Dear Menstrual Period

It is June 3rd, 2019, and I, Bella Florence, am ready:

I, Bella Florence, am ready to receive my next menstrual period.

Amenorrhea, or Period-loss, is a physical symptom of anorexia. Return of one’s Period is one of the physical manifestations of recovery.

The last Period I had pre-eating disorder was August of 2015.

The next period I had was December of 2017. I publicly and admittedly graphically celebrated on this blog (click here) – the event was so monumental, I felt compelled to present evidence. I could remove it for modesty’s sake, but it reflects who I was in that moment.

I maintained my period through January and February 2018, but when March rolled around there was silence.

It is now June 2019, one year and three months since my last menstruation. Since August of 2015, 4 years minus 2 months ago, I have menstruated 3 times.

Menstrual periods correspond with sex hormones. Sexuality also corresponds with sex hormones. Repression of sexuality can lead to repression of sex hormones and thus repression of physical health – in my case it has.

I caught myself restricting this month – but not with food. With sex and sexuality. With physicality. With physical intimacy.

The key word here is “caught.”

I caught it and now, I am publicly making a decision to let that rigidity go. With that, I want to publicly affirm that I am ready for my menstrual period.

After five months of affirming I am proactively healing my body and I always nourish myself lovingly and intuitively, I am ready to reap the benefits.

I have planted seeds in the “fertile soil” of my subconscious mind.

I have relaid my foundation.

I am ready to harvest the fruits, new fruits: the fruits of recovery and health.

And I mean to produce these fruits in all seasons. I choose permanent recovery, not seasonal.

It’s hard, to let go. To really, fully let go. Not having my period means I’m still eerily connected to my eating disorder. It scares me. Recalling that information often triggers bursts of self-doubt. It triggers body dysmorphia. It makes me question if I truly am eating enough to stay healthy. It makes me question and it makes me doubt.

Perhaps my body’s scared. Perhaps my body’s scared to produce this thing which takes a lot of energy, since in the past I’ve mistreated and abused it. Perhaps it cannot trust that my home is safe.

I understand that.

I understand that.

But I have changed.

I have changed.

I simply need to regain my body’s trust. Little by little, one day at a time, I am doing that. I think it’s time for a new affirmation: a new 28-day, hard-core affirmation:

I am ready to receive my menstrual period. I allow my body to safely produce healthy menstrual periods. I always nourish myself lovingly and intuitively and am rewarded with consistent periods.

Not only do I embrace the return of my menstrual period, but I now lovingly embrace my full menstrual cycle, including the non-bloody parts, like ovulation.

So here’s to Day 1. Here’s to a public declaration.

Why do I need a public declaration? Why is it so important that I share?

I share to bare myself to the world.

I share to hold myself accountable.

I share to claim my seat in recovery.

I share to grow my network of support.

I share to set a positive example.

I share to step into my truth.

I share to keep my trust in this process. It can be easy to lose faith when you’re going it alone. It can be easy to feel shame about what you’re doing, and to worry about what others perceive you as doing. It can be easy to fall back into pride about thinness, to reclaim the thin-ideal.

I just did a huge room-purge, letting go of all that no longer serves me.

I struggled with just one item: my treatment center “weigh-day” shirt.

I struggled to let go of that XXL, White Hanes T-shirt that I wore 3 (it was it 4?) times per week to be weighed in.

It’s my proof that I was in treatment. It’s my scar, my proof of my past.

After days of meditation, I realized that holding onto this shirt was keeping me trapped. I realized that I can still cling to my eating disorder identity, and holding onto my shirt was proof of that.

Sometimes I “hold on” to justify my identity in recovery. But real recovery does not need proof. It is stronger to let go.

So finally, I did a round 2, and I did let this shirt go.

Now I need to let go of my physical scar, the amenorrhea.

Public declarations keep me witnessed, visible, and seen. When I voice my intentions to the world, I get clear about my reasons. I have reason to gain weight, reason to abstain from exercise. I am not lazy. Because of my recovery, I have special needs, and public declarations keep me secure in that.

So on this lovely day, in public presence, I begin my Pursuit-of-Period, beginning with the following welcome:

Dear Menstrual Period,

I am oh so ready to receive you.

I have never been so ready to receive you.

My body is my house, and you are my guest, my guest who should visit frequently.

It seems I’ve alienated you. Can we make amends?

I’ve cleaned my house since you last left, revitalized and renovated.

I’ve refreshed and renewed the upstairs region.

I mean the tippity -top, the attic level, the room closest to the light:

the mind.

The mind that controls, or attempts to control, the body – that attempts to control all below it.

My mind can either sabotage or serve. It used to sabotage; now it serves.

I am a different person. I am a full-grown woman. I have eaten. I am nourished. I am well-fed.

I trust in my self-nourishment.

And yet sometimes I doubt because you still are not here.

Perhaps I should not say that. Perhaps I should say you are here. I know you are here. I can hear you close by. I can see you, feel you. I can smell you, taste you, I can almost touch you.

Intuitively. I sense you.

You are a part of me and you are coming.

You are my rose bud, beginning to bloom.

The bed that supports you is turning luscious and ripe.

We are all so ready to receive you.

We are all so ready to receive you.

We are all so ready to receive you.

To receive you.

To receive you.

To receive you.

I am oh, so ready to receive you – and to keep you comfortable this time.

Dear Menstrual Period:

I welcome you. You are welcome.

In closing, I would like to say that the opinions expressed here are entirely my own; take what you like and leave the rest. If something here resonated, I invite you to share it, as Recovery is for all.


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