The birth control pill sparked the sexual revolution and transformed the ways in which women viewed sex and themselves. Women of all shapes and sizes have developed a personal relationship with the Pill since. Good or bad, every woman who has utilized it has a story, and so do I. Oh, the Pill. It offers so much more than the promise of preventing pregnancy: may cure moderate acne, symptoms of PMS, mood swings..Headaches, weight gain, depression? Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware of the benefits the Pill can offer and what it has done for women; I was once a beneficiary but to be honest it pretty much f*cked with my head.

My relationship with the Pill started in high school, prior to my first sexual experience, and helped to regulate my period and stop painful ovarian cysts from forming. Other than mild weight gain I had only experienced positive side effects; it helped clear up my acne, regulated my menstrual cycle, eased my cramps and ovarian cysts and was a reliable form of birth control. After so many years I was reluctant to think that the Pill would have harmful effects on me but over the past five months I have seen a significant change in my mood.

With that said, all was well until this year when I started experiencing some strange symptoms that were not emphasized when my doctor was sizing me up for my best birth control option. I didn’t know about the possible side effects of hair loss, vision problems with contact lenses, nervousness, breast pain, depression along with many others. I believe that I have been experiencing some of these possible side effects over the last few months but just could not bring myself to attribute them to the Pill. Depression was the most significant and the difference in my mood was astonishing. I am typically an upbeat person and from time to time things would get me down but would not keep me down. Crying at the drop of a hat, feeling guilty, getting upset over the smallest incidents, becoming distressed over men I didn’t even like, suddenly becoming insecure, feeling depressed and developing dark thoughts are not part of my normal regime but suddenly became the story of my life. I felt like I had no good news to tell anyone, just the same sad song. I had no idea what was wrong with me and just thought I was going crazy and was stressed..it was awful. Nothing ever would have clicked if it weren’t for a conversation with my roommates one day about the Pill.

Three of my roommates shared their negative experiences with the Pill and how they felt that it made them “crazy” and they just couldn’t be on it anymore. This never resonated with me because I thought that the Pill could not possibly make me crazy and I needed to be on it..not only was my skin looking great but I wasn’t getting pregnant! How could something that I’ve always depended on and was so liberating and so reliable be doing this to me? I was emotionally attached to the Pill and couldn’t break up with it even though it was wreaking havoc on my emotions.

One day I got upset and could not seem to control my emotions. My mind somehow made me think back, and out of curiosity I did some topical research on “the Pill and depression”. There isn’t much clinical information or studies out there (at least readily available) but there are a lot of personal, firsthand accounts from women who suffered from similar side effects. The more I began to search the less hopeless I felt. I’ve stopped taking the pill since and although it hasn’t been very long in comparison to how long I took the Pill for, I feel fine but am waiting to see how my body adjusts without it (It may take a couple of months).

Now don’t get me wrong. I am an advocate for birth control; I think everyone is entitled to have access to accurate information and all forms of birth control– this blog is not about morals, it is about how the pill effected my emotional and mental health and how I wasn’t aware of it. It does not affect all women in the same way and won’t necessarily have the same effects on you. I am not encouraging anyone to suddenly stop taking their birth control if they think they have developed any side effects; I am just encouraging women not to take anything lightly, be aware of their own bodies and speak up if they think something is wrong. The birth control pill can be an amazing thing and for me it was, until recently. I think everyone should be responsible for their sexual health and be responsible and active in preventing unwanted pregnancies but I also feel as though the potential side effects of hormonal contraceptives are not emphasized as they should be. I personally feel as though the dosage of the pill I was taking was working fine and now my body is just changing and reacting differently to hormonal contraceptives than it used to. There are other options that I can try and probably will try in the future. I thought I absolutely needed the Pill to be safe and enjoy my sex life and therefore was oblivious to the negative side effects and changes it was causing, but I am stable enough to make decisions and utilize other methods of contraception. I’m not saying it’s over with me and the Pill..we’re just on a break.

Please participate in the polls below and share your experiences or thoughts on this topic.

http://www.womens-health.co.uk/risks.html

http://www.aphroditewomenshealth.com/news/hormones_depression.shtml

http://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/birth-control-pill

*I did not want to mention the specific hormonal methods I have used over the years I don’t want to attribute any problems I’ve had with certain brands – I am attributing the side effects I had with hormonal contraceptives in general.

