One of the biggest things I’ve struggled with in my life has been an overwhelming disconnect with my feelings towards being alive!
I originally started on the pill when I was 14 (yes I’m 33 – where did the time go). At secondary school I started having these crazy blacking out moments where the world just went dark and I crashed to the floor. It seems related to my monthly cycle which as I recall was awful – very long bleeds and nasty cramps. Also unpredictable cycle lengths of anything from 2.5 to 6 weeks. So a trip to the doctor later and I’m put onto Microgynon. Which I’ve been on ever since! No breaks, no scares, no adjustments.
I settled into a regular 28 day cycle where I knew when my period was coming, it came, it was manageable, it went. I also settled into a general malaise of apathy and uncertainty. I pretty much accepted the opportunities that came before me and was gentle and guide-able by a supportive family. With two notable exceptions:-
– suddenly deciding that I was going to go to uni (two years after finishing school) and
– quitting my Teacher job to “go outdoors” and train to be a Bushcraft Instructor, after which I set up my own company.
I mostly had longer term boyfriends and after getting ourselves checked out ended up just relying on the pill for contraceptive protection. The sex was ok I suppose, mostly initiated by him. Most of the time I wouldn’t be particularly turned on and ready but we’d use lubricant and get on with it.
In 2009 I met “the one”, who I married in 2015. He’s the most understanding and easygoing chap ever and I love him to bits! The build up to the wedding, the big day and the honeymoon were amazing. I think the wedding project may have distracted me from bigger rumblings of inner turmoil though. Everything came crashing down for me in 2016…
Let’s just say that I finally had to admit that the depth of my despair reached absolute rock bottom. I came clean and told hubby and family that I’d lost myself. I didn’t know what I wanted, I didn’t feel that I was good enough, I wasn’t coping, I felt like I wasn’t making a difference [further post on this coming soon] … and I felt that I was such a burden on our planet that it would be better off without me in it! I completely and totally self destructed.
Lucky for me I had a caring husband and shocked but supportive family to rally around me. I’ve always been the strong one, the dependable one and the organised one [more thoughts on this coming soon too]. To need help and ask for it wasn’t who I was – people came to me with their problems, not the other way around!
A lot of talking, counselling and openness later… I took a good look at my lifestyle, searching for “things wrong with me” and one glaringly obvious thing stood out… The pill.
I also finally admitted that I didn’t just have “low sex drive” I had “NO sex drive”. I just wasn’t interested. Hugs and kisses were nice but sex wasn’t really in my mind… except that it was! I drove myself demented by constantly noticing that I wasn’t being a good wife and pleasing my husband. I counted the days since we last “did it” and I couldn’t fathom why I just didn’t want it more. I cried, I argued, I tore my hair out over my lack of connection.
I started to see a light at the end of the tunnel with most things by Autumn 2016 but this niggling sex issue was still there. I’d been to the doctor at the start of the year to talk about the feelings and difficulties I was having… they had tried to put me on anti-depressant drugs and referred me to counselling. Not once did they mention that the pill might be a problem. So I did what most people do… I googled!
- “No sex drive, on the pill”
- “Why don’t I want to have sex”
- “Depression and the Pill”
- “Mood effects of being on the pill”
- “Is it safe to be on the pill for more than 10 years?”
Obviously I got a mixed bag of forums, posts, blogs. Some positive and others negative. But one overarching theme was emerging… Women all over the world feeling that the hormone contraceptive pills meant that their sex drive decreased or disappeared. They also suffered from various forms of anxiety and depression.
Now even considering coming off the pill was a big problem… what if my periods were awful again, what about knowing when they will be (heaven forbid they come while on holiday), and the BIG scary thing… What if we get pregnant? Pregnancy and children has always been a sore subject with me – more on that in another post (probably posts!).
But despite these worries I was more worried that I wasn’t being myself. I desperately wanted to be free from anything controlling me or even potentially influencing me. My hubby assured me that he would support me and took much of the pressure off by just saying simply – “it’s not about sex, it’s about you being happy, because you being happy is most important to me” sob! “Let’s just take sex out of the equation” “We’ll cross the protection bridge in a few months time” Wow!
So I decided that enough was enough… It was time to see who I really was without all those crazy chemical hormones in my system…
[Post backdated for storyline clarity on my journey]