Late

It's about 2am and I'm just settling in for the night. It's a pattern that develops when I work overnight shifts at work. I get home around 2:30am and sleep most of the next morning/afternoon.

I didn't work today but I'm awake. I feel anxious; I feel antsy. I need to take a step and I have many different ones in my mind. But I'm not sure where to go.

100 new job – full time, benefits, works.
Part time substitute teach – make myself available a few days a week.
Maybe weekend waitress, while back at school – focus unknown.

(I should tell you at this point in writing this I have no idea if I will post it or not.)

I can't settle my brain enough, and I know it's my fear and ego mind talking. I recognize this. I've been trained to work against this. But I somehow can't seem to find the peace and wisdom I deserve.

Things are very stressful. My sister is getting married and my sister in law just had a baby! There are events going on at work that make it difficult to have a good attitude there.

I know I can change how I view things in my life. I know I can choose to see the difficulties as blessings on the way to a better place. For some reason I can't let myself allow the universe to work. I feel myself blocking it.

And I have to do something about it.

On the FAM front, my cycles are very long, it's taking 2 months at this point. I had this issue when I was in college. But my inner blocks are could also be having an affect, seeing as its why I haven't been updating my experience.

This read more like a diary, but I'm ok with it. I can be the only one who deals with spiritual blocks.

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FAM Journey, Weeks 2-3

Hi all!

I’m not sure how many folks are following along here, but thanks if you are! I wanted to steadily post weekly, but obviously life sometimes gets in the way. Regardless, I’m checking in with my journey to get off hormonal birth control.

I stopped taking my BC pills on the last day before my “placebo” week started. Following that day, I had 2-3 days of extremely light spotting. I wouldn’t even call it a period – seeing as it was just a false bleed anyhow.

Around the same time, I began charting my temperature every morning. Immediately, I saw how general stressors of life could affect my temps. I went to a friends for girls’ night, drank quite a bit of wine and my temp the next morning shot up over 98 degrees, when I’m usually between 96.5 – 97. I’m thankful the app I am using allows me to select an option for a questionable temp and can exclude it from my chart lines.

Of course I knew I hadn’t yet ovulated because my cervical fluid was dry and my cervix was very low and closed – no eggs here.

By far the most amazing change I have seen is in my mood and demeanor. It’s much easier to function through the day – I don’t want to sleep on all my down time. I’m less abrasive toward family and friends, and I can feel my sex drive creeping back up. I’m sure my hormones wont go totally back to normal for a few months, but I am thrilled at what I am feeling and seeing in my body and mind right now.

I’m also several hundred pages into Taking Charge of Your Fertility, and the hype is right. It is the greatest source that you could pick up for this process. It will help you really understand what happens during your cycle. It will make you re-think any “issues” you may have thought you had and you’ll say “oh, that’s what that was.”. I was someone who thought that every time after my period I would have a yeast infection. In reality, I tend to just have a more crumbly-type fluid on my dry and sticky days – go figure!

I’m currently on day “17” of my cycle, however I am considering it an iffy one because I didn’t have a true “period” starting on day 1. I just based day 1 off of the first day I would have taken my placebo pills. Currently I am waiting for ovulation, and am definitely getting close. So from here until my next “safe” zone I’ll be using barrier methods during sex. I found the first large amount of creamy fluid yesterday so I expect to find my thermal jump in the next 4 or 5 days. I’ll keep you posted!

 

xx

 

Start: Week 1 – Bye Bye, Birth Control

The reactions that I have received in telling a few close friends about stopping my birth control are ones that I expected. Most hovered in the area of “well you need to go to the doctor you can’t just stop” and “aw you’ll be the next one pregnant!”. While neither of those are necessarily true, they do have some resonance.

Can I just stop taking my pills? I took my last “real” pill yesterday and I’m on my final placebo week. Of course I have been doing research and watching videos of others’ experiences coming off hormonal birth control. Truthfully, I don’t really want to go back to my doctor (I actually use Planned Parenthood at the moment), because I don’t want them to say “oh lets try another pill we can find one that’s right for you.” So yes, I can stop taking my pill. Will I have side effects from the lack of those particular hormones? Quite possibly. My body has been altered so much by these fake hormones that I don’t know what could happen. But I still believe that our bodies have the ability to heal themselves as long as we treat them right.

I shouldn’t have to go through horrible symptoms and trials and errors to find birth control that works for me. Men, grab a condom and you’re good for pregnancy AND STD’s. We have it a little bit harder. I should be able to find a reliable, safe, natural method of birth control that I can use that doesn’t make me crazy! I already have depression and anxiety – and I truly believe since starting hormonal birth control both have become exponentially worse.

I feel like I have lost a big lust for life. Yes, my sex drive is also down so that “lusty” part is also a struggle. But in general, I have become duller. I lack motivation in the morning when I have plenty to do – even today, with this blog post on my to-do list, I rolled around in bed for almost 3 hours before starting it. Sure, I was up and down. I had some toast, popped my vitamins, and called my mom. Still, there’s something missing. I feel almost numb, the way I was before I got on my anti-depressant (yes I am for natural methods of medication but my anti-depressant literally saved my life. I’m working on getting off of it slowly but right now it is something that keeps me functioning – balance!).

