I want to share an aspect of the journey I have been on with my periods and my relationship with them. There are many chapters to the story of where I now stand as a woman and I will cover those in later blogs.
I have had my periods for a few years now, so not very long. In the years before getting my first period I felt an enormous pressure to have a period. I remember most of the pressure wasn’t spoken and it mainly came from myself, but there was one girl who openly told me that at the age of 12/13 not having my periods was weird, and that there was something wrong with me.
Looking back I know without a doubt that this was utter rubbish. I remember very well the difficulty of going through puberty in high school/middle school, and that it was at this time that most girls’ body issues began.
When my period did begin I couldn’t see the fuss this girl had been making. All the buildup in my body was released and left me unsure if this was in fact something I wanted. My first period was short, light and painless.
But from there my periods got heavier, longer and seriously painful. I was on large amounts of painkillers and unable to sleep properly. I was off school for a week at a time, knocked flat on my back. The pain made me physically sick and very weak. Some periods continued for a very long time, the longest being around 2 weeks. My periods didn’t have a rhythm, I could miss a month or have two in one month; my cycles were all over the place. The experience was not a pleasant one. I dreaded my periods and saw them as something to get past. I went to the doctors to get help and was prescribed the pill, or a form of it. It worked at stopping my period, but I only used it the once because I didn’t want a solution that didn’t really fix anything. The pain got so bad that mum even considered the option offered of taking me to hospital to give me morphine to try and help the pain, but we never went there.
I then started to have Esoteric Healing sessions with Sara Williams and Natalie Benhayon. In these sessions I started to get an understanding of my periods as a way for my body to clear the buildup in my month. This buildup was like an accumulation of all the choices I was making that were disregarding or harmful to my body, like the way I lived my rhythms.
With my Practitioners, a program was built where I started writing a period diary and later upgraded to using the Our Cycles Period and Full Moon Diary App on my phone. By doing this I could begin to see that there is a reason my periods were the way they were and that it was my day-to-day choices that would change them. In short, I discovered I had been at war with my own body and that because of issues I had around my father I was rejecting myself as a woman, so it only made sense that the thing that was a major part of being a woman – my periods – would be so difficult and painful.
For me, when I thought about changing my day-to-day choices, the first thing I thought of was school, but I also needed to address my rhythms outside of school and the way I treated myself. I was very invested in my friends and the want to fit in was a constant drive at school, which came from my insecurities. But I finally realized something that changed my perspective. I’m not sure I can word this correctly, because it’s a personal discovery – basically, I had to make a choice: my health, or fitting in with my friends.
My realization came with the fact that I saw that by trying to fit in with my friends I was having to learn how to behave differently, talk differently etc. and that these things happen so subtly you hardly notice the changes, so you think it is just the way your personality is. Then I pictured my life a few years down the line, when school was over and I was out in the real world. I wouldn’t know them anymore, and if I did, in the scale of things, the friendship becomes significantly less crucial. They won’t remember me and yet, it’s me that will have to live with the consequences of the choices I made at school, where nothing seems more important than fitting in. I started to see school as a very small part of my life and made a commitment to not give up my self, my health or my wellbeing for potentially all my life.
I also had to look at my life outside of school:
- My sleep
- My food
- My routine
- My attitude towards my body and the way I treated it
It’s not perfect even now, but my willingness to bring focus to it and refine it constantly meant important changes were made. I started working after school and this commitment to a job meant I couldn’t take weeks off for my periods, I had to be consistent. I also couldn’t avoid hard work because of my period, so I had to find a way to do what needed to be done without compromising my body.
I actually found that in the beginning when my periods were still bad, having something to focus on made me focus less on the pain and that helped me.
Slowly over time my periods have improved. They now follow a rhythm in which they are shorter and lighter. I am down to almost no painkillers, and those are just precautionary so I’m not caught out. My periods no longer knock me flat every month and they are something I look forward to – a part of who I am.
I have made the choice that it is my body and I am going to take control of my periods by making great choices in life that support me and make me available to support others. Now I welcome my period as a beautiful part of my life.