Ok, so Jekyll and Hyde? That was written about me. Not many people know that…
You see for the most part of each month I am happy go lucky, up beat, energetic and somewhat, annoyingly positive ME. Yet, once a month, the monster in me comes out from its hibernation and BAM – the Proud Muma you thought you knew, is no more.
I’ve been living with this monster for years, as have my poor, tortured hubby and family. No one else knows of the trouble we experience as I have ashamedly kept him hidden away, like my dirty little secret. Not knowing who he is or why he chose me to be his slave for a few days each month, we just accepted that he was here to stay.
After a particularly rough weekend of enduring the monster, hubby and I decided it was time to seek the assistance of the lovely folk of the NHS to find out what exactly we were facing here. And oh my, why did I not go visit them long ago??
My beloved readers… let me introduce you to the Monster in Me… also known as Pre Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder – or as we now affectionately refer to him as: PMDD!
Yes, PMDD has been named and shamed. Not to be confused with his grumpy, yet no so evil sidekick PMT (pre menstrual tension). Oh no, PMDD is on a whole other level!
So let me tell you what my little friend has been subjecting me to for years now.
Without fail, in the week before Mother Nature pays me her monthly visit, PMDD kicks off with suffocating feelings of paranoia, worthlessness, anxiety and fear. These usually result in me being pathetically needy with hubby, repeatedly asking him “Do you love me?” and “Do you still think I’m sexy?” Urgh – I just cringe thinking about it. That’s just NOT me!
He causes me to become completely irrational, making rash decisions that on any other week of the month, I would not even contemplate. I can not tell you how many times I have left my husband or kicked him out during an attack from PMDD. Last week I came too close to handing in my resignation at work, the results of which could have been disastrous.
PMDD likes to wake me at “stupid o’clock” in the morning, and party around in my head so that I am unable to sleep. I think he slips something in my water too, to get me in the party mood, as the heart palpitations and excessive sweating I experience are unsettling to say the least. The insomnia causes extreme fatigue, which only exaggerates all of the other evils he inflicts upon me. I have no energy, no motivation, and no desire to do anything.
I’m sure PMDD lives on a diet of raw onions as not only does he stink, but he stimulates my tear ducts meaning I cry at the drop of a hat. I am usually pretty good at controlling emotions, staying strong and keeping a level head. Hence the embarrassment when I burst into tears in the middle of my open plan office or find myself sobbing into my bed sheets for no real reason at all. PMDD loves it.
He physically abuses me from the inside out. Bloats out and knots my stomach with cramps so excruciating I can barely breathe through them. Rattles around in my head until its pounding. Fills me with nausea. Tempts me with junk food and wine, which I eat and drink to excess to escape the torture he puts me through.
I may appear to refer to PMDD in a light hearted, almost affectionate manner. Naming and personalising him. In doing so, I am actually minimising his evil, softening the killer grip he has and am ultimately separating him from ME. He is not me. He is not who I am.
In all seriousness, PMDD is debilitating. Although his visits only last a few days, it is a living hell for those few days, and I often spend the rest of the month apologising and making up for the awful person I become and the hurt I inflict on others during this time. For those few days he has control, I can’t function at work, at home, as a friend, wife or mum.
I haven’t mentioned yet, some of the darker things he makes me feel because, quite frankly, I am ashamed. But if I am to make anyone understand this disorder to its full extent, I need to be honest.
During PMDD’s stay, I am completely plagued with self hatred and disgust with the way I look, the way I feel and the way I am behaving. Utter disgust.
I feel anger. Not just ” a bit cheesed off”. Simmering, loathing, vile anger to the point I could actually physically hurt the ones I love (myself included). Just the smallest thing can send me into a fit of uncontrollable rage.
All the while I am feeling this, I know that it is not the real me. It is hormone related and as soon as Mother Nature arrives and waves her magic wand, PMDD disappears immediately leaving me feeling as though a weight has been lifted, the dark cloud has evaporated and I am ME again. Happy, calm, fun, loving – in control – me.
But I can not trust myself to be around my children and hubby when I am under the influence of PMDD. So far I have just about managed to keep my violent thoughts as just thoughts. However, what’s to say that next time he visits, it pushes me too far and I snap. I love my family too much to risk that. I thought about booking a few days off work every month and sliding off somewhere to be alone where I am no risk to anyone but myself, but that is no way to live my life?
This is the main reason for my visit to the doctors, and my writing this post. Because until today I honestly thought it was just PMT and that perhaps I was a little crazy. I felt quite alone as I know of no one else who reacts to their PMT quite as dramatically as I do.
But now I know it is not just PMT, that I’m not alone in suffering this and that there is hope. It can be helped. And it can be controlled.
It may be a long journey of trialling and testing various tablets to see which suppress my hormones best. I may have a lot of work to do on changing my eating and sleeping habits to make sure I’m in tip top condition to fight off PMDD if he does come a knocking. But at least now we have a name for him. We know he does exist and is not just in my head. We know I’ve not completely lost the plot. We no longer have to live in fear of “that time of the month” because we know we can fight back and take control.
And you know what, I am looking forward to next month’s impending attack as I can’t wait to kick that PMDD’s butt into next century!
Not so big now, are you! Ha.
Proud and Happy ‘Free from the Grips of PMDD’ Muma – signing off 🙂