So, here comes of my rants. I don't know how this will be received, but here goes...for those with ears to hear.
One of the absolute worst symptoms (there are many) of PMDD is how it can make a woman feel about herself...worthless, unlovable, and incapable of life and love. On a daily, yes, daily basis, I see posts on Facebook in the various PMDD groups in which a woman will write how much she hates herself, loathes her life, and wishes she would just disappear...and knows no one would miss her.
We all know we go there. We all know it can even feel real. But somewhere underneath it all, many of us know we'll get through it and feel differently again...eventually. Deep inside, we carry a knowing that we're simply expressing something, aware of a more important truth.
Others, it seems, have yet to grasp the importance of stepping back just enough...microscopically even...to know somewhere deep down it is the PMDD talking and only that.
While I really do understand the sentiments (I have felt them myself), it is difficult for me to feel sorry for anyone who writes about how awful and unworthy they are. It isn't that I am cruel and heartless. It's just that I simply don't buy it! There's no room in my heart for pity. Compassion, yes. Pity, no.
It isn't that I don't believe that the woman feeeeels like it is true. It isn't that I don't understand the pain of believing it could be true. It's just that I know it can't possibly be true. No one on the face of this earth, and I do mean no one, is a worthless piece of it. No one is unlovable. No one is so broken that their value is less than dirt. It's just not possible! So when I think it, when I hear it, or when I read it, all I can think next is "I'm calling bullshit."
I have lost all interest in arguing for my limitations and worthlessness, and I find it difficult to listen to others who do. It's a step too far into hell for me, and I neither expect anyone to plunge in there after me to rescue me nor have the desire to go diving for anyone else. I am very often tempted to point to a deeper truth and tell these women, quite honestly, that none of that pathetic shit they believe is true...not now and not ever. But I know I need to be careful. Not everyone is ready for this message.
Some might see me as somewhat ruthless and maybe I am. But I'm not saying, "Get over your sorry self!" like so many of the insensitive people in our lives tend to, so much as I am saying, "Don't believe it!" The sentiment comes from a different place. The former is simply dismissive. The latter is your key to freedom. It is essential to be able to tell the difference.
Some might argue that when PMDD hits, they have no choice about what to believe. The dysphoria takes over and there's nothing to be done. In my own experience, I know that can be both true and not quite true. It's true that the first "D" of PMDD skews our thinking. No question. And it might become even more difficult at certain times to counter the dark thoughts that arise. Sometimes, we might actually and genuinely be incapable of seeing past it. But that doesn't excuse us from working the muscle when we are well. We have to do what we can. We have to come from a place of self-empowerment and not victimization. We can't make a habit of berating ourselves all month long.
Imagine if we wrote to each other, "Someone help me see how beautiful and lovable I am because I'm just not feeling it!" instead of (or even in addition to) "I hate myself and my life. I wish I were dead!" Imagine if, when we were feeling okay, we reminded ourselves like our lives depended on it (and it does) that we are wholly lovable and worthy. Imagine if we could be as imperturbable as the sun? Wouldn't that eventually have an impact on those moments when any disorder we may suffer momentarily took over?
From my own experience, I have to say yes. Yes, it does.
Our work, if you will, is to love ourselves, accept ourselves, and be kind to ourselves...to grow stronger in that every day we can. Just as sure as someone goes off every morning to earn a living, we can earn a better sense of self, an innoculating, protective sense of self, by doing our job every day to love and accept ourselves, to respect our boundaries and needs, and to give ourselves the things that bring us joy, peace and contentment in life to any extent we can. We can let ourselves have some happiness.
What if, when you hear those dark thoughts impeding and imposing themselves in your head, you find the strength within to take one eensy, babystep back (or help another woman do to the same). Just one tiny step. Whereas, "I despise everything about myself and feel so f***ing worthless and know everyone else thinks the same," can only serve to rub things in, the smallest change, even"I feel this is true. It seems so true. Help me see it differently! Help me get past this lie!" can create a tiny gap for the light to get through. It can make a world of difference in future months when those same lies rear their incredibly ugly heads again.
And I suppose it wouldn't hurt to remind you, dear reader, not to beat yourself over the head when even that one baby step back is too much. Remember, "be your own worst enemy" is NOT in your job description. We can only ever do our best, know we did our best, and be okay with whatever it looked like.
It is possible to build up your immunity to PMDD. It's possible and it is absolutely necessary. We have to help each other remember that and help each other practice it.
Sisters, take one baby step back!