Week 4 of my birth control pack has to be my least favorite week. Why? It’s period time! The end of week three begins PMS – my unnecessary food cravings that come out of nowhere and changes every 30 minutes, my face, on occasion, decides it wants to grow pimples and my stomach decides that it wants me to look like I’m in the early stages of pregnancy. In addition, I gain a level of self-consciousness I usually don’t have.
I have to admit that I’m a highly emotional person as it is, and adding a menstrual cycle to that doesn’t necessarily help. Having began my cycle at age 10, almost 20 years
later, you would think I had everything under control, but it doesn’t really work like that. The best way that I can describe it is as a roller coaster. Some months it’s a kiddie ride and others it’s the biggest, most ferocious ride ever.
On any given Sunday, when I take my first placebo pill, I know the roller coaster ride is about to begin. Sunday is like waiting in line for the group prior to you to off board the ride. They get off and you board. You put on your seat belt and make sure you are strapped in tight. The attendant comes around and checks that everyone is secure and heads back over to their station to start the ride.
Monday – you start on that uphill trek. It’s a little slow and unfortunately all you see is the sky and the track. At this point you might start to get a few butterflies in your stomach because once you reach the top, you know it’s all downhill. Regardless if you’ve ridden the ride before or seen it from the ground, each experience is unique. Each menstruation is its own unique experience. Monday is that anticipation waiting for the first signs of blood, or uniqueness, to appear.
Somewhere between Monday and Tuesday you reach the peak. Like I said, at this point, for the next couple of days you know it’s all downhill. You twist. You turn. You go upside down. You go sideways. You go backwards. You go up and down a few more hills. You are all over the place. For the next couple of days you experience cramps, clumps of menstruation fluid, being overly tired, diarrhea, constipation, irritability, headaches, sleep issues, fluid retention and the list goes on. Some months its easier to deal with than others. It’s literally like the old MTV show Diary, “You think you know, but you have no idea.”
Finally things begin to slow down because you’ve hit the final jolt. Because you’ve been all over the place, it may take a minute or two to come back down to reality. You may feel several different emotions but likely a sense of relief that you’re on stable ground. Some people might be thrilled and want to get on the ride again, but I don’t think that’s the case for most women and their cycles. We did just embark on a cycle where several changes occurred including shedding the lining of you uterus.
Fortunately, we can, for the most part, resume to our “regular” lives for the next three weeks or so. No worries about forgetting to have feminine hygiene products or bleeding through our clothes or being mean girls. Remember that every woman’s roller coaster ride is not the same. Some experience a similar ride, but other’s may have a more intense or less intense experience.