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~Seek first to understand, then be understood~
If you're looking for information on a particular topic, type that word in the search box below. If I have written about that subject, a list of posts will appear. If no posts come up, I haven't written about it...yet. Emails, and questions in the comments section for possible posts, are welcome.
I have a "friend" who shows up once a month. She turns my world upside down, over and over again.
I am a good person, caring and sweet, but when she comes to visit, I could rip off your head.
She takes no prisoners, foul words she does spout, I try to keep the words in, she lets them come out.
People don't understand me, or what this is about, to have this creature inside my head.
I despise who I am, half of the time, I feel sorry for my daughter, family and friends.
There's no way to describe it, for those who don't know, it's a living nightmare, she really needs to go.
~Neysia Manor, Rest in Peace

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

PMDD - They Only See Our Failures

I’m one of the fortunate few. Through years of carefully cultivated self-awareness, I’ve finally learned how to separate myself from my PMDD. I know that I am not my PMDD. But millions more women are out there, valiantly struggling to get though each day, secretly convinced they are going mad, and simply hoping, even praying, that one day they will wake up and the nightmare that lives inside their minds will be over.

On the outside these women may seem to be coping—some of them even coping brilliantly by all external accounts--but on the inside they are terrified by--and of--this mystifying cycle of emotional imbalance that hardly anyone understands.

They’re also afraid to tell anyone, for fear that those people, too, will think they are crazy.

Or worse, they’ve tried to tell others—friends, family, medical professionals--and have been discounted, dismissed, or simply not believed. Or perhaps the symptoms of PMDD have crashed over their internal walls and manifested themselves, and those they spend the most time with and/or are closest to have already deemed them as somehow defective. She’s a moody one all right, sweetness and light one minute, a raving bitch the next. What gives? What’s wrong with her? How can anyone be so freaking out of control?

Everyone wants to be normal, and PMDD women are no exception. But PMDD doesn’t do normal. PMDD is a biological imbalance in your brain that manifests itself both physically and emotionally. It’s the emotional part people can’t deal with. Women the world over are no stranger to physical discomfort. We can be feeling like something the dog dragged in three days ago and still meet our commitments, care for our families, run households and offices and companies and governments, head up foundations, give speeches, present or accept awards, create beautiful works of art, love our partners, and still get dinner on the table in time.

Women are awesome. We are born with the gifts of joy, laughter, insight, intuition, sensitivity, kindness, compassion, creativity, cooperation, and multi-tasking (our biggest downfall, as we routinely take on too much.) We have more endurance than men. We have more tolerance for pain, be it physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional. We are passionate in our beliefs, and loyal to those we love—even when that loyalty is far from returned.

If a woman had a broken leg, and was temporarily hobbling around on crutches, most people would understand if she was a little tired or edgy or weepy during the course of her day. Most people would offer to help, open doors, fetch and carry things for her, run some errands, give her opportunities to rest and refresh herself. Most would give her some leeway to maneuver as she tries to navigate through her suddenly complicated day. At the very least, they would try to be tolerant if her frustration spilled over.

But when our brains are temporarily broken, as in the case of the PMDD phase of our menstrual cycles, there are no boldly visible cues, like a pair of crutches. Sure, the sparkle in our eyes may dim, our heads and hearts and joints may hurt, our handwriting may become stiff and awkward, our reflexes slow and clutzy, but only those intimately acquainted with us may be able to notice. We might not even notice these things ourselves, if we aren’t paying close attention to our bodies. Which most women don’t, we’re so used to putting our own needs aside and fulfilling the roles we play for others—mother, daughter, sister, partner, caretaker, breadwinner, coordinator, confidante.

So silently we slog through our PMDD days, knowing we feel fragile inside, but with no visible way to communicate that to the world—other than our emotions. All through our lives, we’ve been socialized to believe emotions are bad for everybody but actors and actresses. Real people need to suppress their emotions. Emotions get you in trouble. Emotions are counterproductive. Emotions are messy and scary. Don’t make a scene, don’t make a fuss, don’t get hysterical, and for God’s sake, don’t ever cry.

