Give Me Walking Shoes, Feathered Arms and a Key to Heaven’s Gate

Let’s talk about Pre-menstrual Syndrome for a moment shall we?

What’s that sound? Oh, that was the mass exodus of any dudes that read this blog. Not all men are dudes though, so I betcha there are a few caring souls who will still read along out of interest to their lady companions. You are most certainly welcome here.

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Picture unrelated. A bejeweled friend we saw on our Father’s Day hike on the San Bruno Bog Trail. The pictures will be like another post in itself. A twofer.

So ladies, tell me, when I say Who here has PMS (or PMDD…Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) do you raise your hand? I’m willing to be that you have experienced some gradation, at some point, in your History of Moons. I think that giving you a short descriptive paragraph of what it is would be redundant. And if you don’t know what it is, well…you lucky duck. I encourage you to Google it, particularly adding in the phrase feminist. You’ll get some awesome results. Like this gem:

My real gripe, however, is the general presumption, which is widely held, even by some of the most feminist people I know, that women who suffer cyclical irritability with their menstrual cycles get “irrational” and/or express anger about things that don’t really bother them; it’s just that they’re being “sensitive” because of the whole period thing. The problem is that I’ve seen people using that erroneous presumption as an excuse to not deal with the issue about which anger is being expressed, including women themselves, who have been told over and over that their periods do make them irrational and sensitive and thusly feel inclined to exhort partners to “just ignore” them—a request often obliged with no small amount of self-congratulation.

Let’s put this shit to bed right now: Women don’t lose their minds when they have period-related irritability. It doesn’t lower their ability to reason; it lowers their patience and, hence, tolerance for bullshit. If an issue comes up a lot during “that time of the month,” that doesn’t mean she only cares about it once a month; it means she’s bothered by it all the time and lacks the capacity, once a month, to shove it down and bury it beneath six gulps of willful silence. Those are the things most worth paying attention to. (By both people involved.)

Y’all are wise women. I just heard some Mmmmm Hmmmmms out there.

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Red Elderberry…not edible, alas. Fern tried one and her face turned inside out with the pucker.

PMS and PMDD doesn’t just show up as irritability. In myself (and also in many of my clients) it shows up as brutal and recurring negative self talk. Years ago I was sitting in my car one afternoon, crying my eyes out. I was crying because the inner narrative going through my head was particularly cruel. You’re crazy it said. There’s something wrong with you. Look at this historical list of everything you’ve ever done wrong. Let me read it to you. With feeling.

As I was crumpling in on myself, another voice, softer and kinder whispered, Remember where you are in your cycle.

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This Cow Parsnip is in its seed cycle. You can use the seeds for stomach troubles… in a tea for slight nausea and as a tincture for more severe stomach aches/cramps.

It was an important moment. That whisper was a sword that cut the cruelty off at the knees.

I have tried many things for dealing with PMDD. Dietary changes helped the physical severity of my periods (taking out meat, dairy and sugar shortened the length of the bleeding and made what used to be debilitating cramps disappear entirely). Red Raspberry Leaf infusion strengthened my uterus and made it a champ. Exercise helped and so did yoga. Perhaps most of all, mindfulness has been the key to not falling prey to the voices of annihilating self shame.

However, and this is why I’ve brought you all here today…none of these things have made the symptoms go away.

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Sweet Pea.

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My other sweet pea.

Since having Fern, my cycle has been wonky. Even though I was breastfeeding, by post-partum month three, it was baaaack. And it really seemed to have missed me, because it started returning every three weeks (21 days) as opposed to the regularly scheduled programming of every 28 days. During our year apart (pregnancy and post-partum), it also must have started hanging out with the wrong crowd. Because upon return, it brought a very nasty attitude. Then last year, Fern quit breastfeeding, and all hell broke loose. The negative voices have become smarter and better dressed, with qualifications in the mastery of torture. My mental tapes get stuck on loops, and while I can recognize them for what they are…just those negative voices that come up with the lack of progesterone…it’s the painful emotional states that I am finding harder to bear.

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Dear Rattlesnake Grass…I love you.

