PMS is a bitch

Why do I take some things so personally? A quick sentence typed out in an email, which is an opinion or a suggestion turns into a felt criticism. I look behind the actual words being used for intent. I read between the lines to find the hidden meaning. I add in other phrases to guess what else is being left unsaid. I do this in an instant. It takes not time at all.

I take what other people are saying to me and recast their words in my mind, as if I was the speaker. I go one major step further than simply seeking to understand what is being communicated. I attach dangerous emotions to words. I assume connections that are not there, but I feel them anyway.

I do this more at certain times of the month, I think. Part of my situation involves a few days of deep melancholy and a lack of self-worth. I can get easily muddled up in circles of thought which are quite damaging. It is like I have taken an unhappy pill. I feel a blanket of unease settle over me. The weight feels suffocating. All I have to do is throw it off, but I am unable.

Of course, this kind of thinking is the top of a spiral. No negative thought sits alone. They have energy. As they pick up speed, these dark ideas take a bunch of stuff down with them. It is not simply attracting like to like. There is a full sweep. All the rays of sunshine I have shining in my life at that moment, go down the tube as well.

If I am lucky, I speak to my husband. I voice whatever has set me off. I sometimes realize the tipping point is not the problem. My husband will try to be sympathetic by asking questions for clarification. He gently tries to feed back to me what he is hearing me say. He is hoping I will catch the drift. He tries to point out the contrast between the days prior and the one I am suffering through. I still don’t get it. He doesn’t solve my problem, but the conversation makes me feel a little better.

At some point the suggestion will be surfaced. Gently by my husband. I usually miss it. I am in the depths of misery. Again, I have been tricked into thinking that my rational mind is in charge. This happens every month. Sometimes I skate by rather smoothly. Although, I can never tell what will set my hormones on edge. When life is going well I don’t take notice. I miss the opportunity to stop and smell the roses. For when I feel down in the dumps, the sky is falling.

Maybe one of the benefits of getting older is that I am becoming wise. Or I am growing weary of the same pattern repeating itself every month. Probably the latter. It is ever so tiring to find myself stuck in the same rut. Time to shake this thing up and see what breaks free.

What I know for sure is I need to take better care of myself. Both in terms of my physical body and watching out for negative self-talk. I would do well to stop and listen on both accounts. To hear what my mind is trying to scream at me in a somewhat oblique fashion is a skill I have yet to master. Honoring the aches and pains as a temporary state is another practice I am working on. I seem to fall into a strange rut where I make a mountain out of a molehill, my body feels like it is falling apart and all I want to do is crawl into bed and sleep. It is as pathetic as it sounds.

Inevitably the cloud lifts, about the time my husband mentions the three little letters – PMS. He is right, of course. He knows better than to reduce everything I am feeling to this monthly syndrome. That makes me even crazier. It is a relief somewhat to realize, this too shall pass. Once the problem is named, it kind of shrinks away. The intensity lessens. Or maybe the timing of the relief is just a coincidence. In any case, I feel better again. I return to my more normal self for another month or so.

Maybe I have painted a somewhat dire picture. For anyone who suffers with me, you know what I mean. This stuff is no joke. The female body is capable of amazing things when driven by hormones. We need to honor the mechanism which on one hand, keeps life going and on the other hand wreaks havoc on a regular basis. Without these low points, we would not appreciate the joy of life’s peak moments!

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Comments: 2

  • reply

    Lin Hermanson

    August 17, 2018

    So good that you have been able to pinpoint the cause now you can be proactive and plan for your next cycle – what do you need to do to take good care of yourself through this time each month?! Maybe make a commitment to treat yourself extra well for a few days then and don’t let it creep up on you. Remember in other cultures, women get to ‘go away’ for those days!

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