It hits you at bedtime on the night before an early shift. The pain of ten knives stabbing your belly whilst a horde of horses stomps across it and a throbbing cramp grips hold of your most sensitive region. A storm is tearing apart your insides, you’re fighting the urge to throw up and you have never felt so uncomfortable in your life – it is as if your very skin has shrunk two sizes.
Desperate at the fact that the arrival of your pesky period means you’re still not sleeping you grasp your phone, faced with a brutal decision. To call in sick at 3 am before a 7 am start or to power through, to “man up” (ha!), that is the question.
Although the main query is of course how the devil you in one single month managed to forget about this hellish hurt. How?
How could your body ever be that forgiving? Shouldn’t there be scars, war wounds left behind as evidence? Oh, hold on, that’s what stretch marks are? Right.
So you bite the bullet (or every painkiller you can see) and you get to work and you spend a whole morning working with men. Now, you might be paired with the loveliest of males in the world and they might offer hugs and they might say that they understand but they don’t. (Because you don’t want a hug, you want a friggin’ bat to beat down anyone giving you even the slightest bit of patronising BS.)
They don’t understand how stupid you feel because you as a woman by nature’s own default on this particular day are made to feel weaker than them. When really the fact that you are there, working through every second filled with nausea, pain and anger at your own body, means you are everything but weaker than anyone, ever.
When your female colleague finally joins the team hours later, you’ll most likely be ready to throw yourself on her as soon as she walks through the doors. Like some kind of drug addict with withdrawal symptoms you’ll whisper:
“What have you got for me? I’m telling you, I’ve already had 600 mill of ibupropherin and this shit just isn’t working, man. I don’t care what the packet says just GIVE IT TO ME!”
Poor Rosie. Someone better hook me, I mean you, up with a doctor. Seriously though.
It is bedtime before a less early shift and I am looking forward to a full night’s sleep. Good night beloved Pain, I shall see you in a month.
One day a month you’re more than a woman. Listen to Aaliyah and be ready for that thang.