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Now I am trying a different litany of cures. Acupuncture. Chaste Berry tincture (which I may be quitting because it might be a culprit in my cycle being so short). A friend gave me a hormone balancing cream from this amazing lady. Most of all, I am writing a prescription for Sacred Time Out. Time out of time, climbing onto the ladder of the mundane and following it down…down past the dismissal, down past the cognition, down past the barrier between heart and mind and straight into the soul of the matter.

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I spent some time with this ally on our walk. Self-Heal. Yes I can, for all moments are Now.

Each month, I am given the opportunity for closet cleaning. If you’ve ever done psychedelics, you know of which I speak. That moment in the journey when the door springs open, and all the skeletons come tumbling out. Otherwise known as shadow work, trauma recovery, working with wounds…healing. Sometimes it’s different each month, sometimes there is a theme, like beads on a string. For June, it’s been all about feeling trapped. Trapped financially, trapped in a home, in a place I have outgrown, trapped in my childhood experience of being bullied, of year upon year of unchanging social ostracization. Of spending so much time in my life trying to leap over and away, of chasing good moments, of chasing the good life, as if it can somehow make up for what was experienced by a little girl.

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Paintbrush.

There is only one thing that can make up for it. And that is to bring in the love and compassion of my adult self, to bring in the understanding witnessing of my fiance, and to take that little girl in our arms. We talk and I cry and Little Me finally feels seen and known. She quiets down. The emotional pain ebbs away. I am able to feel more present, more objective, with gratitude.

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Gratitude is never far when I look at this face. Also, future bullies of the world, take note. I will beat the ever loving sh*t out of you if you ever touch my kid.

It’s a beautiful and wondrous phenomena, this sacred opportunity every month.

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Although truth be told, I’d give it up in a snap if I could find hormonal regulation.

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What is your experience with your cycle? Anything you’ve learned on your own path? Do share.

p.s. You get a cupcake and a quarter if you understood the reference in my title. But just in case you didn’t.

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33 thoughts on “Give Me Walking Shoes, Feathered Arms and a Key to Heaven’s Gate

  1. My life Mary since I was 12 years old has been dominated by my cycle. PMDD – extreme PMT. I’ve learnt many ways of controlling it, it’s so, so much better than it was when I was in my 20’s but that’s because I look after myself these days. Agnus Castus is essential for me, I wonder what it’s doing to make your cycles so short? I take a lot of flaxseed these days too, Magnesium is essential – I usually supplement with 400mg a day in the worst weeks, I take evening primrose even though I’m not sure it does much for me and extra B vitamins. Acupuncture has had the most drastic effect but it took some time, at least 6 months. Overall it’s a lot less life dominating that it was but still, like today I feel like a person who has been shifted a little to the left and into another dimension of irrationality and sadness. Really recommend a book called ‘Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life by Dr Claudia Welch’, she’s an eastern medical doctor with expertise in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. She is also the only person to ever explain hormones in a way that actually makes sense x x

    1. I actually thought of you Charley, because I remember you writing about this a long time ago. A shortened cycle is one of the potential side effects of chaste berry, so I guess I just won that lottery. I used to do magnesium, but didn’t realize it was good for pmdd, so thank you for that, and also the tip about not giving up on acupuncture…i did it for 5 mos with no impact, so maybe i gave up too soon. i’m excited for the book as well. thank you for being so candid and i’ve always felt/known that you were someone who “gets it”. that phrase “my life has been dominated” sums it up perfectly. i’m so glad to hear that you feel you have gotten to a place of health with it all. love.

  2. ever since i had my second kid i have the worst periods. i was always that annoying chick who had the three day light flow, no cramps, no PMS, couldn’t figure out why people were so bummed by their periods. then i had my second kid. now i have moses parting the red sea, cramps that feel like labor and i basically lose my everloving mind for 1 week of every month. sucks. exercise helps keep my period regular and not so heavy and it keeps my brain sane. if i do work out, like REALLY work out, 5 days a week, i lose my shit. i have to get crazy sweaty and it has to be painful for it to work hahaha. i’m able to cope with the crazy pms week by just knowing that it’s not me, it’s the hormones. whenever i start to feel like i may have to murder my children and put my head in an oven i suddenly remember, oh yeah! i’m starting my period next week. this is my crazy lady week. then i go work out like crazy, eat 12 hundred pounds of chocolate, smoke a bunch of pot and read funny shit on the internet. problem solved. fern is getting so big! also, nice stems! i love the shorts with the beanie and boots.

