this is me on the first day of my period every month.
Sometimes, this is me for the first two days.
This pain will last a while. A good while. I usually succumb and swallow a painkiller, but without one, this pain can last a good 5-6 hours. Or sometimes the entire day. Or sometimes for the first 5-6 hours in the day, some brief respite for about 4 hours in between, before it resumes for another 5-6 hours and into the night.
“Menstrual cramps” is a very generic way of terming something every woman will describe to you differently. For me, it’s a crippling back ache, abdominal ache, sore hips, very sore thighs, aching calf muscles, and a headache from all the crying.
That’s just the external, physical pain.
There’s also an indescribable amount of discomfort to deal with since I can’t lay on my back because I may “leak”, I can’t lay on my sides because my hips are very sore, I can’t lay on my belly because again, I may “leak”, I can’t stand much because my legs are weak, I can’t sit long enough to rest because, again, I’m crippled with fear of leaking blood no matter how careful I’m being.
Also, I’m cold and shivering because that always happens on Day 1; but I’m also feeling hot and sweaty in between my thighs.
I’ve got on a pad that doesn’t help the hot, wet, sweaty feeling; and in about three days, I’ll have rashes on either side of my crotch because that always happens after about 4 days of non-stop feminine hygiene product usage.
Oh I haven’t told you about the emotional wrecking yet.
I’m sure it’s a lot of fun to say a woman is “PMSing” when she’s being a bitch, but you have no right. The emotional rollercoaster that JUST ONE month’s period is, is scary to describe.
I can’t speak for other women, but me? I go from stupid self-pity, to absolute hatred for my body, to a strong desire to stab into my abdomen with a kitchen knife several times, to insuppressible rage against everything and everyone, to fits of uncontrollable sobbing, to suicidal depression.
It’s easy to write all those things off. Even I do, a few days after my period is over… But I wish you knew how real all those feelings are at the time.
How real all those feelings are RIGHT NOW.
I’ve been dealing with this for the past 14 years.
That’s 168 periods. Or the way I see it, 168 times, over 14 years, where I’ve come close to yanking my hair off my scalp and crying myself into nothingness.
I appreciate all the help, support, and space I get from friends, family and colleagues during this ordeal, but I wish it helped. I really wish all their efforts helped.
I think I just wish for anything that could help.
Or anything that could take it away.
It’s now 06:23, I’m crying, but now I think it’s because of the self-pity I’m feeling as I proof read while writing, in addition to the pain, discomfort and emotional meltdown.
In other news, I might have to do nothing today, just like I do every first day of my period each month.
So that means calling in sick to work. Cancelling my lessons. Cancelling my home lessons. Cancelling my practice sessions.
Cancelling my workout plans for the next 4 days.
Cancelling any social plans for the next 3 days.
Avoiding people as much as I can for the next 2 days so I’ll have less apologising to do for being rude and snappy.
Going AWOL on my IM because, again, I might snap.
And even after I’ve taken all this trouble to type this out on my phone, I’m reconsidering sharing it.
I know it’s personal, and probably should not be out circulating on the internet.
And maybe not everyone needs to know.
But again, everyone needs to know.
I think people really deserve to know why most women are so messed up every monthly cycle.
I know no matter how much I try, I’m never going to be able to put into words the full magnitude of what transpires in my body and mind, but I think I tried my best.
It’s now 06:44. I think I’ll watch videos of animals being adorable and cry thinking about how innocent and pure they are, because I don’t think I can cry myself to sleep.