Last night I got my period. It was two weeks late. After mentioning on Twitter that Aunt Flow’s in town, I half-jokingly said I should write a blog entry about periods. Then I actually thought about it and realized I really should, it might be helpful to someone.
I wasn’t worried I might be pregnant, if that were the case it’d be the second coming of Christ and I’m not up to that kind of responsibility or fame. However, I’d started to wonder if I was experiencing early menopause, I have no idea if that’s occurred in my family. I’ve had conversations with a few lady friends regarding the crimson wave, but that’s usually more for humor and sympathy. The idea of discussing vagina issues with the women in my family kinda grosses me out.
I’ve been two weeks late before, but only while fighting a bad cold. I haven’t been sick in a while, I seem to recall being sick toward the beginning of this year but not since. There’s been a bad heat wave lately, the humidity level this summer has been high, and constantly going from the heat of the outdoors into an air conditioned building (whether it’s the supermarket, a store, or my home) is probably not good for my body. The constant temperature changes might have knocked my schedule off track, causing my period to be late. Other than that idea, maybe I really am going through an early menopause. I don’t want to have children, so that idea doesn’t bother me. But I guess I won’t know if I’m back on a normal schedule until next month, either things are fine or I’ll be late again.
I keep track of my time of the month thanks to My Monthly Cycles, I don’t have a smartphone or I’d probably track on that. The website can be used to track all sorts of things about a woman’s body, but the only thing I care about is my period, I don’t even bother listing symptoms. There’s a big checklist of cycle symptoms you can keep track of including acne, bloating, cramps, crying spells, increased/decreased libido, and stress. You can mention whether you had none, or if it was mild/moderate/severe. I don’t bother with any of that, but it’s good to know it’s there if for no other reason than to let me know something I’m experiencing might be because of my period.
This month, for example, one big symptom is depression. I’ve spent all of today under a big grey cloud and I just want to punch it in the balls so it’ll leave me alone. It’s the kind of depression where I don’t even want to try fixing it, the idea of doing something to cheer myself up just sounds like a chore. As I type this, it’s 9pm and I have no idea where my day went, that grey cloud’s stolen it. I can think of a few things I could do that would brighten my mood, such as playing with my dog who keeps coming in here with one of his chew toys as if to say “Come gnaw on this thing with me, it’s awesome!” But all I can do is sit here and be moody.
When I was a teenager, I didn’t get cramps during my periods. At all. I’d listen to my friends complaining about the pain, and I’d just sit there trying to nod sympathetically when the truth was I had no idea what they were going through. As I grew older and more changes happened to my body, one of those changes was the unfortunate arrival of cramps. I now get them every month, thankfully usually only for the first day or two. Sometimes they can be awful and almost unbearable, feeling like I was kicked in the ovaries, but most of the time it’s just a tiny pinprick feeling or even a dull pressure. I can deal with the pressure, the pinprick is irritating and can make me really bitchy, but feeling like I was kicked usually keeps me sitting or laying down all day. I now know how my friends in school felt.
I don’t experience depression very often during my periods, usually it’s my anger I have to deal with. Or rather, it’s what everyone around me has to deal with. My anger is a constant problem, but it’s even worse during that glorious time of the month. Normally, I’m quick-tempered and get over it almost just as quickly. On my period, I’m quick-tempered and can stay that way for hours at a time, even when I know I’m being angry over something stupid.
I know there’s not really much information here, but I wanted to write this entry to let other women know sometimes it’s normal for us to be late, especially during an illness. I also wanted to let them know it’s perfectly normal to feel completely sad or hopeless or even homicidal when they’re on their period. It’s annoying to others when you become mad at them for no reason or a dumb reason, but that’s normal too. What ever happens, there’s a very good chance you’re not alone. When a woman’s period is late, the immediate thought is she’s pregnant. That’s not always true, and that should be pretty obvious if you’re not sexually active. If you’re worried, you can buy an at-home pregnancy test or go to a doctor, but sometimes we simply get knocked off schedule by a cold or change of some sort. So if you end up being late, try not to lose your head right away. And don’t be embarrassed to let people know why your mood keeps changing so rapidly, especially if you’re depressed or angry. It’s good for others to know they’re not the cause of your mood, and that they should steer clear of you while you calm down.
Oh, and please don’t hurt anyone just because I said it’s normal to feel homicidal. I said it’s normal to feel upset but it’s your own fault if you act upon those feelings.