It’s 62 degrees today, J wore long pants AND long sleeves to school, and I finally feel like I can write again. It has been a difficult month. Sure, we’ve gone to the pumpkin patch, bought our annual carload of mums to decorate the front porch, and yes, I’ve even enjoyed a pumpkin spice latte or two. But the time we’ve spent together as a family has been pockmarked by me yelling at my husband and kids, storming out of the car and walking home alone, and even throwing food on the floor to get attention. I have been too embarrassed to write about this before now. That, and I felt I needed to distance myself from everything to gain a little perspective.
I have PMDD. It’s hard for me to quantify PMDD and my depression. Is PMDD an additional symptom of my depression; is it on top of it somehow? Or is it sideways, next to it, always goading me—a totally different animal?
I kind of forgot I had PMDD, what with the new baby, the nursing, and everything that goes along with it. But it reared its ugly head earlier last month, and my memories of how debilitating it is all came flooding back. I am truly like a monster when it comes. I overreact to things, I yell, I curse, I stomp my feet. And lastly, I run away, to be alone with my thoughts. To stop myself from using angry, empty words to hurt the people I love most.
In those moments, it’s like the PMDD takes over. I am an entirely different person. My thoughts, feelings, and actions are the complete opposite of when I’m myself and not in the clutches of this horrible disease. It scares me to think about it now. Because in the moment, my irrational thoughts are completely rational. My over-the-top attention-seeking actions are completely justified. And suicide seems like a valid option.
I have been on the same depression medication since S was born, but with the addition of PMDD, I think it’s time for a change. My husband has been so supportive and patient with me as I struggle to deal with this disease. With his encouragement, I took that difficult first step and made an appointment with someone who I think can help. I will go to that appointment, I will be honest and open, and together, maybe we’ll figure out how to fix what’s broken inside me.