Spoiler alert: this article is not about historical period drama!
Hello, my name is Kemi and I’m always on my period. I’m on my period at this very moment and wish someone could just rip out my uterus with their bare hands because I DON’T WANT IT ANYMORE!! But I’m also lying on a sofa, waiting for painkiller #3 to kick in, and the sofa is in a beach house in Sydney, overlooking Bondi, so things could be worse. I was due on the day of my departure from Berlin, which would have meant 27 hours of travelling in agonising pain but somehow, magically, for once my always-on-time-cycle showed some mercy — or maybe jet lag doesn’t just fuck up circadian sleep but also the cycle of doom. Who knows? Who cares?
I started this post last month, while being on my period (of course) and can’t remember why exactly I thought it was a good idea to share a detailed breakdown of my monthly horrors — specifically the dreaded DAY 1 — with you, but it’s done now, so enjoy!
My period conveniently arrives on the day I’m meant to be meeting a terrifying deadline at work. It’s Friday, 5am and I wake up feeling as if someone had just repeatedly stabbed my uterus. Tired and groggy, I search for a tampon and my maximum strength neon pink painkillers and go back to bed.
The painkillers have had zero effect so I pop another one.
Still waiting for the 800mg of ibuprofen to kick in, I lie in bed, think of the day ahead and pull the duvet up a bit further as the fear of what awaits me in the office creeps into my body. In my mind, I go through all my to-dos, emails I need to send, the dreaded 5pm client meeting, and before I know it my alarm goes off.
OK, let’s do this. I get out of bed and just as I reach for the door handle, I hear the bathroom door being shut and Kanye starts making no sense at maximum volume. The builders who have started renovating the house 8 months ago have also arrived and decided to hang out on my balcony, chat a little and play German Schlager tunes on their weatherproof radio. I hate everyone.
A coffee and an underwhelming breakfast later, it’s my turn to take a shower. Over night my hair has gone from #blackgirlmagic glorious curls to a flat, greasy mess and no make-up on earth is going to be able to distract from the fact that I’ve got two massive spots growing out of my forehead. Oh, to be a woman.
How is it possible that I look even worse after I had a shower? The good news is that the pain is moderate now. The bad news is that my winter diet and period bloating have left me with nothing I can wear without cutting off blood circulation from my waist downwards — but perhaps that’s a good thing today?
I squeeze myself into jeans I really should have gotten in a bigger size and leave the house. An arctic blizzard awaits me and I seem to have lost my gloves last night. FML.
Today’s deadline has been moved forward and a bunch of new to-dos have been added to my never-ending list. My coworker sees me popping another pill, winks and asks if I had a late night. Great, now everyone thinks I’m hungover. I start daydreaming about getting very, very drunk tonight.
I forgot to bring tampons with me and don’t feel entirely comfortable asking coworkers for tampons yet, as I only started the job. Oh well, it’s not as if I have a choice.
When did everyone start using mooncups?
Why do I have to be here? I should be allowed a day off! Why can’t I be a cat or a dog and only get my period twice a year? I want to be a cat. I want to be at home, sleep all day and only wake up to poop, lick my butt or destroy furniture.
I hate everyone who doesn’t have a uterus.
I want to be back in bed and cuddled up to someone who doesn’t have a uterus.
I’ve fallen down a Google rabbithole, reading about horrendous TSS cases and signing period petition after period petition. Luxury item my ass!
Shit, the deadline.
I eat my body weight in lasagna and feel gross but immensely satisfied. I ask the waitress if she’s got a tampon and she apologises for not being able to help. Is she really sorry though?? My man friend texts to see when and where we’re meeting and I send him vague and confusing messages until he stops replying. I ask for the bill and find a tampon hidden under the receipt. What a moving display of female solidarity.
Back at work and about to pass out on the keyboard. I wash another painkiller down with a double espresso, put my earphones in, listen to techno and start typing frantically.
Still frantic but I’m making progress.
Nothing I wrote made any sense.
Time really flies when you’re facing a deadline and have no fucking clue what you’re doing. More frantic typing, time for another painkiller.
Five minutes until I have to face the client and explain the mess I’ve created. I run to the toilet, put the seat down and give myself a pep talk: You can do this! Just bullshit your way through the meeting and pretend you know what you’re doing. If Donald Trump can be president of the USA then surely you can pull off this meeting. Just communicate exclusively in buzzwords and you’ll be fine. I text a friend and ask him to meet for a drink after work, and to bring some tampons.
The client loved all of my ideas. We laugh hysterically at each other’s jokes and I feel like a total douche — but also like this…
Finally in a bar with a drink in hand. I had to unbutton my jeans, as my uterus couldn’t take the pressure anymore. Still, I feel like celebrating. It’s Friday evening, I managed to meet a ridiculous deadline, convinced the client that my ideas were gold, and I’m enjoying a glass of vino with my friend. Also, the bar has a basket full of tampons in the ladies’ toilet, so I’m sorted for the night. For the first time today I feel relaxed, which might also have something to do with the 2000mg of Ibuprofen and Nero d’Avola having a party in my bloodstream.
Well into glass #3, my friend and I start arguing and he accuses me of being irrational due to PMS. Frustrated, I shout at him:
Me: I’m not pre but in the middle of my period! You’ve got no idea what I’m going through month after month, sometimes even twice a month because I’ve got …
Him: … the shortest cycle ever, I know! 24 days, it’s fucking unfair.
Me: Wow — you actually listen.
Him: Every single time you’re on your period you tell me about your short cycle. I know EVERYTHING about it because you ALWAYS make sure that I know you’re on it, and that I suffer with you.
Me: Good. You’re a true friend, let’s get some more wine and drink to that — but don’t expect me to do up that button, stand up and go to the bar. Not today.
The night ends, of course, at McDonalds.
Feeling stable again. Inconvened, but stable.
Written by: Kemi
Image by: Coco