Using tampons (the ones with applicators) was a small step into self-education, but in using them, there was an unshakable notion of conditioned aversion that had been sprouted from the cultural negativity and shame of vaginas. Sure, applicators make things far more convenient in situations such as camping or hiking, but as to everyday use, why? Why are we scared to put our fingers near our vaginas, so much that we use a plastic tube so that our fingers won't come into contact with them?
When I got a DivaCup, I forced myself to get over it. I poked around my vagina with my finger and felt my cervix and gradually became more comfortable with my body. I'd like to chalk it up to half perseverance, half bravery; with these came small milestones and small victories, like being able to finally insert the cup. I feel like I learned so much more about my own body and I am now far more comfortable with myself. Looking back, the difference in attitude is indescribable.
I'm so glad that I discovered menstrual cups. To anyone who's starting out, don't give up, it's so worth it. To anyone who's been doing this for a while, let's celebrate the existence of cups!