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Getting Your Period During Early Recovery: A Survival Guide

On the one hand, if you’re in your first six months to a year of recovery, your experience of detox and withdrawals is not too far behind you. In comparison, going through PMS and getting your period is like a walk in the park. It is possible that your shift into sobriety has caused a change in your hormones, which has affected your period. If you’re experiencing your period as normal, you might find that your period doesn’t feel so normal, because, for the first time in what might be years, you have to feel everything about your period.

Early recovery is full of lessons about feeling feelings, being present, living life on life’s terms, and moving through the various circumstances of life without picking up a drink or drug. All of that feels and seems great until PMS kicks in. Outside of hormones, it is already enough of a task coping with feelings that feel overwhelming. Learning to identify feelings, articulate our experience with them and express them in an adequate manner is already challenging. Hormones associated with PMS and our period can intensify that experience. We are extra emotional, in whatever emotional capacity we experience our monthly hormones. Sensitive to pain we might experience the pain of our cramps more severely, be extra uncomfortable if we gain weight or experience bloating, and have more food cravings than normal. Though we are typically exhausted and tired in the first few months of sobriety, we may be more bedridden than normal for the few days of our period.

To the average individual who is not a woman these circumstances seem to be of little concern. Inside the mind of a woman who is living through these experiences in real time, the experience is much more severe. She can go through her regular menstrual cycle every month with mental and physical discomfort so intense she wonders if she is losing her mind, entering a new phase of mental illness, or might possibly be on the road to relapse. Women endure this cycle every few weeks in addition to their daily struggles with early recovery. Women are strong, courageous, brave, and remarkably capable. Have compassion with yourself and with others during these difficult times. Remember that this too shall pass and you’ll back to “normal” again within just a few days time. Most importantly, do not pick up a drink or drug, no matter what.

There is no challenge you cannot face and come out successful in recovery. Villa Tranquil Recovery is committed to providing women a safe, private, compassionate, and serene environment for continuing their recovery after treatment. Our unique transitional living opportunity is independently owned and operated by clinicians. Call us today for information on our beautiful home in Jupiter Farms, Florida, and our program for recovery:  214-799-3080