People can’t handle it when other people cry. Men especially can’t handle it when women cry.

Anger is the accepted emotional outlet for men, but there is no acceptable emotional outlet for women. Women are not supposed to get angry. If we get angry, there’s something wrong with us—we’re being countercultural. Little girls are sugar and spice and everything nice. Women who show anger are frowned upon, called all sorts of derogatory names, dismissed, discounted, deterred and destroyed, one way or another.

And so most women turn that anger inward, where it manifests as depression.

This is what happens to someone who passes for a *normal* woman, mind you. But remember, PMDD doesn’t do normal. PMDD lifts the veil on all those suppressed emotions, all those bitten lips and mounting frustrations life throws at us, turns off the biological mechanism that holds all that suppressed emotion back, and flips the switch to ON.

PMDD is your steam valve, honey, and like clockwork, once a month it lets loose.

If you’re especially unlucky, it happens twice a month, catching you on your ovulation cycle, as well.

And when that happens, we fail. We fail spectacularly. We rant, we rave, we cry and throw things. We break things, too. Dishes and doors, spirits and hearts and hopes and dreams. We say things we don’t mean, and hurt the people we love the most.

Why? Because they can’t see inside our heads to where the synapses are temporarily not working right, because they can’t see that we’re fragile inside on those days.

Because they can’t see we’re temporarily on crutches.

And for that, people call us crazy.

We’re not crazy. We’re pre-menstrual. More about what this means next week. In the meantime, remember, You Are Not Your PMDD. It might take up a huge chunk of your life, especially since you probably spend your non-PMDD days trying to make up to everyone for the way you *supposedly* let them down on your PMDD days--but really, who let who down?

Think about it. If you were on crutches, wouldn't the people in your life treat you with more care?

So you are not your PMDD, and your PMDD is not you. It’s something you have to deal with, like you would if you broke your leg, but it does not define you. No one who doesn’t have PMDD has a clue about how much energy and effort is expended in trying NOT to blow up, NOT to burst into tears, NOT to ruin the party, the family outing, the meeting, the conference, the trip…

The relationship.

All others see is our failures. But I read the Facebook posts, and I see how hard everyone tries, and my heart goes out to each and every one of you as you describe for the others how you feel it coming on, how you feel the tension building, how you are in the middle of the storm, how you hate all of it…

And how you ache inside as you do your best to deal with the heartbreaking aftermath.

I am here, and I understand. Because while I have a better handle than most on my PMDD, can even separate it out and still get my work done when my mind is acting up the most, I know all too well how much energy that takes, and how drained you can feel at the end of the day.

And even when I make it through 90% of the day without weeping or snapping or snarling at someone, even when I’ve spent the day protecting others from myself and my moods, moods I have as much control over as I would an allergic reaction, even when I’ve done everything I can to make sure I don’t ruin their day…

There’s always the chance the dam will break.

And that is all they see.

Do not let anyone define you by your failures. It’s not right, it’s not fair, and you wouldn’t do it to them.

Take care and God Bless.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How Mandalas Helped Me Cope With PMDD, by Cat Stone

Today Cat Stone returns to guest blog about Mandalas and how they have helped her cope with PMDD. Since I have yet to master the art of inserting pictures into my blog, and trying will keep me here all day, I have posted them off to the side for you to enjoy. Thank you, Cat, for sharing your art with us.

I can't remember when I first became aware of mandalas.

As a teen I was always interested in the esoteric and other faiths and cultures, but it was probably around the age of 19, when I began following a pagan path, that I began to learn about the circle, the quarters, symbolism, colours... Along my path, I found a branch that fitted my specific beliefs. It was witchcraft. I worked in ritual with covens, I worked solitary, I studied, I practised, I meditated. I have suffered with PMDD since I was 13, and life has always been difficult. Being active in the Pagan scene gave me somewhere to belong, and something else to focus on.

