Let's Talk About: Hormones with Eleni
Eleni opens up a discussion about hormones and her experience on growing.
Let’s - if we can make it through without bursting into tears - have a little chat about hormones. Oh my God. I remember learning about periods and tampons and condoms in sex education and finding the whole thing terrifying and gross, but no one, NO ONE sufficiently warned us about the single most tragic thing to affect our teenage years. As if growing breasts and pubic hair and trying to work out how to apply make up to impress boys who are nurturing a wispy little moustaches wasn’t enough to deal with, we have to make it through this minefield of life with a monthly cycle of weeping, anger and hysteria. Well, I certainly did anyway.
When I first had my implant fitted at 15 I cried almost constantly for around 3 months. I hadn’t told my parents I was having it so they were fairly baffled, and my poor boyfriend at the time got the brunt of my emotional outbursts. I knew it was linked to the implant but I didn’t really understand and I wasn’t properly warned that it might happen or assured that it was normal. Yes, telling my mum would have hugely improved the situation and when I eventually did it was a weight lifted. But if you aren’t comfortable telling a parent about contraception, try to make sure you tell someone. A family member, sibling, teacher, a friend’s parent... someone you trust and who can give a little support because it’s so fine to be emotional. Having someone you can tell “I feel like shit for no reason today” will make the load a little lighter. Sometimes feeling like you hate the world, hate your mum, hate your boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend or your self isn’t abnormal and it doesn’t make you an evil person or a bad friend. Sweetheart, it makes you a woman! And we all get it, on different scales and intensities but it’s international and it’s natural - whether you’re on a contraceptive or not.
I work with some amazing ladies and we have a little hand signal code so we know that if one of us arrives for the day a bit weepy or with a great rain cloud over their head, there is no need to panic or pry. H is for hormones and I’ll talk to you if I need to. For now, just don’t hug me or the tide of tears will never end!
What I’m getting at here is that communication is key. Keep to yourself if that’s what you need to do but make sure that people are aware. I still suffer hugely some months and you better believe everyone I know and love has heard me yak on about my hormones 1000 times because I’m not a horrible person and I don’t usually cry at dog food adverts but sometimes but that’s what happens to me. And it’s okay. Hormones can provoke such strong emotions that there are close links between them and some mental health issues like anxiety, depression and even OCD.
So, let’s talk about hormones. Let’s talk at school, at work, in the pub, at the dinner table. Let’s talk when we feel low and when we feel fine. Let’s talk to girls, boys, friends, parents, grandparents; let’s talk to strangers! This conversation is an important one and it shouldn’t have to be taboo anymore.