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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

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Singer-Songwriter, Grace Gonzalez, Joins Forces with Global Charity to Raise Awareness for Debilitating Health Condition That Puts Women “Out of Commission” for Nearly Half Their Life

BOSTON, MA, October 2020 -- Singer-songwriter, Grace Gonzalez, first found musical success when her songs gained the attention of Grammy-Award winning producer Trina Shoemaker, American Songwriter Magazine, chosen as a Yamaha guitar ambassador, and in a 2020 Toyota U.S. ad campaign featuring her own, “Little Piece of Home.” Now, Grace has turned her musical talents to a life-saving cause with the release of her new single, “Out of Commission.”

“Out of Commission” is about mental health and specifically the cyclical anxiety and depression that takes Grace out of commission after she ovulates or 10 days before her period each month. The condition she suffers from, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), is a life-threatening cyclical, hormone-based condition that is commonly underdiagnosed, misdiagnosed or dismissed entirely by many in the medical community. PMDD impacts approximately 1 in 20 women and AFAB (assigned female at birth) individuals of reproductive age - a staggering 60 million worldwide.  Symptoms include severe depression, mood swings, irritability or anxiety in the two weeks before menstruation.

“I have received my deepest inspiration during “hell week,” said Gonzalez. “It is in that time, where I feel so disconnected from myself and the world, that I can channel my suffering into songs. I feel so lucky for the gift of songwriting and don't know how I would get through the depths of PMDD without it. And I’m honored to help shine a light on this devastating condition by working with the International Association for Premenstrual Disorders (IAPMD).”

Grace’s journey with PMDD began when she got her period. Like many, her life changed drastically and the cyclical life-altering symptoms occurred for years without a clear understanding or diagnosis. At the age of 21, she withdrew from college due to severe cyclical anxiety and depression, and was finally diagnosed with PMDD. After her diagnosis, Grace turned to IAPMD for information and support when she was feeling lost and alone. “IAPMD helped me make sense of it all and find ways to move forward and heal,” added Grace. 

“We’re grateful that Grace is helping raise awareness and funds for PMDD,” said Sandi MacDonald, IAPMD Co-founder and Executive Director. “As an IAPMD Ambassador, Grace is sharing her music and her story to help shatter the stigma and accelerate progress toward a world where people with PMDD and PME can survive and thrive.” 

The IAPMD’s Global Survey of PMDs 2018  showed that 30% of those experiencing the condition have made a suicide attempt during a PMDD episode. Shockingly, patients also waited an average of 12 years for an accurate diagnosis and saw six healthcare providers in the process. Although PMDD has been included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and International Classification of Diseases (ICD) for years, it continues to be disregarded or misunderstood by doctors and the general public. 

About IAPMD:

The International Association for Premenstrual Disorders (IAPMD) is the leading patient-led health organization with a mission to inspire hope and end suffering in those affected by Premenstrual Disorders (PMDs) through peer support, education, research, and advocacy.  Since our founding in 2013, we’ve helped over half a million people from more than 100 countries find answers, community, and hope. What began as a collective of fellow sufferers has grown into a global movement accelerating progress being made around the world on PMDs and PMDD in particular.

About PMDD:

While PMDD is directly connected to the menstrual cycle, it is not a hormone imbalance but rather a severe neurobiological reaction to the natural rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone. Symptoms occur the week or two before menstruation and go away a few days after bleeding begins. There is no blood or saliva test to diagnose PMDD, but these tests can rule out other underlying disorders. Diagnosis is done by tracking symptoms for at least two menstrual cycles. 


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Sunday, February 16, 2020

What Real Love Looks Like

Since February is the month for relationships, I've linked to a post by fellow author, blogger, and women's health and wellness advocate Tara Mandarano, written about relationships.  It's not PMDD specific, but the wisdom in it applies all the same...  

A real relationship is two flawed people refusing to give up on each other. It's encountering everyday obstacles and unexpected hurdles and finding a way through them together.
It's talking it out when you'd rather give each other the silent treatment. It's listening to the other side of the story when you believe yours is the only valid perspective.
It's holding hands and hugging it out after an argument. It's hanging on for dear life when you go through emotional hell and feel totally beside yourself.
It's finding time for each other at the end of the day, when you're feeling fraught and spent and just want to read a book or scroll through your phone.
It's putting away your phone.
It's not hiding things on your phone.
It's being together in the same room even when you feel galaxies apart. It's building a bridge between hurt feelings and new beginnings even though it's so, so hard.

To read more, please go here.

Tara is also the author of an essay in the newly released BIG: Stories about Life in Plus-Sized Bodies.