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Perimenopause. WTF?

I’m tired, so tired. Most of the time. I can count on one hand the number of nights in the past few months where I have gotten a fully rested night’s sleep without waking for no apparent reason – and that’s once I actually get to sleep. My bed is too warm despite sleeping with the window open. I keep getting headaches even though I have upped my water intake to ensure I am drinking at least 2ltrs per day which of course just exacerbates my granny bladder. My already dry eyes feel like swollen bouncy balls in my sandpaper sockets as they dry further. I am generally happy to go with the flow of the day to day, but push my button and I WILL explode without warning (this is your warning!). I have zero tolerance for bullshit, drama and other folk’s nonsense. My patience is limited and my time precious; when and with whom I chose to spend it is carefully decided. I am easily distracted and find it hard to focus on anything or anyone for any length of time. I am changing. My body is changing. I feel heavy and bloated (I’m actually the heaviest I’ve ever been outwith pregnancy). I am becoming and growing into myself, into the real me. I crave more and more time alone; peace and solitude are my holy grail. I’m done with striving, with pleasing others at my own expense or judging myself or being judges by other people’s standards. And this is just the start.

Hello Perimenopause!

Did I mention that I am also only 40? I didn’t think I’d have to think about this stuff for another 8 year or so. That was part of my ignorance about menopause and perimenopause. Hell, until 3 years ago I had never even HEARD of perimenopause until a woman I know mentioned that she had been perimenopausal for 8 years as she was approaching her 50th birthday. WTF?

I KNOW I am not alone in what was menopausal ignorance. How do I know this? BECAUSE IT’S NEVER DISCUSSED! We are only just coming around to openly discussing menstruation without using code words and hiding tampons. There was still a minor hoo-ha when an advert showed red rather then blue menstruation blood on the TV last year.

But this is a big fucking deal – it , like menstruation, will affect half the bloody population! Where is all the chat from our elder women about The Change?

There are some women now starting to use their voices and internet platforms to share their own experiences, but the over arching theme in all of them, this one included, the the sheer lack of information about menopause, specifically perimenopause in our general knowledge about our own bodies.

What do you know about menopause? Before I started looking specifically into it last year, my knowledge was thus : menopause means the end of periods, happens between ages 48-52, you get hot flushes and sweaty restless nights, mood swings and for some people, depression too. Oh and HRT of course. There. That was my understanding and extremely scant knowledge of what was to come in my menstrual future.

It is NOT ok for us to be so poorly prepared.

As someone who considers themselves fairly well versed in the workings of the womb and menstrual health, having had pre-cancerous cells removed from my cervix at 30, a miscarriage at 32 and a run of tests taken last year, I take the health of my lady parts seriously. Early 2018 I started experiencing changes however. I had constant nausea (this wasn’t new, I’ve had intermittent periods of persistent nausea for a few years), feeling full after just starting my meals, constantly needing to pee, bloating, disturbed sleep, less cramping just before my bleed was due (when I used to have awful cramps) which moved to awful cramping at ovulation instead, lots of headaches and an unpredictable temperament. The Dr ran blood tests and sent me for a scan of my ovaries. All bloods “came back fine” just needed to up my iron (again, nothing new there) and scan showed “nothing out the ordinary”. Ok, so I am functioning normally, and there’s nothing to worry about (I was just glad that it wasn’t ovarian cancer as my symptoms were pointing in that direction after some internet investigation or early menopause), so WHAT was causing the shift? Nothing more from GP was said, I got my iron pills and carried on with life. Of course, not all the changes in my body stopped, some in the past year have increased! Through my own research I have come to discover that while my GP told me that the UK average for women going through the menopause was 48-52 ( there is a younger and older range to the spectrum, as required in order to ascertain the average), she at no point mentioned perimenopause and that the start of this phase is perfectly normal for women my age! Seriously??

Why is Menopuase not a hot topic of conversation? Why aren’t we discussing it with our mothers or aunties or friends? Why aren’t our Drs discussing it with us when we present our symptoms? Why is it, when it is in conversation, regarded with doom and gloom and scorn? Why is HRT to immediate go-to cure? Why do people think it needs a cure? Why is it to be hidden? Yet another taboo of the female form!

So, let’s chat.

