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The Pill - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
The Pill
I won't put this under a friends-lock; as Joe pointed out the other day, there's nothing here to be ashamed of, and nothing that should be hidden.

Once more into the breach, dear friends... I'm flying without hormonal birth control again. The Pill wasn't working out; I was bleeding three weeks out of every four. Not just bleeding; I was getting all the other symptoms too: cramping, bloating, weight gain, cravings, emotional turmoil.

I couldn't live with it anymore, so I stopped taking the pills a couple of days ago. I'm feeling markedly better already. Bleeding like mad as my body goes "what the fuck??" but I'd rather have my body saying that than my mind. Over the past eight years I've tried every form of hormonal birth control on the market. Next step is to go see my doctor to arrange an IUD. He won't like it. I'm young, I want to have kids someday and I've never been pregnant. It's going to be painful. It might not work. But I'm not leaving 'til he agrees to it, and if he won't, I'll keep trying different doctors 'til I find one who will.

I have a friend who is an F-to-M transsexual and is currently going through the change, aided by regular doses of testosterone, which have changed his outlook on life. We were chatting on his journal and he said, "I let the boy power wear off a couple of weeks ago and it was terrible! I was super cranky and all the things that were annoying me kept running around in my head driving me nuts. I was much happier when I had limited room in my head because the spare space was filled with SEXXORZ. So now I feel guilty because I think Being Female Sucks."

"All the things that were annoying me kept running around in my head driving me nuts" - that's what it's like! Words don't express it though; to READ that and to FEEL it are two very different things. You have to think very, very hard to pull yourself out of it. Sometimes you can't. Sometimes you hate yourself because you can't switch off and you're terrified of becoming this neurotic suspicious she-bitch monster.

It's the grasping, fearful, selfish Hyde to my happy, smart, adventurous Jeckell.

The hormones have been slowly ebbing back down over the past couple of days. I sat in the living room last night with a book, cats on my lap, Joe loading videos on the laptop, Sarah Grey outside having a quick smoke, and I felt so... relaxed. Calm. I slept properly last night and woke up gradually to the series of horizontally balletic hugs we move through on mornings like this. Draped. Spooning one way, then the other. Back to back. Face to face. Fingers linked. Nestled with our foreheads touching.

"Seeing you happy makes me happy," Joe said, and then started telling me what the morning light did to the colour of my eyes.

I'm not going back to the Pill. Extra female hormones don't get along too well with me; I seem to have more than enough as it is. So I'll have to work a little harder for my liberation.
11 have fought ~ fight the power!
calicougar From: calicougar Date: September 26th, 2008 01:05 am (UTC) (Link)

Hormones are a bitch!

I never felt more crazy than when I was on the Pill.

I never felt more sane, calm and stable than when I was pregnant. I wish I could have those hormones all the time! I felt like a different person.
tania From: tania Date: September 26th, 2008 01:53 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hormones are a bitch!

I'm so relieved. Sometimes from inside the craziness it's hard to tell how much of what you're feeling is real and how much is the Pill. :\ The fact that I'm feeling so much calmer these past two days says a lot.

I'm really interested in pregnancy... to be honest (and hoping here I don't sound like a dopey teenager), I can't wait! But I'm going to. ;P Wait, I mean, until life, relationship and money are all at optimum stability, and then I shall take that step with glee. :)

My transsexual friend was telling me that testosterone has done wonders for him, mentally and sexually, and that a similar effect (without the boyish side effects) might be achieved for a woman who gives Horny Goat Weed or Tribulus Herb a shot.

Edited at 2008-09-26 01:54 am (UTC)
rosequoll From: rosequoll Date: September 26th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't bother with your doc for the IUD. May an appointment with the FPQ (Family Planning Queensland) down near Brunswick street. My appointment was free, I got a checkup and talked to the lady about getting an IUD.

She wrote me a script to buy the IUD at the chemist (I got the mirena, which has been GREAT for me, and yes, in the past depo and pills both have made me bleed like a pig), I picked it up for about $30 and waited.

They had me call on the first day of my next period, and they made me a quick appointment for a couple days later. I went in, they did another exam, small anaesthetic shot (Ausgdfjgsahdf! Weirdest thing ever) in my cervix, they did the sounding, in it went (felt like a REALLY bad cramp for a few seconds), and then I lounged in the afterpatient room with a heatpack on my abdomen for a while. $60 for the insertion appointment.

All up, $90 plus the cost of my train tickets to Brunswick station, and took all of...3 weeks from start appointment to insertion.

My first two after periods were a little extra crampy, and I'd get weird twinges for the first month randomly. I've had mine since...February now, and each month the space between actual periods has gotten a few days longer and I've ended up with about 6 weeks gap between periods now. I'm hoping that within the next year I might end up with one every three months or so. I get weird crampy twinges now when I ovulate, but other than that, it's all good.

I LOVE IT. Would reccomend it to anyone, and will be getting a second one in 4 years when this one runs out, and then I'll go for perm steralization if they'll give it to me. =)
rosequoll From: rosequoll Date: September 26th, 2008 01:10 am (UTC) (Link)
And I should mention the best part. I was 23. I asked for the IUD, said I never wanted kids, and the lady looked at me, and went 'okay!'. And that's *IT*. Just...okay.

I just about shat myself, seriously. I did this all day :D :D :D
tania From: tania Date: September 26th, 2008 01:49 am (UTC) (Link)
*hugs* Thank you. That is EXACTLY what I'll do. :) :) The fact that you've experienced similar issues on Depo and the Pill to me is comforting, I'm a little freaked out that I might get the IUD in and then I'll bleed ceaselessly til it comes out - but the fact that you've had comparable issues and it's working for you is a big comfort. :)
rosequoll From: rosequoll Date: September 26th, 2008 01:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I will say, my periods were a bit odd for the first few months. They'd...sorta start...then not, then yes, then for real a week later, then sorta done three days later, and then sorta...sludge around for a week. BUT, that was gone within three months, and that *IS* normally for EVERYONE.

By the time I hit 4 months in, it was all good. =)
stokerbramwell From: stokerbramwell Date: September 26th, 2008 04:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Man, when Razz was on the pill, it did all kinds of screwy things to her too. This is why I SO hope they develop the male pill and SOON...
martes From: martes Date: September 26th, 2008 05:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Are condoms, sponges or diaphragms so horrible that no one ever considers them a viable solution? Both the pill and the IUD side effects sound like a laundry list of horrors.
tania From: tania Date: September 26th, 2008 05:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Sponges and diaphragms aren't reliable enough to keep me feeling safe, and the last thing I want during sex is to be freaking out about potential pregnancy. Condoms are safe enough, but both my partner and I find that condom-free sex is a lot more comfortable and enjoyable.

The third factor is that without any form of hormonal adjustment at all, I get awful PMS once per month - PMS so bad it interferes with my work, my relationships, my own self-esteem, etc. Some sort of hormone adjustment could fix that, but I haven't found the right one yet.

It's all those things in combination that keep me trying.
sigmoidal_suseq From: sigmoidal_suseq Date: September 27th, 2008 08:13 am (UTC) (Link)
*hugs* damn body parts.
niaid From: niaid Date: October 4th, 2008 01:10 am (UTC) (Link)
seriously, lovely, try anti-depressants... low dose prozac? it won't make ANY difference to your personality - your brain drugs will just be more steady during the bad times of menstruality. really. the difference Happy Pills made to my PMS was unbelievable.

11 have fought ~ fight the power!