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~Seek first to understand, then be understood~
The Voices of PMDD series continues, moving into fall with posts about positive things people with PMDD can do to strengthen our relationships with our loved ones. We are all hurting, and if any of these posts can help you in any way to open up to your partner, or bring a new measure of peace into your relationship, then perhaps some healing can begin.
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On the more analytical side, if you're looking for information on a particular topic, just type that word in the search box. You will then pull up all posts that include information on that subject.
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Liana's PMDD Website Finally Launched!

I’ve been working on a book about PMDD for the past year and a half. For a time I had an agent interested, but in the end, she said it was a niche book, (meaning it wouldn’t have mass market appeal) and she passed on it. One of the drawbacks, she pointed out, was that I don’t have any sets of initials behind my name, so can’t claim I’m an expert on the subject.

Funny, how living with something for forty years, day in and day out, doesn’t qualify you as an expert on the subject. But there you have it. The bottom line was I didn’t have the right credentials or a platform--also known as a ready-made audience just waiting to grab my book off the shelves.

Now, six months later, I can see why she said what she did. I’ve bought and read countless books about PMDD and women’s hormones in general, and quite frankly, the information is already out there. Some of it highly technical, some of it garbled and distorted along the way, some of it just plain off-the-wall wrong, and some of it a thinly disguised marketing ploy to sell drugs or supplements and such, but overall, the information you need to manage your PMDD is out there.

On the other hand, you can go to the loops and forums and blogs, and read heartbreaking stories of women crying out for relief from their PMDD. Women with their lives and relationships in chaos. Women considering, planning, and attempting suicide because of it.

My question was (and is) why isn’t group A, those who suffer from PMDD, connecting with Group B, those who write about it and have information that would help women to understand and manage their PMDD?

I’m all about connections, networking, and relationships, so I’ve put my book on hold and shifted my focus to create this blog and a matching website to bring the two together. The website launched this week and is very incomplete, as I’m still writing the content for it, but I wanted you to be able to finally see what I’ve been working on these past few months and where I intend to go with it.

How did this all of this come about? Well, one day in April (a few weeks after the agent rejected my book proposal) I’m walking at the Y, participating in my 100 miles in 100 days challenge, just going around in circles around the track and letting my mind wander, when all of a sudden an image of a water lily comes to me, fully formed, along with the words, Living on a Prayer, Living with PMDD.

I don’t know why that happened, or how, but when I stopped to think about it, I realized that’s what it’s like for me, living with PMDD. Some days I feel like all I’m doing is living on a prayer, getting through by the grace of God. If nothing else in the past ten years, I’ve learned nothing short of my faith is going to get me through this debilitating disorder that can and does lead other women to attempt suicide.

Anyway, I finished my walk, then went home and hit the internet, looking for pictures of water lilies. I found the perfect one three pictures in, but of course (being slightly OCD), had to keep looking to see if there were any better ones available.

There weren’t any better ones, but there were a ton of options. And so my idea began to expand. I contacted my favorite web designer, and she said to send her the pictures I’d chosen and we’d come up with something. In the end, I think we’ll use all the pictures I chose, because to me, each one represents a different facet of having PMDD.

But once that was done, all the pictures were chosen, I wanted to know…Why a water lily? I’m not really into flowers, and don’t like the water at all, especially dark, murky water, so I looked up the symbolism of water lilies.

This is what I discovered: Lotus: Water Lily: The Lotus flower is symbolic of rebirth, but in addition to its religious meaning, the lotus is also a symbol of all that is true, good and beautiful, representing good fortune, peace, and enlightenment…In modern times the meaning of a lotus flower links closely with religious symbolism and meaning. A lotus represents life in general. As the lotus flower grows up from the mud into an object of great beauty, people also grow and change into something more beautiful. So the symbol represents the struggle of life at its most basic form.

Lotus flower symbols are also popular for people who have gone through a hard time and are now coming out of it. Like the flower, they have been at the bottom in the muddy pond, but have risen above this to be an object of beauty or represent a life of beauty as the case may be.

Thus the lotus flower or blossom can also represent a hard time in life that has been (or can be) overcome.

I’d say that captures my (or any woman’s) struggle with PMDD perfectly.

Take care and God bless, and may your week be a happy one.

5 comments:

  1. I have my Master's Degree in Educational Leadership; but since my PMDD has interfered with my career (amongst other things), I am now willing to pursue my PhD in any area that would allow me to help other women struggling with this silent and debilitating disease. I am open to ideas from the real experts; the ones out there who suffer with me.

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  2. I'd like to see something on perceptions...hard to explain here, but if you contact me we can talk more. info (at) livingwithpmdd (dot) com. Thanks, and thanks for taking the time to comment!

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  3. I've now lived with this four over ten years, each year progressively getting worse. I finally went on birth control and it truly helped me heaps. This month however I missed my pill a couple of times and had a traumatising reminder of what lay dormant inside of me...it was cruel and harsh reminder of what I have. I would love to find a way to make this more apparent to others who might be dealing with this so that (like myself for a very long time) other women do not feel like they are dealing with this on their own.

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  4. Thank you for the PMDD information. I have realized that I too suffer from PMDD, and find it very debilitating many days of the month, and struggle with functioning at work, and with single parenthood and home responsibilities. Relationships are also difficult for me, and require more energy than I feel I have to give. In short, life is a daily struggle. I need much time at home to recuperate from doing even basic tasks. One MD informed me that there is not much help available for those with PMDD and just prescribed an anti-depressant. I am now researching other options, and hope to find some answers. Any advice is helpful, thank you, Donna

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  5. Im in a hard spot atm. I have pmdd.. Quite bad and im just learning about it. Ive just had my second child who is 3 months & a 2.7yr old toddler! In the past birth control has never helped me longer than 3 months and now with breastfeeding my options are very limited! I will not give up breastfeeding my child, however i have no idea how to cope with even the next week which is looming :( my partner works away which just makes things harder. Family and friends do not understand this disorder. How do you explain to children what is wrong with me?! Reading your blog does help me tho.

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