First of all, the word symptoms. I’m not down with calling my experiences “symptoms” and here’s why:

  • Oxford Dictionary : ” (i) a physical or mental feature which is regarded as indicating a condition of disease, and (ii) an indication of the existence of something, especially of an undesirable situation”
  • Cambridge Dictionary : ” (i) any feeling of illness or physical or mental change that is caused by a particular disease and (ii) any single problem that is caused by and shows a more serious general problem”

Do you see my point? Perimenopause and menopause is NOT a disease nor a health problem! Language is important. Frame this big event in our lives as an “undesirable situation” and your frame the societal attitude and engender the shame and need for taboo. It devalues women, in particular our mental health and emotional strength and belittles what our bodies are experiencing; effectively our second puberty! What it doesn’t do is celebrate that this is our time!!! Instead of “symptoms” how about just naming the changes as that, “changes” or “experiences”? Symptoms also has a very medical/clinical energy around the word for a stage in our life that is not medical but a transition as we progress through the cycle of life.

There is a power behind “The Change”; a casting off of the fucks given, a determination to be true and feeling whole. Or at least it ought to be. Instead we may find crippling insecurity and anxiety, long unexpressed and suppressed rage and tension working its way to the surface accompanied by tears. We NEED to feel this stuff, accept it and let it go – WITHOUT being told we are depressed or “hormonal” and given multiple prescriptions for anti depressants and HRT. Yes, we are hormonal but not in a bad way, and yes, some people are actually depressed but how many woman are told they are when all they are truly feeling is the release of toxicity that they had held since their maiden years, bursting its way through? It’s not allowed, it has to remain contained and hidden, you crazy lady. Oh, really?

I have already been told that HRT is the way to go by elder women. “It’ll make you feel better with the mood swings.” “It helped keep my emotions in check” etc etc. Personally, I don’t care about keeping my emotions in check. I want to feel what my body is experiencing not numb it out and effectively be punished by being silenced for it. If people around me are uncomfortable with the metamorphosis into the woman I am becoming, that’s not my problem. This is a rebirth, one I am not stifling to accommodate the delicate expectations of those who are uncomfortable with a woman in her power. Resting bitch face? Nope, regular face where every wrinkle has earned its right to be there, where aging has its own beauty and is a privilege. Not tolerating bullshit or annoyances I would have in the past does not mean I’m grumpy, it means I am honouring myself and my boundaries as opposed to pandering to make someone else feel good. If however, my experiences cause me issues and problems in myself, then I will seek advice from my GP so will not rule out HRT altogether at this point – who knows what the coming decade holds!

So, going back to what I said further up about my knowledge being, at best, scant, is that the actual menopause isn’t recognised until we have had a full 12 months with out a menstrual bleed. Only then are we considered to have reached menopause. (UK average is 51 years old) We are no longer fertile. 1 in 100 women experience it before the age of 40! All the perimenopausal changes we experience leading up to the menopause can start in our 30s! Once the body has gone through the menopause, the changes can still be experienced for a further 4 years or so, when we are then referred to as post menopausal.

A good read for facts about the physical changes and what to expect are

I have self diagnosed myself through my research as perimenopausal, but am going to see GP to make sure (and to rule out anything else untoward, just incase). I feel this is the most sensible approach to take particularly due to my age being in the younger end of the spectrum.

What are your thought and experiences with perimenopause? I’d love to find out and get a conversation going. There are not enough conversations and discussions around this – sharing the good and the bad, empowering and debilitating and educating the next wave of women and men and future generations in what it is to experience this transition as best prepared as possible.

Lissa x

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Maiden

Maiden

Maiden. What does that word mean to you?  What image immediately springs to mind? All it means is an unmarried girl or young woman, and sometimes an older unmarried woman; spinster or maiden aunt.

It can, perhaps, seem like an old fashioned word.  The images I automatically think of are of fair maidens of Ye Olde England in the style of Maid Marian from the Robin Hood tales.

What I am referring to with the word “Maiden” is the first phase of a woman’s life when she transitions from girl to young woman. It begins with Menarche – her first bleed – and commences around 12 years old, give or take a year or 2 (I was 14 years old at the time of my Menarche, although that was not what I called it or EVER even heard it referred to as such until only a few years ago). This is the start of her journey through the cycles; not only monthly but through the rest of her life, moving through the seasons of each from Maiden to Mother to Wise Wild Woman to Crone (Elder) to return to the earth.

The Maiden phase is when she is most valued and least prepared. 

Why am I writing about Maidens you may be wondering. I am writing about Maidens, because in today’s world, in Patriarchal society, this is the phase of a woman’s life where she is most valued and least prepared. We need to redress this balance.