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Is it possible to fail at finding your own happiness? I never thought it was until I realized I had done it. I moved to San Francisco, found a job, enrolled in school and tried to make a little life for myself about a year ago and have yet to accomplish anything that could make me happy. An entire year and I have nothing to show for it. I don’t feel like I fit in here, or anywhere. I feel like no one understands me or what I’m about and no one cares enough to even try. I’ve been used countless times by people who I thought at least cared enough about me not to do such a thing. Apparently I’m only as good as my car and I’m only good enough to date until someone else comes along. I’m also a great friend to go to the store with and chat with at lunch, but when anything else rolls around I’m just the friend you put on the back burner. This is not how my life was and is not how I intended it to be. My kindness has been taken for weakness and it makes me wonder why I ever left home and left amazing people who genuinely enjoyed me and the person I was. My heart is broken and the pieces are scattered all over San Francisco. Every time I get back up from a disaster and think I’m okay I just get knocked down again. I don’t deserve to feel upset and useless; I am not.

Don’t get me wrong, over the last year I have learned a lot. I know that I can survive; I can find a place to live, find a grocery store, find a job and meet people who give great directions. But with that I have lost something within myself and don’t feel like the same person I once was. I’m used to doing things on my own and am ok with figuring things out and being alone but I’m not used to being a lonely person and that is exactly what I’ve become.

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So I have five days to figure out if I’m going to give my lonely miserable life another try or if I am going to pick everything up and move back down to southern California. Staying means that I’m enrolled in the fall semester, I prove to everyone that I can hack it and I shut up and wait until my lease is up. It also means that I remain miserable and fall deeper into the skin of someone I’m not. Leaving, on the other hand, means that I failed miserably at something I desperately wanted for myself. Leaving means that I go home and face everyone I love and who loves me and supported me and show them that I couldn’t do it; that I’m weak and have become something less than they remember me as. It also means going back to the same place as a different person and I have no idea how I am going to deal with that. It also mean a possible clean start and a chance at figuring myself out. It may also mean finding peace within myself and not feeling empty anymore.

The next few days will prove to be daunting for me. I have no idea what I am going to do or how I am going to do it. Whatever decision I make will be accompanied by difficulty. I realize that either way I am going to lose a lot before I can win anything.

So I’ve been seeing pictures and videos of giant German rabbits everywhere. fo/Germany-bigbunnyI haven’t heard about them until recently. These rabbits are huge and they can grow to weigh up to 30 pounds which is the size of a small dog. Apparently North Korea wants to raise them to feed their country because they reproduce and grow quickly and you could eat almost every part of the rabbit. When I was a kid my dad and grandfather raised rabbits and I grew up eating rabbit meat  which is actually really good, high in protein and low in cholesterol. The story is much more involved but I just think they are awesome and I would definitely get one and keep it as a pet if I had an apartment with a yard. So anyways, I was at work looking them up and am just fascinated and wanted to share. Enjoy

EBERSWALDE, GERMANY – JANUARY 15:  Pensioner Karl Szmolinsky, who raises a breed of rabbits called giant grays, shows Robert, an 8.5kg giant grey who is 74cm long and has ears 25.5cm long, in the backyard of his house on January 15, 2006 in Eberswalde, Germany. In November Szmolinsky sold eight giant greys to a delegation from North Korea, whom he said want to raise the breed as a source of meat for the North Korean population. Szmolinsky said his rabbits reach a maximum weight of 10.5 kg (23.1lbs.).  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Karl Szmolinsky

Today was an interesting day for me. I walked into my morning class and the first word I heard was ‘teabagging’. Well good morning.

 

Ok. Allow me to explain. I have a class entitled Variations in Human Sexuality, which is located in a theatre with about 400 students and my professor conducts his lectures with the help of a microphone and a huge projection screen. I attend SFSU which is an extremely diverse and tolerant environment that actively and openly promotes sexual health. Virtually nothing is off limits here. So as I stepped into class it didn’t really faze me as my professor casually discussed an article about teabagging and then began with the lecture.

