It’s one of those things you don't realize it's happening as it's happening. I lost joy in my everyday life and was in a constant state of sadness and nervousness. “If only they had told us” is an exploration of my experience on birth control. Through screen prints, images and embossments, I explore the fogginess in my body and my mental state over the two years I took a daily birth control pill.

The experience that I had begs a larger question about the experience of countless others that have yet to find a voice to describe their thoughts and feelings about the effects of birth control hormones on their bodies. It is almost taken for granted that women will visit a clinician at some point who will lay out the options available for practicing safe sex and birth control. It is wonderful to have these options and be part of a larger dialogue about women’s right to exercise control of their bodies. At the same time, for most of us it happens at a fairly young age when perhaps we lack the maturity or experience to understand what we are really getting into with hormonal therapy.

One wonders if there has been any real research into the emotional, intellectual or spiritual side effects from taking birth control hormones. Well, there have been studies and they yield conflicting results, most likely due to the difficulty in measuring the changes that occur since each woman’s body most likely responds differently and the changes are so subtle.

For me, it would have been nice to know about the possible side effects, namely, the potential for mood changes and the possibility of depression. At this point, I can finally acknowledge what happened to me personally. To represent all this in my art, it is my intention to give a broader voice to others who share my experience, legitimizing yet another set of private experiences and planting a seed for a future where those experiences become publicly acknowledged.