I don’t shy away from PMS talk. Everyone gets it or knows someone who gets it. If I didn’t know what was driving the week long crazy train I ride once a month, I would have to seriously consider some extreme treatment options for my ‘problems’. Believe it or not, I used to get locked up in a psychiatric hospital about once a month when I was in my early 20s. It was close to six months before anyone realized it was hormone related. Seems like I should have noticed the pattern, but I was PMSing so give me a break!!!! Thankfully when they discovered what was up and started treating me for the hormonal symptoms, my trips to the psych ward decreased exponentially. They didn’t stop altogether, but those are stories for another day. Fast forward 12 years and I still struggle to stay in good emotional fitness the few days before my period.
This past week was a doosey. My husband was traveling for work and I was busy with my own work, coaching and family. Food called to me from inside the refrigerator; the mirror would scream insults directly into my brain whenever I even glanced at it; I was exhausted and drained but didn’t want to get in bed at night; I ranted on the phone at my husband about his leaving me all alone and then cried when he returned; and I cried once at my desk and once in the middle of a meeting at work. A total wreck. Thankfully, after the first day, I knew what I was going through which allowed me to roll with the punches a bit better. I mean, who cries in the middle of a meeting because the whiteboard hasn’t arrived?!?? A hormonal me, that’s who. Thankfully I’ve mastered the silent cry and I pulled myself together after a couple minutes… but seriously!!
So here’s how I survive week’s like this past one:
- Alert my female family members. This is a serious family trait passed down woman to woman to woman. I mean we ALL go nuts with our swinging hormones. We all understand it, and I take great comfort in knowing I come by it all honestly. Remember that I have a BIG family and as far as I’m aware, no woman in it has a mild cycle. We all lose our stuff when we PMS. We all feel closer to mean and ugly, lose our tempers more easily, feel a little lonely and act a little nutty.
- Alert my husband. This is crucial to the continued success of our marriage. J Seriously though, he has standing permission to remind me that my mood swings and oversensitivity could be due to my period being near. He treads lightly here and thankfully he’s found a way to insert it at the right moments. It usually makes me laugh. He also will listen to me fly off the handle, and I mean all the way off the handle, then say sorry and give me a hug.
- Tell my internal morning critic to take a break. Nothing is gonna look any good on me, according to me, for a few days. It’s just the way it is, so no need to intentionally start my day with fat and ugly’s.
- Make certain I keep a sense of humor. This is huge. I tell my stories of melt downs and temper tantrums to friends, male and female, because they are funny once I’m through them! Three of my friends got the whole run down of my twisted, crazy thinking while my husband was away earlier this week. It was only two nights and I had worked it up into a future lifetime of loneliness!!! I laughed and laughed as I recounted one of our phone conversations and my subsequent thinking about the whole thing. What a great release.
So that’s the long and short of it. Now, if you’re a man and you happened to read all the way to the end of this, I’d like to make a suggestion: Do not pop this up in front of your wife, girlfriend, or sister and tell them they should read it because insert reason here, unless you are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THEY ARE NOT PMSing AND ARE IN A GOOD MOOD!!!! Also note that I asked my husband to help me in reminding me about my cycle… tread lightly! J As for all the ladies out there, I hope you related and find some humor in our shared experiences. I am so grateful l don’t have to live enslaved by my emotions anymore, and I have learned to take myself far less seriously today than ever before. A favorite quote of mine growing up was, “Angels can fly, because they take themselves lightly”. When I let go of my pride and perfectionism, I find such unbelievable freedom, humor, and joy in being a woman..