Today was also HIV awareness day and the quad area had been filled with projects promoting condom use and sexual health. All projects are constructed out of different contraception methods and some were very creative, funny and hopefully effective. It’s an annual Latexhibition which not only promotes safe sex but also allows students to openly acknowledge and discuss different sexual messages and helps to reinforce the fact that you can you can literally obtain these forms of contraception anywhere. It’s also great because it helps people become comfortable with these issues. When one person stops to look at these images and messages the next person that comes alongside them may not feel as uncomfortable or self-conscious about stopping to take a look and it becomes a chain reaction. As a result you have thousands of people reading and processing this information and hopefully incorporating it into their lives. I think it’s great and only wish that I had more time to peruse the projects a bit longer. teabag_used1 

          Well, today there also happened to be new student tours taking place. The campus seemed to be bombarded with parents and their fresh out of high school students who wanted to visit the campus and get a ‘feel’ for it, as they always say. So backing up a little bit, before I had a chance to get over to the quad and check out the Latexhibition I was at work and a prospective student and their parent came into our office and asked, “What the heck is going on out there today?”. A coworker of mine casually informed them it was HIV awareness day. “Oh,” she said with a disgruntled look on her face. I don’t want to delve into too much detail but I work for a department on campus and come into contact with overprotective, overbearing and concerned parents on the phone and in person every single day, so reactions like are no surprise to me. As I left work and walked to my next class I took a detour and checked out all of the projects that had been put on display and also checked out the reactions and expressions of parents. One parent walked by quickly and didn’t even attempt to acknowledge any of the projects sprawled out in front of him. Another, at the beginning of the path, took a look and began walking away while shaking her head. There were also many who actually took the time to look at the projects and enjoy them. At first I thought the reactions of the embarrassed parents were really funny but then realized that it was actually really upsetting to me.

          I am a Human Sexualities minor and have no problem discussing sex, sexual health, contraception, sex education and so forth. It’s become a normal part of my life as well as my studies. I have yet to have any problems discussing my opinions in regards to sexuality with my parents. Although I don’t share very personal or intimate details with them, I am constantly sharing what I learn and my views on sexual health and they listen (even though sometimes I sense that my dad is a bit uncomfortable). At first I thought the reason that I talk openly with them is because they’ve become accustomed to my open and frank attitude but now I have come to realize that they respect my opinions and I respect theirs because we are, after all, adults.

          photo3When I saw the upset, embarrassed and confused parents it was upsetting to me because I realized that after being in such an open and tolerant environment I had forgotten that the rest of the country still has a long ways to go in terms of sexual health and responsibility. Our sexuality plays a vital role in every aspect of our lives whether it is our physical health, mental health, education, friendships, personal relationships, self-esteem, etc. We are all sexual beings from the moment we are born until moment we die and neglecting that is detrimental to our society, relationships and sexual health. As living, breathing, sexual beings we need to take responsibility for ourselves and our sexuality because it is an ongoing and ever-changing part of human nature. We are social beings and learn from one another so responsibility needs to be reinforced and not neglected because someone is just too embarrassed to talk about it or even look at a condom project.

          I could go on and discuss this all day because this is something that is important to me and I discuss topics similar to this one on a regular basis. I just really wanted to take a minute to reflect on the events that took place today and try to piece them together as best I could. I went from my professor discussing an article about teabagging to shocked and embarrassed parents observing the Latexhibition and this was all before I even had lunch. It has been an interesting day and one that I wish everyone could experience firsthand. It made me realize that I have taken for granted how lucky I am to live in such a culturally rich, diverse and tolerant environment where I have access to free health clinics and contraception with no questions asked and no judgment placed on me or the decisions I make.

 

Teabagging is a slang term for the act of a man placing his scrotum in the mouth[1] or on or around the face (including the top of the head) of another person, often in a repeated in-and-out motion as in irrumatio. The practice vaguely resembles dipping a tea bag into a cup of tea.

 

http://xpress.sfsu.edu/archives/tech/007247.html

 

 

Due to my most recent blunder in love I’ve decided to document my treacherous path through the world of dating. More often than not my dating experiences are more humorous than anything else but I didn’t find anything funny about this one. What is it, if anything, are we supposed to learn from these mishaps? Well I haven’t learned a thing and am sure that I will once again be sacrificing myself to the dating gods.