How do we do this? By acknowledging the importance of Menarche, what being a Maiden means to the individual young woman AND her Mother (or primary female care giver), what we can learn from her and what we can teach and tools/skills we can can equip her with as she walks her path to fully realising the wonderful woman she is,  celebrating this rite of passage and honouring the blood rite. And we do all this collectively in the village, the community, the Circle, the Red Tent.

Take a minute to think back to when you had your first period. Were you prepared beyond the basic biological chat from your Mum or School Nurse? How did you feel – embarrassed, ashamed, confused, ill, empowered, proud, “like a grown up”? Looking back, is there anything you would wish had gone differently? Hold on to that thought for a bit longer – we’re going to come back to it later.

Lets now look a bit deeper at this “Maiden”. As girls we transition in to the Maiden phase of life from around the age of 12, give or take, and it lasts until around age 29, when we then transition into the Mother phase. Regardless of whether we have birthed or will go on to have children is irrelevant, as women we all cycle through the each of the phases, experiencing the shifts in energies and our purpose. Some women will have an overlap of the two phases when they birth their children in their teen years or twenties, but the archetype of the Maiden still stands strong – that doesn’t change. Why?  Because this is the season of Spring where everything is new and fresh, preparing the fertile landscape, the waxing crescent moon phase ( and in our monthly cycle, the Maiden/Spring phase is pre-ovulation). See how we are all connected ~ woman, nature, moon, our own inner cycles. All one.

As I mentioned, this is the phase of life when young women are most valued and least prepared. What I mean by that is that we live in a Patriarchal Society where a woman’s value and worth is determined, for the masses for the past few thousand years, from the dominant perspective; by men. Don’t believe me? Just look to see who is making decisions on women’s healthcare and rights in government, particularly in the US – it’s the menfolk!  But back to value and worth. The young Maiden is the prize, the trophy wife.  She makes older men feel youthful and powerful, and if desired, likely to easily produce an heir (or more). Socially, it is perfectly acceptable for an older man to have a much younger wife or partner, when the reverse is much less so.

This is a time of contradictions of epic proportions

This Springtime energy the Maiden is exerting is what makes her attractive and magnetic. She is beautiful, youthful, energetic, confident and ambitious. This is a time for immense growth, but also for facing the shadow side to all this exuberance; naivity and the desire to be independent and free without consideration of consequences. In efforts to make it on our own, this is the time when mistakes are made (some small, some not) and lessons are learned (some the hard way), generally without the framework of strong support in the right places.  This is the time of contradiction of epic proportions, contradictions that can be as confusing as fuck, without the that support.

What is this support I am referring to? The support of women, trusted women who can share the knowledge and wisdom of the blood mysteries, the strength and power that comes from knowing and understanding our cycles, how to care for our (physical and mental) health  properly, are a trusted support network of mothers, grandmothers, older sisters, friends and aunties that will guide and be there without judgement to catch us when we fall. This is what is missing today. The Red Tent/Moon lodges of yesteryear were destroyed and outlawed. The passing on of female wisdom and the teachings of the shared community is long gone, but thankfully not lost. The remembering, awakening and reclaiming of the old ways is happening. And it is being driven by the very real desire and craving for the connection to each other and the support we need.  21st century living is not connected, we are all separated in insular living units, judging one another and hiding our truths. Bugger that! It’s destructive and unhealthy. We are striving rather than thriving, the decline of mental health highlights this. We live in our heads and online.

It’s no wonder the Maiden years are so conflicting. The messages sent out to all are that girls are princesses to be saved – firstly Daddy’s Princess then growing up to be a “good girl”. Any boy/young man who dares show interest in wanting to date a girl has seen the slew of memes around having to face Daddy and his shotgun, the Daddy who wants to look his little girl up until she’s 35. Obviously these are attempts at humour but the subliminal message is chastity and remaining pure are the most important aspects of respectability. Good girls don’t, sluts/whores/slags/tramps/easy girls do, but if you don’t you’re frigid. Don’t love yourself,  you stuck up bitch. Flirty and enjoying self or promiscuous and deserve to be scorned. Ambition synonymous with hard faced, woman hating bitch sleeping her way to the top. Having children in teen years, what a stupid slapper, not having kids in teens/20 is leaving it a bit late, tick tock. Fat shaming, the epitome of beauty is skinny with jutting collar bones, a thigh gap, big boobs and a pout that looks like a swollen vulva. Is it any wonder the Maiden years are a bloody minefield with all this toxicity?

