Welcome back from the weekend that was. How are you doing? The second last blog of the challenge is here and what an experience this has been. I’m more than grateful to Afrobloggers and all the amazing bloggers I’ve come to know. I’ll never stop talking about how great y’all are.
The topic for day 21 is reviving an old blog and bringing it back to life. Originally I’d planned to revive My Becoming piece but along the way I started a blog series and the reactions I got were far from my expectation. Hence I’m reviving part 1 of the series.
The blog series is dubbed Brave Women, Unique Tales. It was inspired by one of my many thoughts when traveling back home. I had a few people in mind that I was going to ask to take part, little did I know I’d sparked something in many women who have been dealing with conditions so heavy and living their lives down for a while.
So friends with that being said, I introduce to the Afrobloggers WinterABC challenge on the second last day my first guest on the series.
Flower is the name I gave her as she preferred to stay anonymous. Kindly read her story and reach out to the women in your lives. We may not know as much as we think we think we know.
Also be on the lookout for our next episodes (is that what they call blog parts…help) I’m amazed by the number of beautiful and strong women coming up after Flower’story.
FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER (it’s been a part of me that long), I’ve always had irregular periods. At first I didn’t really care about it, one less thing to worry about womanhood. No cramps, no annoying moist feeling down there and certainly no feeling like the entire Niagara Falls was coming out of you when you burst out laughing.When I brought it up casually at any doctors’ appointments (it wouldn’t really be the sole reason for my visits, but I’d sneak it in because WHY NOT? I’m smart like that) the response would be that I’m young and my body would find its natural rhythm eventually.
I WAS OKAY.
IT DIDN’T REALLY AFFECT ME.
THIS WAS OKAY…I HAD MY WHOLE LIFE TO LIVE AND THIS WOULDN’T BE A BIG PART OF IT….RIGHT?…right?
right? *seeks validation from imaginary audience*
The moment it hit me like Simon Cowell hitting the huge red button that is followed by a large red “X” to symbolize rejection on the show “X Factor” was when I joined campus. I started to notice I wasn’t really “normal”. Remember those doctors that promised my period would normalize? Yeah they were wrong.
It got worse and my esteem got lower because I bottled it all up. My period got scarce, I’d get it about twice a year. My flow also got super heavy…pads couldn’t contain it, I’d stain my sheets even when I slept like a log (no seriously, I once googled “how to sleep like a log” and tried to stay in said position all night). It was frustrating to say the least- still is. The salt to my wound was that I had lots of friends but only one out of them shared my condition.
It wasn’t something we really talked about, it wasn’t something people sat around fires and told stories about during camping. It turned into something shameful for me. I would be perceived as less of a woman if anybody knew this side of me ..so I got an empty CocaCola bottle and did what I do best… bottled up all my feelings. (Won first prize in the annual Bootling Up Feelings Olympics that year).
Wow, Anonymous person writing about her story, that must have been tough to live with, the dear reader wonders. Yes, yes it was. It affected my esteem greatly…I had horrible resultant acne that was like a stubborn stain. No matter how hard I tried (and still do) it couldn’t allow my face to breathe. I hated myself. Fell into depression.Hated taking pictures with a flash on, I stopped looking into the mirror. There were nights (and some days…and some afternoons) where I’d cry my eyes out in frustration. It was unbearable.
What made all this worse was that I became my acne. All the good things about me were overshadowed by the acne because it affected me so much. People would say stuff like “oh she looks nice but would look better if it wasn’t for the acne”. I’d be in a good mood,walking with a happy skip in town and get stopped by random people giving me unsolicited advice on skin and telling me to try out “new” things…things that I had already probably tried before as a result of watching thousands of “Get clear skin instantly DIY” youtube videos.
“HaVe yOu TrIed GLyCerine”? *eyeroll* “Drink more water” *as if I don’t already swallow the whole river Nile* “Sister kozesa kano, kajja kuyamba” (translated as sister use this one, it will help) *eyeroll*. “Have you tried this (extremely bitter) herbal concotion?” All this irritated me and my “leopard print skin” even more. (Oh, btw, H.I also brings gifts with her, mood swings is one of them)
Last year my visits to the doctors became more intentional and specific to my hormonal condition. It clearly wasn’t a casual consultation anymore. The doctor mentioned that I’d have difficulty in conceiving at a later time in life and that crushed me escpecially because I have beautiful nieces that I LOVE TO BITS and I would absolutely love to have kids of my own someday. They just became a reminder of what I could possibly never have in my life. A “kokonyo” (translated as a showoff/enticement) of sorts. I got so angry at myself, at my body for being so damn incompetent and at God in general to whom I had prayed severally to heal me. *Cue “GOD WHY ME” and listening to sad depressing music all day phase*
I started to distance myself even further from any men/ attention I was getting from them (not that I had a variety to choose from to begin with), I decided if I stayed alone (with 80 cats) I wouldn’t have to share this tough experience with anyone and they would probably leave me if they found out. I would be a lone ranger! ….aaaaaaaand then I watched “Pretty Woman” for the 100th time in my depression and decided I wanted to be loved and I wanted to be wanted. I wanted to know what that felt like rather than olympic run from my problems like I usually do (Usain Bolt ain’t got nuthin’ on me). I figured the right person (who hasn’t had the pleasure of meeting my awesome ass yet) would love me, flaws and all.
This year I decided to live courageously, to dare to love myself inspite of my flaws because for anyone to love me and vice versa, I’d have to be able to acknowledge my own badassery. I’m a smart, beautiful, stylish, accomplished,witty, beautiful woman with a great taste in music and movies and H.I can no longer hold me captive.
It’s not easy, but I’m taking one day at a time, praying about it, seeking practical solutions because I have heard of people that have been able to beat this.
*IN GOD WE TRUST. WATCH OUT FOR PART 2* *CAST*
Hope you enjoyed it. Love and light all the way from the back seat of a matatu. Be Blessed.