That time of the month

5 Nov

Ever have one of those weeks where the sky is falling, you’re a horrid nasty person and you just want to move to Australia?

Sweet fuck I’m having one of those weeks.

The problem with me is, specifically,  is that when PMS comes, in it’s glory, sometimes I turn into a person not so much myself. It might be for a few hours one month, a day another, or like this past week, nearly an entire week.

I can feel the difference. I go from rational, relatively normal to the person that was. The bipolar freak full of rage and sadness who is filled with more loneliness than makes sense. A person who can push away every single person in her life without even really trying.

I hate this. I hate this reminder of who I’ve been. I hate it’s intrusion into my home, the havoc it creates, the fear it instills in me as I worry that one day, my pushing will work too well and I’ll find myself alone. I hate waking and wondering what I’ve done, and how to fix it.

I’m awfully tired of having to apologize.

I don’t know how to stop it. Any pdoc I’ve talked to shrugs, tells me they’ve never seen any research on PMS/Menstrual Cycles and Bipolar Women. Tells me they don’t want me on SSRI’s just for a few days a month-and I agree. But they have nothing to offer.

I change to someone else on these days. Another woman, a monster. Ask the people who live around me, who are burnt to crisps by living with a cypher. Ask them how tired they are-it’s worse for them because they can’t separate the people, the me from the total shift in my brain. I try and control it, and if it’s only a day, I can, but for days on end, I can’t escape the whispering in my head, the slightly shadowed view of the world that infects me.

I’ve started living without all this-without the fear, without unhappiness, almost normal. And one week-one week returns me to who I’ve been and I’m helpless and filled with worry. Worry that I’m still destroying a life, one full of people who just can’t take it anymore.

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9 Responses to “That time of the month”

  1. slouchy November 5, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    oh, babe.

    i am so sorry.

    wish i had something constructive to say.

    just that i’m here, and thinking of you.

  2. Leanne November 5, 2009 at 11:07 am #

    You are by no means alone. I have the exact same thing happen and so does my sister and a friend of mine. I’m guessing this phenom is far more widespread than anyone knows and isn’t tied to your bi-polar. From what I’ve been learning, it’s a hormonal sensitivity and seems to correspond to a spike and/or subsequant drop in progesterone levels (either it’s because of the spike, which happens just after peak fertility, or because of the dramatic drop in hormone that happens right after the progesterone spike). My psych believes that the crazy time is a result of postpartum hormone shifts.

    My sis asked her doc to give her a scrip for Ativan (sp?) to self med on when she goes crazy on those days and was denied, for obvious reasons. I’m on Prozac as a maintenance therapy and it diminishes the effect of my crazy time and bouys up my constant low level depression.

    I’ve been experimenting with Rescue Remedy. I’ve got the spray version which is used as 2 squirts on or under the tongue in times of need. It gives a strong calming sensation – perfect for when I’m freaking out and unable to stop myself from being the crazy lady. I’ve also talked to my husband about strategies to deal with it that involve him being more helpful at those times so that I have less stress triggering my crazy screamfests.

    I’m still working on it. It’ll take a few more months before I really see a change and till I get used to remembering to use the RR (incidentally, many doulas use this on their clients in labour when they panic, which is where I got the idea from.)

  3. Missy November 5, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    Have you tried exercise? I don’t mean to sound like Tom Cruise, but for real. When I’m pissy as all fuck, moderate exercise (break a sweat after 10 minutes) works pretty damn well.

    Sorry to hear about it, though. PMS is never fun. When you throw the whole family, kids, bipolar and shit into the mess it’s no walk in the park.

  4. Marcy November 5, 2009 at 10:05 pm #

    my last p-doc said they commonly had women take more of their ssri the week before and the week of their period… I suppose if you’re not on one at all it wouldn’t make sense to just take some for those few days…

    I hope you find something that helps — exercise, different diet those days, whatever.

  5. Bon November 5, 2009 at 10:09 pm #

    it must be particularly awful to feel pulled back to what you’ve started living without. i know it’s awful to feel pulled INto it, no matter the baggage.

    i never really had PMS (at least in my humble opinion) all the many many years before i had kids. but this past year in particular, since Posey was born and my cycles came back, i’m a full on scary mess one week a month. it took me a long time to even acknowledge it, the connection, but last week in the midst of it – around the time i was crying in the caramel apples and shouting at Dave in front of the kids and generally just cracking into pieces – some small voice in my head said, Bon, it’s PMS, chill out. then i strangled it. but i was glad at least to see that the filters were still there and intellectually functional, even if i had absolutely no emotional access to them at the time.

    Leanne’s comment about the Rescue Remedy has piqued my curiosity. i own some. i used it for labour with Josephine. i didn’t feel like it had any instant effect…but i’m game to try again. i’ll dig it out of the closet before the end of this month rolls around.

  6. flutter November 6, 2009 at 12:04 am #

    Honey, you have GOT to stop thinking about yourself as a curse and start to KNOW that you are a blessing.

  7. bromac November 6, 2009 at 12:46 pm #

    I wish that you didn’t feel this way. Though, I understand 100% Hang in there, and remind yourself that this is NOT who you are anymore. It is simply a fucked up chemical issue caused by the change in hormones. Duck your head, and push through.

  8. wn November 6, 2009 at 3:11 pm #

    This post hurt my heart….because not feeling in control is the worst feeling in the whole wide world.

    I luckily don’t suffer from regular PMS….but when I do (every few months)…it’s a monster, a beast…something that always seems SO BIG…and I am awful, seriously awful.

    I wish I could offer more…and tell you that it’s going to get better, blah, blah, blah….but that’s hollow.

    Just know that when you need to vent or bitch, I (along with many others) am here….and will listen.

  9. Maggie,dammit November 7, 2009 at 9:28 am #

    My girlfriend experiences something eerily similar and she’s started using this cream. Don’t laugh, it’s powerful stuff. Google Women’s Health America.

    Unless this is suddenly the last thing on your mind, in which case know I’m just stopping by to say I’m thinking about you and I’m so wretchedly sorry for what you’re going through.

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