I once had a male therapist tell me not to ever make important decisions while being premenstrual. He suggested that I write down all the “issues” that I feel come about, or the important decisions that I’m contemplating, and make a list for the refrigerator. Then, once my premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is over, review the list and cross off the many items that really aren’t issues at all. Good advice. I generally have several “lists” being made during this time. You should see what my refrigerator looks like once a month.
When I started this blog, I promised myself that I would never write a blog while I am premenstrual, for obvious reasons. Then I changed my mind (which I often do when I’m premenstraul). After all, this is the state of mind I find myself in for at least one week out of every month. Most women struggle with this altered emotional state regardless of birth control methods or various means of controlling their real menstruation. It’s very real and if you have a female in your life, this will affect you.
I’m speaking based on my own experiences, though I’d venture to say that they are not much different from what other women experience during this time.
When I started menstruating in my early teens, it was the period itself that was traumatic. Figuring out what to wear and how to properly protect myself from situations that could result in life changing and embarrassing moments was stressful. I probably experienced PMS during those years, but one wouldn’t be able to separate it from the general roller coaster of hormones I felt during that time.
Now in my mid-thirties, the period itself is annoying, but it’s the week leading up to it that makes me absolutely crazy. Yes, I do know that I am crazy at this time, so pointing out that I may be “PMSing” will piss me off. I also know that I am irritable, indecisive, compulsive, irrational, and emotional. One second, I can feel fantastic and the next I can be crying. Why, you ask? For no reason at all. If you ask me that 5 more times, you will become my reason. Why did I just spend money on useless items you ask? I have no idea. At the moment, if felt like the right thing to do, but you should be excited that I was able to at least make that decision. Most of this time, I won’t know what the heck to do with myself. You will see me wandering, trying to find something to focus on, but not really wanting to focus on or do anything at all. Yet, I need to do something with myself so what do I do? I think of all the reasons I’m angry at my spouse, frustrated with my children, or sit and sulk because I feel fat. In other words, I begin looking for things to justify the ever changing emotions that I’m feeling. Do I know this is illogical? Absolutely. Can I do anything to change it? Nope.
So what do I need from those that I love? Patience and understanding that this is something I can not control, despite my best efforts to do so. Please do not point out all the irrational things that I do or say, because as I mentioned above, I know they are irrational. Just ignore the mess in the closet. I couldn’t find a pair of jeans that fit me comfortably because I’m so bloated, I feel like a whale. Just tell me that I look nice, even with my face broken out and my ever-changing outfits because I can’t seem to regulate my body temperature. Just give me a hug when I suddenly chew you out for leaving the dish towel on the counter (instead of just hanging it up myself) as I was just taken over by an emotional rage that needed to go somewhere. Be thankful that it was you, one who can attempt to understand my irritability, and not one of our children who just became my target. Please know that I will return to my normal self in a few days.
And to the man who has to deal with my craziness once a month, thank you for putting up with me and for understanding my PMS. The flowers are nice too.