For those humans out there with reproductive organs that involve a monthly purge of uterine lining, this post is dedicated you.
For those of you who don’t have this lived experience, feel free to follow along. You might learn something; I don’t know your knowledge base so I cannot make that assumption.
The period tracker on my phone buzzed this morning to let me know that my period is about to start. Usually, I call the first day of this event Wine and Chocolate Day, as I have been using both to medicate myself through the cramps that the first day usually brings.
I am not going to go very deep into the science behind how tannins in red wine help the uterine lining shed with minimum cramping and clotting (which sounds much better than the alternative, I must say). I will, however, admit that I used this information as an excuse to treat myself to a monthly bottle of incredibly inexpensive red (I am no wine snob, but a rather thrifty mofo). I have a similar relationship with chocolate; I know it has health benefits when taken during this monthly evacuation, so have drawn links to having chocolate at this time of the month, but rarely purchase it for myself otherwise.
In this way, since my period is pretty mild in comparison to the experiences I’ve listened to, my period is mostly a reminder to treat myself to wine and chocolate while my innards make it feel as though I did something wrong.
Obviously, the wine part of this equation is out for the next twelve or thirteen rounds.
But rather than bemoan the fact that yet another aspect of my life is being interrupted by this project, I’m wondering what else I can do to make myself feel good. My shoulders are usually a myriad of knots from carrying books all day and hunching over books all night, so I asked my partner for a massage. I can still go on a quest for chocolate. I can tuck in with the program with which I am currently obsessed and drink tea with lemon. I can luxuriate in a bubble bath (although I already do this every Wednesday, an extra bath still feels like a treat).
One thing I do not recommend is looking up articles of what to do to feel better on your period, as the few Google directed me to were not helpful, and basically served as an anchor for advertising spaces. I really don’t need to start the time where my body hates me most with “tips” telling me about how I need to maintain socially appropriate looks at all times. I’d rather just be human.
I am very fortunate that I do not NEED wine to get through; to those of you with chronic pain associated with your cycle (or any at all, for that matter), I urge you to get the treatment you need. But I can give up this method and try something new, which is a privilege for which I feel grateful. If all else fails, that’s why we have over the counter pain killers.