13 Emotional Stages Of Realizing You Bled Through Your Pants At Work

You know what I don't talk about on the internet enough? My PERIOD. (I jest, I actually talk about it a lot, and sometimes I do experiments on it just cuz.) But as much as I yak about my period into the soundless void of the internet, there is a Very Real Period Issue that I dare not speak of out loud: that awkward moment when you accidentally leak through your pants in public. We talk about it like it's a thing that only happened to our hapless, dopey teenage selves, but the truth is, the vaginal blood rain did not mystically turn its faucet off when we hit 18, and there are some forces of nature that a tampon cannot contain. (Or, in my case, a giant sanitary pad, specifically engineered "period panties, and an entire layer of denim, but WHO'S KEEPING SCORE, UTERUS?!)

Of all the people on this planet, I feel like I am most equipped to handle this kind of awkward. Not only do I have many years of experience in being awkward by nature, but I spend my time writing posts against period-shaming, and work in an office full of ridiculously shiny great humans who would not (and did not) bat an eyelid when I fell victim to Aunt Flo's vengeance. (R.I.P., my second fave pair of jeans.) But even I was embarrassed when it happened, and boy howdy, do I remember the unspeakable horror of it happening in the years before I stopped giving most f*cks what people thought of me. For anyone who has been on that same boat in the red sea that I have, you'll recognizes these emotional stages of getting your period in public far too well:

1. The First Hint Of Unease

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Brakes squeal on a car a few blocks away. An earthquake trembles in some distant land. A How I Met Your Mother writer shudders in their sleep in penance for their crimes against humanity. Basically, the winds are shifting. Something is happening, and you know not yet what it is, you sweet, jam-filled, jubilant dolphin, you.

2. The Awkward Finagling Of Your Butt Quarters

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When mankind invents a subtle way to turn around and check your own ass for bloodstains, then we will truly have advanced as a society.

3. The Deer In The Headlights (Read: Blood In the Panty Lines) Moment

You are more frozen than Anna after Elsa's powers iced her. If you move, you're screwed. If you don't move, you're even more screwed. It's like playing a game of chutes and ladders where there are only chutes, and the chutes are all streaking bright red all over your favorite skirt.

4. The Mad Dash To The Bathroom

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If only your high school gym teacher could see you now.

5. The "NO, NO, NO, NO, NO"

NO NO NO NO NON ONO NOOOOON ONO NO NONONONONO.

6. The Deeply Existential Two Minute Crisis

You sit on the toilet and reflect on your life and your choices. You shouldn't have stolen that blue crayon from your sister at Red Robin in 2005. You shouldn't have shotgunned that slightly expired beer last weekend. Your life has never seemed more linear or finite than this moment now, staring into the void of your blood-stained pant bottoms, losing all hope you had of mankind's better tomorrow.

7. The Battle Plan

Obviously you have your phone with you, because even if you weren't in the middle of a bloodbath, you weren't going to sit down and pee without scrolling down Instagram like some animal. And you need back-up now more than ever.

8. The Oddly Gratifying Phone Scroll

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Your first thought: Oh my god, which co-worker can I tell about this?! Your second thought (hopefully): Which co-worker can't I tell about this?! You will never fully appreciate your work BFFs until you are sitting helpless on a public toilet and you realize your #SquadGoals would put Taylor Swift's to shame.

9. The Heroic Rescue

Your work BFF arrives like a god damn ninja, subtly tossing you tampons, your sweater, spare pants, and Ryan Gosling's phone number. You make eye contact through that ridiculously intrusive crack in the door (thanks, America), and know you will both forever be bonded by this awkward chapter of your life.

10. The Shaky And Uncertain Return To The ~Real World~

You're sure that you are marked. There is a glowing beacon on your head, like the bat signal, except instead of a logo it says "I AM A FULL GROWN ADULT WOMAN WHO JUST BLED THROUGH SEVERAL LAYERS OF FABRIC AND I AM STILL BASICALLY SWIMMING IN THE AWKWARDNESS OF IT".

11. The Pity Party FOMO

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Arguably the worst part of bleeding through your pants, like, anywhere? You deserve lots of sympathy. You deserve to be head-patted and given chocolate from somebody's secret desk stash. You deserve to be able to crawl into the one plastic chair in the office without being questioned, dammit, but here's the catch — you can't tell anyone. All you want to do is interrupt your team brainstorm by writing "FEEL SORRY FOR ME" on the whiteboard, but alas. You'll have to settle for sending your mom seven e-mails with "uguughsghmkmhh" in the subject line, and then ten more as the situation develops.

12. The Smuggest Smugtastic Feeling Ever

A lesser person would have gone home hours ago, but you're still here, cooking in your own hot mess like a #boss.

13. The Victory Lap To The Elevator When The Clock Strikes Five

R.I.P., your last shred of shame.

Images: NBC; whatshouldwecallme/Tumblr; Giphy