I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy (and relieved) to get my period. I’ve been expecting it for the past two weeks, experiencing all the symptoms, the mood swings, the intense infinite hunger, the lack of sexual drive, the physical pain, but nothing came.
Last night, I looked up at the full moon and tried to invocate the divine power it has on me and my cycle. And this morning, I patted my lower belly. Come on, uterus! I cheered within, Show me some blood!
El Utero responded a couple of hours later, and I can now feel the cramps coming. My legs are already halfway towards the heavy weight they take on during the first two days of my period. I’ll be dragging them around in no time.
I like to make a mental list every month of things that will make me a happy bleeder:
1) Take a shower:
Sure, I take a shower every day and I thoroughly enjoy it. But there is no greater pleasure than walking into a steaming hot shower when you are in excruciating menstrual pain. I like to pull down the shower head and spray water directly on my lower belly. It’s like a hot water rubber bottle for when you have a belly ache.
Sleeping is also one of my great daily pleasures. But I especially love wearing a soft cloth pad to match my winter PJs, blast the heater, curl up into a fetal position under big heavy winter blankets and fly off to fluffy-cloud land. Sleeping helps me forget my cramps, even if only temporarily.
3) Listen to feminist music:
Again, yet another one of my daily pleasures is listening to Riot Grrrls screaming their female fury to the beat of angry drums and distorted guitars. But the time I really dig it is when the walls of my uterus are bursting and gushing. Any time I experience pain, any kind of pain, emotional, physical, sexual or menstrual, I need music to get by. And what better mood music to celebrate your feminine cycle than Riot Grrrl? While Sleeping helps me forget my cramps, Riot Grrrl helps me embrace them while I am awake.
While I love writing on a regular basis as well, during my cycle I require specific kinds of writing. Writing a blog on how to enjoy your period is one of them. Any other feminist-oriented topic is also appropriate. But to fully enjoy my monthly writing experience, I like to resort to red writing tools – my red typewriter, my red notebook and red pen, i.e. the body of the pen is red, but it writes in black. Red ink hurts my eyes, so I avoid that.
If I feel too lazy to do any substantial writing, reading is a great substitute. I say, why don’t I just let the professionals show me what good writing should be! And so I fall into Stephen King’s arms of prose once again, and squirm with delight.
This is yet another necessary daily activity, but the focus here is on chocolate. More specifically, ice cream. And for those who know me, know that not just any ice cream will do. I need Ben & Jerry’s Cookies n’ Cream Ice Cream – accept no substitute. I can also dig some nice, steaming hot souffle, but with a nice big ball of Cookies n’ Cream to go with it!
7) Meditation or prayer:
I am not one of those people who think that in order to relieve any kind of pain or emotional distress, you must relax and go all zen or whatever. Such relaxation only serves to infuriate me. But sometimes, while on my cycle, I like to stop for a moment, in front of my living room window and study the moon. This is my form of quasi-meditation and I highly recommend it to every woman out there. There is something exquisite about the movement and the changing cycles of the moon, and I find it to be so perfectly in tune with my body. You may feel the same way.
I am also not a religious person by any means, but if I am on the heavy flow days when the Holy Sabbath comes around, lighting the candles is an experience like no other. And I definitely think it also has something to do with living within the walls of the Holy City.
With all the things I do during my cycle, there are things I must avoid like the plague. These include sex, exercise, staying out in the cold for too long, operating heavy machinery, standing in a bus full of people (sometimes there is no avoiding that), and being in a room full of insanely loud people. I’m sure there are some other more minor things I am forgetting, but these are the major things I cannot do while on my period.
To my fellow bleeders, if you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Maybe I’ll try them out.
Peace, love and Blood, Fire and Columns of Smoke