Being on your period is f*cking awful. Duh, that's old news.
But can we get into just how really, REALLY awful it is? It's not just one overarching umbrella of awful. No, it is 50 shades of awful.
OK, maybe not 50. But at least 16. And, it's important to note here, these aren't 16 phases that just happen on their own. All of these period signs happen simultaneously. You may feel like a giant whale and be convinced you have clinical depression and feel like you're going to poop your pants at any given moment -- and all the while, your body is GUSHING BLOOD.
And it all creates one whole week of pure agony (two weeks, if we count the preceding week spent agonizing over whether or not you're with child). So, this basically takes up half your life.
However, YOU'RE NOT ALONE. All women endure these 16 stages of hell together. So let's talk about them.
The “I'M PREGNANT” phase
This takes place for the entire week leading up to your period. I don't care how safe the sex I had was. Heck, I could have been 110 percent celibate. But the week leading up to my period is spent anxiously contemplating whether or not I am ready to raise the child that is growing within me. Every trip to the bathroom is filled with the hope of that trace of blood on the toilet paper.
The “I AM DEFINITELY NOT PREGNANT” phase
And then, alas, one day, Mother Nature kindly delivers to me the monthly reminder of my womanhood. After about 17 “not pregnant AYOOOO” Snaps to all my nearest and dearest, it's time to CELEBRATE. But also not celebrate, because I remember very shortly after my small burst of joy how f*cking awful menstruating really is.
The “I'M DEPRESSED” phase
My period is basically here, and I am SAD. Like, really sad. Do I go to therapy? Do I get on meds? Something is seriously wrong. Why am I crying about my dinner being not that great? Why am I screaming at my mom just for calling me at 6:30 on a Thursday? Why have I LOST MY MIND?
The “EVERYTHING HURTS” phase
I HAVE to go to the doctor. Like, did I fall down a flight of stairs and hit my head so hard I got a concussion and forgot the whole thing? Why does every part of my body hurt? This isn't just “cramps.” No, my entire f*cking body is in IMMENSE pain. And, honestly, I'm not even being dramatic here. Read the news people, doctors are saying period pain is almost worse than a HEART ATTACK.
The “POOPY” phase
You know the one I'm talking about. When your stomach is in SHAMBLES. Farts are smelly, stools are loose. Nothing is pretty.
The “I AM A WHALE” phase
How am I simultaneously excreting SO MUCH waste from my body and blowing up into a literal balloon? Like, yes, my boobs are the biggest they've ever been, and that would be awesome if they didn't hurt and if I could wear a tight dress to show them off, but no, I can't do that. Because my stomach has expanded into a weird flabby pouch.
The “MY SKIN” phase
Three weeks out of the month, my skin is ~flawless~. Then one horrible, horrible dreadful day, that all goes to sh*t. For some women, it's zits across their face. For me, all of those little zits manifest into one giant Mount Vesuvius somewhere on my face.
The “SERIOUSLY, CAN BLOOD PLEASE STOP GUSHING OUT OF ME?” phase
We've all done it. We sit on the toilet, ready to insert yet another tampon, and just almost want to cry because WHY IS THIS STILL HAPPENING AND WHAT KIND OF MURDEROUS WAR IS GOING ON INSIDE OF ME.
The “WHY ARE THERE NEVER ENOUGH TAMPONS?” phase
I think about this a lot. How much money does the average woman spend on tampons in her lifetime? Like, you're buying boxes on boxes of those puppies every month roughly from ages 13-50. THAT IS A LOT OF YEARS.
Also, I'm always out of them. And my period is always synced with my roommate's and we go through, like, two boxes a day.
The “OMG, I HAVE TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME” phase
At one point or another, we've all been convinced we have TSS. But, as most mortal humans do, we also sometimes forget that we have a tampon in. So maybe you slip in our super tampon before we leave for work in the morning and, being the powerhouse women you are, get so caught up doing your work all day that you forget to take it out until you get back home 10 hours later.
And suddenly your paranoia makes everything your body does seem like a surefire symptom of Toxic Shock Syndrome.
The “WHY AM I SO DRUNK?” phase
I don't know if it's myth or fact, but I can tell you from first-hand experience: I get drunk faster when I'm on my period. I also always happen to forget this little factoid when I'm on my period.
The “F*CK IT, I'M GOING TO HOOK UP WITH HIM ANYWAY” phase
When this happens, try not to forget that you have a tampon in your vag. This happened to one of my coworkers, and it ended with her in stirrups at the ER with a doctor trying to fish out the tampon that was shoved way high up her cooter.
The “WHY AM I SO HUNGOVER?” phase
Only thing worse than a brutal hangover? A brutal hangover coupled with your period.
The “I'M GOING TO WILL IT AWAY” phase
Ah, this day. The “light” day. You know it's not over. You know you still have two more blue pills left. But you're going to just go ahead and ignore that little factoid because you are just SICK OF THIS SH*T.
The “F*CK, I RUINED ANOTHER PAIR OF PANTIES” phase
Immediate result of “I'M GOING TO WILL IT AWAY PHASE.” You find an unwelcome surprise in your panties.
The “FREEEEEEEEDOM” phase
Sweet glory, Alleluia. IT'S OVER.