Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Learning To Be More Outspoken About My Period

Hello lovelies! This week feels like it's passing by so quickly! Don't you think? Not that I'm complaining, because I'm sooo looking forward for Comic Con on Saturday and I hope the next two days go as quickly as the start of my week! I don't think I'm going to be able to shut up about Comic Con for the next few days, so sorry in advance! For now, let's get on with today's topic before I get carried away with my nerdy ramblings!

Period Positivity

Some of you will have read my post all about having my contraceptive implant removed and giving my body a break after years on contraception. Well, after a whole year without even a trace of a period, it finally arrived a week before the General Election in June (me & my best friend totally joked about how my body is running red in support for Labour, oh dear hahaha!). It was a relief though; I have never wished to menstruate so much in my life! I was getting so many worries that my uterus wasn't functioning properly and all sorts >.< That first period was all over the place- heavy then light then heavy again, missing for days and then suddenly coming back, and it dragged on for what felt like ages! It made me feel so drained, too. 

Last week I came on again, and it was a bittersweet experience. I am really happy to be having a period again, it relieves my anxiety after not having one for so long! However, this period was super heavy; I went through two packs of pads and I kept leaking. Ugh, and my boobs were so painful. All I wanted to do was sleep all day. Okay, that's enough complaining about it and on with my main objective... there were a few times over the five days that I was menstruating when I was inspired to write this post. I experienced things that made me think about how taboo the discussion of periods is, how little it's talked about. I spent a lot of time pondering about how it's barely discussed in my everyday life.

I am usually outspoken about most topics around my family and friends, and especially when those topics are the kind that are considered 'taboo'. I like to get people thinking about things and 'challenging' people's opinions. It felt strange that when it came to my period, I felt embarrassed around my male family members. It is so ingrained in my mind from being a teenager that it's something that you just don't talk about openly, like it's something 'dirty', something that should be kept private. It's ridiculous! I'm a period positive person and I wasn't expecting to feel like I did when it came to talking about it. 

Period Positive

I felt shy whenever anyone was around when I was putting my pads into the bin. I felt anxious every time I got up off the sofa or a chair or whatever because I was scared that I'd leaked through my pants and everyone would see it. I even felt a little awkward whenever I was walking to the bathroom with a pad in hand and someone saw me. I felt so uncomfortable as it was, then I had to deal with the added feeling like I couldn't talk about when I was experiencing. It made me think about my High School days and how literally no one talked about periods, not even amongst my friends who also had periods.When it was the most embarrassing thing ever having to ask a friend for a pad or tampon because you'd ran out, or asking to be sent home from school because your cramps were so bad. It made me think about how the boys would joke about someone 'being on the rag' if you expressed any kind of emotion, and how there's plenty of grown men that still have the same attitude now! It made me remember how awkward it was in class when you would ask the teacher to go to the toilet and they would ask you why you were taking your bag, which then made everyone else in the class aware of the fact you were menstruating and you had to endure their stupid remarks about it until they got bored. It made me reminisce about how worried I was when I was with my first boyfriend about staying over at his house when I was on my period in case I leaked during the night. It all seems silly now that I felt like that, until I realised that I still feel a hint of the embarrassment that I felt back then. 

I decided that this is something I'm not allowing myself to feel embarrassed about. It's natural and it's part of life, and hopefully the people around me are not going to act like 12 year old school boys and get grossed out. I don't care if they do! If people are not willing to talk about 'taboo' topics, then the way society as a whole sees them is never going to change. This is why I'm determined to be outspoken about my menstrual cycle from now on. I'm not going to censor myself when people ask me what's up or why I've had a hard day. I'm not going to try and hide the fact that I'm bleeding and I hurt everywhere and I'm exhausted and emotional and I've got cramps. Periods are not something to be ashamed of, to be embarrassed about discussing, or gross. They are a sign of a good health and not at all dirty, no matter what anyone makes you think. You don't have to deal with them in silence and although they may be annoying and painful, there are so many products out there now to make them easier to deal with. I am happy to have my period back and I'm going to keep talking about it. 

Period Positivity

This post turned into a much more chatty post than I intended, but I like it :) I hope you all enjoyed reading it too. I think it's important to share posts about topics that are 'taboo', especially when they can make people feel better when they read them. I wish that as a teenager, I would have been exposed to more period positivity. I also wish that the school sex education curriculum had been better for all subjects, sex and periods alike. The only facts I was taught about menstruation where the reproductive diagrams in a GCSE Biology textbook, and when I was in Year 8 our school sent all of the girls to the library for a presentation about pads and tampons, but it was so straight-forward and used one of those typical blue-liquid demonstration videos. They gave us all a pack filled with pads and tampons and sent us away without even knowing how to properly apply a tampon. Way to go the UK high school education system! Although I understand why the talk as a girls only one, I think it's bad that boys are not taught about periods in the same way. By doing this, they could ensure that young men grew up informed about periods and not believing the misconceptions that exist about it. That they might not be the subject of jokes anymore, because they wouldn't be so 'weird' and unknown to them. Let's hope that it changes soon.

So, the message I wanted to share by posting this is that it's okay to be open about your period, don't let people make you think that it's gross and that it's not appropriate to discuss it. It might be hard at first but I'm learning to be more open about it and to not let people's opinions about periods stop me embracing mine. 

Thankyou for reading!

 What misconceptions or negative comments have you heard about periods?

Found this post interesting? Check out my other posts about 'taboo' topics:
| Being a Feminist & a Submissive | National Masturbation Month

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