I’ve received my copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility and I’m absorbing it all. I just wish I could shove it in my friends faces sometimes. I want to say “this is different, but not. It is new, but it’s old. And I can do it and make it work”. But that might take a while.

This week is almost a prep week – I’ll have my “period” probably Tuesday thru Thursday and then hopefully my body will begin to try and balance itself out.

Questions, comments, concerns? I’d love your feedback and/or advice on transitioning into FAM. Do you think I’m moving too fast? Why? Still skeptical? – Tell me your concerns. Knowledge is power – who says we can’t learn together!?

xx

Bye Bye Birth Control

I got my period when I was 13. I wasn’t sexually active until college, so I did not bother with birth control. People suggested it to me for my horrible cramps and long, bloody days during my period (I was sent home on my 16th birthday because my period was so bad. My teacher looked at me, pale and drawn out – hunched over my sewing machine about to die and told me to go to the nurse – Happy Birthday to me…).

The times I did have sex I used condoms. But by the time I was in a serious relationship, something had to give. Neither of us enjoyed condoms, I had gotten a diaphragm but never mastered its techniques so I didn’t really use it (might have to bring it back into rotation though!). So I started on a fairly low-dose pill and had a great first month. Then I had my “period” every 2 weeks for 2 months. So back to the doc I went and got a different script. This one seemed much, much better. I thought maybe I had mood swings, but I also wasn’t remembering to take  my anti-depressant every day. I thought maybe my libido was acting strange since I was losing some of my sex drive. I thought maybe it was just stress or exhaustion. But then my joints started to hurt a little bit more when I tried to get on my yoga mat. And I was crying for no reason at NO single thing. I knew this wasn’t just stress or being tired.

For so many years I rejected hormonal birth control. I knew it wasn’t for me. I knew it could mess with my body’s natural currents. I was an advocate for never, ever going on it. And because of my financial state, life state, (CAN NOT have a kid right now), I gave in. I let myself believe it was the only way I could control my body.

Not so, folks. I’ve had brilliant health coaches along the way remind me of the dangers and I do wish I had listened. I kind of just don’t feel myself while on this stuff. I’m finishing out this week and then getting my “period” next week. But after that I will be going off the pill.

Yes, the plan is to transition to FAM. I’ve ordered my thermometer and books and literature and I’m researching all I can. I advise everyone to do this.

I think I’ll try to do a week-by-week update for this blog and track how my moods are and how things go once I stop taking the pill.

Meanwhile: comment your literature, book recs, youtube videos to watch, etc. If you’ve done this link me to your experiences or comment your story. I want to get in a lot of research and absorb knowledge before I really embark.

xx

Where I’ve Been and Where I’m Going

Where I’ve been and where I’m going.

It’s interesting when you aren’t quite sure what either of those are.

I haven’t written anything down in several months, over a year. Forgive me if this feels choppy or unedited because my creative mind is a bit stuck. Literally stuck at this very moment. It feels as if there is no next thought anymore. I don’t know what to say next. I have thoughts in my head all day everyday. I feel the urge to scream them, sing them, and at least write them down. And I just never do. So it’s probably just the universe laughing at me that the moment I sit down to write anything, I’m completely fucking stuck.

Ah, well. I guess that’s what happens. You’ll probably see some new posts in the coming weeks. Political musings because, well, Cheeto; boyfriend rants; and the adventures of a teeny tiny studio apartment.

Looking in All the Wrong Places

I was inspired. Betchya didn’t see this one coming ;).

If you’ve read enough of this blog, you’ve read the gist of my spiritual and religious history. It’s chock-filled with doubts, insecurities, and slamming the door in God’s face OVER and OVER again. You also probably know that when I lived in Rhode Island I fell in LOVE with my church and the family I made there. And three months after leaving I still miss them all like crazy, and I still try to keep in touch with my closest friends. I sometimes wonder why I connected so much there. Maybe it was the progressiveness of the church – and how they TRULY accepted every single person who walked through their door. They actively advocated for people of all race, gender identity, sexuality, ethnicity, monetary status, etc. They accepted me in, a single, 20-something who began attending by herself – and I was taken in like a daughter by my new pastors and friends.

Okay, soppy shit aside, the point is, we Love one another. They took me in, Loved me, and I Loved them in return. Because that’s what it’s about. It took me a while to realize this. Growing up in a Roman-Catholic church, I thought I had to confess to a priest and get through the seven sacraments and become a nun and never, ever sin to find God. I thought that the only way to experience God was on a Sunday morning after CCD, sitting in that gargantuan, stained-glass castle, while I listened to the Priest tell me I wasn’t good enough and I could never confess enough for God, and read to me from a big ‘ol book that made NO sense to me.

