Monday, 2 April 2012

Quotation Inspiration

Day 2 of the Health Activist Writers Month Challenge.

Quotation Inspiration. Find a quote that inspires you (either positively or negatively) and free write about it for 15 minutes.
Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along, with patience and equanimity.
Carl Jung
I have chosen this quote as sufferers of PMDD are on a constant mission to find happiness, often forgetting that everyone is on the same mission.  The reason it becomes such an obsession is because PMDD leads the sufferer to experience extreme states of depression and anxiety, often without the equal amount of euphoria on the 'good' days, as with bipolar sufferers.  Sure, with my PMDD I experience a rush of energy and feelings of happiness, but due to the rapid cycling of symptoms, it can sometimes be clouded by the knowledge that this will be short lived.

It is often talked about that to gauge happiness, we have to experience sadness.  Without something to measure it against, we would be oblivious to the different states of mind.  The main difference between life with PMDD and life without PMDD is the monthly cycle.  If you don't have PMDD, happy times can last longer than a few days.  With PMDD, you know that inevitably, the clouds will roll in eventually and your mood will drop.  I know that every sufferer lives in hope that this month will be the month when it doesn't happen, only to feel frustrated and disappointed when it does.

As the quote suggests, it is much better to take every day as it comes and react accordingly.  This is not easy with the busy lives we lead, with commitments and duties, but if you want to get through each month without a major breakdown, it is often essential.  When we say that PMDD affects every single aspect of your life, every single day of the month we are not exaggerating.

Patience is also key.   The dictionary describes patience as 'the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like'.  'An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay' and 'a quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence.'  When your mood drops, you are likely to be confronted with many negative emotions.  Everything can annoy you, frustrate you and cause anxiety.  The one thing we can be sure of during these times, is that they are temporary, and the same things in a week or so, will not affect you in the same way.  Therefore, to be patient, with yourself and others is a really good way to get through these trying times.

Equanimity is an evenness of mind especially under stress.  This is very challenging for a woman with PMDD, as the usual perceptions of life and the world around them is twisted and warped, however, if we can try to strive for this calm, by keeping centered, then we can get through the rough times with less stress.  Other words to described equanimity are, composure, collectedness, serenity and tranquility.  It's about staying in the centre of the wheel, while the world spins around you, rather then falling into the outer rim of the wheel and being spun around and caught up in the crazy emotions.

Women with PMDD are actually blessed with being able to feel the full spectrum of emotions, and as the quote suggests, it is essential to accept the dark times as a valuable measure of the good times.  Women with PMDD can achieve great things, they hold great strength within and are very intelligent and capable.  Every success is even sweeter when accomplished alongside PMDD, as the road to get there is more difficult for them than it is for others.

If I were to sum up PMDD visually, it would be a Yin Yang.  The black side, representing the bad days, but with a spot of white to remind you this is temporary and good things ARE possible. With the flip side being the white side, that will always contain a spot of black, representing the fact that you have travelled through dark times to reach this place.  It also symbolises the fact that within the good times, there is always a pang that the dark times will come, and more importantly, within the dark times, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.  Clear thinking will always return and life will feel good again.

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