Every month, I go through a period where I feel a little crazy. Okay, a lot crazy. Spaced out. Disconnected. I get irritated by every little thing… Maura talking non-stop… a loose drawer pull… the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet… having to make dinner again. I forget things. I eat way too much. I cry for no reason. Yell for no reason. I just want to be alone. My period comes, and then I forget about it… until the next month.
My periods have been a major cause of suffering for years. Other than maybe a conversation between mother and daughter, no one really talks about this, I’ve noticed. It’s always “TMI”. When I was in middle school and high school, the problem was heavy bleeding. So much so that I’d go home early, or even miss a few days of school, to avoid an embarrassing moment. As I got older, I learned how to handle this better. After Maya was born, the problem became very painful cramps. So bad that I’d cry from the pain.
But since I had Maura in 2007, I’ve had crazy PMS. I think it started after she was born, anyway. That’s as far back as I can remember, though I think it’s gotten worse in the past year. The physical symptoms are there. I get headaches. Awful ones. I’m zapped of energy. I sleep a lot, but wake up soooo tired. I have to drag myself out of bed just to get Maya ready for school on time.
Mostly… it’s in my head. I feel like crap for not giving the girls the attention they need/want. I show no interest in my usual diversions – blogging, Twitter, TV, etc. – because I can’t seem to focus. I’m not really even sure what I do all day. Last week, for instance, is a blur. It’s like I was doing the motions of daily life, but not really living it. The symptoms last 4 or 5 days, maybe a week, and dissipate a couple of days into my period. I wake up one morning feeling like a new person. That’s how I feel today.
When I think about the fact that I’m walking through what feels like a dense fog for a considerable part of every month… that scares me. There is definitely something wrong with me, though it’s hard to come to terms with because I feel so normal right now. I’m thinking it’s time to see a doctor. Is it just bad PMS? Could it be PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder)? I’m afraid that they’ll put me on antidepressants or something. I’ll start by keeping a journal for the next couple of months, this way I’ll have something to share with the doctor.
Do you suffer from severe PMS? Any advice?