By Ms. Menses
One good thing that PMDD has taught me is mindfulness and self care. I recently had to take some classes on meditation and mindfulness for a requirement. In class, we learned how to be more conscious of our bodies and our surroundings. We often did an exercise called a full body scan: we would lay still and scan our bodies to become aware of the sensations. We would also train ourselves to feel the feelings and pain without letting them consume us.
I realized that PMDD has already forced me to be mindful. I am constantly having to do body scans throughout the day unintentionally, only because I have to list my symptoms in my head to see whether PMDD is affecting me or not. I use the Me v PMDD tracker to list my symptoms and track how I am doing over the month. This helps me at my doctors appointments and helps me gauge how well my treatments are working. Being mindful has helped me to be aware of a condition that affects my mood and tendencies. By being aware, I have trained myself to refrain from eating the sugar I crave, to refrain from pushing people away, and to refrain from picking fights or being overly sensitive. Living with PMDD for so long has taught us how to deal with it out in the “real world.” Most people in the world do not get this opportunity. They must pay for these expensive meditation retreats and realize this is a skill they could’ve used to get out of those fights or struggles so many years ago.
As a girl with PMDD, I am good at recognizing the little things and letting them go. I know what a big thing is when I see one, because I’ve had to deal with PMDD. I am better at taking care of myself and realizing when I am putting myself under too much stress, because I know that not taking care of myself can affect the PMDD. I try to get enough sleep, eat healthy, exercise, and use stress relieving techniques just so I can minimize any symptoms that I might be having. I refrain from drinking alcohol because I know it could have an effect on depression. All these things are habits most people try to get once they are older. As a teen, I watch my friends drink, party, stay up late, and eat junk food. PMDD has forced me to adapt good habits that I will keep for the rest of my life. Most people take their health for granted, but I have learned to be grateful for every good day that I have. Each day that I wake up feeling myself and not weighed down by PMDD is a blessing.
“You can’t see stars without darkness.”
I believe that it is important to realize that we were given an opportunity to learn how to take care of ourselves. As someone constantly doused with the negativity of PMDD, I have learned how to find the positive in every situation. I have become aware of every good thing in my life and I cling to these moments. By being more aware, I have come to find that the relationships we have with close family and friends are all we have in this world. We need to cherish these relationships and nurture them. Every month after my hell week, it’s like a fog has been lifted. I can see all the greatness in my life and all the people who have helped me get through my bad days. It’s just like the quote states – you can’t see stars without darkness.
About The Warrior
Ms. Menses is a recent university graduate who is passionate about menstruation and women’s rights. She has done a TED Talk about menstruation and is currently working on researching the effects of menstruation on girl’s education. She loves to talk about and teach classes about menstruation. She is planning on getting a Master’s in Public Health with a focus on Women’s Reproductive Health issues. She hopes to help make menstruation something people can talk about openly so that girls do not have to suffer.
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