  3. oops, i meant to say if i DON’T work out 5 days a week i lose my shit, not if i DO work out. working out=no shit lost. not working out=shit lost. these are important mathematical equations.

  4. wow! what a ride. i hope the acupuncture helps, i’ve heard it can work miracles for things like that. and yes, rest is probably the ultimate cure-all and really hard to come by when you’re stressed out AND have a little one running around.

    come to paradise!!

  5. Thanks for sharing all of this….as always you get right to the bone. It sounds like a very emotionally painful time for you. 😦
    I’m pms’ing right now…. I let it go around the full moon so to speak. After kids my cycle changed, both times. My emotional symptoms have gotten better – but I do wonder if that is because I am at home, and can rest, and only have myself to answer to – rather than work expectations (I used to stress so much and get very frazzled). I absolutely hibernate and make sure I get to lie on the couch for a significant amount of time on my heaviest days. Now that I don’t work or have to be anywhere on those days, I am in full support of women having rest when menstruating. I enjoy the luxury of just feeling a bit sorry for myself and wallowing in bloated peace, waiting for it to abate. I notice that physically – things improve cramp wise when i’m taking zinc and magnesium and pro-biotics have taken away the worst of my water-retention. I find that it can be a little up and down, some months i have what i’d call “bad pmt”, where I have no censorship on what I say….other times i’m just cranky. Is your pms cycle consistently bad?

    1. what a blessing to be able to hibernate at home on those days! it really improves everything to not have to answer to someone else’s expectations. and yeah, mine is consistently bad.

  6. Right there with you, Mary. This past weekend in fact. I used to be PMS free, but in recent years it’s been sporadically bad. For a while it was bad cramps, now it seems to be more on the emotional end of things. I do think that regular exercise and a consistently healthy diet both help, at least with the the cramps part, but nowadays I still get foggy headed and grumpy, and then straight-up depressed for a day. Feels like the world is caving in, everything sucks, I’m horrible, blah blah blah. You totally nailed it with your negative voices description, and I agree that it can be kinda cathartic… I just wish it wasn’t mandatory. So far for me, it seems that following my craving to binge on kale and other leafy greens a few days beforehand is a good idea, and since I tend to be a tad anemic in general, same goes for taking iron and vitamin B supplements (when I remember). Evening primrose oil every day also seems to help, but it’s a horse pill and I often forget. Live and learn, I suppose… Anyway, thank you for sharing, so nice to have someone else express exactly what I went through the past few days.

  7. Mary, you look splendid and obviously not going to take any bullshit anymore from the bullies of this world!
    By the way, thanks for this gem located on the Web – this is so true! I have often thought that if, in many traditional societies, women having (or about to have) their periods would be ostracized in a secluded place, it was not because the bleeding made them “impure”, but because they became suddenly much harder to manage.

    On the other hand, several days before my period start, I often experience this growing, overwhelming mix of frustration, sadness and hopelessness, and it is always a relief to be able to pause and realize that it’s again “that time of the month”.
    But at the same time, it is as if my reason could not really overcome what the hormones are doing to my mind… and I have to fight this feeling that I am seeing things as they really are, that I am deluded the rest of the time.

    Then during my periods, the cramps hurt so much, my whole body is out of order – shaking, nauseated, unable to eat even a simple meal without regretting it an hour later because the cramps get even worse. So if I don’t have to work that day, it is a huge relief to be able to lie down on my stomach – the only thing that helps – instead of biking to the bookstore and spending the day trying to help customers who have no idea that I can hardly stand up.

    If I am able to stay home and rest, I consider these few days as an opportunity to do just that, without guilt: to rest and be gentle on myself. And to be sad if I feel like it.