It is time to bring back the Sacred Circles and initiate our daughters into the fold

It is time to bring back the Sacred Circles and initiate our daughters and nieces and friend’s daughters into the fold, into their power, in the safety of those who love and trust. Lessons learned in the village include self respect and trusting their own intuition as to what feels right or doesn’t in any given situation (#metoo anyone?), discovering the workings of life without any fear of shame or embarrassment. Learning not just the biological function of the menstrual cycle but how to live with it and how to best understand what each of the phases of each month mean – again intuition to listening to the their body. This may sound a bit woowoo, but remember your own teen years or your 20’s. Personally, my maiden years were pretty mental – I had bouts of depression, utter recklessness, carefree abandon, was super secretive, made friends and lost friends, was confused by what I thought were the “shoulds” versus my wants/needs, was incredibly insecure but very outgoing, desperate for independence and individuality,  made highly questionable choices, accrued horrendous debts, was incapable of living my natural feminine truth instead struggling and failing to be more masculine in my career (I’m not made that way and it made me ill trying, several times). I was a mess who hid it for the most part fairly well, I think.  The support network during that period was from different friends at different times, those friends who were also trying to figure out and negotiate their own messes at the same time. What we needed was guidance from a trusted source(s). If that person is not the mother, then a suitable mentor. One both the maiden and her mother trust. She is found within their circle as well as the support from the collective within that Circle. When I think back to all the #metoo situations I have experienced, I am angry and frustrated with myself as well as the situations but am convinced that those situations wouldn’t necessarily not have happened, but they would have been called out at the time and dealt with. Being in Circle,  gaining the wisdom and learning the teachings, allows for the self confidence to be able stand up in truth, the ability to determine personal boundaries and authority to honour them, meaning that we no longer tolerate or put up with shit and deal with it at that time, not years later.

The Circle community doesn’t just support the Maiden, but her mother too. Having the support to guide her daughter through these turbulent years, knowing that she is not doing it all alone, even when there is conflict of opinion as the daughter is differentiating her individuality, she is not alone. She also has the additional comfort in knowing that if she can’t assist her daughter for whatever reason, there is another woman/women there who can. This is not to drive wedges between the mother/daughter relationship but to strengthen the bond and give enough space to breath and grow.

Now, I ask you to remember the feeling from earlier, about what you would change from your own time of Menarche and through the Maiden years. Do you still feel the same, or have you changed your mind? Do you wish the Red Tent had been part of your life at that time, and remain so now? Would you be looking to share in Red Tent with your daughter if there was one available? If so, I encourage you to find one or start one.

maiden moon
Photo by mademoisellechrissie on flickr

So, to the Maiden phase of a woman’s journey, we experience her in our physical youth, we experience her energy in the pre-ovulation week of our menstrual cycle (if you are menstruating), and we can attune to her energy in the waxing crescent in the lunar cycle.  She is associated with Spring time and the Element of Air, the East as the dawn of the sun. Her colours are white and green. Her energy is joyful, dream filled and fresh as she learns to step into her personal power.

If you are interested in learning more about Menarche, Maidens and yourself, I am at the moment putting together a workshop which is coming soon…stay tuned for further info on that.

We are currently between the new moon and the full moon, completely in the Maiden phase, as we are in the season. Imbolc and Ostara (Spring Equinox) are both sabbats acknowledging the Maiden. I hope you are enjoying the shift in the air and feeling the coming of the light and bright.

Lx

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Sacred or Dread?

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This is not a conversation for fannying around, so I’ll cut to the chase. What’s your relationship with your period?  Do you dread it? Tolerate it? Accept it as part of your monthly routine? Celebrate it? Behold it as sacred? And why do you feel the way you do about it?

This is one of those topics that finally is becoming less and less taboo as more women embrace the art of honest conversation without shame or, more probably, embarrassment. If the thought of talking about your period or reading about other women’s menstrual cycles gives you the cringe, then this is the post for you – get comfy, grab some chocolate and settle in. I promise it’ll be bloody awesome (pun intended).

A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post about periods and simplifying our monthly visitor on my old blog site, which I have recently reread (and enjoyed, even if I do say so myself, so please, have a read and see what you think). I found that while I still agree with most of it, I have changed my perception around my own cycle. I actually look forward to my bleed time now rather than the irritated tolerance I used to regard it with.

