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Hi! I am a 20-year-old girl with a story to share. My tryst with menstruation started when I was 15.  My periods, although regular, have always been troublesome as I suffer from the worst of the worst period cramps during the first few days of my cycle. This pain, most naturally, ushers in a series of mood- swings and hours of crying with a hot water bag laid over my abdomen. On top of this, I belong to that unlucky group of menstruators, who don’t just bleed for three or five days but a total of seven days straight. This has often come in the way of my daily life, work opportunities, social meetings and, et al. The cramps have led to my letting go of various activities that I would otherwise pursue unblinkingly. I would not take up any task that required me to physically exert myself during these days. Moving around itself was hurtful and thus, people would usually find me rolled up on my bed, trying to ease away my pain.

One day, a few months ago and after years of suffering, I decided to change the course of how things would be when I am on my periods. I had to go on a trek with my roommate, for which we had to wake up super early. On waking up I found out that I had got my periods. Realising this, I wanted to scream and punch somebody or something, as with the kind of cramps I endured during menstruation; I knew I would never be able to climb the hilltop. I was mad with rage for about ten minutes after which I decided that enough was enough. I was tired of giving up on things just because of my periods. And I made up my mind that no matter what I would go for the trek.

So I popped some pills that I carry with me to keep the pain at bay, tossed in some extra sanitary napkins into my bag and went away for my trek. On my way to our gathering spot, several worrying thoughts occupied my mind.  What if the cramps came? What if the pain became unbearable? What if I couldn’t climb to the top and would have to stop halfway? What about a toilet? Would I be able to secure myself a hygienic spot to change my pad?

But as the day passed and as I kept climbing at a nimble pace, making sure I drank enough water and took several breaks, my mind stopped thinking about periods or pain. I started enjoying and taking in the beauty of Mother Earth around me. On reaching the top, I was surprised to know that I was first among all the girls and women to make it the top. It was a double boater! Not only had I managed to embark on a trek on the first day of my periods but I was also the first one to trek to the top.

This has only made me more confident of myself. I have realised that, sometimes, sheer determination and luck can go a long way in achieving the extraordinary. 

|| By Amvi Mishra ||


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