The Worst Thing About Periods*

More than the pain and the cramps

More than having to work and be civil while experiencing pain and cramps

More than the paranoia that you might start it in public without a change of clothes or bathroom available

More than mindfully scheduling vacations around it

More than the stupid remarks of men about it

More than pretending like it doesn’t happen every four weeks for five days straight

More than scrubbing out blood stains

Is that for a few days before (PMS) and during my period

I question the validity of my emotions. I question if my thoughts are trustworthy or valid or reflective of me. I question if my convictions at the moment are true. Uncertain if they are of me or my hormones. Feeling intense emotions and wanting to act on them but knowing I shouldn’t until the week ends and my mind clears. Wondering, am I (and my mental state) this strongly at the mercy of my body?

And then, finally, feeling reduced to a mere combination of chemicals. (What am I, really?)

Some people (including women) claim that this hormonal shift just takes the filters off of us — that they’re simply extensions of our more ‘honest’ selves. That whatever you feel in the hormonal imbalance is still you, too, just stronger because of heightened sensitivity.

This may be true, but it also dismisses the handicap of my mental power in making my own decisions. In being the person I actively and consciously choose to be. The raw me inside is sometimes not the me I choose to be daily. And isn’t that who we are— the union of who we are inherently and who we choose to be?

*different for every woman
*different every cycle