“You’re not working hard enough. To get your period. You’re not working hard enough.”
I’ve heard this before. Many a time, actually. After months, nay, years, of denial and compartmentalization, I’m finally beginning to unpack that statement and it’s effect on me.
First of all, does that make sense? Is my period something I can “work” to control? No matter how well I care for my body, I’ll never be able to push a button and make myself bleed. So how much merit does that accusation have?
I say “accusation” because at the time of receipt, the comment feels like that. It feels like an attack on my recovery, on my body, and on my health.
I wonder how much power my mind really has in terms of getting my period to happen.
In fact, I wonder what the period is, what it is actually meant for. Of course I know the basics, but there must be more to it.
Fear. Frustration. Insecurity. Inadequacy. Shame. Anxiety. Panic. Fury. Terror. Rage. Hopelessness. Failure.
Every time I hear I’m not working hard enough to get my period, these emotions flood my psyche.
Is this true? Are they right? Am I doing something wrong? Am I enabling my eating disorder? Is my body broken? If I binge eat, will that fix this? Should I run and hide away? What about all my hard work?
Till now, it’s been easier to shut down the conversation, without taking a critical look. Compartmentalization surely served me at some point – I’ve heard denial is a shock absorber for the soul – but I think I’ve outgrown those kid gloves.
Rather than shout, “I CAN’T CONTROL IT,” and go on about my day, I’ll focus on what I can control: my thoughts.
Rather than make excuses such as, “my body is just adjusting after years of trauma” – which may very well be true, but has not been properly explored- it’s time for me to actually unpack my relationship with my period and critically examine the power which I have given it’s absence.
It’s time to unpack my relationship with my period and critically observe the power which I have given it’s absence.
I began this exploration 4 days ago, when I wrote Dear Menstrual Period. I suppose you could call this post a follow-up.
I’ll start by saying that my ability to unpack this must mean I’m ready to receive it. I’ll continue by saying I’m on Day 4 of my month-long prayer to welcome it. I’ll elaborate further by saying that each time I write it, the prayer takes a new shape and form:
First, it was, “I am ready to receive my menstrual period.”
It then became, “I am ready to receive my menstrual period and I trust in its timely arrival.”
Today, the start of the mantra changed. It now reads, “I affirm that my period is coming and I trust in its timely arrival.”
First, I had to get ready. Next, I had to trust. Now, I have to know.
If I spend a full month affirming that I’m ready to get my period, I’ll wind up in a perpetual state of readiness. Now I need to trust that it already exists. In fact, I think I’ll add another clause:
“I am grateful for my healthy menstrual cycle. I release all blocks that prevent me from having and maintaining a healthy menstrual cycle, and I am restored to balance.”
I am grateful for the fluidity with which I imbue my recovery, and grateful to embrace such subtle change. I am grateful for the ability to take continuous personal inventory using the medium of this blog. I am grateful for a platform to ask my questions, and I trust that continued attention will bring me the necessary answers.
I thank you for witnessing where I am in the present, and I trust that more will be revealed soon.
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 resonated with you, please respond, or share it! Together, we can start a dialogue.