Opinion: We can’t keep looking to birth control as the culprit

Abby Waechter | Staff Writer

 I hate birth control. 

Ever since I’ve started it, nothing but a series of unfortunate events has occurred. My body doesn’t know how to react to it, my emotions are out of control, and my boyfriend broke up with me. 

The emotions that came over me after my breakup were amplified because of birth control. I was going crazy. Most people who know me were shocked to hear that I was the slightest bit emotional after it happened.

I’m not the kind of person who typically shows emotion.

I’m the person who shoves it deep down and gets through it by herself. I won’t confide in other people. 

I will tell everyone I’m okay, and I will get through it. 

It might be a period of silence or a time of ignoring my feelings until I am completely and truly over it, but I’ll get over it. But that is NOT how it was.

A week later I tried to have a totally normal conversation with my mom and I cried through the entirety of it. This was not like me. 

Did I really just grow to embody the essence of a teenage girl overnight? Then she brought up all of the other offenses that I was guilty of that took place over the last two months: I was overly emotional (for a teenage girl, I know) and I was so much more irritable. I didn’t know the answer: Why was I acting like this? 

Then she asked me how birth control was going. 

Suddenly it all made sense. 

My doctor prescribed me a heightened dose and said that it might “play” with my feelings. Oh, it “played” with my feelings. It ruined them. I had totally forgotten about her warning.

The thing about birth control is you can’t really understand what being on it is like until you’ve wrestled hormonal rage at its core. Doctors will freely admit that it is unpredictable at first and girls will also freely admit that it is a “hit or miss” prescription. Because it is. Starting the pill marks the beginning of your trek through the jungle of its delusion. 

There are days of normalcy and days of horror. There are weeks where your emotions are constantly at war with each other. And there are months where you don’t feel comfortable in your own body. 

But despite all of its trouble, I came to a realization. A realization that unveiled a side of me that was dripping in truth. 

Birth control did not make up the feelings I felt, it just enhanced them. 

I felt deep down that something was wrong in my relationship. I just didn’t address it until I began taking the pill. I knew I was upset with my friends for their actions months before I started it, but I didn’t begin to defend myself until I began taking the pill. My life was going down the drain. The pill forced me to realize who I am and that I deserve to be treated with so much love and respect. The pill revealed the truth behind what I really wanted to be: happy. 

The pill made me control the things I didn’t want to control. But I had to. The only reason why I didn’t explode into pieces after my breakup was because it was the first step towards my happiness, and deep down I knew that. I needed a way out. I needed time to remember how liberating it was to not be tethered to another person’s emotions. 

Now that it’s actually happened, and I’ve gotten a different prescription, I can define my happiness without other people influencing it. We have to control what makes us happy, and sometimes that means leaving. We have to keep ourselves happy, and through doing that we ensure that we are involved in the right relationships. We pave the way for our own happiness and we are the ones who decide if we are truly happy.

No one can define your happiness. Not a friend, not a parent, not even a pill. 

You do.