Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Oh Hormones, You Suck FOREVER

I don't talk about PMS too much anymore, do I?

I don't think I do at least.  Remember when y'all were so sick of hearing about my period, and the PMS that preceded it, and all my problems with the lady paraphernalia we have to choose from during my Lady Tsunami?

Ah...the good old days.

Well, I used to suffer so much from PMS.  In fact, I suffered so much that I learned from my bloggy buddies that it was more than your garden-variety, run-of-the-mill PMS.  It was actually PREMENSTRUAL DYSPHORIC DISORDER!  Hooray for disorders!  Actually, boo.

On the side bar of my blog, there are always links to my posts about trying to conquer the PMS monster.  I found a good, over-the-counter herbal supplement at my local health-food store, and that thing changed my life.  Instead of having two solid weeks of either wanting to die, wanting to kill someone with strangling hands, or wanting to eat chocolate with cheese melted on top, I had just a few days peppered here and there throughout the two weeks leading up to my period.


But, I have to let you guys in on a little secret:  I haven't taken that supplement in MONTHS.  Why?  I'm an idiot?  Maybe.  But in this case, no.  I found something that works as well as the supplement.  You're not going to like it. I don't like it.  But, I'll tell you anyway:


(and slightly disheartening, but very healthy changes in diet)

Frigging exercise.  Yes, I find exercise fairly unpleasant, but I am going to unapologetically tell you that exercise has improved my life dramatically.  I actually have a libido now.  A freaking libido.  I haven't seen that guy since I was in my 20's.

Ew.  You don't need to know this.

Also, I have all-day energy.  All day.  Well, with the exception of that black-hole time of day between 4 and 5 PM when I have to swirl some crap together in a pan and transform it into dinner, when all I want to do is have a NAP.

I found that diet and exercise manage my PMDD as well as the supplement.


there are still those tricky two weeks leading up to my period.  I'm not so filled with rage for fourteen days anymore.  I still get three days of pure, she-hulk anger though. I hate that.

And then, there's my favourite:  the apathy.  I don't give a crap about anything for two weeks.  I want to be left mostly alone for two weeks.  I don't even sign in to my blog for two weeks.  I don't want to write anything. When my sister says; "when the hell are you going to do another blog post?!?"  I say "pppfft...someday when I FEEL like it again."  I don't want to email anyone.  I can't even reply to the email you might have sent me.  Libido dries up COMPLETELY.  I just want to be left in my peaceful, vegetative state.

This month has been a bad one.  Do you know what it's like to have PMS while living in a house with a high-functioning/probably has Aspergers son?  It's HORRENDOUS.  The kid has PMS RADAR.  He can tell the second I am less than my usual, crusty but lovable self.  He needs me to be his emotional weighted blanket.  All. The. Time.  You'll have to google "weighted blanket" yerself.

And when I'm not the emotional ROCK that my son needs, he is relentless.  He badgers me.  He taunts me.  He is sarcastic. He mocks me.  He pushes me until I snap.  This month was really bad, because I had four days of the worst PMS I've had in a long, long time, with debilitating anger and frustration.  By Monday night, my little guy had broken me, and I was sobbing against The Man's chest.  And then, The Man was doing the dishes, and sending me off to Zellers.  I went too, with my red-cry face and bags under my eyes.  Hard days.

I have noticed that around the same time every month, I get a message from my lovely friend Sherilin, basically asking where I've "disappeared" to. Warms the cockles of my heart.

And then there's my new bloggy friend Kelly.  Seriously--why aren't you reading Kelly?  I love her writing, and her raw honesty.  But I'll be talking about Kelly more in my next post.  Anyhoo, in one of Kelly's posts, she mentions how losing weight is a struggle [for her personally] because thanks to her hormones and such, she only loses weight for two weeks out of the month.  Well, my jaw dropped. A lightbulb went on.  It was a freaking EPIPHANY.

When I hear about people losing weight, it seems to me that they tend to lose it much faster than I do.  I would puzzle over this, knowing that I bust my ass every day with exercise, and am so well-behaved with my eating, that it's ridiculous.  But, then it's two weeks before RED BUDDY, and suddenly I order The Man:  GO OUT AND GET CHOCOLATE."  I have to have some junk food.  I become the crack-whore of junk food. I can't get it off my mind.  I must have it.  And even though I still exercise every day, I can feel the wheels of progress grind to a hault.

Oh, but please don't think I'm trying to say that Kelly has PMDD too.  I'm saying that some of us just have EXTRA good fun with our bodies.