That last sentence may seem a bit “out there” for many people, but yeh, I look forward to it because I understand it; my cycle, our cycles as women. We are not linear beings but cyclical, continuously revolving each and every month (the clue is in the name; monthly cycle). Think of it another way – if we were linear, we’d be flat lining. If you flatline, you’re dead. I’ll stick to cyclical thanks.fl

Since I had my first ever period, I have recorded it on either my calendar or in my diary;  always tracking when I was “due on” but never gave the other 21 days inbetween a second thought.  The cycle was 28 days, give or take, with a week each month to bleed and rage and weep and eat and legitimately be allowed to be thoroughly pissed off for no good reason. When I was working as a Senior Manager with 5 men (around 12 years ago), they actually knew when it was my time of the month and had it on the calendar in the Boss’s office – I shit you not. They tended to stay clear at that time as I was “crabbit“. Even now, I’m still uncertain as how how I feel about that…anyway, I digress… the point is, our cycle is not purely one of bleeding and not bleeding. There is so much more to it, and to us, than that.  And these days inbetween are just as important to how we function and live, as the days when it’s our “monthlies”.

We don’t just coast long for 3 weeks then BAM! bleeding for a few days and then back to “normal”. You may notice that you feel a little more tired, less tolerant, or freaking awesome and alive at different points in your cycle, yet be completely unaware that this is because of your cycle you are feeling like this.  Who knew this already? I know I certainly didn’t until a couple of months ago, when I began charting my cycle daily. It is an exercise I can heartily recommend, as it opened my eyes to the patterns in my own cycle.  This is the 3rd month that I have been consciously monitoring my ebbs and flows, moods, energy levels, primal need for chocolate and the release that only really good/creative swearing brings. I have seen where I am full of energy and motivation and actually achieving the tasks on my to-do list compared to when I get very little done but then there is an upswing in the need to chill.the.hell.out and hunker down.  Remember further up this post I mentioned that we are cyclical not linear? This is the reason why I was getting so frustrated with my bullet journal (which I no longer use) and why in some weeks, most of my tasks were being carried over into other weeks, not even just carried over onto the next day, I needed a whole other week to catch up!

We flow through a period of birth, life, growth and decay before returning to rebirth again. We have completely different energies at each of the stages, different needs and experiencing different emotions. What we feel or experience at the time of menstruation is the polar opposite to when we are ovulating, for instance.  Are you still with me? If you aren’t familiar with the work of Lisa Lister, I urge you to read her books Code Red: Know Your Flow, Unlock Your Super Powers and Create a Bloody Amazing Life. Period. and Love Your Lady Landscape: Trust Your Gut, Care for ‘Down There’ and Reclaim Your Fierce and Feminine SHE Power – she gets right down to the nitty gritty on this stuff which is utterly captivating.

The research I have being doing into our female cycles all break it down into 4 stages, or seasons, just like turning of the year, only over a period of 28 days instead:

Winter  

Days 1-7 of your cycle, also known as the dark moon phase, menstruation. Its energy is the estrogen producing, feminine yin.  The archetype is the Crone.  This is recorded from the first day of your bleed, a time to be reflective, withdrawn (anti-social even), passive, to hibernate, focus on rest, self care, food (including chocolate), bubble baths and plenty tea. Not exactly cracking on with all that roller skating in skin tight trousers and partying the tampon adverts want us to be doin, that comes later.

Spring

Days 8-14, the waxing moon phase, pre-ovulation.  It’s still in the estrogen producing phase but the energy is masculine, yang. The archetype here is the Maiden.  This is when we come back up for air, after hibernating. This is all about new and fresh ideas, new beginnings, the rebirth, full of dynamism and enthusiasm. Beware however, although this is pre-ovulation,  if you are looking to get pregnant, days 10-16 are generally HOT!  (this is due to sperm being able to live in the fallopian tubes for up to seven days after sex, meaning its ready and waiting for that egg to be released at ovulation)

Summer

Days 15-21, the full moon phase, ovulation. Remaining masculine in yang energy, now producing progesterone. The archetype is the Mother. Remember the scene from Pretty Woman when Kit was encouraging Vivian as she approaches Edward’s car? “Work it, work it baby, own it”, YAS!  This is you right now! In your A Game! You are at your peak, your optimum, getting shit done! This is a very expressive and social time. Get those white jeans and roller blades on and get going.  While the phase lasts a week, it is worth noting that actual ovulation is a very short timescale (as in the once the egg is released it can only survuve 24 hours unless fertilised), which coincidentally matches that of the British summer time, blink and you miss it!

