Mom and Mental Health Advocate, Hayley Garnett, talks periods
Talking about periods and menstrual cycles is often done in a joking manner.
We, as a society, cling to and emphasize the stereotypes of a woman on her period.
We joke about how horrible we feel.
How moody we are.
How cramps "suck" and we can't stop eating.
And while humor has a way of lightening our load at times--
--I have realized that these very stereotypes have played a part in my unwillingness to take my period pain and suffering seriously.
For years I struggled.
Living within an endless cycle of intense highs and lows.
Feeling like a completely different person for half of each month.
I would start the month off with energy.
With a smile on my face.
With a little more patience and a lot less irritation.
And like clockwork, two weeks before my cycle, everything began to crumble.
I was angry and irritable.
I lost interest in activities and routines that I generally enjoyed.
I slept less, ate less, and smiled less.
Every. Single. Day.
--until my period began.
I found myself wishing that I could just be on my period every day for the rest of my life because that was the only way to find RELIEF.
How backwards is that?
Wishing for eternal bleeding?
Although my depression felt deeper and I was weary to the bone—
I refused to give up on myself.
On my own health-both physical and mental.
Finally, one day after once again googling my symptoms of suffering I stumbled upon an article discussing "PMDD" - Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.
I booked an appointment with my OB-GYN and after some monitoring and check-ins she eventually gave me the diagnosis.
The reason I share this is because maybe you've been feeling lost.
Or maybe you feel great for two weeks out of the month,
The cloud lifts, you have energy, you're more patient and less anxious.
And then like clockwork you're lost again.
Stuck in the cycle- month after month.
Maybe you thought that you had to accept living within the fog for half of each month.
For HALF OF YOUR LIFE.
And I just want to encourage you to never stop advocating for yourself.
If something doesn't feel right- speak up.
Don't settle for suffering as your normal.
Advocate for your health, both mental and physical.
You are NEVER alone.
There is community within suffering.
There is also community within healing.
While our period is so incredibly personal to us,
each of our bodies and hormones balance in different ways--
--we all deserve to be taken seriously.
We deserve to feel better.
We deserve to be taken seriously.
We deserve access to clean and safe feminine hygiene products (thank you Organic Initiative).
We deserve to feel empowered, without guilt, to take care of ourselves during the most intense time in our months.