**First Published on my old blog on 11/16/2012. I had another bad episode this past week and thought I would republish this post. Admitting I am not perfect, have vulnerabilities, and am human is very, VERY hard for me to do. So if I reach out to you, call you, or just randomly text you… please know, that I am saying – Hey, can you talk? I might sound happy, or carefree, when really I am masking a need to communicate, to connect, to not feel so alone.**
I’ve debated a long time whether to admit this and write about it. But you know what? I want to. The last couple weeks I have had a few people tell me that they love my authentic writing and wished I did more pieces. I had stopped writing about my inner thoughts because it led someone to have a weird obsession with me this year. But today, I am ready to write again. At least on one thing that affects me more often than I like to admit.
PMDD is like a fire to me… it starts out small and manageable and can burst out of control with just a small breeze.
I have depression as the result of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), which is a severe form of PMS. What does that mean really? That up to 10 days before Aunt Flo comes into town, I dip into a pretty severe depressive state. Working and concentrating are quite difficult – a task that normally takes me 20 minutes might take me an hour. Social interactions can be heightened and I take things very personally when something might have nothing to do with me at all. I already take things personally, and this amps that ten-fold. Not fun.
But the worst, and I mean the worst thing about having PMDD is having suicidal thoughts. I have them every month, every year for the last 25 years. Can you even imagine?
I struggle with feeling worthy and loved. I often think the world would be a better place without me in it. I make some stupid mistakes in life and during these PMDD episodes those mistakes seem so insurmountable. Often times I feel like a failure – in business, in love, in running, and with my family. Right now I am going a new direction with my business that I am enjoying, but I just haven’t seemed to reach that level of success for my life that I thought I would.
My finances have not been the best since I lost my flower shop, and I am so tired of not ever having enough. I’ve loved men in my life… and I love falling in love, but when that love isn’t reciprocated it can seem like the end of the world during a PMDD episode. I love my family – I just don’t think they get me, or that they have really ever understood me. That’s hard to admit. I want those that have known me my whole life to get me, to love me because of my differences. It’s a roller coaster that I continue to try to ride.
So what does all this mean? Why would I admit this openly on my blog? Am I afraid clients or friends would judge me because of it? I am openly saying yes I get depressed, sometimes pretty severely where the suicidal thoughts surface a lot. And yes, I am afraid people will judge me, but I am more afraid that others go through the same thing and don’t have the voice to say that they suffer too. A lot of times I write about things that others can’t ever admit publicly, but who contact me privately and thank me for my words.
I have been told many times that I am strong and that I have overcome many obstacles. Dealing with this every month gives me a strength that I have to rely on to pull me out of this oppressive funk. Strength comes from falling down and having the drive to get your ass back up and try again. I always get back up.
So yes I suffer from PMDD, some months are way worse than others. But what do I do about it? Once a year they are really, really bad.
- I admit it. When I start to slip into a depression, I look at the calendar and see if I am truly depressed or is my body also helping to exasperate the issue. If it is female monthly hormone-driven, I know that it will go away. I just have to ride out those truly terrible days.
- I tell a few close friends. I seek help, because there are days that I just need someone to talk to, to connect with. Not to talk about the PMDD, but just to shoot the shit.
- I run. And I run. And I run some more.
- If I don’t want to run, I go for a hike and surround myself with nature. Seeing birds, smelling the flowers, feeling the earth underneath my feet always seems to help.
Sidebar: One time when I was hiking, I was balling. I mean fat ugly tears streaming down my face. I ran into a friend who I hadn’t seen in awhile. He didn’t say a word and just pulled me into a great big bear hug. After about 10 minutes of sobbing he asked if I was ok. We talked for a few minutes before I finished my way down the mountain. So crying, hiking, and a big ass bear hug does wonders for my soul.
- I read. I have bookcases full of books and I will grab one and lose myself in it for a few hours.
- I also watch a lot of TV. It is my guilty pleasure.
- I cook or bake. This helps me be creative and keeps my hands and brain active.
- Lately, I coupon. It is addicting and I love it.
- Sex helps, can’t lie about that.
- When it’s really bad, I lose myself in a bottle of wine because I know it will put me to sleep. When I wake up it is a new day. Sleep is magnificent for PMDD.
I’m currently reading Wild while road tripping in Alaska,
which has really helped me to see inside a similar soul.
Right now I am full fledged in the middle of a depression cycle. I know I need to keep my nutrition on par, exercise, and keep healthy sleep patterns. All of that is easy to say and hard to do. Because of the suicidal thoughts, I reached out to a close friend and told her. Even though she is going through a lot right now, I know she understands. I’m also admitting it to you. It helped me too to write down those 10 things I know that help and I work that list when the symptoms start to come up.
Thank you for listening. I am me – and sometimes it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I admit, I like writing from my soul again. I’ve missed it. I need to do it again. Hope you like reading my words, my life.
Because I know this is a very serious topic, here are some resources if you are thinking about suicide. Reach out, someone cares.
Here are a few national and local agencies to contact along with websites for more information.