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We deserve to be valued in all our seasons

Updated: Oct 30, 2020

You can’t have spring without autumn and people with periods deserve to be valued, loved and accepted when we’re 'nice' and ovulatory as well as when we’re fiery and premenstrual.

We're not mental, we're elemental and we all know that nothing in nature can bloom all year round, the tides cannot be in a continual flow, there must be an ebb and so why would it be any different for us?

I get it. One day I'm all 'good morning, I love you, I've made you a coffee, do you want a head massage?!' and then boom suddenly you ask me if I'm ok and I'm like: 'YES, I'm FINE. Why are you asking?!'

There's a big difference between using the premenstrual phase as a free pass to be a dick and responding less well than you would like to because you are experiencing mood, energy and sensory input changes that dramatically change your experience of the world and the people in it. Learning to wisely and safely wield the power of fire can be very testing but it is so important to remember that you are no less good, worthy or valuable because you wax and wane and you deserve to be met and valued through all of your seasons.

Our wider cultural narrative states that we're not important or valuable when we're not fertile ie. premenstrual, on our period, menopausal... and that is just not ok.

Autumn and winter are fucking powerful and sensational seasons of our lives, cycles and nature. The colour of autumn leaves provides a richness and an unmatched beauty to the year in nature, over winter many plants and creatures survive the winter with NOTHING but their own nourishment to sustain them and bulbs and seeds pulse with life and potential beneath the soil whilst seemingly doing nothing under a blanket of snow. Autumn is a powerful exploration of letting go and winter is a quiet space where it seems as though nothing is happening but from where all life arises.

The autumn and winter of our cycles and lives infuse a richness, beauty, power and strength into our lives that simply wouldn't be possible if we existed in a perpetual summer.

Part of overcoming PMS is to bring our premenstrual, menstrual and menopausal selves out of the shadows and into the light so that we can be whole and integrated humans rather than living a half life where literally half of our lives is about overriding, hiding, denying and suppressing.

Another part is letting go of the 'good girl' narrative that so many of us have been assimilating through all mediums for our entire lives, that of the domestic goddess who never complains or says no and is endlessly giving, sacrificing and tolerant. I thought I had to live like this for a long time and every time I failed (because I 'failed' every time... because it's pretty much impossible) I felt guilty. Guilty about my very nature.

Say no, let go, drop the weight, release expectations, step into the fire and let yourself be forged into something new.

I certainly don't always get it right but over the years of consciously working with my luteal phase and some pretty intense premenstrual change symptoms I've learned that for me the things that help are:

  • Communication

  • A shared menstrual cycle awareness calendar with Josh

  • Getting to know my cycles, particularly the tricky days and sharing that with those love in advance

  • A clear and spacious diary

  • Lots of alone time

  • Headphones

  • Lots of rest

  • Really good nutritional support throughout the whole cycle

  • Time outs before I find myself in the point of no return red mist zone

  • Airing resentments calmly outside of the premenstrual phase

  • Asking for help, support, tolerance and understanding

  • Listening to 'Bitch' by Meredith Brooks to help me to feel empowered by the polarity of my being and feel at home in my autumn

  • And finally texting this to Josh a couple of days post ovulation so we both remember to go easy and most of all, what happens in the luteal phase, stays in the luteal phase. 

'I need you to know that I love you and I am doing my best and am never, ever using these very real chemical changes, mood swings and feelings as an “excuse” or a reason to act out. If anything, I probably feel guilty that I am not my best self for you right now, and I want to be. I will keep trying to do better every month, and I would also like rose petals everywhere, if that’s not too much to ask.' ~ Helaina Hovitz

This list isn't exhaustive but just a few of the biggies for me but every experience is so unique and different. What about you? What do you find helpful?

Carly x

Meredith Brooks, Bitch

I hate the world today

You're so good to me

I know but I can't change

Tried to tell you

But you look at me like maybe

I'm an angel underneath

Innocent and sweet

Yesterday I cried

You must have been relieved

To see the softer side

I can understand how you'd be so confused

I don't envy you

I'm a little bit of everything

All rolled into one

I'm a bitch

I'm a lover

I'm a child

I'm a mother

I'm a sinner

I'm a saint

And I do not feel ashamed

I'm your hell

I'm your dream

I'm nothing in between

You know you wouldn't want it any other way

So take me as I am

This may mean you'll have to be a stronger man

Rest assured that when I start to make you nervous

And I'm going to extremes

Tomorrow I will change

And today won't mean a thing

You know you wouldn't want it any other way

Just when you think you've got me figured out

The season's already changin'

I think it's cool you do what you do

And don't try to save me

You know you wouldn't want it any other way

I'm a bitch

I'm a tease

I'm a goddess on my knees

When you hurt

When you suffer

I'm your angel undercover

I've been numb

I'm revived

Can't say I'm not alive

You know I wouldn't want it any other way

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