11 things I regularly did while on my period as a teenager
I got my first period when I was 12.
I don't remember it being remarkable. The overwhelming feeling was one of relief.
Two girls in my class had already gotten their periods (it was a time when this kind of thing was public knowledge) and I was keen not to fall behind the others. I was also terrified that my sister, 13 months younger, would get hers first.
The first spots of blood on the giant pad I'd taken from the cupboard under the bathroom sink were proof that I was a grown up, a woman. Thank God.
If only I knew what lay ahead.
Here are some of the things I did while on my period in those early years.
I ruined countless pyjama bottoms, jeans, bedsheets and once even a seat in my mum's car during my first year as a menstruating female.
Wear two pairs of knickers at once for fear of leakage
Shout-out to a good friend in secondary school who taught me this one.
Only wear black knickers
A technique I still employ sometimes, NGL.
I wasn't really in enough pain to go home from school but surely having blood come out an orifice that you've only just learned existed is traumatic enough to warrant a day off?
Defiantly tell our male year head that I was on my period when he asked what kind of sick I was
I was a woman, God damn it, and wanted everyone to know about it.
Used a non-applicator tampon the first time I ever tried a tampon
A new and hellish type of pain.
I got it about two millimetres in, not really knowing where it was going, before I bawled and threw myself down on the lino in the downstairs bathroom.
Put toilet paper up there as well as wearing a pad
Tampons were not an option and days one and two were a bloodbath, so what other choice did I have?
Read sanitary product packaging avidly
My access to the internet was limited and I wanted to know as much as I could.
Live in fear of Toxic Shock Syndrome
I didn't even wear tampons but I still felt like I was at risk, as though TSS was a dark figure that would jump out and attack me while I was walking home one day.
Constantly ask my friends to "check me"
By my estimate, 18 months to two years of my teenage years were spent showing the arse of my trousers to whoever happened to be sitting next to me.
Hand out Feminax in the school toilets like it was hard drugs.
There was probably no single day during my time in school where I made it in with all the copies and books I was supposed to have but I was never going to be caught short with pain supplies.
I loved being able to help out a fellow woman in need, shooting a knowing look as I passed the packet over like an old person sneaking a fiver into your hand.