Adulting: What They Never Tell You About Periods

Adulting: What They Never Tell You About Periods

Urban Dictionary defines “adulting” as “to carry out one or more of the duties and responsibilities expected of fully developed individuals (paying off that credit card debt, settling beef without blasting social media, etc). Exclusively used by those who adult less than 50% of the time.” While it is not a word you’d find in the English dictionary, adulting has become a word every one in the midlife age can identify with.

As a teenager, growing up so fast was one dream come true. I am not talking about growing up to pay bills but growing up to be a woman. You know that joy of having your own money, spending your own money, having breast, wearing bras, discussing periods with first hand experience, having legalized sex, and every other activities grown ups do.

Adulting

The Teen-Age Factor

I remember one time when I wore my mother’s bra and I stuffed pieces of clothing in it, I could still remember the look on my mom’s face that day, priceless. I was so ridiculous as a child that I once taped something I can’t remember on my chest to make people think I had started developing breast.

Before you start judging me, I was really small for my age. All my friends were taller and bigger and were fully formed before the age of 10 and 11. While I was in Class 5, a friend of mine already had a heap of mountain on her chest and was already talking about periods. So imagine how I felt not even coming close to any of these. It was torment.

Adulting and Period Pains

The first day I saw my period, it was like I had just won a factory of chocolate. I was super excited, I ran to my mother’s room and tore some of her old clothes, folded it gently and stuff in between my legs. Well, that was what I had heard my friends say they used.

“During my period, my life is never my own.” Click To Tweet

I never told any member of my family, why I did not, I cannot remember. Until I was sitting in the living room one evening and I stood up with a bloody dress. Immediately, my brother called my elder sister and told her to tell me how to be a woman.

Embarrassed

Ah, you people did not tell me the other side of this adulting; It comes with changing ‘clothes’ several times a day? My sister got me sanitary pads and taught how to use them. Buying them was another thing. I felt once I buy sanitary pad, everyone will think I’ve started having sex.

But who gave me all these ideas?! Ignorance is a disease on its own.

Changing pads at night wasn’t what I looked forward to as a child that loves to sleep. So I always wake up with colored sheets when I’m on my period. Even as an adult now, I am still guilty of this.

The Extra Baggage of Adulting

Eventually, I got used to this life of changing pads, buying pads, switching from Lady Care to Always Ultra and now tampons. But the one I never prepared my mind for was periods pain.

Acne, tender breast, and the pain that comes with periods never happened to me until a year ago or there about.

The first night, I thought I would not survive. The pain is indescribable. At first, all you’d just want to do is lay down until lying down becomes a bigger problem. Sometimes, it feels as if two people are at different ends in my tummy and trying to pull away some intestine they feel I don’t need. It can be so excruciating you’d think, ‘Why not get pregnant to avoid it?’ But how often do you plan to get pregnant to start with?

I felt it would go away with time or in subsequent months, but it never does.

Have you read: Tampons or Pads, Which Do You Prefer?

Dealing With The Pain

I spoke to my other girls and I heard different versions of what to use I got confused. Overtime, I have tried different things and here’s what has worked for me:

I'm a badass because I can bleed for a week straight without dying Click To Tweet

1. Raw pap and mint leaf

Someone once gave me uncooked pap with mint leaf juice. She turned the pap in cold water and added the juice extracted from mint leaf to it. It took forever but eventually it worked and I woke up with zero pain. I have never tried it after then though because i am not sure how very safe it is.

2. Felvin

This one never leaves my purse when auntie menstruation visits. It takes away the pain completely. But my only problem with using it is that, it messes up my cycle. Rather than the usual non stop flow for 4-5 days and lighter days towards the end, I have lighter days in between and heavier days towards the end. There was a time I even thought it had stopped completely and I did not use tampons and then half way out, it started again. I wanted to cry, adulting is hard, no one should tell me otherwise.

Period pains can be so excruciating you'd think, 'Why not get pregnant to avoid it?' But how often do you plan to get pregnant to start with? Click To Tweet

3. Pain Killers

So a friend told me to always use pain killers before the period starts at all. So it’s best to have Phone Apps that can help you track your period and ovulation. I used My Days until it almost betrayed me, and now I use Clue. It’s way smarter, better and have cute functions.

With pain killers like Panadol, the pain subsides and your flow remains regular. Only that I always end up using it during the first 4 days.

What They never tell you about adulting

I am open to many other ideas. What works for you for menstrual pain? What were the ridiculous things you did as a child because you wanted to adult fast? Were you prepared for some of these adulting stage?

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30 Comments

  1. May 28, 2018 / 5:53 pm

    I no longer have a regular period thanks to menopause which brings it’s own challenges but regular exercise will help. Way back in the late 70s when I served in the US Army I don’t really remember having cramps mostly likely due to running and marching for miles. Now you don’t have to do extreme military exercise but some exercise will help. Also even though you get those cravings for salt and sugar try to avoid junk foods. Poor diet will make the pain worse. When I was a teenager my Mom would place a hot water bottle (plastic not glass) on my tummy because all those pain killers we can buy today did not exist in the 1970s.

