1 + 5 + 1

This blog post is something I came across on Women’s Web. I always thought I would write about my period at some point or in reference to something else. But this is it and I am writing about it now. So, if this is something that you find disgusting/inappropriate don’t read further.

“This blogathon is supported by the Maya App, used by 6.5 million women worldwide to take charge of their periods and health.”

Every girl goes through it at some point in her life, that first period. While in college, we girls discussed our first period experience one day. I knew it would happen, and so it did. What I didn’t expect was the aching and feeling of fatigue. My very dear friend, on the other hand, didn’t know what was happening to her and thought she had gotten some sort of cancer and was expecting death. It took a lot of cajoling and talking to from her mother for things to calm down. I wish her mother had done the talking earlier so my friend didn’t have to be that scared. Thankfully, my friend plans to have the talk with her daughter at the appropriate time.

My period, as my theory goes, lasts for 7 days. That’s 1 day before, 5 days during, and 1 day after (1 + 5 + 1). The 1 Day Before is spent in waiting. The predictability of the human body is a funny thing. It gives you all the signs. Some bloating, some heart burns, some twinges here and there and you know its coming. I consider this one day to be like those few moments, while you are falling down, just before you hit the ground and you prepare yourself for the impact. So it’s spent in sheer anticipation.

The next five days are spent dealing with different things. For me, Day One is the worst. What does it feel like? It feels like there is a 100kg python that’s just practising flexing its muscles around my uterus. Sometimes, as if on a whim, it coils around my waist, back, and my legs as well testing out its strength. Also, perhaps there is a hail storm going on in the vicinity of my uterus. It definitely feels like it.

I eventually end up taking a pain killer to feel the least bit more ‘me’. Day One is when I feel the most miserable and cranky. I remember when in school we learnt about genetics and the X and Y chromosome. I still blame my father for the X chromosome, just for a few minutes, every time I get my period. Otherwise, I love my life, having been born a female.

Day Two and Three are fairly like any other day. The python is tired from working out and the storm subsided into a mild drizzle. And I feel mostly normal. My back, waist, and legs are capable of doing cartwheels again. Perhaps they did so as well, in their own minds. Because on Day Four, the python wakes up for one last workout. It storms again battering the quite comfort. And Day five is quite and spent being thankful for the experience.

You cannot be ‘not thankful’! Can you imagine the anxiety if you miss a period? I did a few times when I was sick. Worst anxiety ever!

The 1 Day After is the best! It is spent in appreciation of those three other weeks every month when I don’t have to think of pythons or hailstorms. When I can actually do cartwheels, and no care about what to wear. It is like that smell of the earth after the rains. Everything feels right!

PS

There is a lot of talk about praying and going to temples during our period. I think I asked about this to my grandmother when I had just started menstruating. And the answer was satisfactory to me and still is to this day. Although I don’t remember verbatim, this is what I was told.

Everyone is essentially three parts – Body, Mind and Soul. Prayer is when we align these three entities and engage with a higher being.  Even a car runs smoothly when its wheels are aligned. If any of these, Body, Mind and Soul are disturbed they won’t be able to align. How can we pray then? Prayer is not about being able to visit temples or just going through certain procedures. It is when we put our everything into it. Doesn’t matter where or when.

An ant bite or an itch in our ears has us squirming. And a period is when the largest human cell is shed from the body. It takes time, effort and energy. A strain on the body. How can it be possible to attain complete inner peace during this time?

This made a lot of sense to me given my experience during those 5 days every month. It may not to everyone. To each, her own.

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