PMDD–Relationship Hell


I haven’t written in awhile. I’m not sure where my reluctance comes from. I think part of it is fear of being judged, as silly as that seems at this point. Through so much of the life of this blog I have bared my rawest, ugliest parts. But now, in my first honest-to-goodness poly relationship, it just feels different, somehow. Harder to flick off the words in the comments box, because we aren’t just talking about my sex addiction or my sluttiness or my self-destructive behaviour–we are talking about my heart. My future. The tenderest parts of me. I’m a little drunk right now, which may be why I’m back. Slowly sifting through all of this is hard, and doubts or objections from the outside can cloud my mind on decisions I should only be able to make for myself. And I am. Thinking, trying, growing, figuring it out–slowly and pain-stakingly.

That, however, was not supposed to be the subject of this post, so clearly the vodka is doing its job.

I’ve received attempted diagoses of bi-polar in the comments section of this blog. I can see why some readers may think that’s my problem. I write when I have strong feelings–either in the throes of new relationship energy, the highs of good times, or the depths of despair. The swings can be jarring.

But. I have been to many a doctor and many a mental health specialist, and have never been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, despite being assessed for it. What I do have, is Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, and PMDD. PMDD is the one that’ll make you think I have bi-polar. If you Google “bi-polar once a month”, you’ll get tons of responses on PMDD–a simple but bad reaction to the hormonal fluctuations that happen to a woman when she’s primed to make a baby.That’s me. That’s what my doctor says I have. I have struggled with depression since my teen years, and have been on an anti-depressant since I was 19. It made a world of difference for my life except for PMDD week. During PMDD week, I can be anything from mildly irritable and slightly blue, to a raging, irrational, suicidal hot mess.

I talked to my doctor about it months back, asking if she could give me something. I was tired of living like this. It was destroying me, fucking up my relationships, throwing my entire life out of balance. She was reluctant to start me on anything since she’d just prescribed my anxiety meds (which allow me to fall asleep every night at a reasonable hour instead of staying awake until 1 AM playing angry birds), and she wasn’t sure that more chemicals would be good for me. So, I struggled. I snapped at my husband, screamed at my kids, and became an insecure basket-case where Papa Bear was concerned. They loved me through it, all of them, but recently I realized I really cannot continue to live this way. I just can’t, no matter what my doctors objections.

It was a Sunday, Papa Bear’s day with The Wifey. I was a disaster but couldn’t talk to him. The Husband was at work. The kids were home with me. And I just cried and cried. I felt a curtain of darkness so heavy descend on me that I just couldn’t imagine how I was going to go on. Thoughts of suicide were quickly curtailed by the thought of my childrens’ faces and the sound of their wails if they found out I had died. But even though I couldn’t make the decision to die because of them, I also didn’t see how I would continue to live.  I sent them outside to play, and lay on the floor, sobbing until I dry-heaved, mumbling “help” into the carpet.

It passed. It always does. By the time the hubby got home and I sat on the sun, chatting on the phone with a therapist friend, I knew I would be okay. Until next time. There is always a next time.

That night Papa Bear and I sat in his car, talking. He made an exception and came out to see me on account of the total dissolution of my faculties. I told him about the PMDD. He knew about my anxiety and depression, but he needed to know that once a month, there was a chance of my totally falling apart.

Later, I looked back through my journal, tracking the dates of all our major fights. They all happened between that 7-10 day window every couple of months when each and every thing that happened seemed like the end of the world to me. I needed to fix this, before I destroyed my relationship with him. Before my kids got old enough to realize that it wasn’t normal for your mother to spend half the day sobbing.

It is the very beginning for me, in terms of treatment for this particular hormone window. My doctor still doesn’t think I should add more anti depressants to what I’m already taking, and has suggested therapy. I am waiting for the referral to go through so I can go to this center that, funnily enough, a woman Papa Bear used to date recommended to me. They have emotional regulation classes, one on one therapy, support groups, everything that would be helpful to me. I also did some research and started taking a supplement recommended on the PMDD girl blog. I bought a three month supply to see if it will help. At least its all natural. I also downloaded the iMoodJournal mood tracker app, so in a few months I’ll be able to know the patterns more certainly.

I want to not live like this anymore. It has been most of my life, and it has been brutal. I want to be normal, and happy. It may take awhile for me to figure out what works, but I’m very, very hopeful. This is PMDD week. I feel myself getting short tempered and irritable, but I haven’t had a meltdown yet. Maybe the supplements will help. Fingers crossed.

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