29 of 31 days of gratitude

Today I am thankful for survival. For just being able to throw off every single unnecessary task and flow with what is absolutely needed. Even with only the necessities I have struggled immensely today. To to be able to sit here and say I survived today is totally a win.

I suffer from a disorder called premenstrual dysorphic disorder. As described in an easy Google search:

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a condition in which a woman has severe depression symptoms, irritability, and tension before menstruation. The symptoms of PMDD are more severe than those seen with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

PMS refers to a wide range of physical or emotional symptoms that typically occur about 5 to 11 days before a woman starts her monthly menstrual cycle. The symptoms usually stop when, or shortly after, her period begins.

The symptoms of PMDD are similar to those of PMS. However, they are generally more severe and debilitating and include at least one mood-related symptom. Symptoms occur during the week just before menstrual bleeding and usually improve within a few days after the period starts.

Here is a list of common PMDD symptoms:
Lack of interest in daily activities and relationships
Fatigue or low energy
Sadness or hopelessness, possibly thoughts of suicide
Anxiety
Out of control feeling
Food cravings or binge eating
Mood swings with bouts of crying
Panic attacks
Irritability or anger that affects other people
Bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain
Problems sleeping
Trouble concentrating

These may sound similar to a woman with PMS but please believe me when I say it is so much more debilitating that that. Those who suffer from PMDD pray and beg for PMS.

I’ve not had a severe episode of my disease for many months (it is clearly marked as a mental health disease in the DSM neurological diseases handbook) and to be honest I had kind of hoped I’d found some kind of way to magically beat it. Alas, this is not so and it took me a few days to recognise that I was having a severe episode.

But there is beauty within that statement. I have recognised I am having a severe episode. Many woman do not have that luxury and merely feel like they have gone completely insane. I know that this is a temporary issue that resolves in around 6- 8days (I noticed symptoms last Friday but took till today to click it was happening)

It is still terrifying and still highly upsetting to be dealing with this. However because I have recognised it, I can let others know what’s going on. I can explain I need to get to the doctors asap and I can ask that those who love me, be gentle with me right now. I have realised that due to the severity of this episode, I need to not be around groups of people and that right now, I just need to be as calm as I can be within the confines of daily life.

I am blessed even in the face of this. I am blessed to see it and know it is not reality. I am blessed to be able to recognise it and therefore argue with the part of my mind that tells me to end my life. It is this SERIOUS of a disorder for those not quite understanding that it is not just pms or pmt. I literally said something a little out of line today and felt the urge to walk out of the door and find some way to suffer a head injury, in the hope that I would forget who I am and what my life here is. That is how insane this disease is. I am blessed that my husband sticks by my side and understands this awful condition. He knows not to ask questions or raise concerns. He knows that if I am mentioning suicide, that he needs to take it seriously. He also know when to takes those conversations in the context they deserve and that I am very good at recognising what is real and what is the illness.

I am blessed to know how to meditate and practice mindfulness. I am blessed to know to talk. I am blessed to have educated myself on this illness and know that it does not define me and that it does pass. I am blessed to be able to be both irrational and also calm in both sides of my mind.

Half of me would love to just allow the disease to take over and me be oblivious to what was going on. But the other side of me is thankful that I do not.

A lot of gratitude today for just getting by. For surviving and for knowing that this does pass. I am also thankful to know what do do in these emergencies to ensure everyone’s safety including my own and to do the right thing for not only me, but for all ❤❤

Gratitude for the small things can change your attitude in all things ❤

Nici Gorman

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