My Birth Control Experiences as The “Definitely, Maybe” Girlfriends
This piece contains spoilers for the movie Definitely, Maybe. So go watch it (again or first, I don’t mind which)
I’ve had a long history with birth control. For 10 years I’ve relied on it to keep me stable, ease the pain bring joy back into my life. Sometimes, its done that and sometimes it was the exact opposite. Over the last decade I’ve flitted between and struggled with 3 different main types of birth control.It’s took me a while to realise that they’ve all affected me mentally or physically, not too dissimilar to the way a love interest in a cheesy romantic comedy would.
My favourite heterosexual romantic comedy is the highly underrated Ryan Reynolds masterpiece Definitely, Maybe*. In the movie Reynolds tells his child the story of the three major loves of his life, how they intermingled, how they ruined his life, how they were there when he needed them, how his perception of them all changed over the years and finally the one that got away. And this got me thinking. My experience of birth control hasn’t just been like any RomCom. It’s been this one.
Depo-Provera (the Conceptive Injection)- Emily (Elizabeth Banks)
Oh depo, you were the contraceptive love of my life. You were easy to live with, caused barely an symptoms and I didn’t have to worry about remembering to take you. I could rely on you. In many ways Will and Emily was the perfect love story of Definitely, Maybe- they were a strong couple and he was crazy about her. But he also took her love for granted and didn’t see the cracks in their relationship. He didn’t see that she wanted something different to him and it broke his heart when, unexpectedly, she cheated. With the contraceptive injection I didn’t see that behind the scenes it was doing long term damage by thinning my hip bones (when I already have osteoporosis), so I had it snatched away from me.
Mirena Coil (IUD)- Summer Hartley (Rachel Weisz)
Summer was the dangerous love, the new exciting girl that he thought was changing his life in so many good ways that he couldn’t see what was right in front of his nose- he was so loved up that he didn’t see her ability to destroy him. When I went on the Mirena coil I was only seeing the good; this contraceptive was something I’d heard about from my friends, it was different, it made my boobs bigger and I didn’t have to worry about anything for years. But that meant I ignored the terrible symptoms; the constant boob ache, the mood changes, the almost constant dizziness. Like Ryan Reynolds I let my love for it blind me until it was too late and she wrote a giant expose on my boss that ruined my career, or in my case the pain made me pretty much bed bound, that I got it out off my life.
Cerazette (Progestogen-Only Pill) - April (Isla Fisher)
April had a habit of kept appearing in Will’s life when he hit rock bottom, she’d see him through and pick him back up, or so he thought. By being the sun breaking through the clouds of depression he forgets how much April complicates life. She makes him act impulsively, pushes him into things he’s uncomfortable with and ultimately he doesn’t see the heartache until its too late. I always go back to the progestogen only pill after a bad experience with other birth control, it’s my rebound birth control if you will. Initially I’m just relieved to have normality back that I forget what it did to me last time- the cramps, mood swings and horrendous cycle. This time around it was 22 days of bleeding before I finally walked away from it. In the end of the film, Will goes back to April and I already know I’ll end up going back to the progesterone only pill at some point.
So much like I would’ve preferred the movie to have ended, I’m going solo for the moment. But I already know that my birth control love story isn’t over.
*Two points 1)Don’t even try to tell me that other straight romantic comedies are better than this, because I’m sorry but you’re wrong. 2) I used the word “hetrosexual” because the greatest romcom of all time is actually Imagine Me and You and it made me realise that most straight romantic comedies are heteronormative bullshit. (These are the views of the author not AMAMU etc)