I need to get on a soapbox for a bit and I feel that some explination is due for my lack of posts lately. About 5 weeks ago I went back on the pill for a short time. It is amazing how different I feel. I hate it and I will tell you why.
IT KILLS EVERY PASSION IN ME.
Not just the sex drive (I will talk more about that in a minute) but all the passions. Anything I care about is dulled down to a whisper. I am a walking ball of apathy. It is the definition of depression for me.
Now, a bit of backstory. I have been on birth control in one form or another since I was 17. I started on Depo-Provera (the shot) for two cycles. The first cycle left me feeling blah, but by the end of the second cycle, I had gained 45 lbs in 6 months and was nearly suicidal. I went onto the pill for the next few years and tried many different brands and doses of hormones. All of them left me feeling hollow with no drive at all. Lastly, I tried a Mirena IUD. This seemed great until about a year in when my cramps between periods became intolerable and I started growing FACIAL HAIR.
So, I went off birth control. It was finally ok to do that in my life, and I have not taken hormonal birth control in 5 years. I realized that there were so many things I just took to be “how I was” or assumed they were a part of my depression, but they were, in fact, a side effect of messing with my hormones. There are a few side effects that are obvious, such as an increase sex drive. Now, mind you, I have always been interested in sex. I was on birth control all throughout college when I studied human sexuality. The interest has never left me, but the DRIVE had. Suddenly I WANTED sex again. I felt sexy. I could tell when I was ovulating because I suddenly couldn’t get enough. My skin also cleared up. Even the hormonal, PMSy kind that pops up once a month. Those weren’t as bad.
Others were less obvious. I started tanning in the summer again. I figured I was just pale, but I used to tan as a kid! Suddenly, I had a summer glow again. I stopped wanted to eat constantly. Weight gain is a side effect of hormonal birth control but I didn’t realize how much it was affecting my appetite. I was always a snacker, now, not so much. My hair stopped falling out as profusely and grew thicker again. More than all of that though, I found a new energy. A new connection to myself. I always commented that I felt like a part of me had died since leaving home. That there was a vitality I couldn’t seem to regain once I had left all my family and friends behind. That I never really felt like myself again. Little did I know, going off birth control gave me that back. It had nothing to do with where I was or who I was with. It was as if birth control had dampened my ME-ness. It had stripped me of my passion in more ways than one and I was so excited to have that back.
I told Dr. R I was never going on birth control again. EVER. I had done it for over 10 years, birthed two children, and I was done. He fully supported that decision because he saw how different I was. He saw me embrace my sexuality and find my joie de vivre again. The girl he fell in love with was back and he didn’t want to lose her any more than I did.
I know there are many women who have been on birth control since they were young, just like I was, for various reasons. They may not even realize what it is changing in them. The pill was seen as this amazing, magic tablet that would allow women to finally be free in their sexuality, to unapologetically revel in their femininity. In reality, it has dampened our fire and deadened our drives. Essentially, wiping out the very thing we were hoping to finally liberate. I am hopeful as research continues we will find more effective barrier methods and stop unnecessarily playing with hormone levels. I am also happy that the burden of birth control has shifted to a SLIGHTLY more balanced place. It is a work in progress for sure.
So here I am on the pill again for a short time. I hate it. I apologize for the lack of sexy stories and reviews. I promise I will get right back to them in two more weeks. I mean, my vacation to Desire Pearl is coming up in less than a month!