Meditation became an big interest of mine, as my mind was always full of swirly thoughts and ideas, that and my body being filled with false feelings and tension. I found it very hard to meditate, just sitting still, and joined a meditation class. We tried lots of different ways to meditate, and the most success I had, was with a moving meditation, or mudra meditation.

During the pregnancy of my first child at 21, my PMDD became very bad, contrary to the idea that pregnancy brings relief to PMDD, for me, my changing hormones threw me into severe depression, agrophobia, anxiety and panic attacks. Mixed up with post natal depression, and my marriage breaking up when my daughter was 3 years old, I found myself homeless. I had left the Witches behind, choosing to follow my own path, one that wasn't full of fear and hierarchy. I studied The Tarot and developed even more interest into the symbols, colours and correspondences of the cards

It was then that I began to draw my own mandalas. About 11 years ago, I bought a Tibetan mandala print, and began to research them more. I had opened up a whole new world.

As an artist, I had studied art and art theory since school. I had qualifications in Art and Graphic Design. But with everything that had happened to me, and the PMDD worsening, I had been unable to create anything. My research into mandalas spurred off a frenzy of creation. At first, my mandalas weren't geometric, they were just drawings in a circle, but the fact I HAD created was the buzz.

(See the Orange Eye, Dance, and Stars Mandalas, off to the side)

It didn't take long before I started using a ruler and protractor and began dividing the circle. Division and geometric designs take you into the realms of sacred geometry, and designs that repeat themselves lend themselves to meditation very well, during the creation and the colouring in.

(See the Medley and Universe Mandalas)

At college, I did a project on repetition, and I began to look into mantras and chanting. Repeating something over and over, such as the word OM, brings about a calm to the mind. It stops the mind from stressing by letting it focus on the sound, and sound that promotes healing. I became aware that that was what I was doing with the mandalas. In hand drawing, you have to repeat the same pattern or shape over and over.. in the colouring, your have to think about each shape you colour in.

It is like a moving meditation. For about 2 years, I drew nothing but mandalas. I drew them when I needed to have a focus, when I needed to escape what was going on around and inside me. I ended up drawing them as wedding presents, birth mandalas, and gifts.

My love for them has never waned. I have recently come out of a long dark period of my life, caused mainly by trying different hormone medications, and my ability to draw had completely vanished again. Thankfully, after a long and very missed break, my inspiration has returned. I still find it hard to draw during the really bad times, but I'm already creating more than I have for the whole of last year!

The best way to start, is to print off a free mandala design from the net. I have recently started a Moon Mandala Group on Facebook, and download page on my website, where you can regularly download new and original mandalas, created by me, using the inspiration of the current moon signs. There will be info about the full and new moons, and mandalas to download. The Facebook group is there for you to upload your creation and share with the rest of the mandala loving world! I also upload other mandala designs to colour in between new and full moons.

Once you have your mandala, find a quiet place, alone, with your favourite music. If this is impossible, just sit in front of the TV, you'll soon tune out of that and into your page.

Buy yourself some nice colouring pencils. I use Prismacolor, but there are other really nice makes out there. They are gonna be adult pencils, so spend a little more than you normally would. The results will be worth it! If you prefer colour felt tips.. get a big set with all the colours of the rainbow! If you've got kids.. mark them 'Mummys' and keep them out of their reach!

Sit with your mandala, and choose a colour. Pick a part of the mandala to colour, and get going. It's that simple. Grown up colouring. The next colour will almost choose itself, and if you start getting fretful over how it's turning out, just walk away, go make a cuppa, and relax. Its a colouring sheet. There is NOTHING to stress over. Even if you completed it and hated the colours you used, you can throw it in the bin, tear it up... print off another one and start again, or leave it till another day.

There should never be any worries or stress over creating a mandala, it's just for fun. You cant just click your fingers and meditate, not without years of practice, so you will find there will be times it flows and times when it's just not a good time to be trying.

