by Emma Crouch
Little blue pill, little blue pill . . . I have abandoned you. For eight years I carried you with me, and in me. But now I must leave you behind. I’m unable to pinpoint the exact time I decided this, but I know I went from not thinking about you, to staring at you each time I dutifully swallowed you, considering your purpose, wondering what you were doing to me. I know it was months ago, if not years, that this shift happened. But I pushed it down. The convenience! The ease! I knew where I was with the Pill right? I had everything under control.
But did I? I felt dulled for sure, quiet and small. Everything kept in check with a view of the world that was slightly ajar. That half step out which checked the surge of emotions from spilling over too much, whether it be anger, joy, ambition. I was neatly in my box – regulated and obedient.
I had lost track of why I wanted to control this process – unwanted pregnancy? Sure. Clear skin? Great. Knowing when my period came? Fantastic. But was it? Everything seemed dark, sadness all too common, and I didn’t trust myself anymore. I was still curious about the world, my thoughts and ideas still came rushing in like a wave, but often only to dissipate and lap the shore gently – the urgency all gone, drawing slowly back into the sea of a synthetic fug.
What if I listened to what my body was telling me? Unearthed my own natural rhythms and rode the chorus of progesterone and oestrogen, working with their cycles rather than falling in line with the oft repeated ‘periods are terrible’ mantra. I researched online and the same stories kept coming up over and over again – like being in a fog, apathy, depression, tiredness, skin discolouration . . . what were you doing to us? All these millions of women popping pills, concerns brushed brightly away – the nurse asks, how are you feeling? Fine (Well, anxious and down – but that’s modern life, right?). Have you been getting headaches? Not really (Well, yes, but doesn’t everyone get headaches?).
So one day I just didn’t take you and cautiously stepped out into the world without your daily slow release in my body. Without your chemicals flowing through my veins, reaching up and in and around.
I carried you with me for the first few weeks, the fresh foil packet nestled up against loose tampons and coins in my purse. A medical safety net if it all got too much. But as the days went by, my trust in myself grew along with the madness of that statement – if it all got too much? If ‘I’ got too much, me, the real me? Why was I so fearful to know?
Each morning I stretched my limbs out further still from under this veil of blank, feeling the excitement surge through me. I was awakening – I felt drunk on life – high on the possibilities. Are the leaves brighter this Autumn? I’m not sure, but these are new eyes drinking them in, or old eyes from before, world weary but wiser. I move in step now, with a lightness I had remembered, strangely clumsier, yes, but chasing after the wind as it ruffles through the leaves, golden and red and glorious.
Now, I wait patiently for the first bleed, finally closing this chapter, and expanding into the powerful new light.
So, little blue pill, I bid you so long and farewell. It hasn’t been me, it’s you x
Emma Crouch is a storyteller using film and writing. With a natural curiosity to explore the world around her, she can be found helping others stretch their narrative out into the cosmos, or playing with words to help make sense of the subtleties of life.