I was on vacation this week, so this one will be short, as I have a million things to do to get unpacked and settled back into my regular life, but I did want to stop by and post something. First, I want to say thank you to Cat and all the readers you brought over from Facebook. I don’t do Facebook, am afraid I would get lost in it I know so many people, so for the time being I steer clear in order to stay focused on my writing. But I greatly appreciate Cat spreading the word about my site there and welcome all of my new Facebook readers. I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to stop by and I hope something I’ve said here will be of help to you in coming to understand or manage your PMDD. If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section or write to me at info (at) livingwithpmdd.com, and I will address them in upcoming blogs. I want to write about what you want to hear about. I'm writing about me and my experience with PMDD at the moment, because it's what I know best and is as good a place as any to start :)
So, welcome, new readers, and now back to my vacation. We went to a used book store, and I wasn’t intending to, but I came home with an armful of books on women’s health and hormones. Actually, there were so many, I had to have them shipped home. Hardbacks and trade paperbacks, each just $2. How could I resist? I pulled the ones that were of interest to me and would be of interest to people reading this blog, and you know what I realized? The information is out there for anyone who is looking. I’m not saying anything new in this blog. The information I share here might be new to me or new to you, but it is not new overall. All kinds of writers have been writing about PMS and PMDD over the years, and a lot of the information remains consistent.
One of the things I hope to do with this blog is present the information that remains the most consistent over time. This site is not about fad or false efforts to deal with PMDD. It’s about helping you to feel well every day of the month, to the best of your ability.
I say to the best of your ability, because I know that despite all efforts, the level of serotonin in your brain can dip and you can still slip into an episode without warning. It happened to me on Sunday. It was around the time of my ovulation and just happened for an afternoon, but it happened, and came upon me without warning. Although I should have expected it, between the combination of not eating for six hours and checking the calendar. According to my calendar, the episode was right on schedule. I’m one of those fortunate souls (not!) who gets the chance to experience my PMDD both around the time of my period and around the time of ovulation.
Fortunately, I was able to right myself overnight and all was well again in the morning, so I could continue having fun on my vacation.
Rest is very, very, very important to a woman with PMDD. The minute I realized what was happening, I ate some healthy carbs, took a couple of 5-HTP capsules, and then took it easy for the rest of the evening, making sure I went to bed early. Because when your hormones are out of balance, sleep will help you to put them back in balance again. It’s while you sleep that your brain re-regulates itself. If you don’t get enough sleep, or if your sleep is constantly interrupted–by hot flashes, crying babies, insomnia, having to pee, whatever–your brain doesn’t get that chance to re-regulate itself.
Our bodies are amazing, if we but give them the chance to work the way God intended them to. I will get more into this some other time, but for now, just know that rest is paramount for a woman with PMDD and you need to make it a priority. “Yeah, right,” you can say, like I did for years, and keep pushing yourself. But in the end you’ll only push yourself into further misery.
Healing starts with awareness. So start looking at areas in your life where you can take time to rest, and start looking for ways in which you can get a full night of sleep. Me, I love to have a cup of hot tea in the evening, in the hour before I fall asleep. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work as well as it used to for me. Now that I’m older, I’ve found that if I have anything to drink up to two hours before bedtime, I won’t make it though the night without having to get up.
So it’s a trade off–my favorite herbal tea or a full night’s sleep? I’ve been choosing the full night’s sleep, and it’s made a huge difference in the way I feel. I’ve just had to learn to enjoy my tea during other breaks in the day.
So even if you think your life is so hectic and packed that you can’t possibly take time out for a ten minute “Me” break or a good night’s sleep. I’m asking you to at least consider the idea and start looking around for places you can steal a few moments of peace and quiet, and ways you can get yourself to bed a few minutes earlier this week. And then next week, a few minutes earlier than that.
One step at a time. Baby steps. A little here, a little there, and over time you will have developed a new habit that will help you to feel better in ways untold.