    1. oh darlin, your physical symptoms sound like a nightmare! i am feeling compelled to help you on that, but i also assume you too have tried a litany. and yes to “it is as if my reason could not really overcome what the hormones are doing to my mind”. yup. this past month for me was about enduring. sucks.

      1. Thank you Mary – in fact herbal teas help with the digestion and bloating (my favourite is Monthly comfort from Earth Mama’s organics), but the cramps still hurt a lot – so I alternate between Advil and Tylenol for the first two days… Do you think chaste berry would help?

  8. What a great post and topic that resonates so strongly with most of us ladies! i have had PMS sporadically during my life, along with very regular cycles and fairly strong cramping every month. now, post-baby, first of all i couldn’t believe how fast my period came back (wow, three months for you! and they say co-sleeping and breastfeeding on demand will inhibit that, um, yeah right! mine came back at five months pp and i was nursing like a fiend.) although my flow seemed lighter and i didn’t experience cramping, my emotional state was all over the map. pregnancy and post partum really do a number on the ole hormones, hm?! (my poor poor sister, but that’s another story…) our cycles are so amazing, with all that cleansing comes such great release. even though it can be a difficult time of the month, i can’t imagine life without it, and i know our cycles make life so much richer. i so appreciate your refreshing perspective and i always love to hear about the ways you are healing yourself.

    on another topic, i was moved and so saddened to read briefly of your experience of childhood bullying and the ways you are still battling the lingering demons of that time. i immediately thought about how frightening it is to raise a child, a precious, questioning, thoughtful, radiant little innocent being, in a world where such things happen. for some reason it was your phrase “as a girl,” that hit me hard. these terrible things happened when you were just a girl, just a child, a small person just beginning to figure out her world. i am so sorry, and i sooooo appreciated the very next line i read, “future bullies of the world, take note. I will beat the ever loving sh*t out of you if you ever touch my kid.” YESSSS!!! i’m with you mama bear! i would love to hear your thoughts on ridding the world of bullies 🙂

    sending much love, soooo much gratitude for these beautiful posts you offer up like jewels, and healing energy to you friend.

    1. i know, is that breastfeeding/cosleeping thing just a myth or what? and our cycles really are amazing…i frequently wonder what we might experience if our diets were “right”, our lives more entrained with nature and we were able to have a “red tent” type of experience, surrounded by other women, no less! (although this post is feeling like a red tent right now too. 🙂 ) and i am so touched by your understanding and compassion…because i’ve carried these wounds since childhood, i have lost the perspective of just how small i was. thank you for “seeing” that. xoxo

  9. oh dear… that is my experience completely! thank you so much for articulating, what I am realizing, is an all too common experience among lady/mamas… I am also drinking red raspberry and trying vitex (my cycle was always 28 days and now it is 31). I spend a couple days a month crying in my car, triggered by a song, or seeing an elderly person, or seeing a young girl happily skipping oh so carefree… Hormones are just nuts. it’s rough. My default feeling when altered in any way is that my little girl self is unsafe and my brain immediately starts looking for/imagining what could be wrong. add a few sprinkles of financial stress, single mama drama, lack of any romance, a 5 year old that flies into hysteria at the drop of a hat, a teenager that currently only views me a driver/cook/atm and I get the blues big time and the ferocity of my sad/anxious spells can be lingering and SO STRONG… thank you for your words lady, solidarity! xo m

    1. mindy, as if the stressors in our life weren’t enough! add hormones on top of it…why are women EVER criticized for these experiences? especially if there is trauma from the past…here, says our cycle, another opportunity to heal. gee thanks. i feel sad to hear about your troubles, and just having a teenager in itself must be so hard…that separation and lack of appreciation. it’s a day i know is coming and i’m dreading it.

  10. This resonates with me so much, AND CHARLEY thank you, I feel like I’m totally in need of JUST THAT BOOK. I’m betting all my spending money this month on it.

    Ever since I got sick from the mold in our house in 2009-2010, my hormones have been out of whack. Like Brigit I used to have light, easy periods, until at 23 I got pregnant and had an abortion. For a few years after that they were abysmal, intense, utterly awful, with yeah, intense dysphoria, cramps like contractions (or what I imagine contractions feel like). They were however, always very steady.