It's good to date your mandala and note any particular feelings or thoughts you may have. Put it up somewhere, and keep looking at it. This mandala, represents your ability to focus, choose, make decisions, your stamina and attention, and your ability to see something through to the end. When you suffer from PMDD it is easy to feel like you cant make any decisions, it is easy to feel scared of starting things, and rare to feel like we have achieved something and seen it through. The ups and downs leave us feeling tired, stressed out, unable to relax or sleep. Using mandalas to quieten the mind, focus thoughts and relax our bodies can in turn help with our general stress levels. You can turn to a mandala when you have that urge to do something but you don't know what, or when you're bored and feeling lonely.

Mandalas, can help women deal with the many facets of her life. Mother, wife, daughter, sister, lover, friend, bill payer, money earner... it is hard to juggle all this, especially hard when you suffer with PMDD. The calm and peace creating mandalas can bring will help you to discover who you are, what you really feel about things, or even develop more self confidence.

(See the Goddess Mandala)

I have found that many ladies with PMDD are also very creative and have various ways of occupying their minds, from knitting to baking, photography to poetry. I hope that other sufferers of PMDD will give it a try and see if it helps!

You can find all my mandalas at www.chaoticat.com and all my PMDD artwork and blog at www.meetmypmdd.blospot.com.

Cat Stone

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sharing Our Stories of PMDD

Today we have a guest blogger, Joya, who has graciously agreed to share her story of PMDD. I invite others to contact me who would like to share your story of how you discovered you had PMDD, were diagnosed, and what treatments--both successful and unsuccessful--you have tried in an effort to cope with this debilitating disorder. This helps every woman with PMDD to understand that while you are not alone, every case is as individual you are.

Welcome, Joya, and thank you for sharing your story with us.

I was diagnosed about three years ago.

Before I was diagnosed I felt awful & sick. I also thought I was losing my mind. It took a while for me to realize the awful feelings and the craziness were associated with my monthly cycle. I began to dread my cycle, but always looked forward to getting my period because I felt such a relief. There were times when I literally thought I was going insane. And the awful physical symptoms were at times too much to bear. I am grateful for my diagnosis as I have been empowered to find ways to help myself.

I am very fortunate I have a wonderful Doctor who listens to me and I believe he actually cares about my well being.

I have tried the following:

The Pill



Herbal treatments


And I am currently using the Mirena IUD

Side effects & benefits I have experienced:

The pill was not a good choice, I cannot handle the extra estrogen at all. I completely lose it. For whatever reason the pill intensifies my symptoms.

Anti-Depressants-at first seemed like a cure! Then I started to feel depressed all the time, and I became listless and lethargic. I gained 25 pounds and felt awful and the benefits seemed to have flown out the window. I am not a fan of anti-depressants. I am no longer using them for treatment of my PMDD.

Acupuncture helps-mainly it helps with relaxation. It is also not a cure-all, but can be very helpful in terms of relaxation. It can be expensive and it takes quite some time before it actually reduces any symptoms. I would like to return to acupuncture if for nothing else, but the calming effect it as.

Herbal supplements & supplements: for me they help, but do not have the strength to reduce my symptoms to a manageable level. I use supplements in conjunction with the IUD.

The IUD has been helpful, it has reduced my symptoms. However, after a little over a year of using the IUD I feel the effectiveness wearing off. It makes me want to cry. And I do not really have a period at all and I don't like this part of it. The idea of searching for another effective treatment feels a little frustrating at the moment.

I consider myself blessed. I have very loving and supportive friends and family. I have been honest about my PMDD-it does affect my ability to socialize and I can withdraw pretty easily. I hate when I am unkind, or I lash out at someone I love when I am PMDD-ing. It is awful and I feel horrible, and guilty. In some ways I try to keep to myself so that I do not do anything I will regret later. I live alone and work primarily alone, so I do control my interaction with people as much as possible. I have recently entered a romantic relationship-I have been upfront about my PMDD, and he is a very understanding person. However, I am terrified I will scare him away, and I know this is a large part of why I keep to myself. I try to keep myself and others safe, but I am starting to feel that it is not the solution.

