BY LINDSEY CAMARENA
I had my first menstrual cycle at the age of 13. For teenage me, to say that starting my cycle was an unwelcome experience would be an extreme understatement. I was downright mortified, and found myself doing everything but celebrating this “moment of womanhood.”
I spent my teen years struggling through the messiness of uncomfortable maxi-pads that left me feeling like I was wearing a diaper, and worried about starting my cycle while wearing light colored pants, leading to what could only be a future of lifelong social embarrassment. I didn’t like my cycle, I didn’t look forward to my cycle, and I absolutely, positively didn’t love my cycle.
My teen years and early 20s found me plagued with severe cramps, hormonal fluctuations, and general discomfort. I fearfully dreaded the arrival of “Aunt Flo,” like the plague. It wasn’t until I reached the age of 30 that I found out that I had been experiencing endometriosis.
Finally having the confirmation that I didn’t have to just “grin and bear” the discomforts that I was feeling, but that I could seek relief and self-care, along with adopting a healthier outlook into my health as a woman, allowed the paradigm of my experience of my monthly menstrual period to begin to slightly shift. While I still didn’t love my period, I began to feel more open and accepting of my body, with the realization that in the menstrual world, more pain does not equal more gain.
With this realization, and now with a daughter of my own, I wanted to shift my perspective and personal narrative surrounding menstruation not only for myself, but for the young eyes of the girl who was now watching my every move very closely.
When my good friend Aljolynn first excitedly shared her idea of a personal and self-care subscription for women surrounding menstrual care, I was both intrigued and uncertain. I had never given myself care and attention during my cycle, and I saw my monthly as an unwelcome intruder. How could it be that my cycle could be something to respect, honor, and even celebrate?
My intrigue won out over my uncertainty, and I became one of the first 100 subscribers to receive my monthly Lady Box! Opening my first box and now anticipating the consistent arrival of not only period care items, such as organic tampons and liners, but also personalized sweet and savory snacks, organic face masks and bath bombs, and empowering monthly messages and tools, has led me to look forward to my monthly cycle as I never before have allowed myself to do.
My feelings of acceptance, and dare I say even excitement over my period, along with the affirming messaging of self-care provided by Lady Box, have allowed me to more fully embrace ALL of the aspects of being a woman...including and especially my monthly cycle.
As I reflect on the month of love this February, I am struck with the feeling that over the past year of monthly self-care support through my Lady Box subscription, I truly have discovered a new love. By embracing my cycle more fully as part of myself, I am learning that all of me is worthy of love and care, every day and in every circumstance.
The greatest feeling of love truly comes from within, and complete acceptance and self-love as a woman turns out to be more intricately intertwined with loving and honoring my monthly cycle than I could have ever imagined.