I started to write this blog post a year ago when I was just a few weeks into something new. But I decided, no, that I’d better wait till I was a little further along on my journey. Well, now it’s a year down the road, so I thought I’d share with you–even though this is something that I never thought I’d be writing about online.
Like many young women, there came a point in my life 7 years ago when it became clear to me that I should go on birth control. It wasn’t really something I gave much thought to, I just went along with what my doctor was saying, nodded my head a bunch and was handed a prescription. At the time, I had just started on my road to health by becoming a vegetarian and never considered that The Pill could be bad for me. It came from a doctor, right? Millions of women take them, right? When I think back on it now, I realize how much of a sheep I was; just following along with what everyone else was doing. I didn’t ask about side effects or even how The Pill worked…
Fast forward to the fall of 2009. It’d been about 6 months since I first heard of raw foods. The more research I did on raw food and women, the more I kept coming across stories from women who had gone off The Pill. I spent months researching what would happen when/if I stopped taking The Pill. I also spent a lot of time researching what happens when you take The Pill, how it works, what effect it has on your body, etc.
Please understand, the decision I made to go off The Pill was a personal decision. I’m not saying everyone should do this, I’m not saying women who eat raw foods should do this. This is a very personal decision. I’m sharing my experiences because were different from many experiences that I’d read about.
New Years (2010) rolled around. It seems like the perfect time to stop taking The Pill and a New Years resolution I could keep. So, January 10, 2010 I took my last Pill. I added MSM capsules to my daily routine to keep me from breaking out (something that can happen when you go off The Pill) and looked forward to the possibility of not getting my period for months (another “benefit” of going off The Pill).
For the first two weeks or so I had terrible mood swings (sorry Rob!). But working out, eating raw and living foods, supplementing my diet with great vitamins, and doing daily body brushing seemed to help. My skin stayed clear, my mood swings went away and I felt great.
25 days later (and right on schedule) I got my period. I was pissed. I had been looking forward to going months without getting my period. I was even hoping that it would be months before I’d get my period. Rob, always the wise one, said: “You should be happy, your body is in a good enough place to do what it’s supposed to do.” Ahh, the silver lining I couldn’t see as I concentrated on how much getting my period sucked.
Taking The Pill did a few things for me.
1) It always kept my face pretty clear in the days leading up to my period. I’ve been breaking out before my period every month since I stopped taking MSM–but it’s on my list of things to get, so hopefully that will help clear that up. There are also other things that you can do to help your skin, like eating lots of cucumbers and adding burdock root and turmeric to your smoothies.
2) My cramps were fairly tame while on The Pill. This was something that I’d forgotten about, because for the better part of 4.5 years my cramps were no big deal. Now, I find myself doubled up in pain the day before it starts and a day or two into my cycle. There are foods that I have begun to incorporate to help ease the pain, like pineapple and cacao (cacao is always a good choice in my opinion!). Peppermint Tea helps to soothe and relax cramped muscles, so I use that as well.
Talking to other women who have gone off The Pill, whether it was because they were trying to get pregnant or because they didn’t feel right taking it anymore (like me), I hear the same thing over and over again: “I feel so much better.” And yeah, I’d have to agree, I do feel so much better, like my life has opened up before me again. And I rejoice that I am no longer chained to making monthly trips to the pharmacy or taking The Pill every single night.