    Then my moon slowly settled on the perfect rhythm-28-30 days, bleed on the new moon, ovulate on the full moon. My cramps and fatigue were still intense in the first few days and I had pretty serious mental PMS/PMD, but it felt like my hormones were in check.

    It had began to mellow out when in the spring of 2010 I completely lost my period for three cycles. Which was THE sign that something was wrong with my body. I did end up getting my moon back quickly through herbal treatment and support from all sides, but it was an eye opener.

    Since then, things have been off-kilter and in constant state of shifting and changing. I feel like I’m grateful, yet apprehensive about every moon. Balancing my hormones seems like exactly what I need to do.

    I do find that the more St. Johns tincture and raspberry tea I take, the less the effects. I pretty much don’t drink coffee, but I particularly avoid it around my moon, because it instantly puts me down.

    SO interesting to discover all these parallel experiences and I love your way of looking at this as a reflective time. I have so much more to write but have to go pull weeds. THANK YOU for this post.

    1. i think weed pulling might just be the best therapy listed so far.

      so the mold stopped your cycle? god that stuff is evil. do you take the st. john’s all month, or just around your cycle? i have tried it off and on in the past, but without noticing a difference…however, i’ve never taken it more than a couple weeks at a time.

      so intense, the way you were re-living the abortion trauma every month. i wonder what made your cycle settle?

      1. In the winter I take it throughout the month. It’s just a mood lifter and I felt drawn to it during my PMS time in the winter. I’d try it for a couple of months just for shits and giggles. It’s beneficial to so many other parts of you bod as well.

        It’s so interesting. These parallels in our lives, dear. Love to you.

        See, I came back to check on the comments 😉 I bet many others did too. In fact HEY GUYS, IF YOU CAME BACK TO CHECK ON THE COMMENTS AND MARY”S REPLY GIVE HER A SHOUT OUT, YEAH?

  11. what a great post mary. and just what i needed to read today. up until marianne i never had regular periods. in high school i once bled heavily for about 6 six weeks before i finally said something to mom. then i’d go months without one, sometimes only having one once or twice a year. about 7 or 8 years ago i went to a homeopathic doctor for a while to see if that could help but soon became pregnant with shane. i nursed him for 2 years and after he had weened i had one cycle and got pregnant with marianne. this august will one year, the first year in my life that i have had a regular cycle. mine is anywhere from 40-53 days. i’m hoping over time it will get a little more consistent for natural birth control reasons. but overall i’m very happy to be having it. i definitely experience depression, major bloating and many other symptoms and because this is a newer experience for me i never think i’m feeling that way because of my period. so this week i have been feeling down and today when i read this it was like a light went off! oh yeah…i’m due to begin in a few days. anyway, i think some herbal tinctures and teas would help, i’ll be looking into that.

    thanks for sharing! and hearing that you were bullied as a child makes me SO SAD. i’m so sorry you had to experience that. i’m sending you hug!

    1. anne, i know a few women with long cycles, and they would seem to be a recipe for uber frustration…so hard to track and understand your own rhythm. and apparently the breastfeeding/no period thing isn’t a myth, because WOW…you went two years! and i’m curious how you resolved the unending period in highschool? also, i’m stoked this post and conversation helped a light go off for you.

      and thank you for the hug. 🙂

  12. Oh so many wonderful, insightful comments! When I wrote my first comment I was deep IN THE DARKNESS that is my cycle. I am feeling so blissfully light and free today! yes, getting outside, connecting with the earth, weeding! totally… making my own dreamy pms moon tincture, avoiding coffee, encouraging hormonal harmony… such a lovely YES! post . xo m

  13. yes yes yes
    ringing out, sweet strong peals of truth.
    i need to do some closet cleaning of my own….
    it’s been a while since i’ve had my cycle. each moon phase i look up and wonder if my uterus will be up to something, alas, she it not. i even made some bitter mugwort tea to help her out if she was inclined.

    i always (well, not until i had actually tried them) associated “that time of the month” with taking mushrooms.

