My name is Nokuthula, last week was a busy week! I’ve been studying hard for my final exams. I was quite worried, I didn’t want to fail so that I could progress to the next class.
Friday morning, I woke up happy, well prepared for my last two exams. I brushed my teeth, washed my face and took a bath. During my bath, I realised that I had started my period!
I looked into my bag and noticed that I had run out of sanitary pads. I looked into my box where I keep the money I’ve saved but I didn’t have enough money to buy pads. So instead I wore a clean cloth and two layers of underwear and went to school.
I finished my first exam successfully. But in the afternoon my flow got heavy and the cloth couldn’t hold the blood anymore. I needed to change, as soon as possible!
I was too afraid to ask a friend for help because I was told to keep periods a secret. I thought people might judge me for being on my period. But you know what girls? My mom always told me “fear is just a negative thought of something in the future that hasn’t happened yet.” So if I can think of a negative outcome, I can also think of a positive one.
Instead of thinking people will judge me for being on my period, I started to tell myself that periods are normal and a real friend would be happy to help me. The worst thing they could do was say no, but then I could just ask someone else. No big deal! I said this to myself quietly 5 times and then I counted 5,4,3,2,1 and when I got to 0 I just went for it. I walked up to my friend Boitshepo and asked her for a sanitary napkin.
Because I didn’t let fear get in the way I was able to speak to Boitshepo and she gave me 3 napkins to help me for a few more days and told me that asking for sanitary napkins is nothing to be embarrassed about. There is no need to hide when you’re on your period. Periods are a normal part of growing up. As normal as getting taller or growing hair.
Boitshepo also advised me to put money aside to make sure I always have enough money to buy pads and have extra for a friend in need.
After changing I sat my last exam happy and comfortable. I’m so glad I didn’t let fear get in the way. Next time I’m in need I’m not going to care too much about what other people think. I’m going to be brave enough and ask for help straight away.
What would you have done in Nokuthula’s situation? Let us know your thoughts below!