Approximately five days before my period, the backwards countdown begins and my entry into the bowels of PMS hell have commenced.
Day 5: The telltale headache and lower back pain herald the descent. Physical pain, I can take. Physical pain, please stay. Physical pain, you are strong, please beat back the crushing negativity that comes unbidden, every month and robs me of my joy. I brace myself as I ponder what it will take to brake this cycle.
Day 4: A driver in a parking lot, whom I am behind, takes far too long to maneuver her car into a spot. The normally kind and easygoing me, the one who just a week prior drove a struggling backyard bird to rehabilitation, is ready to verbally dress down this person who is blocking me in the parking lot. There are daggers coming out of my eyes.
Day 3: I've decided to stay home today as I fear that my road rage from yesterday will result in something serious. I spy the pile of bills on my desk and figure it'd be a good use of my time. Confusion ensues...didn't I pay this? Why are they sending me this again? Let me check my records. There is no record of having paid this bill but I am pretty sure I did. Or maybe I didn't. Must've paid this bill during the last PMS shit storm and forgot to mark it off. I feel the heat rising around my neck as I try to figure this out. Heat gives way to a river of tears. I go in search of salty corn chips. I eat the whole bag. Later on that night, my husband is clearly amorous. I would rather have a tooth pulled. I look at him with a "Are you f-cking kidding me?" look.
Day 2: I start out with a good breakfast. Usually a nice bowl of oatmeal. I even walk in sunshine for 20 minutes. It helps a little. I can actually feel some happy chemicals floating around in my body. Alas, it is short lived. By 3 p.m, I want to eat anything that isn't nailed down. The guilt that comes afterwards adds to my heaviness of heart.
"You did it again. You said you were going to be good this month. You're a pig".
Then my husband walks in at 6 p.m. and wants to know why we are having pizza for the second night in a row. World War 3 begins as I pedagogically school him in how busy and overwhelmed I was today. Let's just say that he didn't take too kindly to my tirade and there is screaming in the bedroom and tears in my pillow. I want to die.
Day 1: This day is so intensely bad because of last night's insomnia but I decide to soldier on and head to the gym. Big mistake. There's a dude who is dropping loud weights all over the place. Clanging and loud, this irritates the shit out of me, so I say something. Mr. Steroid and I come to serious verbal blows, so much so, that it draws the attention of the gym staff. Funny thing, is that I knew that he was addled with steroids but I didn't care! I put him in his place anyway. PMS confers a veil of stupidity which makes me a little reckless. One shouldn't approach steroid addled men in the gym to correct their gym manners. If he wasn't so big, I think I would've punched him. Yep, PMS stupidity.
Day 0: My period arrives. Relief, sort of. The cramps come but they can be managed. Like I said, I can handle the physical pain. After all, I've had three natural childbirths. In the next few days, things get even better. The veil completely lifts. I don't want to die or run over the Sunday driver in front of me.
The next three weeks I am happy and content. I'm a good life partner to my husband and a caring mother to my children. If only it would last.
I used to be that girl who lived in fear of PMS and my monthly cycle. Thankfully, I don't suffer from PMS any longer and instead, as health coach, I help other women overcome PMS.
Just a few days ago, I was reading a long list of PMS symptoms and I actually started to lightly sob. I remembered how bad it was and felt inspired to share my story. I remember feeling devastatingly alone when I was suffering with PMS. This story was written for all my fellow PMS ladies. You're not alone.