By Susie White
Not to beat a dead horse but I guess I’m finally getting up on that horse. The one that says, “Here I am! I’m up here! I’m on a white horse!” And now that I’ve used several clichés and the visual of a men’s deodorant commercial, I’m ready to come out!
Today I am IN. MY. SKIN. I don’t know if its perimenopause, the calm before the storm of PMDD this month, the fact that my hair looks GOOD, or years of self-reflection/flagellation meeting up with “my highest self” in this moment or what. But it feels good. Really good.
This is the opposite of what it feels like to be in PMDD mode, aka, hell. For reference, PMDD HELL feels rudderless, traction-less, and hopeless. Anything can happen and yet I get NOWHERE during the days it overpowers me. My brain function is extremely slippery on those days. I have been navigating this hormonally sensitive ship for so many years. And frankly, I am so freaking astonished that through all the storms, I AM STILL HERE. About 27 years of womanly squalls later and I am still here. And today? (For I am only speaking for today). I am calm as a cucumber.
I have learned to live one day at a time; one moment, even, at a time. Whether it’s a difficult moment or a breezy one, I can weather it. Done it before and I can do it again. This is the awesome benefit, ladies –Warriors – of getting more experience under your belt. This captain’s ship logs are FULL of EXPERIENCE.
So full that I often do not even know where to begin in sharing my story. I am flummoxed. Bewildered. Grateful. How have I done it?!
Well, one thing I know for sure is God. Though there have been long periods of time when I could not even bear to send up one more plea to heaven for relief, I do feel that I have been mercifully sustained by God and angels. To even think that I, as divinely equipped in my own right as I am with gifts and talents, could solely navigate the unexplored sea of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, anxiety/depressive disorder, strained relationships, battered self-esteem, and my “mixed-message parenting” of my daughters, is, to me, the ultimate blasphemy. While others may run from Him (or Her, or It) in their distress (which I totally get), I highly recommend running to a Higher Power. It may only be a temporary shelter from the storm. But if you’ve ever been in a rainstorm you know what a relief that is to have a reprieve from the onslaught, for even a brief moment, until you can get your bearings again. And for some reason, maybe because I feel He knows me better than anyone else (I believe He actually created me), the peace I get in my mind and heart surpasses what I’ve experienced anywhere else.
Anything that has helped me in any way I attribute to divine guidance and intervention. It’s just how I have learned to operate since a young child and it has served me very well. I am well aware that there are those who would see my faith as a weakness, or at least as interfering with true personal actuation and scientific progress. In response, I say that where my PMDD/PME disability has clouded my judgment and ability to get help and support, my spiritual faith has allowed me to cut through the crappy thoughts and get the knowledge and help I’ve needed over the years. It’s enabled me to hear my own intuition and act on it. Helped me to tell one more doctor my story. Helped me to keep trying to develop better daily habits. Even when my closest friend – my husband – didn’t know how to help me, God did. “God” just happens to be the name I have for an intelligence outside of myself that communicates with the intelligence I have within myself. What I believe about how that intelligence looks, behaves, and intervenes with humanity in general means far less to me than how I believe that being feels about me personally. Any comparable mortal kindnesses, as wonderful as they are, pale when in the spiritual presence of this deity. God was first. Then came man. And woman. And He declared that we were good. If we feel less than good, He can lift us. Whether we struggle with a disease, an imbalance, a genetic mutation, an addiction, or an injury it really doesn’t matter. Christian religion talks about the Fall of Adam and Eve. He is there to provide a way to rise again. That is my faith even when the darkness of PMDD, or any other cloud, threatens to extinguish a way forward.
But really I am not here to give a sermon. Just to perhaps encourage any of you who need strength and courage beyond what you feel you can muster to open your heart to divine possibility. In a world of well-deserved skepticism and mistrust, where it takes several attempts to get professionals to take you seriously and actually look into the research that has been done on women sensitive to their own hormonal fluctuations…it is so great to know and hold onto the thought that maybe, just maybe, you are not alone in your fight. That, along with this growing community of Warrior women here, there are more than we can see who are with us than are against us.
About The Warrior
Susie White is a wife and mother of four daughters, a licensed massage therapist, a reader of many genres, a writer of what I experience and am interested in. I am interested in women’s reproductive & mental health, wellness, spirituality, family history, nutrition, addiction, culture and music.