I often wonder which goddess I mostly relate to. However, after reading the myths associated with many of the most known goddesses, I always lose some of my admiration for them. But today, I must say that if I could be a goddess, my name would be Uterus.
Do you know why? Because the uterus has and will always control the world.
In school, they hammered into my head the hormone fluctuations and how it affects fertility and pre-menstrual symptoms. This year however, I found out that it controls every single day of my life and the life of men who are unfortunate enough to cross my path.
When I was young and naive, I swore that I didn’t suffer from PMS. I didn’t treat people differently based on when I was about to have my life force drained out of me. But this year, I noticed a quite annoying thought pattern. Every now and then, I would feel overwhelmed by everything. I would feel incompetent, as if I was falling short of everything that I was supposed to do. I would mentally chastise myself for not exercising, not eating healthy, not making daily calls to every single member of my extended family, not studying hard enough, not performing well enough at work. I would feel that I can not study, be healthy, work and be human all at the same time. Oh and my finances? How could I be so horrible at saving? Every area of my life would seem like a pure failure.
The feeling would slowly go away and then I would feel powerful, invincible, the best at my job or at least I gave myself props for trying. I would look at the heavy work load and say:
I would eat a horrible diet and not think anything of it. I would think of calling my family but I knew that it was ok to miss not only a few but tons of phone calls.
“But soon again, starts another big riot! I blow a fuse. The negative thoughts cut loose. So what’s the use… of being alive?”
I would feel so inadequate sometimes that I would cry. It got so bad that I broke down and cried at work once. Thank God only one person was there to witness it and she was very sweet and consoled me. It became very annoying and I got tired of it. I needed to understand why and find a solution fast. I started to monitor my feelings. That’s when I figured it out. These “I’m not doing enough feelings” happen exactly every month. I quickly connected the dots. What else happens every month? Duh… It had to be my cycle. Good old Google confirmed my suspicions. Many women have feelings of inadequacy right before their period. This impairs their ability to deal with stress. Google was pretty much “singing my life with his words.”
I started to make more connections. When I was in college, working full time, volunteering at my church and dealing with family issues, every once in a while I would break down and cry for no reason. I thought it was because I was strong. I convinced myself that I held on to so many things for so long, that eventually it had to come out in the forms of un-triggered tears. Yeah right! Uterus.
We can also mention the last 5 years of my life where I would go many weeks feeling like I was over my ex, just to break down and cry over him once a month. While the feelings of inadequacy happen a week before my period. My thoughts wait until a couple of days before my period to fixate on my ex. Uterus.
Now let’s talk about last week. Last week, I was adamant about asking my cute neighbor out. That was my uterus too. According to the internet, during days 5-14 of the menstruation cycle, estrogen levels increase which in turn leads to increases in memory, decision making and verbal fluency. Testosterone levels are high as well, causing increased sexual drive and making women become more social, flirtatious and energetic. It also causes them to wear more makeup and bright colors. During days 14-25, women are more attracted to men and they have a decreased level of self control.
Now let’s analyze the facts. On day 9 of my cycle I was super social. I started conversations with people, especially men. A man who was unlucky enough to be in my path even gave me all of the delicious chocolate treats that he had with him, just because I asked him what kind of chocolate it was. He was an older gentleman. Men like to bash women about PMS but they are in for a surprise. Female hormones control both men and women. I feel like older men are more susceptible to my hormones. They tend to hit on me when my estrogen levels are high.
The following day, I had a brilliant idea. I was going to ask my neighbor out. Just like that! Talk about increased decision making abilities. Thanks to my increased verbal fluency, it wasn’t hard for me to come up with the right words to woe him. I never did ask him out because of some unfortunate circumstances, but I was definitely going to. I wore makeup everyday. I made myself pretty for him and wore a bright colored top just to ask him out on day 18 of my cycle, exactly during the time when I am supposed to have a decreased level of self control. The internet is so accurate, it creeps me out.
The internet also said that on days 25-28 of the menstrual cycle, progesterone and estrogen levels decrease. This causes a surge in cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone. It does a perfect job at increasing our stress level which gives birth to PMS symptoms. In my case, my desire to ask my neighbor out died out yesterday on day 21 of my cycle. Last night, I felt so incompetent because I was invited to contribute to a research article. I toiled for hours and could not figure out how to contribute any valuable data. I promised to send my contribution by the evening. It was already midnight. I had to wake up at 4 am for work that required me to be both physically and mentally sharp. I felt trapped and powerless. I cried.
Right now I don’t feel like doing anything. I don’t want to study but I hate myself for it. Earlier this week, I told myself that I deserved a break. Now I feel irresponsible. I don’t want to have this yard sale tomorrow. I don’t want to ask my neighbor out. I just want to stay in bed and vegetate. I want to become one with my bed. I just want to melt into the mattress until further notice. But I will not.
I will not succumb to the tyranny of the uterus. I know exactly what’s going on. It’s a simple case of misery in need of company. My uterus has been working hard, very hard to prepare for a baby. She prepared everything: the bed, the blood vessels, everything. I, on the contrary, had only one job. Get pregnant. My uterus gave me everything that I needed to do my job: estrogen to make me feel great, verbal fluency, increased decision making abilities, higher sex drive, social grace and energy. She even managed to make me like makeup which I usually hate. She made me wear colored clothes when I usually wear black. Despite all of this, I managed to fail at providing her a baby. Now she is sad, because she knows that her efforts were all in vain. Soon, the nice bed will just slough away and she’ll have no choice but to start all over again. It’s not her fault. She did everything right. Why should she suffer alone? In comes the punishment of the guilty party. While the uterus stress out over the upcoming destruction of her work, she also wants me to stress out. And when the destruction starts, she will cry blood. She will make sure I cry tears with her exaggerated sobs, that will cause her to contract as much as possible to inflict excruciating pain upon me.
People often talk about the power of you know what (wink wink) but it’s just a channel to the uterus. And while our brain, adrenal glands and fat play a great role in the hormone cycle, the uterus is at the center of it all.
She is the goddess who has tailors the behaviors of both men and women to her own ends, from the earliest of dawn, through the ages, into eternity. She never gives up. Soon, she will start weaving another comfortable bed. She will allow me to rise again and feel powerful, expectant, beautiful and able, like a real bad-ass. Oh and it gives life.
Now that’s real power.