    • May 28, 2018 / 6:02 pm

      Someone once told me about placing hot water bottle on my tummy, I think I would try it one of these days.

      Lucky you forgetting about period pains because menopause 😁😁 Thanks for stopping by, hon ❤️

      • May 28, 2018 / 6:09 pm

        Thanks. Glad to participate. Actually those water bottles were heavy duty rubber. Now a days I believe young women use heating pads which turn off automatically so you won’t burn yourself.
        I’m a Cat person and sometimes when cats sense that you are in pain they will lay on that body part.
        I welcome when my cat Sylvester lays on my arthritis back and joints.
        Kitty magic!

        • May 28, 2018 / 6:26 pm

          Oh dear, that’s so sweet 😍😍 I’d read up on the heating pads

          • May 28, 2018 / 6:31 pm

            🐱🐱🐱🐱🐈🐈😺😸😻

  2. Deviant
    May 28, 2018 / 6:29 pm

    Some months, I have to overdose on painkillers… There are some really stubborn periods I have and there are also months that I even forget I’m on my period… This month was one of the horrible ones.. I took my regular pain killer and it stopped for a while and I fell asleep only to wake up and the pain had multiplied… I was literally crying… I finally had to take 3 tablets of diclofenac which eventually knocked me out…

    I know I’m not ready to adult😭😭😭

    • May 28, 2018 / 6:31 pm

      Last month and this month’s period inspired this post. The pain was not from this world. I literally took Panadol like every 6 hours this month and switching tampons was like the most inconvenient thing ever!

      Let me go and read up on what ‘diclofenac’ is 😁😁

  3. May 28, 2018 / 6:36 pm

    Hey Debs,
    You just wrote about me in this post asides from the tampons because I did all you wrote about as a kid. Acne, tender breast, period cramps and bloating is my pre menstrual symptoms then the excruciating pain which accompanies the period itself is indescribable. I also used Felvin which worked, and I guessed the older I got, it will reduce but it got worse because even with the pain killer I use, I still feel the pain but for a shorter time. I am always bloated so I look pregnant on my period and people won’t stop asking me questions. See Adulting is not a child’s play. Can I just go back to being that young girl with zero bill worries.

    • May 28, 2018 / 6:54 pm

      Bloating is one story of my life too 😭😭😭 I look fatter sef in my periods 😅 And some people will come and be telling you how fatter you are.

      I guess there’s a post adult phase that comes with rest of mind?

      • May 30, 2018 / 6:31 am

        Debs I hope so! Great post by the way; highlighting female struggles as an adult👏🏼.

  4. May 28, 2018 / 7:29 pm

    I think I am quite lucky as I only have slight cramps the first two days. I hate drugs so I have learnt to manage it by just lying on a pillow while gnashing my teeth as the waves pass over…lol

    I heard too much of Felvin isn’t good too.

    Adulting is real work!

    • May 28, 2018 / 7:31 pm

      Just lying on the pillow and gnashing teeth?! My dear, you should get an award as a super woman 👏👏 If you live with me during that period, you’d run away because we’d both share the pain 😅😅 It is that worse 😭

  5. May 28, 2018 / 8:59 pm

    You post is so me! All my friends had breasts and were already seeing their periods. I had nothing going on. Fortunately for me, I was on holiday, when my period started! My period started when I was 12. I ran to my mums room and used some of her old clothes and used them as sanitary pads. I didn’t know what to do. My mum just saw blood spotting around and figured out and bought pads and showed me how to use them. Initially, I had a pain free period! Fast forward to few years back, I started has bad menstrual pain. I can’t stand any form of pain so when my period starts I use FELXICAM. Adulting is hard! I don’t use sanitary pads anymore cos of skin irritation, I rather use to tampons.

    • May 28, 2018 / 10:56 pm

      Sanitary pads will always result in rashes for me too. So we were plenty that started with old clothes 😅😅 Shame on us 😁

      I’d read up on Flexicam, just hearing about it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, hon ❤️

  6. Jahzmene
    May 29, 2018 / 9:16 am

    I use painkillers on the first day and all the cramp goes away for as long as my period lasts. Thank heavens for pain killers.
    I had a friend who nothing worked for, she throws up, gets a fever, can’t walk properly, can’t eat well, looses weight every damn month, till she found out that lots of heavy loads on her lower back for a few hours does the trick for her on the first day her periods starts. .. Weird right? But it works for her all the time.

    • May 29, 2018 / 9:53 am

      Extremely weird! Lucky you, only felvin can take away all my pain in one day like that but the after effect isn’t always fair on me 😢😢

  7. May 30, 2018 / 8:38 am

    I love that this post is so relatable. Just like you, I was a late bloomer. My periods started in my SS1 during Christmas break and i barely had breasts then sef. I forcefully started wearing bras in SS2 but would always take them off in class 😂😂(blame the itch that comes with wearing bras). I not a fan of taking pain killers during my periods but i do when the pain is unbearable. What i noticed that helps relieve my period pain is being active or exercising.

