Heyo. It is all of 4:30pm and I feel drunk tired. *To be super clear, no alcohol was consumed. Just an appropriate description for my level of exhaustion.*
Thank you, PMS. And a deeply flawed view of myself. And a struggle bus of exhaustion from being up with my kids for a total of 2.5 hours last night.
Before I go to bed insanely early and/or zone out into my switch – I wanted to take a minute to try and explain what it is like when being a (mostly) sane person trying to navigate hormonal fluctuations (or straight up deprivation – thank you lack of seratonin).
It’s not like the hulk. We don’t just become irrational monsters in a matter of seconds. It’s 100% not like the tampon commercials. Plugging up my vagina with cotton does not make my hormones plateau nicely or take away the horrific cramping. I have never, ever wanted to play tennis or rollerblade as soon as my lady bits were stuffed up.
It is like being on a ship, in the ocean. It’s like getting used to the dip and tilt and getting your feet beneath you. And then, without warning, the boat changes course. And you tilt. And you adjust yourself. And then another course change. Another struggle to right yourself. Some days the boat stays on course, and it’s smooth waters. PMS is like storms that have no warning and you go from seas as calm as glass to 30 ft swells in under a minute.
Add in depression, or anxiety, or any other host of complications, and those swells can be relentlessly trying to wash you off the boat entirely.
It’s not about having to tip toe around us. It’s not about trying to figure out what mood is going to strike us next. Or placating us with chocolate. It’s about understanding that we are trying to hold onto ourselves in a storm that you simply cannot see.
And acknowledging that your inability to see it does not make it not there.
I don’t start crying randomly because I cannot control myself. But because my boat just tilted so hard in the sad direction that my feet got knocked out from under me.
I don’t yell because I like being irrationally angry and making life difficult for those around me but because my boat’s warning sirens just started going off like a nuclear bomb dropped and I cannot figure out what’s wrong even though the warning lights are telling me that EVERYTHING is wrong.
I don’t withdraw because I enjoy being distant but because the wind started pushing me around and I feel very small and unable to be loud enough to be heard through the storm.
Ideally, we would be the captain of our own ship. We could brace for impact, we could set the course and see it through. But even with Prozac, and therapy, good friends, and supportive partners, healthy eating, and meditation – even on the days we can point the ship in a direction and stick it through – we cannot control the water. We can only try to keep from drowning. To keep from slipping. To keep it steady.
Today was a hard day. My ass is bruised from the number of times I fell down as my boat careened out of control.
But I go to bed proud for one simple reason: I got back up. Every time, I got back up. Through the tears. Through the sadness. Through the fog. Through the pain. None of it was stronger than me.