I remember my first period. I was 12.
I noticed some dark browny/red discharge in my nickers. I showed my mum. “Oh that’s just your period.”
And that was all that was ever really said.
As a young girl growing up, periods were never really discussed or talked about.
It was just something that happened, once a month, that we had to put up with.
And they went along pretty uneventful until I was about 16 when they started to become irregular and my face flared up in big sore pimples.
I went to the doctor, and was told I had something called Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome.
They didn’t know a lot about it then.
The course of treatment was to put me on the oral contraceptive pill (I know right).
And not knowing any better I did what the doctors recommended – after all they are doctors – they know what they are talking about -right?.
And so for many years, my period (or the artificial withdrawal bleed that came once a month) was something that came and went.
Some months I would even skip my period – opting to forgo my period because of a big weekend dance party.
These years played havock on my cycle and my body – which at the time I had no idea of.
…until the time I chose to come off the pill, because I wanted to start a family.
I gave myself a year from the time we wanted to start trying.
And during that time my period would sometimes come, and sometimes not.
It was erratic.
But when they did come – it filled me with dread.
My first thoughts were always eeeewww
this is gross
this is disgusting
What a hassle.
I really disliked my period.
And after a year of being off the pill, another year trying for our first baby, and then finally the help of a beautiful fertility specialist, we were pregnant, and so began my journey of transformation and birthing me.
When my periods finally returned after having my babies – they came back even darker, heavier and more painful that ever before.
The week before I would feel bloated, grumpy and just plain old nasty.
Everything would bother me, and everyone would rub me the wrong way.
I dreaded the time that my blood would eventually come.
And even though it would bring some relief – eventually.
The first few days were spent in pain and agony – my back, all down my legs and my head would pound.
Paracetamol was my best friend.
And despite feeling like curling up and withdrawing from the world, I pushed on.
I just figured that this was how it had to be.
Until one day I came across an article, and it talked about the use of tampons. What was in them, how they can effect our health, and the flow of our period.
Following that I stopped using tampons, and found that the next month my pain was noticeably less.
Yes the whole process of wearing pads still felt icky, but the relief that came was huge – so I persisted.
Through my own healing journey I had started learning about the moon cycles and ancient shamanic women’s practices.
Around this time was guided to undertake some training to become a certified red tent facilitator, to host women’s circles.
Through this journey I began to learn about the gift of my moon time.
I learnt about moon lodges and red tents, what they were, why women used to go into them, how they helped with healing and rest, our connection to the moon and women’s cycles, and how to truly honour and appreciate this sacred time, when women would let their blood flow back to the Earth.
I started to reconnect with my sacred womb, and tune into my cycle.
Reading about the nourishing properties of our menstrual blood – which contains stem cells – the building blocks of life.
I began to see my period as not something to be hated, or disliked. But rather something to be honoured and nurtured.
And so with each passing month things began to change. I began to notice the feelings and thoughts which would come up when my period was approaching. I would tune into my body and begin to hear the messages she was trying to tell me.
I began to change my habits and actions around the time of my moon time, including:
- sending my womb love;
- holding and gently caressing my round tummy instead of ridiculing and pulling my excess skin;
- using organic pads (I’m currently on the lookout for some re-usable ones);
- calling it my sacred moon time, and spending time outside connecting with the moon;
- withdrawing from the world for the first few days;
- resting and listening to my body;
- no cooking on the first two days;
- lighting a red candle, so my family know its my moon time;
- healing, vocalising and releasing the sounds of my womb;
- being open and honest with my family. They will often barge in when I’m on the toilet, and I do not hide my blood from them.
And from these actions, my moon time comes.
She flows as much as she needs to, without any resistance.
There is no more pain.
And there is no more shame.
And so the next step for me is to start doing Yoni steams and using reusable pads, and creating a ritual of rising them, and using the blood rich water on my garden, returning it to the Earth.
Releasing my blood back to her and to nourish and sustain my garden with the cells of my own body.
It has taken me a while to get to this point, and along with healing my womb, honoring my flow, sharing my story, I now feel its time.
I would love to know if this post has helped you? Did you have the same messages growing up around your period as I did? Have you started to heal that story? I’d love to know in the comments below. And please share this with your community and friends if you think it will help them.
All my love and gratitude