            So my most recent experience involves a very tall, muscular and unbelievably attractive man who opened up more than just my eyes to a variety of new experiences. (How we met, how it ended and everything in between is somewhat of a complicated story that involved a lot of detail so I’ll cut things short and get straight to the point.) I was absolutely convinced that this guy was my sexual counterpart, and for the time being he was. For some reason I was totally uninhibited with him and realized I hadn’t had that much fun with someone in a while. We could talk to each other for hours about everything and nothing and no question was ever too personal or silly. I’ve always been attracted to the tall, dark, athletic, drop dead gorgeous type, but hey guess what so are a lot of other women. I don’t often find myself pursuing anything these types of men for whatever reason, but this time he was literally different than any other guy I had ever taken it to the next level with. I can say I was really into him and he was really into me and we were just really into each other. He was hot; the best I ever had and he knew it. He knew exactly what he was doing from the get go. I usually don’t go into these situations with high hopes, but this time I did and unfortunately contributed to my own demise.

So if you didn’t already know where this was going, right now is the part where all good things come to an end. The only difference is that this particular time it ended with me finding out he had been engaged the entire time. WHAT? Yes, that’s exactly what I thought. Not only was I shocked, tearful and furious when a good friend gently brought the news to my attention, I was confused and upset that I never picked up on any clues. As I looked back on the entire situation I never came across any times or details which would have led me to believe that he had another person in his life but I presume it’s because she had been living in another part of the state and maybe he thought that allowed him to freely fool around. Naturally I felt absolutely awful and not to mention felt like a whore. I knew it wasn’t my fault. I had absolutely no idea, but I just could not get over the fact that this guy would do this or put me in this position. I would never pursue or be involved with someone who I knew already had commitments to someone else but unfortunately I found out too late. Why are some men just so awful?

When he least expected it I immediately confronted him with the information I had been given and get this: He was in a difficult situation and needed me to understand and forgive him. That, among many other things, was the wrong thing to say. I only wish I knew who this woman was so I can inform her that she’s engaged to a dog. No woman deserves this, not her, whoever she is. I know for a fact that I didn’t either. Regardless of what his situation was or whatever problems they supposedly had, I didn’t care and there is no excuse that could possibly make me feel any better. I really don’t know what his initial intention was, but I do know that after we got to know each other well and after everything, he did like me and I liked him and we enjoyed eachother, but I suppose at the same time that is what makes the situation even worse and more difficult to get over. As strange as it sounds it’s somewhat comforting to know that there was emotion there and I wasn’t just an object to go through the motions with.  When I think about it, I can’t help but fear that he’d been lying about a variety of other things but I was too disheveled and haven’t felt the need to exhort too much energy into delving in and finding out anything else that would pour salt into my already wounded heart.

            So that was that. After a few harsh comments it was done and I never talked to the guy again. That was the end and I realized that it was too good to be true anyways. I fear that with every jerk that comes my way I’m becoming more cynical and numb to these experiences. Now I won’t be melodramatic and say that my heart is broken or that I’m scarred for life and will never date again, but I really think this guy did a number on me. So the point of all this is that thanks to him I’ve been thrown back into the world of dating with another bad experience under my belt and I still hate it, this time more than ever.

 

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I have a few life experiences that have jolted me back into reality. I know I know, I haven’t even hit quarter life yet, so my experiences are limited but I do believe it’s safe to say I’m somewhat ahead of the crowd. But that’s not to say that I haven’t learned from other people’s experiences and been utterly annoyed by them. Although I’ve been here less than a year, moving to San Francisco has allotted me the opportunity to meet people who I would have otherwise not taken the time or energy to get to know. It’s had both its good points and bad points and I will provide you with enough information to help you realize why this particular experience falls into the category of a bad point.