I was young. I stopped attending church when I was 12. Before that, I did sing in choir, which gave me a new experience, and gave my voice the training it needed to actually be decent as I grew up, but I digress. In the ten years between leaving the Catholic Church and finding a way to worship again, I looked for God everywhere. I looked to ancient religions, modern religions, obscure religions. I also began to fear the word “God” and refused to think of Jesus as anyone remotely relevant. Some worked for a time, and some didn’t. But at the same time…my life fell apart. Again, if you’ve read any of this blog, you have an idea of what my high school and college years were like – I won’t get into that here it’s not the time. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was all for a reason. It was all a part of my journey. Do I hate that I went through it? Of course. But do I think God was smiting me and forcing me to suffer for no reason? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t trade my experience with my EDNOS or depression or self-harm with anything. Because it’s a huge part of who I am right now, in this moment, when I thank God for all the good that is in my life right now. 

Okay, I’m getting soppy again. MY POINT IS: I looked in all the wrong places, until I started to think of God differently. Instead of a big, angry man sitting in the sky judging me, I learned to see God as Love. Pure, unsurpassed, never-ending Love. And then I came to find my place in the church. And then I came to realize what I really believed about God, Jesus, The Bible, and worship. God is Love. And Love is everything. It’s everywhere. And it is the only thing that matters in this world. Jesus was a teacher, yep. And he taught about Love. He taught his followers to love God (or love, love, worship LOVE, experience LOVE) above all, and to Love your neighbor as yourself. That’s it. Not too hard.

I find God when I get on my yoga mat, and in the bustle of the downtown noise I find a moment of silence in my head and I can fully hear my breath, my heartbeat, and the essence of my life, that’s God. I hear God in your laughter, and I see Him when the world outside is so quiet I don’t want to move for fear of ruining it. God isn’t in a building, and he isn’t in a book. He’s in the people that make up your life – the good and the bad, because they are equally important. He’s in the ground and the trees and the storms and the wildlife. Do I love the Bible that I have on my nightstand? I do. It’s calmed me and comforted me in many a dark and distressful time, when nothing else could. Do I take every single word as rote law and creed? Hardly. Because I know it was written thousands of years ago by many, many hands in many, many languages and we often interpret it wrong. So I take what I need and leave the rest.

And I’ll always take the Love.

Have a beautiful day, xx.

 

“For your steadfast Love is before my eyes,

and I walk in your faithfulness.”

Psalm 26:3 (ESV)

Hauntings

I was sick last weekend – awful. I was nauseated at work on Saturday, and when I got home I went to bed early. During the middle of the night I woke up and spent the next 2 hours vomiting. Sunday wasn’t much better as my stomach still wasn’t settled. Even on Monday, I wasn’t completely better. In fact, all week my stomach has been off. I chalked it up to anxiety over something. And today I’m better, but some foods still make my stomach turn.

I’m getting to my point. I didn’t feel up to much this week. Between being sick and the onset of my period, I haven’t been to yoga once. I practiced at home on Wednesday morning, but that’s about it. I also haven’t been eating well – in quality or quantity. So needless to say, I feel kind of crummy! It’s incredible how good, whole food can make you feel so wonderful. But right now – the thought of it makes me want to ralph. My mom made this cauliflower quinoa risotto dish that I usually LOVE. But just looking at it grosses me out. And it sucks.

So I went to Rhode Island yesterday for a quick visit to my old work, and my old church for the Maundy Thursday service. After the service I was saying my goodbyes and my good friend says to me “Are you eating?”. And I kind of laughed. I could honestly say “Yes I’m eating, but I did lose weight.” I’ve been home, practicing yoga regularly, walking, hiking with friends, eating clean about 85-90% of the time. But in the last 2 months I have lost about 10 pounds – without thinking about it. I knew when I moved home that I was heavier than I wanted to be, because my clothes weren’t fitting. But it wasn’t until I went to the gynecologist last month that I realized I was losing weight. 

And I had a flashback. To high school, to college. When this question used to be desired, but also dreaded. If they asked, they noticed I was losing weight. But if they asked that also meant they might have noticed that I wasn’t eating. And I was flooded with out of nowhere anxiety on the drive home. Am I ok? Am I going to fall back into my old habits? Is everyone going to think I have an eating disorder again? I knew all these thoughts were ridiculous but I couldn’t shake them.

I tried to laugh it off to myself. But I couldn’t help but be filled with stomach churning anxiety on the subject. Totally unwarranted. Seeing as I’m the one who is in control of my life. My EDNOS doesn’t control me anymore. It doesn’t dictate what I eat, how I feel, who I’m good enough for. I’m the only one who can decide these things.  I guess sometimes we all just need a little reminder. Nobody can make you feel anything you don’t want to feel. You are the only one who controls your reactions to situations. Sometimes it’s hard.

Sometimes you have feelings you think you can’t control – depression, anxiety. Sometimes you have feelings for a person that you think are so strong they could never go away – even if they aren’t reciprocated. But they’ll fade. If you let them go. If you surrender to happiness and health and well being you’ll find peace in yourself. I truly believe that.

Happy Good Friday & Have a BEAUTIFUL day!