Each week, we will be asking people who get their periods to talk about their relationship with their menstrual cycle. Feel free to get in touch with us via email in order to submit your own Period Piece. Thank you to all menstruators who choose to share their stories. By doing so, you are helping to break the taboo and normalise the topic of menstruation.
Suddenly, a warm liquid gushed through the middle of my legs. “Could it be it?” I thought, my eyes wide open. I ran to the toilet and pulled my pants down. And there it was, that red promise. “Finally!” I smiled, for I had been waiting for my period to come for a long time. I was fifteen.
I had always been a very shy and introverted teenager, never felt quite part of the group. My classmates were all a bit older than me, as I started school when I was 5 years old. All the girls in my classroom had already got it. “I must have a problem,” I anxiously thought. Having your period was a rite of passage, a sign that you were a grown-up and that you could do grown-up things like kissing and holding hands with boys (and, oh my god, having babies!)
I desperately wanted to fit in, to feel normal but, as with many other things, I was different and so, I was the last girl in my class to get my period. No wonder I was so happy when I saw that promising red stain in my panties that day.
Fast forward 17 years and my relationship with my body and my period has changed - but I am still in awe at the wonders my body operates every month. For me, bleeding is a promise, I bleed and I let go of the past, all starts anew.
I now use a menstrual cup that allows me to see at a naked eye the characteristics of my menses. Why would you want to do that? Simple: by observing the blood every month (color and volume), it reveals secrets about my body, including how healthy I am. I now control my fertility by reading the subtle changes in my body (this is called the symptothermal method). That, I reckon, was also another victory for me, similar to the one I had when I first got my period. Coming off the pill has put me once again in touch with my natural rhythm, as I observe and feel the magical changes happening with a cyclical certainty.
Once again, I feel my body as my friend and my ally, and my period as a reminder of my powerful nature as a woman. We bleed to come back to life again every month. As a teenager, I intuitively knew there was something special about that blood, a promise of a life-bearing power bestowed only to us women. For me, bleeding is like being part of something greater than me, like being a small piece in the big scheme of Life. So, I am grateful that I was born a woman and that I get to witness this miracle of Life/Death/Life every month.