So let’s continue with this ignorance is denial. The person I have been living with is in denial. Period. Long story short the person I have been living with has had this so called boyfriend for about four or five years and he is the only person she has ever had sexual relations with. One day she went to her doctor and discovered that he had given her Chlamydia and continues to vehemently deny cheating. First, she thought that maybe her tests were wrong. Her next excuse was that maybe he didn’t get it from having sex. Well, I’m sorry to break a few hearts, but it’s called a sexually transmitted disease because it is a sexually transmitted disease. Although vaginal penile intercourse may not have been involved, two people must have been in contact with one another’s gentiles at some point in time. He sure didn’t get it by shaking hands. When she confronted him about cheating and asked who gave him the sexually transmitted disease he would tell her that he didn’t know, didn’t remember ever having relations with another woman and didn’t have Chlamydia. When it was suggested to her that she request proof, such as the test results from his physician, she had no reaction and it is unknown by any of the people she confided in whether or not she requested the results. Now that it has undoubtedly been confirmed that she indeed had Chlamydia and after she had been given antibiotics for it, she is willing to put this all in the past, forgive and give him another chance even though at this point he shows little to no interest in being with her. She also says, and this is my favorite, that she is willing to forgive him even though he won’t admit to cheating because it was Chlamydia and could be treated and it wasn’t anything more serious. What? Never in my life have I heard such a thing. I was shocked to hear that a twenty something year old educated woman would submit herself to such blatant disrespect and physical danger.

I don’t know where to even begin with this. If you know me at all you know that I do not even look twice at situations involving partners, or friends for that matter, who are unfaithful, dishonest or disrespectful in any way shape or form. Although it’s not always easy I do my best to muster up enough courage to say what needs to be said and dissociate myself from the situation and the individual altogether. So, if you know me then you know that this situation completely boggles my mind and is so utterly irritating and disgusting to me. How could one tolerate such behavior, especially behavior that has persisted for months? From the day I met her, about eight months ago, she had been complaining about her suspicions of infidelity, his negative behavior towards her and their endless list of problems. Over the past eight months that I have unwillingly listened to her complain about the same things over and over, during that time span they were probably officially a couple for maybe one month. She has spent the rest of the time arguing, crying, facebook stalking and talking about all of the above.

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What is it that makes people panhandle for love? All her assumptions and accusations were proven. She was slapped in the face with a sexually transmitted disease from the only man she had ever been with and she continues to chase after him and ask him if he wants to be with her. If a man wants to be with you he is going to be with you. If you have to give a man a deadline (more than once!) to decide whether or not he wants to be in a relationship with you, that right there is a big fat sign that he doesn’t. What more incentive to finally break all ties and move on does a person need? I know there is emotional and physical attachment; of course it’s there with every long term and serious relationship but at some point you need to stop making a fool of yourself and take a step back from the situation and look at it for exactly what it is. At this point it’s no longer ignorance and it’s no longer bliss. At this point you have proof that you’ve been made a fool of, you’ve had a sexually transmitted disease and you have been on antibiotics. What else does a person need? So now it’s not ignorance it’s plain, flat-out, blatant denial. The person who has been cheated on and disrespected has brought it on to themselves. There is a point in which a person must take personal responsibility over their physical and emotional health and recognize the signs that have been causing them to become emotionally and physically distraught.

Situations such as this drive me crazy because I can’t seem to understand why a woman would put herself through it. I would much rather leave the situation and be lonely and upset for sometime while allowing myself to begin the healing process instead of remain involved with the other person and allow the situation to deteriorate my self esteem and other relationships. The person that I live with takes her anger, frustration, and relationship woes out on anyone that has ears. She has judged me and made rude remarks in regards to my relationships and intimate situations and I presume this is because she is unfulfilled within her own. I find it interesting that this person has compared me with Samantha from Sex and the City, called me nasty and disgusting and repeatedly commented on how she doesn’t understand my intimate life and we just must be different kinds of girls.

When faced with these comments I so badly wanted to say, “Well who ended up with Chlamydia? Not me,” but fortunately my better half got the best of me and I was able to bite my tongue and express my desire not hear about this redundant situation anymore Are we teenagers who are unable to be open about our sexuality or are we adults living on our own and making decisions for ourselves? I’m the latter of the two. There is fulfilling emotional and physical relationships with more than one person while being responsible for yourself and your body and then there is having a dysfunctional relationship in which you put all of your trust into the other individual while neglecting to take responsibility for yourself and ending up with a sexually transmitted disease. Ouch, I know.

 

I just needed to get this off of my mind and I’m not sure if it’s because I found it an interesting topic to write about or because I am just so sick and tired of hearing about. If I didn’t resort to Word I just might have resorted to my initial desire to pull the Chlamydia card.

Denise knew exactly what she would find when she stopped by her blog tonight: months of neglect.

She knew she needed another post.

She needed one bad.