I cannot think of a shape for PMDD, as it tends to have several forms for me. At times it may be rigid and square, uptight and bound, whereas other times-it is wide open and expansive...It encompasses many colors...red would be the primary color, as well as black and dark blue...perhaps with flashes of purples and greens.

The worst thing about PMDD for me is the darkness, the sadness, and the nasty voice inside me that gets so loud that I believe it. I believe every ugly lie the voice utters. I have made some serious life decisions while under the influence of the PMDD monster, only to wonder later-'what the hell was I thinking'. The other thing is I feel like I cannot trust myself and I do not want to be around anybody. It sucks, I am for the most part a friendly, upbeat and kind person. The PMDD twists things and I get twisted with them and then come out the other side-wondering what happened. I hate that I listen to the ugly angry distrustful voice, rather than my true core voice.

I have changed my diet, I eat mostly vegetarian. I focus on nutrition. Whole grains, veggies, I do have fats, like peanut butter and such. I love fruit too! I make 90% of my meals at home, this is very helpful. Honestly, diet and exercise have had a profound effect on my ability to cope. I make sure I get enough rest as I cannot function without adequate rest. I LOVE to exercise and I LOVE yoga and walking outdoors! However, when the monster (PMDD) is in house, I have to literally fight with myself to exercise, and do what is best for me. As there are times when I drink wine, or eat too much, and usually regret it.

I also remind myself what is happening and that it is not ME-it is PMDD and it is chemical and biological, but this is not always helpful. I take hot baths and drink tea, I use drops of white chestnut for anxiety. Basically, I try to take of myself and be loving towards myself. I do struggle and sometimes I cave to the cravings for fatty food, wine, or cigarettes. I realize that this is a work in progress, and from experience I KNOW that taking excellent care of myself is my best bet!

I work with a master metal smith-he is my dad. We design and create custom wedding rings. I work with 30 stores and retail clients from all across the globe! I am very fortunate to have the work I have. I work alone as most of my correspondence is via email. I love working with an artist and I love working with my clients. I am grateful for all of my clients. So I do not have a career I have a job, a wonderful job. I long for a career, but that is a long and painful subject for me. I have searched for 15, plus years to answer the 'what am I going to do with my life'? question only to still not know the answer. It causes me extreme grief. As I have taken endless classes and been in and out of school, etc...

For now, I am letting it go. I just recently withdrew from school, as the combination of work, school, PMDD and my learning disabilities proved to be too much for me. I am struggling with not feeling like an utter failure and feeling like I have liberated myself. I do not have children, I have a cat, whom has been with me for 15 years. I care for her deeply and she has been a most loving and loyal companion over the years.

I would like to have a career that I can pour my heart and soul into. I would like to love freely and create. I would like to be of service to the people, the Earth and the animals. It is unfortunate that every single month for two weeks I kinda fall apart and lose my grip. However, I refuse to give up and I hope that I can find a way to do what I long to and be even with PMDD.

I believe yoga and meditation are helpful. Yes, they help me to relax and change my focus and help me to slow down and breathe.

"Love all, trust a few. Do wrong to none." Unknown.

"Everything we see or seem is but a dream within a dream." Edger Allen Poe

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cat Stone's PMDD Crisis Guide Continues

Today is a follow up to last week's intro to Cat Stone's Crisis Guide to PMDD. Today Cat discusses several excellent ways to help yourself feel better when you are in crisis, courtesy of your PMDD. I hope everyone is able to take away at least one piece of advice that helps to ease the pain of your PMDD. Thank you, Cat, for sharing your thoughts with us.

You can find the intro to this guide either in last week's post, or at Cat's blog.

