Sunday, September 7, 2014

You Girls Know What I'm Talking About

(Wrote this a bit ago. Just getting around to publishing it.)

I want you to know that as I write this, it is 4 o'clock in the morning. If you know me, you know I am NEVER EVER awake at this time. However, I simply can't sleep, so I figure I may as well write about why.

I am in a lot of pain; I'm on my period.

I know some of you fellas might not want to know about this, but the thing is, you really ought to. It may provide a little understanding toward the fairer sex, and as I hope you know by this point, women like to be understood and validated. (Everyone does, really.) I'm really not sure why periods have been so taboo, even now, when we seem to talk openly about pretty much everything. It's really quite silly since almost every female between the ages of 12 and 55 goes through this about every month. It's a normal and natural thing, so if you think it's gross, you just have to get over it at some point or another. It may as well be now.

So. Women have this approximately monthly thing called a period. Basically what happens each month is a nice nutrient-rich lining is created in the woman's uterus so that, should impregnation occur, there is a healthy/comfy spot for a fetus to begin growing. If it doesn't occur, then this lining is released during the menstrual cycle. Biologically, this sounds like a great plan! However, in practice, I think most women would attest that it's extremely sucky. What it feels like is that my body is throwing a giant temper tantrum because I didn't get pregnant. It hurts. Sometimes when it's happening, I try to think of ways to describe it. "It feels like someone is taking a sledgehammer to my insides." "It feels like someone is taking my organs and squishing them in their fist." Here are some other fabulous attempts at explaining the feeling of menstrual cramps.

Periods are a real pain. And each of us women seem to experience periods differently. Some of us don't have them to begin with. Those who train very hard athletically or those who are underweight don't have periods. For those that do, some feel more pain than others. Some breeze through it while others seem to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. A girl once told me that she threw up during her period every. single. time. I can't even imagine.

The period lasts about 4-5 days, and the pain, in my opinion, is unpredictable. It's kind of off and on for a couple of days at the start. This pain is normal but rather inconvenient. During those couple of days, athletic endeavors (for me) are avoided. Sometimes it makes it really hard to concentrate on things or do work! Honestly, sometimes I just want to say heck with it and take a sick day. Occasionally I do. Sometimes cramps really cramp our style. Some women use birth control to regulate their periods and this sometimes also alleviates pain. We can also take drugs like Midol, but trust me, we can still feel what's happening.

And then there's the emotional side of the menstrual cycle. Some women don't experience PMS (premenstrual syndrome). Others do. I find my emotions are very near the surface sometimes, and when I take the time to think it through, I can usually link it to my period. In the past, occasionally I felt like I was going crazy! Like, really. It's not fun to feel emotionally out of control. Luckily, as the years have gone on, I've learned more about how to manage these physical and emotional disturbances.

So anyway, I don't really want to go into any more details there. Just know that periods are painful and just

and sometimes that battle is with Aunt Flo.

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