I got my period when I was 14 years old and I did NOT know what was going on. I started bleeding and thought I was dying. Menstruation (among many other things) was a taboo topic in our household, and unfortunately not something we ever spoke about. So I had to turn to the sealed section of teenage magazines to get my info (keeping in mind, this was before Doctor Google was around!).
I covered the bloody evidence on my undies by wearing loo paper or binning my undies throughout my flow. Until one day, my mum caught on (how do mums seem to know everything?!) and all of sudden pads and tampons were appearing in my bathroom draw. I had so much shame and guilt around this sacred and special ‘coming of age’ time in my life, and I didn’t understand what was going on with my body.
Then, from 14 to 18 years old, I experienced debilitating periods where I would be hunched over in agony, sometimes even passing out, vomiting, getting diarrhea, missing days of school and downing as many painkillers as I could just to get through the excruciating pain. I used chemical laden toxic pads and tampons, which I would leave in overnight and all day at school because I was so embarrassed and didn’t want to face what was ‘down there’. Then when I hit 18 years old, I didn’t want to fall pregnant so I went straight on the pill. I loved it! My skin cleared up and I could skip my period whenever I had a party or event. #Winning! Or so I thought...
Those who have read my book Mastering Your Mean Girl will know that at age 24 I hit rock bottom, and my health and happiness plummeted. It was then that I learned the repercussions of the pill and what it was doing to my temple. From then on I decided to stop taking it, assuming that everything would instantly right itself. Oh how ignorant I was… I didn’t get my period again for almost two years! According to my good friend Dr Nat Kringoudis (a natural fertility expert), ‘The pill takes your hormones offline. It can numb you, making you feel detached from your own body.’ Once I heard this information, I made it my mission to get my absent period back naturally, to chart my cycle and to fall in love with my body and my flow. I also made a promise to myself to honour my body as the temple and incredible giver of life that it is.
These changes didn’t happen overnight. It was a journey, and one that I’m still on. But holy Shakti has it been a worthwhile ride! Connecting with my internal cycle has been life changing and has allowed me to fully embrace who I am and what it means to be a woman. It has been truly profound. If only this taboo topic was talked about more in schools!
The path to healing was a gradual one. During the time before my period came back, I became devoted to nourishing my beautiful body and treating it like the temple it is. I vowed to never trash my it again, and I was so deeply committed to honouring my vehicle.
My first period back was the celebration I had longed for when I was 14. I danced around the house, amazed and in awe of the wisdom in my body. I was so grateful, I vowed that moving forward, I would always honour my cycle as the divine gift that it is.