One early morning three months ago, during my morning journal session I sat on my couch and cried. Crying means my period is coming. However, the cry session I speak of, was a little more intense because it was a PMDD cry. I felt extremely overwhelmed, I felt sorry for myself and like I couldn’t catch a fucking break. This PMDD moment was self-inflicted due to the consumption of sugar I consumed the previous day.
For those are you that don’t know what PMDD you can find out more here: https://iapmd.org/about-pmdd
During my cry session, I had an a-ha moment and asked myself why I never talk about my PMDD. It was at that moment, I made a decision to talk about it, not only talk about it but start a podcast. I started the podcast to merely share my PMDD journey and what helped me put PMDD in the backseat, as it no longer controls my life.
I recorded my first three episodes, and the emails came pouring in from women thanking me for recording the podcast. Many of them shared their stories with me. I then decided to invite women on the show to share their PMDD journey. The listeners loved this, and emails filled with gratitude came pouring in again.
It felt good and made my heart smile, knowing I was helping so many that suffer from this disorder. I speak in past tense, but to this day, it still makes my heart smile. Helping others is my passion.
While my heart is full and happy knowing I am helping others. There are times I have to yank myself back in as I get very close to the edge of “The Dark Place.” I spent years of my life in The Dark Place, and it’s a place I do not wish to revisit.
Let me tell you about “The Dark Place” I know it very well because I lived there for a majority of my life. This is a place where PMDD ran my show. She gave me two good weeks where I was happy, full of energy, patience with my kids, had a love for life and enjoyed work. And then… like clockwork on day 14 BOOM! There she was. It was like a demon would swoop in and take control of my mind and body.
During this time, I was depressed, angry, or filled with rage. I was impatient with my kids. When they did something wrong, I would scream at the top of my lungs. Homework time was a nightmare because if they didn’t understand something and it was PMDD time, I would yell at them while asking them if they are stupid. As I write this, my eyes fill with tears and sadness. Thinking back. How can someone be so fucking cruel to their own kids? I never beat them, but I yelled, and I yelled a lot during PMDD time. This isn’t easy to share, but you need to know just how dark this disorder can be.
It wasn’t easy for me to keep jobs for long periods because I would get angry at someone, or just decide I didn’t like it and quit. I remember being a sales girl at Dejaiz, a men’s clothing store. My boss yelled at me to go to the back room and proceeded to yell at me for taking a cigarette break without asking ( I did ask). At that moment, I lost my shit, through my diet Snapple ice tea bottle at him and quit. Again, this is the type of shit PMDD causes.
Often times I would sit on the couch, binge watch lifetime movies and binge eat or go get fast food, so I didn’t have to deal with cooking. If you ask my kids they will tell you that they ate McDonald's all the time when they were kids, they aren’t lying. It was quick, cheap and easy. When you have PMDD, you don’t feel like cooking, and back then I had no idea, that food was fuel or poison. ( that’s another story)
Relationships… I was a relationship hopper. I would hop from one unhealthy relationship to another. In the midst of my PMDD, I also became a love addict. I looked for men to provide my happiness. I craved excitement. I was in love with falling in love. I was addicted to the make-up, break up and make up again. The drama gave me an emotional high.
My relationships were obsessive, at times violent, and just not healthy. I would become obsessed with snooping through their shit, I would dissect the phone bills, I would break into emails, I would drive by their job, or wherever they said they would be to confirm that’s where they really were. I would fight and argue in front of my kids. There were times where I would drag my kids out of bed at 2am because my husband at the time or whomever I was involved with wasn’t home yet. I put my kids in the car and drove by bars searching for them.
I had no self-love or self-worth. I determined my worth based on my appearance, the clothes I wore and the car I drove. That alone opened another can of worms that I don’t have time to share in this blog post. You will have to wait for the book on this one.
From the time I was 15 until about the age of 38. My life was filled with the above. It was dark, scary, lonely, and a terrible place to live. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I spent years feeling like a science project trying to find something to cure me. Everything I tried made me worse. I finally accepted the fact that every two weeks of my life would be hell. That acceptance, lasted until I hit 38. At the age of 39, I hit rock bottom. I knew I couldn’t go on living as I was. I knew there had to be a better way. Guess what? There was. And it didn’t entail slapping a band-aid on the problem or making an irreversible decision.
I healed myself, I learned to love myself, and I got the hell out of “The Dark Place.” However, in sharing my journey and starting the podcast, I see how many still live in a dark place, and it makes me sad. So sad. I wish I had the power to reach out and help all of you. I wish I could instantly heal you. However, I am not God. I do not have that power.
I feel like I am looking through the glass watching, as others suffer in the Dark Place. I want to shout " Take my hand, I can help you," but I know many of them won’t listen. Because we live in a fear driven society. We live in a time, where we take pills to fix our problems. We live in a world, where there is still so much segregation. I see this happening in the PMDD Community, and it makes me sick to my stomach. I understand and read what we are being told. I see the separation that is happening and a war brewing; it hurts my heart. Some of us are being shunned for not agreeing with the conventional ways. The thing is, we are all fighting the same battle, and we all have the same goal; to help, to feel better, to spread awareness. Choosing different weapons shouldn’t divide us, but it does. Because they want us to think we have a few select weapons to choose from. I, however, know we have several weapons to choose from.
I also know that if we focus on the darkness, we stay in the dark. It’s PMDD Awareness Month. While I have loved seeing all the women participating in spreading awareness. I have mostly seen the awareness spread in a dark, fearful sort of manner. I found myself watching and reading what others were posting and starting to feel depressed. To feel that feeling that I used to feel. I ventured too close to the edge of The Dark Place. Thank God, I caught myself, because I refuse to go back.
We can spread awareness, without instilling fear. Spreading awareness is not one-sided. Spreading awareness is making us aware of ALL of our treatment options. Spreading awareness is supporting one another, not going to war.
PMDD sisters and brothers, I am here for you. I love you. I hear you and want to help you. I will not judge your choice of weapon, and I ask that you don’t judge mine.
Please open your eyes, take the blinders and get the hell out of “The Dark Place!”