    whatever was going on inside of me helped me to feel and experience things i was never able to acknowledge, and every month i found myself sobbing at the exquisite sadness that was able to flow through me. what a relief..oh, and those crampy pains also felt satisfying in a way.

    it took me a long time to love and really know my cycle for what it was: proof that i was a flower, living and fertile and powerful. when i started i was too embarrassed to tell my mom or friends, i was hateful about it.

    i hope that if i have a daughter we might be able to celebrate, that i could create a kind of environment where she wouldn’t be embarrassed, but that i could impart wonder with her.

    i wonder about my inner little girl, the one who felt so wounded and unloved amongst 12 siblings and in a culture where my higher true traits were seen as deviant, the little girl who wasn’t thin enough or pretty enough or good enough.

    sometimes as i’m falling asleep i tell her to come out from behind the bed, she probably has a dirty face and a runny nose and i tell her i love her, and i hold her and stroke her hair. i tell her she’s perfect and for a second i can feel her suffering ease as she slips into what should be a carefree childhood.

    i want to see you so soon so i can tell you how awesome you are.

    1. dolly, somehow i didn’t see this comment, but i am so happy to have found it this morning. and i want to befriend your little girl too, to tell HER how awesome she is, how she is a rare outstanding bloom, not lost at all amongst 12 siblings but shining like a star, dirty face and runny nose and all. i love this comment and i am inspired to bring even more love into myself and my out of whack hormonal times and to remember, always remember, how sacred tears are. sacred time out, sacred flow, release, exquisite, important sadness. xoxo

  14. i finally surface in the land of blog a few days ago, and i run smack into this post!? been pondering it ever since, feeling it resonate but not knowing how to approach a coherent or anywhere near concise comment….

    i never had pms, or even a temper, prior to having my kids, but i think the timing has as much to do with age and life experience as it does with being a mum. the last couple years have found me pms-ing for 7-10 days, with another little spike right afterwards as well (with a 26 day cycle, that means i have like a handful of days that i wouldn’t cut a bitch). during those times, i can be filled with anxiety or rage. beyond being self-aware and gentle with myself during these times, i have not tried to fight the symptoms. instead i like to think that i have saddled and ridden my rage.

    i get totally pissed off by clutter and mess when i am pms-ing. perfect time to clean the [literal] closets. i swear half the stuff in my etsy shop now is stuff from my own personal “collection” (read: clutter) that is fabulous but i feel like an asshole wearing now. every cycle i have been taking the opportunity to turn my raging critical eye on the crap that collects at home, and either donate or sell it. i used to worry about making knee-jerk reactions to parting with things (i have a habit of getting attached to all things, people, creatures, inanimate objects–holy f*ck, a few months ago, we finally got rid of all my kids’ stuffed animals, that was a toughy! they just look at you with their plush permanently happy quiet little faces. don’t worry, the kids each got to keep one or two of their faves, i am not that heartless). but so far the pay off for sending crap into the drift rather than keeping it in our home has far outweighed the regret at no longer having that one something or other.

    and the de-cluttering has included non-tangibles, too (those other closets). because like you and the quote touched upon, it isn’t like the things that piss us off premenstrually are otherwise good things the rest of the month. it just makes us acutely, sometimes violently, aware of things that we really don’t like. and why the hell should we feel bad about that?
    somewhere along the line, i realized that there are plenty of things that i cannot control or change that might make me uncomfortable or angry, but there are loads of things that i can (wow, maybe we should all be in AA, only it needs a more inclusive name). work situations, my kids’ schooling, etc. my hormonal ebbs and flows have really motivated me to change/de-clutter what i can, to make things the best and most comfortable way they can be right now for me and my family. and since i have been focusing on that, i haven’t been feeling nearly as angry.

    also, sometimes when i think someone is an asshole, it isn’t that i am “suffering” from hormones, they just really are an asshole.

    the anxiety is a little trickier, but i do feel like when i am engaged and happy with the state of things, it is far less likely to start creeping its way in.

    it is awesome that you brought this up — so good for us to know that it is actually a normal part of our journey, as difficult as it may be. wishing everyone the best in finding their way to finding balance ❤

    hope you get a chance to drink in the supermoon tonight!

    p.s. thanks for your lovely comment. re: mugwort, now you know better?! because of something i did!? bah. mugwort any which way is good 🙂

    1. nicole, someday i hope we get a chance to chat in person. my sailor’s mouth is in love with your f-bombs and bitch cutting. let’s cut loose together sometime, ok?

