News flash: I’m thinking of going off the pill! Bet you were just dying to know that, weren’t you? Well, let me explain myself before you call me out for being a trivial blog poster, or just plain dumb (no, I’m not about to get pregnant).
Back story: I don’t get a period unless I’m on the pill. When I’m not taking it, not only do I lose my sense of womanhood, but I also get fat and my hair falls out. It’s really just not a fun experience. It’s also not fun to think, “What’s going to happen in 10 years when I do want to have children?” The doctor says all will return to normal, but you can’t be quite sure. And despite the fact I want to have a whole team of kids, I’m not trying to have them all in one gigantic birthing that can only result from hormonal drugs.
So, my plan is to will myself and re-train myself to have a period off the pill. I WANT TO STOP LIVING A LIE! Sorry, I got excited. But really, I am excited. I’ve been talking to a friend of mine here, who encouraged me to see what my emotions would be like off the pill, and also to heal my body rather than to keep medicating it into potential sterility.
Okay, I’m OBVIOUSLY not a doctor. And admittedly I tend to make up “Grace facts” in which I state something to be absolutely true, when I actually haven’t a clue. So I’ll try to restrain from doctoring myself or just straight up lying. But I will say that I suspect that in my case, my regrettably sporadic teenage pill taking might have lead to some less than celebratory cell developments and hormone imbalances when I’m off the pill. I also suspect that the overall way I treated my body in college (as a bunching bag) didn’t really encourage my period to happily present itself. All said, I’ve been a mess and I aim to fix it rather than keep denying it.
And about those emotions. When I was in college, I attributed one day each month to the “world is falling apart” day. On this day, I would usually wake up with the definite feeling that on that day, the world would collapse. And usually, in some form, it did. And I would text my friends in the morning to warn them of my instinct, and then call them later on when I was crying, bemoaning, or panicking about something that would otherwise have caused a much lesser offense to my soul.
My world collapsing days have become far and fewer between now that I’m out of the stress-zone that was college. However, I still awake some days with a certain feeling of hatred or fear towards the world, for no explicable reason.
Now, this day could be part of my very being. Or, maybe, it’s somehow connected to the hormones I take every month. Maybe, I’ll feel differently, at different times, based on how my hormones will change. We shall see!
What I mean to say is it’s going to be a good challenge to try to get myself back on track, given the scientific likelihood that I’m going to fail. But then again, in some ways I’ve already failed with all that I’ve done already.
And let’s zoom out for a moment. Let’s think society level. In those good ole days, one used to fall in love as a teenager and become forever attached to that person. Or, one would get married off as a teenager into a loveless marriage that still prevented out-of-wedlock marriages. Either way, our society has now deemed teenage pregnancy not only unacceptable, but also preventative of completing one’s education and integrating into a functioning adult society. (If only I could just publish my whole thesis here… maybe later).
But really, it’s nearly impossible to be pregnant before the age of I don’t know, 24, and be accepted into the society that I know (yay white people who have the privilege of preventing pregnancy without too much fuss). Of course, the benefits of delayed pregnancies are plentiful. The idea promotes more women to attain more education and job opportunities, and to experience more fulfilling life journeys into full adulthood before taking on the responsibility of a child. (It also leads to a hook up culture where broken hearted teenagers enter college and pretend not to have feelings so they can still have sex … which is well, sometimes just more difficult on the heart. This should also be another blog post).
In the meantime, my question is: what is all of this doing to our bodies? If we’re not allowed to be pregnant, the best solution is to take birth control. (It’s also considered a panacea for cramps, weight gain, emotions…) So, some people take it and nothing happens other than baby prevention. Some take and improve their lives dramatically. And yet others take it and want to die for weight gain, emotional hurricanes, etc. But beyond that, what are the long-term consequences of the pill? How hard is it going to be for us 20-something year olds to get pregnant when we’re 30, 35, 40 years old? I guess I don’t really know, but I do hear of many older women going to great lengths to become pregnant, some successfully, some not. Rough stuff.
Really, there’s no good solution. Don’t take the pill, get pregnant, get shunned from society. Take the pill, take a chance on your fertility, and maybe have children or not.
I want more than anything to have children (in like ten years). And right now there is no chance of being pregnant (living up that single life!). So, my current mission is to try to cleanse my reproductive system and love it until it starts cycling on its own! I plan to do so with the help of my friend who has taught me a bit about the idea of loving one’s period. (At which point you think to yourself, “God Grace Get a grip!”). But seriously, I’m going to try to shift my thinking from seeing that monthly BFF of mine as a nuisance to a blessing and take some steps to encourage it’s existence.
And I’m also going to start thinking about the conundrum society has put on us: how to not get pregnant until just the right time?