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April 25, 2015

Why Do We Suffer Silently?

Once a month, you have a secret life. You don’t talk about it because doing so feels…. well, a little uncouth and embarrassing? It can be incredibly painful, and for some even crippling, yet that pain is rarely validated let alone talked about. It lowers your performance, yet you’re expected to achieve as normal.

The worse thing is – all women live this, and we do so in silence. Why is this, I have to ask?

For each one of us, the menstrual cycle brings with it a unique bundle of aches and hormones. We feel awful and often in pain and we regularly struggle to be our usual happy go lucky selves during this time.

I was once helping a woman who suffered crippling PMT for ten days each month. It had a debilitating impact on her both personally and professionally, yet every time she needed to stay home she couldn’t bring herself to tell her boss that she was suffering from period pain.

I completely understood both her guilt and embarrassment. But why do we have it, are we ashamed of being in pain? Do we ourselves not see that pain as legitimate or valid?

I know for sure that PMT is very real.

Heather Watson, a top British tennis player, came out earlier this year about losing her match at the 2015 Australian Open, saying it was due to having her period and that she was not feeling her best on the day.

Tara Moore, one of Britain’s top five tennis players, went on to say that periods and the impact they have on females is a taboo subject rarely talked about openly. “At Wimbledon,” she said, “we have to wear white, so it is quite a big deal. Especially because male players don’t understand that we have another element to deal with.”

I hear you, Heather and Tara! And yes it’s difficult to truly understand what someone else experiences if you have never experienced it for yourself.

But that’s why women need to talk about it and stop suffering in silence! Periods are a natural part of life and evolution. In an ideal world we’d go back to the ancient times and cultures of having a communal red tent. It was somewhere to relax together during our menstrual cycles. In the past, periods were a time of natural cleansing and rejuvenation, when women would take time away from their normal routine to support each other and honour what was deemed a sacred time. How refreshing and comforting would it be to have such times again?

It would at least be a start if we could feel comfortable talking about the subject, without feeling it rude or somewhat uncouth. So I ask you, fellow women warriors, to bring this issue to the table and feel at ease talking openly about it. Don’t let the subject continue to be off-limits for discussion.

Let’s start by talking about it in the comments section below… When was the last time PMT lowered your performance?

Sonia Motum
Founder and Director, Energy Coaching
Energy Coaching supports women in fulfilling their greatest potential, discovering their true gifts and talents, living their authentic life purpose and being the best possible version of [...]