    • May 30, 2018 / 8:57 am

      We late bloomers, let’s gather here for a selfie 🤳🏻

      Exercising works for me too but I’m just too lazy to stick to it but at this point, I think I’d be consistent even if it’s just a week before my period starts only.

      Thanks for stopping by, hon ❤️

  8. May 30, 2018 / 12:06 pm

    Late blooming was such an embarrassing thing for me. I remember that I had to buy foam Bras at a point despite not having anything on my chest, I just had to fake it till I made it. It was even more worse that I was quite tall, taller than almost every girl in my class and still I had no breast to show for it. I used to feel so bad seeing my classmates looking all endowed and grown while I was just the tall flat chested girl.Mtchww. I had a close friend who started her period and I just fell into sadness, like baba God when will my own start? Lmao so ridiculous! The period eventually came on a day I was at my mum’s workplace and she being a nurse made things easier for me, She explained how I had to beef up my hygiene and all that. Super mom!

    In retrospect, what exactly was I rushing for ? What is the big deal in having breasts? Now I have to always wear Bras and what not. Now i have to bleed for four to five days every month. I never used o have period pains and I used to pity my sister a lot because hers was really bad. But guess who inherited it after? ME. Recently though, it has subsided and my doctor thinks it is because of marriage and constant sexual relations (Apologies to the single ones lol). Whatever the reason is though, I am glad I don’t have to hold my tummy every time again. Thanks for this relatable post Debs, You are a queen.

    omotolaniee.com

    • May 30, 2018 / 12:17 pm

      Mehn, mothers are Queens and should be cherished forever. That part you said ‘tall flat chested girl’ got me 🤣🤣🤣🤣 It must have been torment.

      But look at us today, tired of what we always craved so hard for, that’s life. Always revolving in circles, turn by turn.

      Glad it has subsided for you, I’m here praying mine should be so too 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 I don’t even look forward to periods 😢

  9. May 30, 2018 / 3:38 pm

    I loved your post…it’s so relatable and made me reminisce about those days when I kept socks in my bra so my breasts would appear bigger.
    Go described the pain so accurately, as if someone’s stabbing my intestines. I heard birth control works for the pain from friends but for me I take pills and alcohol that’d knock me out till the next day

    • May 30, 2018 / 3:41 pm

      God help me if I dare take alcohol when I’m on my period, you’d think I’m about to give birth to a stone. The pain gets more intense.

      But why do we do the things we do as kids? 😅😅😅

  10. May 30, 2018 / 10:58 pm

    I was an early bloomer, most of my friends were, so I didn’t feel any pressure, my only problem was that I wanted my breasts to look like mommy’s own, I didn’t want to have those small “kitchen breasts” so I drew them out. lol

    As for the period pains, I was told it would subside after having a baby and it did, not totally though but I could barely feel anything, I’ve ended up staining my sheets twice because I didn’t know I was flowing. Too embarrassing! What if I was out?!
    nessytalks.com

    • May 30, 2018 / 11:00 pm

      Kitchen breasts 🤣🤣🤣🤣 Nessa, who up that name in your head?

      Looks like period pains subside well after child birth? Please don’t imagine it, the embarrassment is not one you want to experience

  11. June 1, 2018 / 9:55 am

    I can totally relate to a this post especially the part of feeling like I won the lottery the day my period came. My mother didn’t even give a pep talk or educate me about what to do during that time. Had to figure it out on my own. Some days, I just curl in bed and cry while wondering why I can’t get candy every month instead of period. Felvin is a life saver honestly and Boskopan, either of those two reduce my cramps to a minimal level. Then tummy massages work great too.

    Life of Dammy

    • June 1, 2018 / 6:41 pm

      😅😅😅 And after the visa lottery happen, you’d wish for it to go away. The kind of things women go through ehn 😩 We dare not complain.

      Thanks for stopping by, hon

  12. June 3, 2018 / 2:50 pm

    Babeeeeee

    I kept it on my story one time that I need pocket money because I’m still a child 😂

    I am still serving but I’m tiredddbof adulthood.

    Periods are another wahala, they stress me the fuck out!
    The way I cope with my pain is by laying on my tummy with a pillow. It works wonders for me, in 5 minutes I feel relieved but I stay in that position for a while

    http://olotufunke.com

    • June 3, 2018 / 5:12 pm

      My dear, I’m currently lying down on my bed so famished and feeling lazy to even enter that kitchen. And I remember all the time my mom cooked for me that I took for granted 😢

      I once tried laying on my pillow, it worked for a while and then the pain started again. Adulting is a real deal!

      Thanks for stopping by, hon ❤️

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