      LOVE hearing about your decluttering…i always go into a cleaning frenzy right before i start bleeding, but i do have to be careful about tossing things out (one time i accidentally recycled free airplane vouchers…ouch). but the stuffies…”the plush permanently happy quiet faces”…shit i almost tear up at that. i still have all of mine! i can’t do it…those beady understanding eyes. waaaaaa.

      and yup. sometimes people really are just assholes. one of my goals is to always be kind, but not necessarily “nice”, and i aim to start with the a-holes.

      so good to read your response on this, to have you as a companion on the journey to balance. xo

  15. Oh my, am I glad to have checked in again. Although I haven’t been actively blogging, life continues and I salute you with a Amen sister on this one.
    First off, I can remember with my 2nd pregnancy, approaching that last month of so I felt so crazily off. Angry, easily pissed, actually hyper-sensitive to every.little.thing.around.me. It was crazy. Ever since then I’ve found that when my period has returned post-pregnancy it’s all over the place. Not crazy all over the place. Just a little longer one time, a little shorter another. And the grumpies that overcome me are intensely dark. I finally looked it up online one afternoon after yelling at my kids again and stumbled on PMDD on Mothering and felt so relieved and yet simultaneously burdened by the thought that this wasn’t normal and yet kinda is.
    Evening primrose oil capsules (purchased ironically for perineal massage that never came to fruition pre-birth) have been a life saver. It’s just that I swear it takes me 2 days to figure out that my anger is not actually warranted and that if I’d just take the damn primrose everything would seem ten times more normal and serene. And when m y love asks me if that’s what’s up all hell breaks lose. What?! Me? Mad?!!! Oh. Yeah. Maybe.
    So, because I like order and documentation and my virgo moon apparently needed a little project, I’ve created a spreadsheet on my desktop where I wrote every single day whether or not I felt “fine” or “grumpy” or what. One month it’ll be freakish nightmares. Another it’ll be 4 days of absolute mean grumpiness in which I begin to truly dislike my own self. Another period will find me grumpy for three bouts before it sets in. And other times all is “fine.” I’ve got two years of it logged now and finally sat down to take a look last month and started to notice patterns I could have never figured out. So, that’s interesting.
    But I do dream of a hormonal balancer that will bring peace to the roller coaster that I feel like I ride 6 out of 12 months of the year. Because, damn, I feel bad for my family when I’m in a spell. And no matter the calm resting I do, it’s set off so easily with three kids in a house all day with me.
    So, I will refresh this page and continue reading this wonderful comments. And I’ll try that exercise like mad one. And some more herbs. And most of all, know that once again, I’m not alone in the world on any part of this journey.
    Thanks so much for posting this. And I’ve been thinking of writing again…just not getting to it and feeling so far from it lately. But soon. Soon I believe I’ll have something more to say at my blog. Thanks for dropping in there the other day. 🙂

    1. hey jeanine! i’m a virgo moon too, did we know that about each other? big yes on the primrose oil, and i also have come across some new info re: supplements for PMDD so i will be sure to share. i’m not happy that you’re suffering, but my heart is put so at ease by knowing i am not alone. and i will cast my vote for new posts from you, but no pressure…the pause is almost always necessary. xo

  16. One more note, as I’ve been shuffling back through my log and trying to brainstorm more effective ways I can help myself help myself when the onslaught arrives, I headed over to mothering.com’s forums. Hadn’t been there in a long time. But I always have loved the mix of thoughts being shared. And I stumbled upon pyroluria. Still puzzling through the website but feels like another approach to take. And her questionnaire had lots of matchups for me. Thanks for posting this though. It helped bring something i’ve been struggling with and somewhat lazily ignoring to the detriment of my poor family as of late.

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