Girl Stuff. Again. (Last time).

I haven’t written much this week because I’ve been incredibly tired. My body doesn’t quite feel like my body at the moment; and, whilst I’m delighted that it’s clearly recovering, the whole hormonal re-start has caught me left wing. It has been a little scary, to be honest, which sounds pathetic now that I’m 30, rather than 13.

I worried, after my first post, that I’d been blasé about the whole experience. That, had it happened to a previous me, I would have been upset, rather than elated. I can’t quite put my finger on what the upset would have been about now. Maybe something around feeling like I was “normal”; about it being a sign that I was no longer noticeably thin? I can’t re-create the precise feeling but I know that, for many years, I was terrified of my periods re-starting. A strange mixture of fear and disappointment and failure…or something. Certainly not the relief that I feel now.

I understand those feelings – but life moves on.

Something seems to have changed and I feel like I have been given a second chance.

I also feel like I have been dragged backwards through a cyclone.

I have been on an emotional rollercoaster over the past week. Up one minute, down the next, hungry all the time. Now, it all makes sense; a few days ago, I had absolutely no idea what was going on. The hunger has, inevitably, been the hardest part for me to handle. On Saturday, I thought that I was heading, for the first time in two years, for something resembling a binge.

No.

I think it was just things beginning to wake up again. I am resisting the urge to dig my heels in and fight my body.

And so, I am trying to not be afraid of feeling and not worry about the loss of control. I am taking this whole experience, instead, as the next stage in my recovery, and part of learning about how to feel physically, now that I’ve started to get to grips with the things that are going on in my head. I’m also taking it as a sign that it’s okay that my body is changing and it’s okay for me to move on.

Fingers crossed.

p.s. I um-ed and ah-ed about writing these posts because I wasn’t sure where my (or other people’s, if I’m honest) boundaries were in relation to ‘this kind of thing’. In the end, I decided that this has been a hugely important topic for me, and one that might have resonance for other people in a similar position. I’ve felt horribly alone – both in not having my periods and in them re-starting – and I hope that I haven’t crossed the line, but I wanted to share both the change in perspective and, maybe, some hope.

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5 Responses to “Girl Stuff. Again. (Last time).”

  1. GirlAnon says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I can’t relate to not having periods – mine have been painfully (or not, depending on how you look at it) present since my teenage years. I’ve still got fertility fears due to several “lucky misses” that, in my heart of hearts didn’t feel so lucky – more like a sign that there was something wrong with me; I was a bad girl for being promiscuous so young (despite only seeking love and affection in the only way I knew how); there was nothing good left inside (so why bother even letting myself think about wanting a family when it wasn’t for bad people like me).

    I still wonder sometimes about the validity of these statements – but I’m starting to see that there are things about me that I can like, and learn to love, hopefully, and that other people see in me, so must be true somewhere.

    I can also relate to is the fear of the new (even the good new) that this post touches on. Trying to change my perspective and tackling my thinking is leaving me a little tired, but also refreshed and a lot less stomach-knotty. This type of ‘work’ is really new and it also scares me (perhaps my old way is easier). Yet I know it’s key to me moving forward.

    I guess what I really mean is that whilst periods aren’t everyone’s favourite topic, there’s still much to gleam from this. I continue to find your blog helpful in my recovery – it’s like talking to a friend (at work… when I’m supposed to be doing other things ;-) )

  2. Kushika says:

    I just wanted to say that I feel very happy for your body regaining it’s trust in you and for your periods returning. My psychiatrist always told me that the body did have an amazing capacity to repair itself following the toll it has taken. I hope things continue to go well for you, Melissa.

  3. Christina says:

    First I want to say that it’s great you felt able to write this on line, it takes a lot of guts to write something which has affected you so deeply, especially if you’re not sure how it might be received by others.

    I wanted to comment here because I don’t feel like I have a comparable experience to this. I have been through a lot of hard times with personal identity struggles and some body image issues, but that was completely different I think to your experiences. Although I can recognise a bit of how I have felt about myself in what you’ve said, I wanted to say that what you’ve said is valuable and you shouldn’t be concerned by its reception to those who’ve not experienced the same. People often won’t understand you and will appear to be hostile because everyone to some degree fears the unknown, but writing this shows me that you must be a very brave person, especially to go through these changes, and I wanted to tell you how brave and strong I think you are.

    Also I wanted you to know that this article was shown to me by a couple of friends I have who have struggled with Anorexia. It’s really helped them come to terms with some issues they are still finding hard, it’s also helped me to understand these issues a bit better, and a few other friends of theirs for that matter. You should know that whilst not all of us can relate to what you’ve written you’ve helped us by writing this and considering how most people don’t comment after reading something on the web, you’ve probably helped far more than we could ever know!

    You need to know this so that you keep writing articles like this, and so that you can keep fighting your battles in the knowledge that there are people out there who understand. You’re not alone.

  4. Melissa says:

    Whilst it’s hard to think of other people struggling with this, I really appreciate your feedback Christina and girlanon. These were quite difficult pieces to write and sometimes I wonder whether I really need to be so public with it all!….but then I wanted someone to reassure me a few months ago, and it was so hard to find anything about this subject out.

    Thanks so much for commenting. xx

  5. Melissa says:

    Thanks Kushika. It’s hard to believe things until they happen….but I guess the body really is amazing. :)