Autumn

Days 22-28, the waning moon phase, pre-menstrual. Feminine yin energy returning, still producing progesterone. The archetype is the wild wise woman. This is time to store reserves of energy, take stock of the previous month, winding down readying for winter. If you suffer, then this is PMS central with the cramps (try raspberry leaf tea. I drank it by the bucket load when I was still pregnant 12 days over my due date, but it is ace for period cramps too). Your emotions may be temperamental fragile, swinging back and forth and tears may be more readily available. And do you know what? It’s allowed. It’s yours to feel so give permission to yourself to feel all the feels, because they are yours. Own it.

*Disclaimer – I am not a dr and my finding have been based purely on my own personal experiences and upon the research I have conducted myself. Not everyone will have a 28 cycle. Cycles ranging from 24-35 days are equally normal.

Edited to update 04/03/19

Having now been tracking my entire cycle for the past 2 years. I noticed very clearly that my seasons didn’t fit neatly into the 7 day boxes as described above. MY own personal seasonal cycles look more like the following:

Spring – Days 4/5 – Day 10 (Lots of energy and in a generally good mood with plenty of creative juices flowing)

Summer – Day 11 – Day 18 ( I am a Goddess and am getting shit done!)

Autumn – Day 19 – Days 25/26  (Generally around days 25, don’t even speak to me)

Winter –  Day 26/27 – Day 3/4 (Day 1 I CRAVE solitude and tend to keep my diary as free as much as is possible).

moontime

So how does all this fit in with modern living? It is not exactly practical to take time off from family/work for 3 days every 4 weeks to menstruate.  Have you read The Red Tent by Anita Diamant? The women, whose cycles are all in sync both with each others and with the phases of the moon, bug out together in the Red Tent for 3 days, no men, a sacred space for themselves and each other at the new moon, to bleed.  It is reported that in Native American tribes, women went to the moon lodge at their moon time and they were revered for the power.  This all sounds pretty amazing if you ask me, but anyways, today we don’t have time for a wee 3 days holiday. We have lives and careers and families that we need to get on with, not taking out that sacred time to rest, nourish and gather. We pretend we are linear and we rely on paracetamol.  I am no different in that respect; a busy mum with a full time schedule, but I have started making some changes, such as ensuring I don’t plan anything outwith the necessary in my winter week, up the number of bubble baths and thankfully have a Husband who knows when to bring home massive slabs of Galaxy chocolate bars without being asked. The dishes will not always be done, the clean laundry not put away and the general state of the house becomes just that: a state. BUT when that phase moves onto the next, everything is caught up with again and more. It’s all about balance and listening to your body. Slow down when you need rest and go for it when your energy spikes, and plan according to the flexibility you have.

I think if we are honest, menstruation is all hushed up and by some, still referred to as “women’s stuff”, because in the past, that is how we were taught about it.  I remember being in Primary 7 (so 11 years old) and having the talk with the nurse.  All the girls in our year were in the classroom and the boys were all sent out to play football for the duration. They had no idea what we were being told, truth be told, in hindsight neither did we; plain facts of body function followed by a selection of pads and tampons to look at and a pamphlet to read.  And there in lies the problem – excluding the boys, and relying solely on the facts about what happens then, rather than looking at the cycle as a whole and all it encompasses.  If they/we knew what we were dealing with, perhaps then it would be far less ignorance around the subject. In particular, a greater understanding from the male species with regards the mood swings and emotional peaks and troughs experienced by their mothers, sisters, friends, girlfriends or wives. Too many men , and to be fair, many women too, completely disrespect women with judgmental and ignorant comments such as “she’s emotional/hysterical/bitchy/insert any other [in]appropriate name” . It would be helpful for those holding such beliefs to understand that feelings are not wrong or inconvenient, they are a barometer of how you experiencing something at any given moment. To experience emotions is human, without them we would be as good as dead. Also, it’s worth noting that as our emotions are heightened around the time of our period, so too is our bullshit detector.

Climbing back down from my soapbox, I say let us connect to and understand our own cycles, celebrate the wonderment of them and what they mean to each of us (it’s taken me almost 25 years to get to this point).

We are women and we are bloody magnificent – yes we are!

Lx