September 6, 2011

Are all women mentally ill?

 I’m a raging lunatic.

But not all the time. Just sometimes. Once a month, to be more specific. I read in a book once that “a woman’s menstruation is a great time for contemplation, and can be a gateway to enlightenment.” I’m on my period now, and honestly, enlightenment has never been further away. Yes, I just said period. Period, period, period. Does reading this upset you? Please crawl back underneath whatever rock you came from and stay there—I don’t want you to read my posts anyway. If you think I sound bitter, that’s fine. I am. I have a headache and I’m out of chocolate and my back hurts and I’m very, very grumpy. Today is not the day for answering comments such as “do you really think anyone is interested in reading about your periods, you Swedish idiot?” (I know how vocal some of you elephant readers can get). I am aware of the fact that this is my second blog on the matter (see the first one here), so if you want to label me as “the girl that only writes about stupid things like her periods and paddle board yoga,” be my guest. I’ll label you as “the person that labels people that enjoy writing about stupid things” and frankly, I’d rather be a writer of stupid things than a labeler of stupid things, so screw you.

Anyway. I am on my period. Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the time of the month typically makes me kind of emotional. Sensitive. Irrational. Often, quite sad, angry, or all of the above at once. Sometimes I feel as if I have some sort of mental disease—there is nothing I can do to control the things I say, think or do. Tourette’s, or Schizophrenia perhaps. I try to be nice. I try to be normal. But I can’t. Am I the only one? Or are all women in fact a little bit mentally ill, just once a month?

For some reason I tend to “forget” that my period makes me sensitive and irrational and sad and I never fully understand why I feel the way I feel. Which of course makes me feel even more sensitive and irrational and sad and I take everything far more seriously than I should and then try to blame it on all kinds of things like the weather, my father or other natural phenomena’s that are hard to predict. This goes on until I can no longer escape the fact that I myself am in fact the problem and that I deep down inside am 100% fully and completely worthless in every way. This is the fun I have while on my period. It’s great, almost like going to Disneyland or getting a new puppy for Christmas (yes, it’s on my wish list).

So. Just now. I was sitting on the couch watching a movie (something you are allowed to do in the middle of the day, guilt free, during it’s your time of the month) when suddenly I got this unexpected craving for olives. You know, the kind of craving where you just need it now, now, now or you’ll go bang your head against the wall until olives start raining from the sky. Recognize the feeling? Just me? Well. Luckily, there was a jar of green olives in the fridge, purchased just for times like these. I might be alone in this (am I?), but I tend to get strangely intense cravings for random things at the most inappropriate of times. Once, I woke up with an urge for graham crackers so strong that I thought I could die. I drove all the way to the gas station in the middle of the night. In my pajamas.

So I needed this jar of olives now. Not later. Now. But here is the deal: I couldn’t open it the jar. I couldn’t. Olives were trapped inside. Me, outside. Panic.

At the first try I was a little surprised, like; “oh that’s odd. The lid is stuck!” as if I was the first girl in the history of the universe that couldn’t open a glass jar on her own. So I tried again. Lid still stuck. The thought hit me: “what if I really can’t open this thing? I’m all alone at home!” but I quickly dismissed it and tried again. Nothing. I started telling myself “I can do this! I’m strong!” I mean, I do forearm stands and handstands and arm balances without breaking a sweat. I still beat my brother in arm wrestling. I’ve got muscles. But the damned thing wouldn’t budge. I twisted and screwed and banged and put it under hot water (what difference would that ever make? I know someone taught me this but it really does not make any sense at all) and then I did it all again and again and again but the f*cking lid simply would not move. Not an inch! And so it happened. After the millionth try, sweaty and tired and pissed off, I turned around and asked my boyfriend for help. Pathetic, for two reasons:

  1. I totally should have been able to unscrew that stupid lid on my own.
  2. He wasn’t even home. He is at work, a place where normal people tend to be at noon on a Tuesday.

From a dark, bottomless corner of my soul I suddenly realized—I really can’t open this jar of olives. I’ve failed. And this realization for some reason became synonymous with all of this:

You are alone. No one in the whole wide world can help you. And no one likes you. This is all your fault. If people liked you, you wouldn’t be along right now. You’re weak. It’s just olives, for christsake. You can’t even open a jar of olives? Because you suck. You get no olives. If this jar stood between you and a terrible death, you would most likely die and no one would care.  

Do you see the logic in this? Me neither. But, yes. This happened (in my head). In my irrational desperation for olives I went completely berserk and lost it. At the time, it all made sense. No olives = helpless, stupid, weak, worthless, can’t take care of anything on my own. So I sat down on the kitchen floor and cried, in this lonely, worthless, helpless, oliveless state that I created out of thin air.

But suddenly, mid-cry, I had a glorious idea. “I can go to the store and buy new olives!” I thought to myself. “I’ll get a new jar! A better jar!” I stopped crying, got a kleenex from my purse and started to smile. “I can try and open all the jars in the whole store! And make sure I buy one that isn’t stupid and glued stuck like this one! I’m a genius! Genius! Oh, and while I’m there I can get tampons too, because I need that.”

And bam. Just like that, my super intelligent brain finally made the connection: olives = I am stupid = store = tampons = period = emotional/sensitive/irrational. Of course—this is why I’m so upset! It’s not my fault, it’s Aunt Flo’s! And just like that, as fast as it arrived, all the craziness went away. I got happy again. Like, really happy. Like, dance-around-the-kitchen-singing-Shakira-songs-into-a-zucchini-happy. Jesus. If I had my own reality show people really would think I was mentally ill (which, technically, once a month I am, but that’s beside the point). I did my Shakira dance for 20 minutes more or so (loca loca loca), in total euphoria.

And after that I went across the street and asked my neighbor if he could please, ever so kindly, open this jar of green olives. He did. Then I ate all the olives. And now I feel a little bit nauseous and tired after writing this so I’ll be taking a nap now.

If you have a crazy period-related story to tell, please share! Maybe elephant could put a “Period”-tab on the home page (it would fit nicely between “Wellness” and “Adventure,” I think).



Relephant bonus:

Waylon talks Love & Yoga with Rachel Brathen @yoga_girl & her fiancé Dennis.

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