About a month ago I decided to stop taking the hormonal birth control pill I was on. In part this was because I was becoming increasingly forgetful about it, but I’ve also been on the same pill for about 6 years now, since I was in year 11. I had begun to feel as if I didn’t even know my body anymore. Since being on the pill I’d gradually gained weight, going from 53kg to 70kg. While that may have been to a gradual dietary/lifestyle change I’m not so sure it wasn’t influenced by the pill. Other than that though I wasn’t sure what other aspects of my everyday life the pill had been affecting.
The first few days after I stopped taking the pill nothing really changed, because the hormones were still circulating my body. But throughout the following weeks I’ve noticed that I feel more, I feel happier and my emotions feel more natural than before. In the past I’ve struggled with periods of extremely low moods, which isn’t uncommon, however the usual dullness of emotions has gradually lifted. Even friends have commented on how I seem more positive and energetic recently.
In addition to this I noticed something that has in the past been a point of guilt and embarrassment for me. My usually dead low sex drive has dramatically, insanely increased! I can’t stop pestering my partner for some alone time. It’s been absolutely fantastic. I want to buy sexy underwear again, to feel sexy, empowered and strong. I want a drawer full of toys for myself and to spend weekends locked away in the bedroom with my SO. Now I have to wonder if my indifference to sex in the past was a direct result of taking the pill since I was 16 years old, or if something has changed with my relationship lately that has led to this increase. However it isn’t just psychological, at least it doesn’t feel it to me.
I’ve also noticed a change to how I handle or react to my stress levels. Since about year 12 I’ve felt less stress overall. For the HSC exams I felt worried, but overall didn’t really care. While at uni, I’ve felt nervous about assessment dates and exams, but I’ve always known I had it under control. I also began overeating when I did become stressed. I even went through a period where if I wasn’t eating I began to feel nauseous and uncomfortable. Two weeks ago was the first time I felt like my old self in a while, because instead of reaching for food when I was stressed, I lost my appetite. And weirdly enough this was comforting. I even called my mum about it! It was so comforting to have an addition source for stress to disappear! Instead of worrying about eating too much, my brain was now focusing on the source of my initial stress. This has resulted in me putting more hours into my studies, working for extended periods of time instead of short 30 min sessions. It’s been such a relief to me, and no one is really understanding why I am finding the loss of appetite to be comforting. It’s not that I’m doing it to lose weight (although I have before), it’s just that I know this is how I work, and it’s comforting to finally be feeling like me again.
Today I have a consultation before I have the Mirena implanted next week, and I am insanely nervous. Not because of how it may affect my body, because there’s no way it can cause as much harm to my body as the pill did, but simply because of the pain of the implantation. Also, I’ve started my period today, sorry in advance doc! But despite feeling bloated and sore, I finally feel like myself again, instead of a blank, empty shell of a human being.