The Physical Realm of PMDD

This is an easy 'realm' to understand. It's the one we are most aware of. This is where PMDD is manifesting in most cases. There are many theories, from an imbalance or sensitivity to hormones, to a bug that lives in your system called H-Pylori. One thing that is common, is that it is hormonal, cyclical, and very hard to treat. Treatment is different for all women, and many have to try various medications and treatments before they find one that works.

Physical symptoms of PMDD are much like that of PMS. Bloating, painful breasts, cramps, heavy bleeding, back ache, digestive problems and insomnia, to name a few. Tiredness and lethargy is also a big problem, some days, it is hard to even get out of bed.

Weight problems can occur due to the imbalance in hormones, sporadic eating habits and lack of exercise. Acne is another troublesome physical symptom. I for one get new spots every time I ovulate or menstruate. These spots are hard, painful and more like boils. They take ages to clear up and often leave scars.

To start treating the physical symptoms (and in turn, improving your general well being) a plan of action should be devised. In it's most simple form, you should have a check-list that covers your body's basic needs. Maybe you can see it as a tool kit.


We can actually take charge of this aspect quite easily. We can change what we eat and how much exercise we do. We have control over that. It is well known that exercise helps to relieve stress, keep the body healthy and can relieve cramps. It is easy to feel out of control when you suffer from PMDD, so by taking control over this aspect of your health, you can feel more in control of yourself in general. Sometimes, leaving the house before you blow is a good option. A brisk walk round the block will help you calm down, think, and work off some of that pent up energy. I'm sure most PMDD women go around like a coiled spring, just waiting to ping. This is energy waiting to come out. You could use it in a healthy way, or you can wait for the volcano to blow, inevitably hurting those around you with words or your own actions. Punching pillows helps... although in my house, (and I'm not proud of it) I am chief door slammer. It's the pent up energy that turns into rage. If you don't release this energy you will feel anger, you will feel rage, you will feel like fighting.

Try and incorporate some form of exercise into your daily routine. Getting outside really helps, maybe for a walk or bike ride. Join a Yoga class. This is the best way to learn to relax too, and become more sensitive to your body and what it's telling you. If nothing else, stick on your favourite album and dance and sing round the living room!


A special mention here goes to Stress. We underestimate how much stress can affect our body. Stress is not just in your head, stress affects every cell of your body. When we get stressed, our body reacts, putting a strain on our adrenal glands. In genuine situations, this reaction (known as fight or flight) can save our lives. When we are constantly stressing ourselves sick over our illness, weight, money, kids... we are abusing those reactions and leaving our bodies exhausted. Stress puts added pressure onto our hearts and can tie our stomach up in knots leading to erratic eating habits and IBS. You can overwork your adrenal glands, so they become so tired they don't function properly. This is when you health will really suffer and you will more than likely hit rock bottom. Your immune system will be lower, your 'feel good' hormones (serotonin), will be depleted and you will feel lethargic and depressed. Physical activity has been proven to help relieve stress, and should be a regular part of your tool kit.

Food and water.

The next simple tool to keeping our moods stable is eating, and drinking water. If I feel myself spiralling out of control, or I've just screamed at the kids for leaving a toy in the wrong place, I have to immediately check whether I have eaten that day. Our moods get worse if we don't eat. Obviously, try and make healthy choices, but it's better to eat than not, so if all you can manage is a piece of toast with jam, then do it. The aim is to try and keep yourself topped up with energy. Little and often is good, and will help keep your blood sugar levels stable.

Dehydration is another problem. If we aren't remembering to eat, we probably aren't drinking enough either. Tea and coffee and alcohol all dehydrates the body. Dehydration leads to mood swings, headaches and fatigue. This in turn can lead to more digestive issues such as constipation.

If we try and run on empty all day, we are setting ourselves up for a screaming rage at teatime, or a sobbing wreck at bedtime. We don't even expect our cars to go far with no fuel in the tank, but are quite happy to do it to our own bodies.

Sleep and rest.

