By Lauren Calabrese
I suffer from PMDD.
What does this mean?
Well, it means that some days I wake up with a fire in my heart that can’t be put out by anything.
I jump up out of bed thanking God for another day of life. I drink coffee with gratitude for its warmth and ability to make me feel like a superwoman. I spend an hour on my yoga mat and run outside with my dog, soaking up every bit of life that I can. We play and she licks my face and I thank God endlessly that she was brought to me and that I am blessed enough to provide a fulfilling and beautiful life for her. I feel alive and like I can do anything at all. I look at strangers as if they were all just friends waiting to be made. I love my partner with every bit of passion and care that exists within this world. I know my dreams and my goals and I know how much I have to be thankful for.
Life is beautiful on these days, and I know how blessed I am to be alive in this world full of good people and amazing moments.
But it also means that some days I wake up and wish I hadn’t woken up at all.
I look at the clock and realize I have at least 15 more hours until I can close my eyes and forget this day ever happened. I feel as though every little thing that has made life worthwhile has never even existed at all. I question why I am even alive, why god, did you make me live another day?
I look down and see my girl and feel burdened, and guilty for feeling burdened, because I know I have to get out of bed and take care of her. It’s not her fault that I feel this way and she doesn’t deserve to suffer just because I am suffering. I get up and feed her and crawl back into bed for as long as it takes her to eat. Then, if I can get myself to pop out of bed without thinking, (because thinking means being paralyzed in hopelessness) we go for a walk. Sometimes we will drive to a local trail, I get so mad at others poor driving that my head could probably explode and my voice could be lost from all of my screaming. But sometimes the best that I can do is walk her around the block.
And I can’t even bring myself to make eye contact with the strangers I pass on the street.
On these days, my partner is just another one of my victims. Sometimes I can’t even bear the sound of his beautiful voice. I hate him for loving me and yet I need him to love me because it is all that is holding me together.
It’s these days that convince me that the world is a dark, ugly place, void of any love, compassion, or empathy. These days I wish I could just sleep until my period comes. And wake up when I am once again myself, the person who loves without expectation, gives without question and is capable of absolutely anything.
But unfortunately for me, and for those that I love, women’s health is not taken seriously enough. And each doctor I have been to has sent me to a different one. There is no definite cure or treatment for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and because of that, women suffer endlessly with no hope in sight.
I am posting this in hopes of spreading awareness of this cruel disease. In hopes that those of you who have never heard of this will spend a few minutes researching it. Your sister, mother, aunt, teacher, friend could be suffering from this and might be feeling really really alone. Please be there to support the women in your life, you have no idea how hard it can get for those of us living with PMDD.