1 day to go!
I’m going to write about something on here I’m not sure I’ve done before. At least for a long time. Which is the lovely taboo topic of menstruation. Wahey!
This year mine has coincided with not the best of times (is it ever a ‘good’ time?! Yet let’s face it, we women are lucky if we get periods, period!). In February, it came on a big flight before a holiday! Here in March, it’s come the week we move.
Mine vary with how they affect me emotionally. No 2 periods being the same. Sometimes I’m teary, sad, low. Other times I’m anxious or agitated and when the mother of them all hit I’m usually a combination of the above! Pleasant. Sometimes though, it will barely affect me, yet this feels rare.
It’s hard being on the contraceptive pill (“the pill”) in a world of choice when you struggle with your mental health. Not everyone is on it for contraceptive purposes either. I could manipulate it to fall on different dates but I don’t. I fear what impact that would have on my body and mind alongside head meds too. I feel I’m manipulating the cycle enough by being on it. Much like how food gets debated there is an ongoing online discussion on whether the contraceptive pill helps or hinders mental health. Many friends of mine and I have tried numerous methods. Experimented. For me, I found the consistency of being on the pill for knowing when my period would come, most helpful.
So here I am on my period in moving week. What’s good this time around is that I’ve been able to differentiate between feelings and experiences of a genuine deterioration of my mood and impact on my mental health and – my period, which is not always easy to do. Some may argue there’s a lot of similarity in symptoms and experiences which I’d agree there is, but I wouldn’t want to undermine or confuse with more serious or longer lasting/more impactful mental health issues.
I’ve been a bit sad, sensitive, and feeling overwhelmed with the move coinciding with the time of the month. I’m leaving my dear grandma! Not for good. Just her extraordinary family home. What a home. What a home she has provided me and many, many others with. Yesterday she showed me a list of how many it/she housed at different points in her life. In our case, the home came at a rather mutually helpful and heart full time.
My dear grandpa had recently passed and so the home was feeling understandably emptier, and we were looking to move out and wandering how we would possibly save any money whilst battling London’s extortionate renting rates. It had a win-win appeal. We could offer grandma comfort, and ‘noise’ among the quiet aftermath of such a significant loss, and she could give us security, a home, an opportunity. However, what this really gave me, was much, much, more.
It gave me what I was longing for when I was a teen, but still, in my adulthood it served me well. It gave me my family. At my finger tips. My family that felt stripped away when mum passed no matter how close we all were in heart we weren’t necessarily in physicality. It gave me laughter, mutterings of family visitors and guests, hugs on request, smiles, touch, many things that yes, my husband gives me too, but from the one unit I’m so deeply lucky to have, my family. My beautiful, courageous, proper community of a family. Don’t get me wrong, we have our (many!) quirks and quibbles but we have love, so much love that overrides it. I love the uniqueness of many individuals within it and I celebrate this.
This is an appreciation blog. A gratitude full one. A one to mark an ending. A one to start a new beginning.
I’ve still got a fair bit to pack. It’s those more sentimental boxes and papers that are harder to go through. Then there’s tasks that require greater energy, the larger items. I’m so grateful I have my husband for this (no, no – not just for his gym bod and strength, for his mental fitness too!) who understood last night that I just wanted to lie in bed. With my tender tummy. Watch one of my go to easy watches and favourite family shows, Everybody Loves Raymond! Let a tear or two gently caress my cheek and not speak much. I just wanted to ‘be’. To process.
Tonight we’ll have our leaving meal. How unintentional yet fitting that it falls on grandpa’s anniversary. A momentous night for grandma and us. Us who she took in with her sweeping heart. Gave us a base. A chance to grow. Us who reciprocated in endless games of scrabble and loving chats and shared story telling, stories that mean something to her. To us.
Here’s to all of US and our special night.
A x 💛