It happened again.
Most months, I stare at my pill pack every morning and try to calculate what week it is. Is it THE WEEK? I used to keep a monthly health journal of sorts, and sure enough, every 24 days or so, good old PMDD would return. But now that things are back to normal, the countdown really only results in a day of weeping, napping, and cramps, none of those activities appearing with any particular ferocity. So this is PMS. I think this almost wonderingly. This is what normal women experience during their normal cycle. Maybe I am in the women’s club, after all.
But despite the pill and my usual watchfulness, occasionally it sneaks up on me. It did last week. PMDD’s affects on me so terrible, so gut-renching, so existential, that it convinces me that it is normal. PMDD never once entered my mind last week. It is so interesting how that happens. Every time, it feels so real, so pervasive, that there is no part of me that thinks, “Oh, there go my crazy hormones again.” Instead, I somehow wake up with a dread in my stomach and a strong conviction that my life is meaningless and always has been.
It was literally a difference between night and day this time. One night, after days of feeling like a zombie and contemplating the fact that I wouldn’t mind being dead, I fought with my husband. He winced as I tried to describe how I felt.
“I’m bored. No, I’m not bored. I’m distraught. No, I’m alone. It’s like… I’m underwater.”
I almost slept on the couch because of this fight, but my husband realized halfway through it that he was arguing with a little lost girl. He convinced me to curl up with him in bed, and he rubbed my head until all the demons stopped tormenting me and thoughts of my failure and my horrible finally dissipated into sleep.
I woke up singing.
The biological bounce-back is almost as startling as the PMDD. My eyes were clear, my head was demon-free, and my husband looked and felt again like my partner, instead of my worst enemy. He was happy that I was back, but he did tell me (kindly) to go see a shrink.
Do you think a counselor can help with issues that are biological? Would it lessen the impact of the “bad weeks?” What do you think?
I’ll never forget the girl who was hanging out in my dorm room and started giving the party (yes, it was a PARTY) a lecture about how wonderful it is to menstruate. She was the type of girl with a shaved head and large earrings, who ran multiple miles every day while communing with nature, wrote essays on feminism, and who apparently also thought that menstruating was a beautiful part of womanhood. I remember getting a pang of guilt in that moment. And it’s never completely gone away.
You see, I take the pill continuously. The goal is for my hormones to stay as rock-steady as possible, without even a dip or a bump. Because in my world, dips and bumps turn into pits of despair. And so I never take the little white placebo pills, and I rarely get my period.
And I LOVE IT!
I haven’t missed it. Not even once.
I can’t help but feel sometimes that I was never really “in the club” as far as womanhood is concerned. So many women grow up excited to have children, revelling in their sexuality, comfortable with their cycle, referring to PMS simply as the day when they have a good cry. What is wrong with me? The whole womanhood thing has really only left me feeling kinda traumatized.
How about you? If you never got your period again, would you mind? Do you revel in your womanhood?