Rest and relaxation should be the next tool in the tool kit. PMDD sufferers can have irregular sleeping patterns. Depending on what part of your cycle you are in, you may feel overwhelmed with tiredness and want to sleep all day, when at other times you cant sleep at all.

Getting plenty of sleep is essential to maintaining a stable mood. If you go to bed at 2am, and are then up for work or the school run at 7am you are going to be tired, whether you have PMDD or not, but add PMDD into that mix and you will have one very grumpy lady. You are more likely to snap, rant, cry, blow your top or worse, if you are tired. If you cant sleep, it is still important to rest your body. Try a long hot bath, meditation, or just lie down and watch a film or listen to music.

Maybe you like to read, or sew, or paint. Taking time for yourself and indulging in your favourite past time will help you relax. It is easy to deny yourself these little things, to write them off as unimportant, and say, 'how can I possibly deserve to sit here and enjoy myself when I'm such an awful person' or ' I cant take time out for myself, what about the washing up.. cooking tea... etc' If you like.. I'll give you permission! In fact, even better... I'll prescribe it!


Get out into natural light. The winter brings S.A.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you are already sensitive to hormones, stress etc, you may find the winter becomes a hard time of the year. Low levels of light takes it's toll on energy levels and you may find yourself more depressed in the winter. If it's really severe, on top of the PMDD, you may find it hard to get up, stay awake in the daytime, or your depression and anxiety can worsen. Light boxes work well, but if you can't afford one, just make sure you get out in any sunshine (when we get it), put lights on in the house, and be kind to yourself. It is easy to assume your PMDD is getting worse in the winter, but it's more likely to be the added darkness of S.A.D.


OK, so why would this be on the list? Because it's a physical activity. It anchors thoughts down on paper. Thoughts are like air, they flit and change. Writing things down, gets things out of you head and into the physical world. Keeping a diary, writing lists or post it notes helps you to keep track of your mind. Sometimes, making a plan on paper, is the difference to a day saved, or a day lost. Making lists will help you organise. Crossing off stuff on the list will give you a feeling of achievement. EVEN IF that list is nothing more than..
  • brush teeth
  • take kids to school
  • wash up dishes
  • go for a walk
  • EAT
  • have a shower

You will find you get more done by having a reminder list.

It is good to write out your feelings. If you feel weird about other people reading them, then keep a diary for yourself. If you feel you can share with other sufferers, even if it's under a false name, you should think about setting up a blog. Writing get things out of our system. The physical activity of sitting and focussing, helps us to become calmer.

Self destruction

If you suffer with PMDD you will know all about self destruction. My ability to cope with symptoms fluctuates. When I hit a low, and get ill, I forget about all the things I 'should' do. I spiral out of control and turn inwards. I become self-hating, self-destructing and down right cruel and hard on myself. Sometimes, holding onto sanity becomes too much in itself, and I let go. I free fall, I become some caught up in myself, I cant think about others. I can get really depressed and suicidal. I don't eat. I survive. I pass every hour in the day, waiting for bed, so I can try and start a fresh the next day. If I really want to hurt myself, I'll drink. Alcohol is not my friend, but I'll drink, because I hate myself, everyone must hate me, I want to hurt myself, I don't want this life, everything is wrong, why am I like this? I hate you.. and you.. why did I have kids? I'm a rubbish mother, I don't deserve them... Sound familiar? It will if you have PMDD.

Physical self destruction is something you can control. If you know you will drink yourself silly, then stay away from the bottle. If you are suicidal, then stay away from dangers, risks.. like driving for instance.
Remember that not eating or drinking, not looking after yourself, not allowing yourself rest time can all lead to a worsening of PMDD symptoms. You are in control of that. You must look after yourself. Don't allow yourself to self destruct. There is always tomorrow, the feelings will pass, and you will need your body to be there for you.

If you are feeling suicidal and have no-one to talk to, there is always the Samaritans here in UK on 08457 909090 or in the US call 1-800-SUICIDE. Or if you are a member of my Facebook group, there will always be someone around to help you through the bad days..