SO some drastic changes in my life….
Two months ago I made the bold decision to quit taking birth control. I had read a lot online about the effects it has on the woman’s body and it started to concern me. My OBGYN told me a few years ago that I could wait to get off of the pill until a month before I was ready to get pregnant, but to my surprise, if you open up the directions and warning label within the package of TriNesa, there are specific instructions to stay off of the pill for at least 6 months before trying to get pregnant. Why would there be such a difference in what they are saying vs. what the package says? Does anybody really know what they are talking about?
I spent some time reading different women’s stories about getting off of the pill on http://www.mindbodygreen.com. Their stories were more than compelling, ranging from women having massive blood clots and ending up in the ER after being on the pill for 10 years to women completely losing their sex drive. I will be 29 this year and I have been on the birth control pill since I was 15 years old. That is 14 years of putting synthetic hormones in my body. My instincts told me that it was time to stop and that it was time to get to know my true self. A person can’t go from being on the pill their entire adult life to having kids to being back on the pill.
The first week of being off of birth control was one of the scariest. My anxiety heightened and my emotions were unlike anything I had ever experienced. I am not saying that I am not an emotional person to begin with, but small things that never used to bother me, really did. I started to get upset about things that had happened years before or things that were completely irrelevant. Maybe things that I didn’t deal with because the birth control had made me numb. Had certain emotions been turned off for so long? I went and saw my psychiatrist who assured me that getting off of birth control did not cause anxiety attacks, but everything that I was reading online pointed to something different. Women talked about getting panic attacks their first week of being off birth control and having it for up to a year afterwards.
My anxiety has lessened but I do still find myself worrying about things that I shouldn’t; I worry about things that I haven’t worried about in years. After seeing my new OBGYN (a different one than the one who told me false information), she also reassured me that my hormones would level out and that I would eventually feel back to normal. Even though I know that this is a process…….. why wouldn’t anyone tell young women, whether they’re 15 or not, that taking birth control for this many years would come back and haunt them? That it wasn’t natural? That there were consequences? What is the real agenda here? Since then I have come up with a lot of excuses and reasons that the health industry has pushed this for so long, from eugenics to government conspiracies, but regardless, it’s wrong and people are not being honest about what birth control does to the female body.
And NOT that I am currently trying to get pregnant, but I did all of my research before stopping the pill, about how to prevent pregnancy naturally. Getting pregnant is not as easy as they portray it to be. There are 6 days out of the month that a woman can potentially impregnate themselves, give or take 1 or 2 days. If I had known this, I would have prevented it naturally for years. I am so much more educated now that I am off of the pill. Why is that? Why did people push it so hard to stay on birth control? Who would I be today if I hadn’t of spent so many years on birth control?
I know that I am a lot happier off of the pill. I have noticed that I am a much more organized person with more motivation, my house is cleaner, I am more enthusiastic about my healthy lifestyle, I feel better about myself and the way I look, and I am better at my job. I do get a little bit more emotional about getting older and have some jealousy issues, but maybe those are natural womanly instincts. I used to always wonder why some women were so crazy and obsessive of their men, and now…. I get it.
This brings me to my next big recent life decision. I am so much more aware of myself, my emotions, and my body.. which has led to my decision to quit drinking completely. Another aspect of my life that has been a huge part of who I am. I have been a social drinker for almost 10 years now, since college. Every weekend I go out with my friends and just get blasted, two sheets to the wind. Since the beginning of 2017, I have been questioning whether this is the lifestyle that I want to live. If I am seriously considering having kids within the next few years, when do I need to kick the habit and what kind of a person do I really want to be? I grew up in a household that didn’t have a liquor cabinet, my parents never drank in front of me, even the occasional glass of wine, and I am so grateful for that. I think that’s why I never drank until I was in college, while everyone in high school was drunk all of the time.
The big reason for my alcohol resistance is my heightened emotions and my anxiety. My therapist has always warned me about the type of anxiety that alcohol ensues. When you are hungover, your anxiety is through the roof. I was tired of talking myself out of a panic attack every Sunday morning and rubbing my chest to the point of excruciating pain. Not only was my anxiety getting worse, but I was starting to get angry every time I drank. My emotions were heightened and would linger, by the end of the night I was thinking things that I did not want to be thinking or saying things that I would regret in the morning. What kind of life is that? How can I remain happy?
A few months ago I had ordered the book “The Naked Mind” on Amazon. I finally read it last week and it really opened my eyes to what life could be like without alcohol and the fact that it is not necessary to my personality or my social life, if anything it was hurting my social life. And she was right. I went to the bar last night from 8:30 PM to midnight and only drank club soda, and I had a GREAT time, if anything it was the best time I had at the bar in a long time. I haven’t been hung over in 8 days and I feel amazing. I have ran 5 miles every day this week and I have lost 11 lbs. I haven’t been at this weight in 2 years.
I’m also not the type of person to have one drink. If it’s not to “party”, then I feel like I would rather drink something that tastes good. I know that this is going to be a journey, learning to let go and do things without alcohol, but my experience of going out last night left me optimistic. The past 8 days have left me optimistic. I am in no way an alcoholic, quitting drinking was not that difficult for me, but who knows how long it would have been before I had gotten to that point?
I will use this blog as an outlet for a while. I found it astonishing how little information there was out there besides other women’s accounts through editorials and blogs about stopping birth control. I will also talk about my journey of eliminating drinking. There’s always going to be those people who ask, “why aren’t you drinking?” and I think this is the hardest obstacle to overcome, but I have come to terms with the fact that people are probably just insecure about their own drinking, it doesn’t truly bother them that you or I aren’t drinking.