A few months ago I began writing an article to submit to the PMDD Warrior Blog. The website collects guest blog posts from women all over the world suffering from premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It took me an entire month to complete the article because I cried every single time I tried to add to it. I finally got to the point where I needed to finish it. The words just keep floating around in my head. I wanted to share this deep part of my past with other women suffering from PMDD. The blog post was shared on the PMDD Warrior Blog a few weeks ago, however I have been hesitant to share it on my own blog. The idea of sharing it here makes me feel exposed. On the PMDD Warrior blog I know who will read it, women like me. On my own blog I am exposed to others who don’t know what it is or may not understand PMDD. I’m sharing a moment of my past where I was in so much pain I wanted to die. I can still feel that hollow space in my chest when I think about those days.
Another reason I find it so hard to share about my experience with PMDD is that I don’t feel it has anything to do with my business. So when I share about it on social media it seems so out of place. But PMDD consumes my life. It is the reason why I eat what I eat, exercise to ease my anxiety, need constant naps, which I have to schedule around my work. Wether I want to share or not, PMDD is part of every aspect in my life. I hope with sharing that in some way I can help another person understand that they are not alone in this struggle, just like those other woman who shared with me a year ago, helping me begin on my path to healing.
So grab a tissue, my first PMDD blog post is going to be an emotional one. Below is the original blog post written for the PMDD Warrior Blog or you can see it here on their site.
She is You, She is Me
PMDD, another acronym, another diagnosis, another confusing list of symptoms to describe to another doctor who has no clue what’s wrong with you…
“If only I knew what I know now,” isn’t that what we often tell ourselves? Unfortunately, the knowledge I know now can’t help my younger-self, but maybe it can help you. Help you understand that you aren’t alone in the way you feel mentally or physically. Maybe it’ll help me heal from all the pain that still sits hidden inside of me from all my years of struggling with PMDD.
There are so many things I wish I could tell my younger self, but the thing that stands out most in my mind are the memories of me as a young teenager crying in my room every month. I can remember one time looking at a calendar and thinking “This happened to me last month.” I wish I could call out to you. “Yes! You are right!” But I forgot, because that’s what PMDD does to you. Week to week you’re almost a different person. The way your hormones change your brain and your emotions. So much is forgotten and replaced with the most negative and untrue perspective of your surroundings during these “hell weeks.”
If only I could hold you and just tell you you’re not alone. Every month when you sat in the darkness of my room crying with that empty feeling aching in your heart, I’d tell you that it’s normal to feel that way, because your body is different. The sad poems. The feelings of rejection cutting just a little bit deeper on those dark days. The need for isolation. The looming anxiety, feeling like you have multiple personalities. It’s all part of one complex health problem. All exasperated by a birth control dose too high for your body, an ultimatum given to you by your boyfriend’s mother, left undiscussed with your parents. These things are not you, nor are they the life you must continue. You can choose to shed it all and heal your heavy heart.
I would whisper to you that your home, though it looks normal and clean contains chemicals and products that will prevent your endocrine system from functioning properly. Every product you are using on your body will seep in causing more imbalances. Tampons, shampoos, makeup, lotion, hand soap, toothpaste, deodorant, all contain chemicals that we don’t even consider to be harmful. The dairy, sugar, caffeine, water in plastic cups, and other processed foods you are consuming are another huge part of the problem in your body intensifying PMDD symptoms.
Everything you have learned in these umpteen years must be unlearned. You must listen to your body carefully. It is the key that will tell you that something is wrong. Don’t worry if they think you’re crazy because you can only drink coffee two weeks of the month. Fill your life up with nature inside and out because it will heal you.
One thing you taught me in those dark lonely days was to keep pushing forward and never give up. If you, my teenage self, were able to live through the complete heartbreak each month, plus gut-wrenching cramps that knocked me off my feet, then I, as a woman, can do so much more.
Not everything I would say to you would be a warning. I would pick you up in my lap and tell you “Thank you for fighting and never giving into the feelings that swallowed you up. Your strength gave me a beautiful life.” Just to hold you so you could collapse in my arms, take away just one cycle so you could rest your mind, body, and heart. I wish I could hug you and tell you I’m sorry for all the sadness. I’m sorry you’re alone writing sad poems, crying in bed because you feel ugly, inadequate because your memory is erratic and it feels like the world hates you. But one day all this suffering will help others find their way out of the same darkness. You are a light, shine it, and you will find your way out of this darkness too.
Thanks so much for reading my first PMDD blog post. I hope that this will help at least one person understand that YOU ARE NOT ALONE in the way you feel. There are so any people out there that suffer, even if its not from PMDD. Knowing you are not alone can really make a difference, which can give you that hope to keep pushing forward.
Live simply, so you can really live.
Love Sophie & The Fam
– Salt Hippy