Accept, Forgive, and Love

No Shame

By Alexandra Soulmama Sandbäck

I’ve been struggling with on-and-off depression, with seemingly no reason, for years.

Finally, my regular doctor and I realized that it was linked to my cycle and that it was in fact PMDD. I was diagnosed.

But after that I have been going to OBGYNs and have heard the same thing over and over from these ‘experts:’

“It’s just PMS. Everyone has it.

You should take anti-depressants.”

I’ve been saddened by this, over and over. But I know my body, I know my strength, and I know my rights as a human being to be validated, and that this is a clinical condition, diagnosed and real.

Please, stay strong, and fight for your right to your own diagnosis. But don’t let it control you – accept and forgive.

. . .

No Shame

My partner took this photo, and several others, of me after a walk in a snowy forest, when we landed in a small wooden cabin. It was a beautiful setting and I just had to get naked to get the full self-love experience from that day of tough and dark feelings. I was more or less freezing my ass off, but there were some lovely photos taken, with love handles, and cellulite, and all those curves. And when I got down from the bench I was posing on he embraced me and said: “You’re so brave”

When I’m having my worst days of PMDD and everything seems hopeless and dark, I do one or more of these three things. This photo represents a day when I managed to do all three – a glorious day in the midst of sadness.

1. Going out in nature. Moving my body. Feeling that it still has strength, that it still carries me. That I am one with everything around me.

2. Taking self-portraits, preferably nude. When I am in my most vicious self-hatred state of mind, I try to force myself into a small photoshoot so I can process what my body looks like, and find even one photo where I feel I look beautiful – and try to totally embrace that feeling.

3. Staying close to loved ones. This is not afforded to everyone at every time, but I am lucky to have a partner who tries his best to understand me. And although I wish to just shut everything out and lay on the couch I do my best to find comfort in him. Explaining to him, if necessary, what is going on, and being brave enough to ask for what I need most – LOVE.

. . .

About the Warrior

Alexandra Soulmama Sandbäck

I am a 31-year-old artist, writer, photographer, and graphic designer. I do as much commission work as I can get to try to survive financially somehow, but a really good day is spent painting or writing just for myself. I have released two books and am currently working on several writing projects. I have a partner and a cat, and without them, I have no idea how I would’ve gotten through my Mom’s passing last summer. I am a woman barely afloat, but with great hope for a better tomorrow. I have suffered from PMDD since my teens I suppose, but I got diagnosed a mere couple of years ago. That explained my entire adult life so far, and since then I’ve been accepting, forgiving, and accommodating for this part of who I am.

You can find me at www.soulmamaarts.com and www.facebook.com/soulmamaarts, as well as @soulmamaarts on Instagram.

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Comments (3)

  • Fiona Kitt 1 year ago Reply

    This is a really informative, beautiful, intimate and creative site. The contributions are really personal and generous in sharing what having pmdd is like and how these women live with it. Thank you so much.

  • Sophie 11 months ago Reply

    This is so beautiful, thank you for sharing. I really like the idea of taking photos during the dark days.

  • Emily 9 months ago Reply

    This is so beautiful. Thank you for writing and sharing. I love the idea of photos on the darkest days. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. Thinking of you and sending love.

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