Women’s News: Stop Having Sex? I Did It — For A Year

Women’s News: Stop Having Sex? I Did It — For A Year

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

Women’s Health: Reminder: Contraceptive Care Plays A Role In A Wide Range Of Positive Health Outcomes For Women

Women’s Health: Reminder: Contraceptive Care Plays A Role In A Wide Range Of Positive Health Outcomes For Women

Women’s Health: Reminder: Contraceptive Care Plays A Role In A Wide Range Of Positive Health Outcomes For Women

Jeopardy! Power Players Week

Jason Linkins

jason@huffingtonpost.com

Lizzie O’Leary — late of CNN, current freelancer for National Public Radio — is a friend of mine who has been fighting chronic endometriosis, as well as a spate of bad diagnoses from doctors who could have helped arrest the development of her condition, for many years. Endometriosis is a brutish gynecological condition in which cells from the lining of the uterine wall spread outside the uterus and attach themselves to other internal organs, like the ovaries. The condition can cause intense pain, internal bleeding and fertility problems. O’Leary opens up about her experience in a long and detailed article at Cosmopolitan, titled “What Journalist Lizzie O’Leary Wants Women to Know About Endometriosis.”

As O’Leary relates, the worsening of her endometriosis is what brought her brief tenure as an on-air correspondent for CNN to an untimely end — among other things, the nausea associated with the condition made field reporting a struggle, and treating the pain with Vicodin left her in no condition to go on the air.

“What I want people to know is that it’s okay to talk about it,” O’Leary writes, so let’s do, specifically highlighting this part:

After another surgery, Lizzie is facing endo with continuous hormones and contraception (namely, an IUD), physical therapy for pelvic floor muscles, and acupuncture. She’s spirited, heading to look into cutting-edge research at the Boston Center for Endometriosis, and even joking about her abdomen scars (“I’m a real treat in a bikini”). She considers herself lucky that her endometriosis hasn’t impacted her fertility, and hopes to have children.

Remember all those election year contentions that providing women with affordable access to contraception was tantamount to giving them license to just have a lot of sexual intercourse? Sandra Fluke, who attempted to argue that contraceptive care provided a range of health benefits to women — including treatment for conditions as commonplace as ovarian cysts — was batted about like a pinata by rightward-leaning pundits, who reduced her argument to one in which she was petitioning for government-subsidized harlotry.

But no. While it may seem counterintuitive — at least to someone who can’t outpace the average eel in terms of cognition — contraception plays a role in a host of women’s health issues, including managing the pain of conditions like endometriosis and preserving a woman’s hope to one day have children.

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/05/lizzie-oleary-endometriosis_n_2624136.html?utm_hp_ref=womens-health

A Message From The Creator

12-11-2012-00

Women’s News: Stop Having Sex? I Did It — For A Year

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Audrey Bellis

Owner, The Bella Bambino

I gave up sex and dating. I gave it up just like I would give up chocolate for Lent. It was a very deliberate and conscious choice.

At the time, I had just turned 24, and was fresh off the heels of a broken engagement and sending out the “I’m sorry, I’m no longer getting married so here is your gift back” announcements. I was grieving, and I was lost.

I didn’t realize I was on a downward spiral, I thought I was just rebounding. Everyone wanted to take me out for a drink, introduce me to their single friends, set me up and party my woes away. While these might have been well-meaning acts of support, they were not productive ways of coping for me. My behaviors led me to a dysfunctional rebound relationship, empty sex, drunken sex, quite a bit of guilty self-loathing and a vicious up and down cycle of convincing myself I was fine and the next day, not being able to get out of bed.

The day I realized I needed to change was the day I realized I was talking to myself in affirmations and quotes just to get by. I had one for everything. One day, it would be, “What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger,” and another, “Don’t cry because it’s over — smile because it happened.” All of them were written in fancy typography against Instagram photo-like backgrounds. I was a walking Hallmark card trying to convince myself what was going on inside of me would catch up with the way I appeared, normal, as though nothing had changed. But it didn’t, because when you’re desperate, you’ll find meaning in anything — even a cheesy affirmation.

I needed to change. I needed to be alone. I needed to work on rediscovering myself without the distraction of a romantic interest and without the noise of other people. To do this, I decided to stop dating and take a year of celibacy. I was going to work on me, because the “me” in a relationship always disappeared. I gave “me” up to accommodate my partner and ultimately lost any semblance of who I thought I was.

In my year of no sex/no men, I went on a journey to find myself and heal. I started my business, The Bella Bambino, and I focused on both my mental and physical health. I started doing yoga. I rediscovered me. I learned how to be an independent individual again after being co-dependent for so long. I joined the Catholic Charities of LA-San Pedro Region Advisory board and donated my time and skill sets to my community. I found a passion for helping others.

When the 12 month mark came and went, I let it continue. I let it go on for roughly another 6 months until I was ready. I waited until I was ready to date again without bringing a heavy load of emotional baggage to the table. I waited until I was ready to let someone into my life again without feeling like I had to give parts of myself up to accommodate someone else’s needs. I was more secure with myself, I was happier, and I was making better decisions.

Well, except for one thing: I was still gauging my success by pitting it against my lowest point. To define today’s success as the distance I had come from the point in which I felt I failed meant I was letting that failure point define me and limit my success.

I still struggle with that, but it gets easier. I catch myself from time to time letting that hurt drive my actions to move in the opposite direction. The difference now is I can recognize it and change my thoughts, so I can proactively change my experience. As I approach my 27th birthday, I allow myself a moment to gauge how far I have come in the last three years, but more importantly, to celebrate this year from a new vantage point of happiness.

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