I have been thinking of writing this post for some time now. I have gone over in my head what I need to tell you. How do I write down my experience in a way that sounds rational and that others may draw strength and comfort from? So you know that you are not alone. So I know I am not alone.
The problem with having, writing and talking about PMS is ignorance.
The feelings, symptoms and lives of those who suffer every month with this have been belittled for so long, made a joke of for so long, that no one listens properly anymore. I was the same, until The Hoarder and I decided we wanted to start a family (yes she was planned, no I did not think marriage would never be on the cards when I agreed!)
After a couple of months I wondered if this was ever going to happen (The baby, not the proposal!) So I went out and bought a pack of those ovulation tests. To my horror and The Hoarders amusement we found we had been arguing each and every time that we could have procreated! I laughed along with everyone else who we told after I fell pregnant that month, but really I was gutted.
Al those tears, all those strong emotions when I felt like I was perfectly right, fighting for equality in my relationship…they were hormones?
I stayed off the contraceptives so I could learn more about by body and my feelings. Around this time I had started my counselling training and learnt so much more about myself, my emotions and how I wanted to live my life. I also learnt about Mindfulness and mindful meditation. Through this I was able to start to recognise the difference between my PMT days and my “normal” days. I started to recognise the heavy feeling in my body and the sense of a dark, almost red cloud that tainted my view of the world, the thoughts in my head and the words that came out of my mouth.
So just before Big Beautiful 3rd birthday I went to the doctors for help. It took me two months to get up the courage to go and by then my relationship was struggling.
Maybe it was because he was young, maybe because I had big beautiful with me and she distracted him or maybe because he was a He that he simply could not hear me.
I told him how I felt every month, about the dates that I recorded, about the red cloud and about my relationship. I asked to go back on the pill I had been on since I was 18 to see if this helped and to talk to a counsellor. He asked about my relationship with my daughter which is and has always been the light in my life. But I figured he had a responsibility to ask since I had admitted to bouts of anger.
He then told me he did not think I had post natal depression…What?
That I had Stress Depression…What?
He prescribed a contraceptive pill I had been given (and never taken) whilst I was breast feeding and referred me to a counsellor.
I left that office feeling more alone than ever. 4 weeks later, on Boxing Day 2009, I found out I was pregnant with Smaller beautiful. I had bought the test earlier that month as that dark red cloud had not engulfed me, there could only have been once reason for that and I felt the rug pull from under my feet.
So since I have stopped breast feeding Smaller beautiful my periods have returned, that big dark red cloud is bigger, darker and heavier than ever. I monitor my dates carefully as I can never be sure of how I am feeling and often I am not in control of my emotions. I know that “The Rage” will last for 3 days and for 1 day either side of that will come “The sorrow”. By the time I start my period I know it is all over for another month.
Now, what I need you to understand is that this is the only time my PMS and I battle for control over my life.
If I am sad or angry or feeling like I could really use a friend or a lover at any other time then that is because I am a human being. So when I shout or look a little lost or sad don’t laugh and say “Oh it’s that time of the month is it?”
Because if you do, the next time I have PMS
I’m coming for you!
P.S Please don’t let my experience put you off getting help. I am adamant I will return to a different GP to get the help I need. Shake them and make them listen…maybe don’t go while you are having your dark days though hey?
For more information on PMS, symptoms and treatment then take a look at the NHS website that I have linked below. You can also click on any PMS in this post and this will open a new window to this site.