I spent 25 years detesting, dreading, avoiding and then enduring that “time of the month”. I couldn’t even call it by its name. And I was not alone. I have friends that refer to it as “the relations have arrived” or “Lady Time” and these are the more positive ones. It is like in Harry Potter, no one wants to mention Voldemort’s name, so instead they whisper “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”.
Why are we so uncomfortable with discussing menstruation?
My first awareness was in our family home. Similar to many of my friends it was a taboo subject, spoken about in hushed tones and away from any unwanted ears. Those products were hidden in drawers and cupboards. If an advertisement came on the television there would be an uncomfortable silence, unconsciously holding our breath until the ad was over.
There are very deep feelings associated with our period. These are enforced on us by society. It is Shame.
Working in a supermarket as a teenager I learned to see and feel shame in the simple act of purchasing towels and tampons. Women did 95% of the weekly shop and part of that is the necessary menstruation towel or tampon for the majority of women. And do note I am using the word menstrustion products not “sanitary” as there is an association with cleanliness and sanitary.
As soon as the pack was rang through, (they were no scanners then!), it was quickly stuffed into the bottom of her handbag. Away from the eyes of others and hopefully before any inquisitive child would ask “what are those Mammy?”. Imagine 50% of the population are women. And the majority of women between the ages of 15-50 years will have a regular (ish) blood flow. Those of us, that are fortunate enough to be able to afford basic living and hygiene needs, feel we have to hide it.
Donald T (I don’t really want his name in this beautiful space) accused Fox News host Megyn Kelly “of having blood coming out of her wherever”. Society wants women to feel guilty and dirty for having her period. How do we address this? Do we need to? Yes I believe we do. I have had cramps for at least half of every year since I was 14, I suffer from terrible PMS and felt such negative emotions towards myself because of my period. Why do I need to feel such negative emotions?
Last year I decided to do something about the monthly denial, avoidance or angst, whichever was happening that month, and change the way I talk to myself and my body.
As a woman I want to embrace this beautiful and natural process each month. It is a celebration that our body is shedding the old and allowing the new to come to us.
So here I am going to talk and share about how I now honour myself as a woman. How this powerful month long flow has messages and signs for us, relating to our health and wellbeing. We are so incredibly lucky to have this internal system prompting us to look after ourselves. Since I started a year ago being more curious this is what has happened, some of it within a month!
- I am cramp free for over 10 months.
- My period migraines have stopped (unless I drink too much tea and allow stress to sneak in)
- I listen to my body and it lets me know what exercise to do and when.
- I know when I am at my most productive and creative; they are different weeks of the month.
- My intuition is highest when I coming out of my period, I have made the best life decisions at this time!
- I no longer flinch at my own blood. Do you know some women pour their blood on their garden flowers to blossom?
It is time to talk about this wonderful and beautiful natural monthly flow. And be proud of being a woman and our bodies.