Another blog by Amy, see her other posts at the bottom of this piece.
I have had many ideas about what to write this blog about, but nothing seems to be clicking into place for me at the moment creatively. So I was just sat here with the beating heart of the cursor and the dreaded blank page thinking about how shit I feel.
It’s been a particularly difficult and strange week. One of my good friends passed away over Christmas and I attended his funeral on Wednesday. It was difficult for every reason you can understand, but in particular because he was so young. It also felt so unjust because in this world of increasingly right wing bigotry he was an advocate of human rights, a union man and a champion of the LGBT community.
As well as that, part of the reason I have been feeling a bit off is a general frustration with the world and my role in it at the moment, something that has being brewing for a while. I am now back to being part time with only the one job, amounting to over thinking and general worries, predominantly financial (when is it not?), about the future. This will amount to another blog on my other site at some point soon when the mood takes me.
The over thinking and general moodiness has only been enhanced by the fact I am due on my period this weekend and that got me thinking, how often do women actually discuss the run up to their time of the month? Granted we hear countless jokes made (usually by men) about PMS, but that’s really it. So I thought to myself bugger it, why should I not delve into this area a bit because this blog is called TOTM after all.
- “The unfillable void”:
You know when you’re hungover and you’re violently ill (yes, for some of us this is more frequent than others) and you can’t really function until 5pm but then when the fog shifts you eat EVERYTHING IN SIGHT?! Yep, that is pretty much my experience when due on my period. I eat, but I am never really full and my stomach generally just feels numb to everything. And I crave chocolate on a level that if I was able to bathe in it, I reckon I would do so.
It’s awful because this is usually met with an urge to diet because I am feeling generally a bit shit and think shifting a few pounds might help. But I can assure you dieting on the week of your period is near impossible, as I experienced today as I tried to not eat a flapjack I had been mentally thinking about since buying it at 12 noon and putting it in my bag to have after my tea. I had the biggest “oh sod it” moment on the train home, and scoffed this flapjack down so quickly a flicked a few oats towards a fellow passenger. A man, he would not have understood the unfillable void.
If you have a tendency toward mental health difficulties anyway, the run up to the period is especially difficult. I find my mood generally lower and some weeks, like this one which was already going to be tough, is even harder. I also find myself overthinking more than usual, caring about insignificant things. I was genuinely laid in the bath last night and thought to myself, “my God Amy why are you even thinking about that?” I probably said it out loud to myself and my lush bath bomb.
The low mood can trigger what I would describe an inner dialogue i.e what I am going to say in the situation vs. what I want to say in the situation. I guess we all have our inner dialogues and some people notoriously have no filter (mine is becoming increasingly strained post 20bastard16). But I feel that my level in controlling it spilling out into real conversation is significantly lessened when due on my period (although I would like to add to all the men who joke about this, still very manageable).
- “Shake me up Judy”:
Aches and pains. Mainly in the lower back for, but generally all over the bottom half of my body. Sometimes this is worse some months than others, but it is always there, an unavoidable component of my time of the month.
But you know after all this, I am always very grateful for my period. I think it’s because for so many years before my PCOS diagnosis I didn’t have one, or I spent months waiting for it, worrying about it not coming. I now see it as crucial to my rhythmical cycle and overall mental wellbeing.
I know many women, some who have written for us, suffer with incredibly severe and painful periods, and in this way they should not be belittled as so much of women’s health is. But what makes me feel great is that with all this periodness going on every single month, women still run countries, teach children, win gold Olympic medals, heal the sick, run businesses, create amazing music, write books and many more extraordinary things. What magnificent creatures we are!