I am a woman, 21. I once had a friend say to me that they wanted to be girl, a woman. There are many great things about being a woman… and I guess those reasons are why he said what he said. However, the one thing I think he and everyone else without a uterus is forgetting is periods, and I’m not talking about the kind that go at the end of sentences. You’ve heard it all before I know, but until everyone understands how much of a nightmare periods can be, you get me explaining periods to you, through song… just kidding. I will spare your ears from my musical talents, but I will explain periods to you.

So, your week starts off as usual. You might feel a bit drained and have a bit of a headache but that’s just because you haven’t had enough sleep. You get on with it. A few days go by and spots start to appear out of nowhere and you get this horrible feeling that your period is due, very, very soon. It’s like in zombie films when you can see the mist slowly start to come over the hill, and with the mist comes zombies. But in this film, you’re the one standing there gawping at the danger, hoping it isn’t what you think it is. Spoilers; it is. Later that day you’ll start to feel a dull ache in your lower stomach. It’s fine, just uncomfortable. You’ve snapped a few times at friends but you’re good this time. Everything is all under control. Throughout the day the pain from your stomach will spread to your legs, and usually ride up along your back. You’ll stretch here and there.

It’s fine. Everything’s fine. I mean, it’s not like it’s the first time you’ve had a period, unfortunately. By around 8pm you’re already in your pyjamas, and are sitting in bed with a rom-com on and hot water bottle. Any plans of going to Spoons are long gone by now. By 9, Zac Efron and the ice cream you’ve now somehow managed to acquire won’t be enough to distract you from the small demon that is now inside of you. You take a moment to ready yourself and you walk over to your drawer to get some pain relief. You settle for ibuprofen, take two, and get back into bed. You turn off your laptop, re-heat the hot water bottle, and snuggle down.

Trying to sleep when your body feels like it’s falling apart is easier said than done. You toss and turn, and try all sorts of positions to try and get comfy. You should have seen the pose I pulled last time. See, this is why women are so good at yoga, we get intense monthly practice. Anyway, by 1am you’re a bit fed up of all this nonsense and so you turn to one of your most trusted, loyal, and honest sources, Google. You type into the search bar, as you do every time you get your period, recite it with me: “how to get rid of period pain”. Another spoiler: no matter how many articles you read, they will never tell you someathing you don’t already know.

Suddenly it’s 4am and you’re hunched over your chair rocking back and forth trying to focus your energy on your breathing and not the pain, which is hard because you have no energy because it’s 4 in the bloody morning and you have to be up by 8 latest for a 9am. So, whilst you start thinking about how many hours you have left to sleep, the pain just gets worse and worse and all of a sudden, your curtains seem to be talking to you, because you’re that tired. You start to feel a bit hot and your head starts to hurt and you wonder whether you’ll be in the local paper tomorrow for giving birth despite not knowing you’re pregnant because these cramps could bloody well be contractions at this point. This goes on for a while and eventually you start to question the idea that you’re still an independent woman who don’t need no man.

All you really want right now is cheese and then before you know it you’re back in bed and getting all emotional about that one time you dropped a bag of Maltesers on the floor, or the time when you were like six, and you didn’t get that pony you wanted for Christmas, or the time earlier today when that girl held the door open for you, or the fact that you’ll never see that cute guy you made eye contact with today in library ever again. Your inner Bridget Jones tends to come out during periods.

These feelings eventually pass. Either that or you just come to accept the fact that you’ll be a mess for the next few days. It’s usually the latter. You’ll curl up in a ball, make a mental note to yourself to go and get the implant or look into going on the pill, and just wait. Wait for the pain to pass. Of course, these plans become non-existent once this period ends. And then, my friends, we go all the way back to the beginning. I love being a woman. Period.

By Lizzy Brown


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