I had the urge to create a PMDD Mandala.
The lotus flower is rich in symbolism, and is often used in Mandalas.
The lotus flower starts it's life deep down in the murky mud at the bottom of a lake. Through sheer determination and lust for life, the lotus grows a stem to the water's surface, where it produces the most beautiful flower.
The lotus flower will open and close with the sun. While it is closed, it is reserving heat and precious energy, ready to bloom again the next day. It represents the struggle of life, the beautiful bloom at the end of a long hard journey.
I have often felt that the periods of down time and bad days are a time when the world has to stop, our focus is drawn inwards. We heal, we work out our 'stuff', we re-energise. A lady with PMDD would be forgiven for hating the bad times, for all the set backs it causes and all the old memories re-lived, but maybe it helps to see this time as a way to rest and learn from the thought's we have. This is all easier said then done, but whats the alternative? Live in constant fear, in anger and frustration? Like the mandala, we need to find a centre. A place where we can find a calm.
Only today, I have had a day of barely speaking to anyone. I am due on any day now. I can feel it getting close, and I draw within, I hardly speak (which if you know the 'good' me, you know thats not right!). I sat in silence for hours today. Writing, reading, thinking.. I had a long hot bath and then a rest and snooze in bed. I had kept calm all day. But I'd been alone. The kids get home from school and within minutes I'd began screaming and yelling. I start feeling anxious and stressed. I want to cry.
The anger builds up because I want to be alone. I want to keep that calm, cos if I don't it's like a spinning top losing it's centre. I lock myself away in the kitchen, I provide food, drink and allow the eldest to go out - the more she is away from me at this time the better... and that's not because I don't love her. I just want... need, to be alone.
The lotus flower is special to various religions. In Egypt it is said the Sun rose out of a lotus flower. In Buddhism, a red lotus represents the heart--its purity, original nature, compassion, passion and love. Red also relates to our menstrual blood, our anger, rage and pain. In Hinduism, the lotus also means non-attachment.
Non-attachment means being able to release an attachment to an outcome. For instance, you say you will meet a friend for a cuppa, but you wake up that morning and are feeling terrible. The PMDD has thrown the mother of all moods, or headache, or cramps (insert any other symptom here that stops you from being able to leave the house) and you realise you aren't going to be able to go. If you are attached to the idea of that meeting and it doesn't happen, you will feel bad, guilty, stressed. You may feel like your friend will never speak to you again (another attachment), you may feel like you are rubbish, that you upset everyone around you, everyone must hate you, or maybe you are just really gutted, you never get to go out, you never get to meet up with people... spiraling out of control till your day becomes unbearable.
If you can release those thoughts and the attachments you give to outcomes (and remember you are not in a great head space to be giving positive thoughts) then you can stop all the stressing. So your day didn't go to plan, so you feel awful, SO WHAT? Use that day to look after yourself, to listen to the good voices within, to create, to rest, sleep, bake, draw... anything that just involves you and your Goddess of God. Don't sweat the small stuff, just change your day.
Many things in life are paradoxes. One can be totally devoted to someone and yet be non-attached. Now there is a difference between non-attachment and detachment. Detachment is to exclude oneself from all activities of life and just to be far away, to become reclusive. To be non-attached is to be able to partake of every activity of the mind and body and spirit and yet be above it all. Now, when ones goes into detachment, it could be a form of escape, where one does not face up to the responsibilities.
The lunar phases around the lotus represent the eternal cycle of PMDD we are locked in. The Moon represents the feminine, the unknown, the unconscious. It cycles every month, just like us, and goes from dark to light.
We need to try and use our cycle to our benefit, even if that benefit is small. Even if you just stop beating yourself up on the bad days, and just accept this is part of your flow, look after yourself and stay calm. Everything in life goes through cycles, ours just happen to be monthly and difficult.