Great story karen.  What's the point?  HORMONES.  No matter what I do, I have reconciled myself to the fact that this is who I am.  I suffer from Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, and this is just my life.  I will never take prescription medicine to deal with it, so this is pretty much just who I am.  It's comforting, in an ironic way, to know this, because it's so damn difficult to understand our SELVES.

So, to all you other girls out there who are MISSING IN ACTION fifty percent of your life, just know that I'm right there with you.

...but email me about it AFTER my period.  Thanks.


  1. My weight fluctuates a few pounds day to day, no matter the time of month. I have never had PMDD. I get PMS and improving my diet has helped. When I weighed more, my cramps were worse and period was heavier. But, that could be related to my diet and not so much weight. Hormones do suck!

    1. my period used to be much heavier too, Ruth. Hooray! Let's bond over it. Sigh. Well, I know you agree with me that weight and diet go hand in hand these days thanks to our shitty food!!!

  2. I so get you.

    I see you.

    I hear you.

    I understand 100%.

    That PMDD is one nasty bitch! She can swallow a life - whole- without chewing. You are so incredibly awesome for getting the word out on your blog... And, lucky, too (yes! I'm going to throw that out there!)... Many women suffer their entire lives with PMDD and never known the origin of their symptoms.

    Diet and exercise? F@#$ing life-lines.

    You are right about the kid's radar. I, mean, seriously right.

    Self-care, girlfriend, self-care. Don't detach from those words either... Got to embrace them.

    Also, do you have a PMDD buddy?

    Shit, I sounded like a psychologist, didn't I?

    1. Damn Kelly, I NEED a PMDD buddy. Maybe I should put a PMDD calendar on my sidebar and get some of my online friends to kick my ass every month.

  3. PMDD...I have it. What makes mine worse is that it's like a kick in the teeth after all my failed IVF treatments. Like I was here yesterday, feeling sorry for myself, scrunched up in bed due to severe period pain thinking.. "Why do I have a womb? it's not like I need it any more.....". It's torture. Every freaking month.

    1. I'm sorry about that, Sprite. That truly sucks. You're right--it is a kick in the teeth. I also have thought that since I'm not having any more children, my period can just go away now!!


  5. So, I talked to the Man and told him that I don't want to have kids. He was very relieved, until I made him help me shop for birth control (or does he just want to go get snipped?).

    Eventually, we decided on an IUD that puts out tiny amounts of hormones directly into my uterus. TMI? But wait!

    1) My period is now super duper light, one two two days, and I can use the light pads.
    2) My PMS has evaporated. Of course, I am a bitch a lot of the time, so I am not sure this is completely obvious outside of me, but still. I feel better on the inside, and that's all that counts.

    1. Actually Leauxra, that's wonderful that you've had such good results. Who wants to be a raging bitch every month? Well, sometimes it's fun, but you know what I mean.

  6. i'm glad i can warm your cockles. it sounds so much dirtier and more exciting than it maybe really is, but fun just the same.
    it's enlightening, isn't it?, to find the root cause of the things that trouble us. then, even if we can't change them, we can understand them and stop fretting and wrestling with them quite so hard.
    what if you did the diet/exercise regime and also took the supplement? maybe then, you'd become perfection personified.

    1. that's a good idea, Sherilin. I was all focused on the ego-bloating idea of not having to take anything, and solving all my problems all by myself. Alas.

  7. Sure! I will be the only guy here! I grew up with 2 older sisters and 2 younger ones and have witnessed all the monthly 'visits' in varying degrees of pain and mood swings. I always empathized with them but could never understand WHY all pain and suffering this was necessary for the women in my life.

    1. Jim! You were SURROUNDED by women! Oh think of the hormones. Is that why you became a photographer of the zen?

  8. so I shouldn't be sat here eating fudge during period hell? Hurrah that you've beaten it, it's a right bastard

    1. Oh, I haven't beaten it entirely Clare. I was chowing down on a bag of baked potato chips one night, and I ordered The Man to go out and buy me chocolate another night. Sigh.

  9. Bummer. I know you only believe in natural stuff, but my PMS and periods were so, so awful, I have to take the pill. I just can't deal with the horrific mood swings and immense pain. I am considering going off it, because of the hormones and all, but the thought of how awful I feel during lady time has kept me from doing so.


    1. Well Vesta, that is a good case for taking the pill, definitely. Maybe I put too much faith in manipulating the food we eat to solve many problems.

  10. As a bloke who can never know what it's like to suffer PMS, I'm a little apprehensive to comment just in case you rip into me - I'm such a wimp. Please be gentle with me!

    1. I never rip into anyone, Bryan! Never fear! I am sad, on your behalf, that you visited when I was wailing about The PMS again. Sigh. Ah well, such is life.


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