Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Are you ready for Christmas?

What part of your cycle will you be in over the Christmas break?

I'm feeling blessed as I am currently on day 4, so in 6 days time, I'll be hitting ovulation and will hopefully be able to enjoy the festivities without lack of energy getting in the way.  I do feel like I've lost a load of time this week having to retreat and rest, so I am slightly anxious at the moment. I'm not a party person, but I do like being able to enjoy the company of others without PMDD stresses getting in the way!  What I will have to watch however are my frustrations and anxiety, as ovulation can so easily tip from energy and excitement into anxiety and anger.

Where will you be in 6 days time?

'Cycle' scopes for Christmas 2012!

Days 1-7 - Menstruation
If you are due to bleed just before or on Christmas/Boxing day then try to get things organised while you are still pre-menstrual.  During menstruation we need quiet time and to relax and rest.   This may be difficult with Christmas arrangements.  Hopefully, if you were aware that your sacred time was due to fall at such a busy time, you may have been able to plan ahead. Maybe saying no to invites out to social situations that would be too much for you at this time.  If staying at home with the family can mean just as much stress, then be open.   Make sure you partner knows that you will be in a retreat time of the month and you may need to rest.. EVEN if it's Christmas.. PMDD does not know it's Christmas!  If you don't feel like cooking, then maybe taking Mum up on the invite might actually be better and relieve some pressure.  Call on others to help, and if you need to rest and take some quiet time out then make sure loved ones know that it's just because you need it to stay well, and not because they have done something to upset you.  If you can muster up enough energy to visit family then maybe limit the time you are there. Sometimes getting out, even though we feel terrible can actually help.  Go easy on yourself, and remember a walk outside can help with pain and stress.. Menstruation relates to winter, so at Christmas you have a 'double dose' of winter as it were.  You may find yourself deep in reflection of the past year and considering what 2013 may bring.  It may be difficult to get through, but when you do you'll be over the worst ready for the bright shiny new year!

Days 7-14 - Pre Ovulation
If you are due to be in the pre ovulation stage of your cycle, Christmas may feel a bit too much.   You may find it hard to get into the swing of things, especially if you have just finished bleeding and the last week before Christmas was a crazy panic as you had tons to do but no energy to do them in. You may feel the energy coming back and with it a sense of optimism and happiness, and excitement about Christmas.   Don't let anything you forgot to do, or couldn't get done in time cause you stress.  It's ONE day.   Nothing is ever perfect and remember that all those rosy images you see plastered over the TV screens and adverts are just that.. fantasy.  You may experience anxiety, with the rushing of energy back into your being, but just take some breaths and remember that everything is OK.   You may decide YOUR party time this year is over new year's eve, when you will be ovulating. You also might hit the sales to find the perfect present for yourself!  You'll reach new year wanting to manifest new things with ovulation.   Ovulation has an energy similar to spring, with new life returning to the earth.  You may want to start looking at some new years resolutions over Christmas, plant the seed.  It will be easier to bring into fruition in January.

Day 14-21 - Ovulation
Ovulation over the Christmas period may mean you are feeling good and ready for the festive season. Pre ovulation may have seen you preparing and organising for Christmas.   The rush in energy may have seen you rushing around buying and making last minute presents.  You're spirits may be high and you may be feeling good about any social events you have planned.  The energy is social and busy, it relates to Summer.   Many women have a challenging time with ovulation, the pressure to be 'out there' for some personalities is too much.   The worry about how we look and appear to the world. Some ladies like make up and getting dressed up, some don't.  Which ever category you are in, be YOU.  If you have a fancy party to go to but hate getting dressed up, and therefore that is causing anxiety, then just go in something you like. Bend the rules and find something smart but casual.. it's Christmas!  If you don't want to go, and going will create a disasterous situation then don't go, but don't beat yourself up about it for the rest of the holidays.  Beware of ovulation anger and frustration. With everyone being home at Christmas we can easily become angered and irritated by people, especially those close.   Usually it's because there is something we want to do, but we are not being allowed, or for some reason it can't happen.  This is a good time to practice letting things go and re focusing on the things we CAN do.  Acknowledge that we are upset and why, then move on..  As we tip over into pre menstruation, we will experience fluctuating symptoms and our mood can drop. Remember that as much as we will the bad days to pass, we should try and make the most of the better days too.  New year may feel a bit of a drag to you, so try to have a good Christmas, the cycle is working with you here, so there is every possibility you could have a REALLY good Christmas!

Days 21-28 - Pre Menstruation
If you will be due on your period at Christmas then you may find it all a bit of a struggle.
The pre menstrual time brings an energy of slowing down and withdrawing, the opposite of what Christmas is all about.  Pre menstruation relates to autumn, and to me that means unsettled weather. Some beautiful bonus sunny days and some right 'orrible ones.  So do what you can.  Ask others to help.  Try and keep Christmas simple and relaxed.  It's a bit late now to pull out of plans that might have been made, but if you really feel you cannot go to something, remember to try and explain things in a calm way, and that it's no ones fault! THIS is when you need to delegate and organise.  Ovulation the week before Christmas may have meant you've had some fun spending and organising presents.  You may have felt full of hope and happiness, but as the wheel turns and you get closer to the big day, you may feel your spirits dropping and your energy flagging. Remember this is not your fault, it just is the way things ebb and flow.   Make sure loved ones know you are due on and might be cranky (or that they need to be on crisis alert).  This also means that you will be bringing in the new year with your bleed.   Not the greatest scenario, but one that can't be helped.  The new year is a time of contemplation, reflection and thoughts to the future.   You can use your sacred time over new year to really look at 2012 and what you have learned, how far you have come and what you want for 2013.

Make sure YOU take the steps you need to to get through the season.  We can explain things to others and in turn they can help, but if you don't let others know, your moods and actions can be taken in the wrong way.  Running up to bed on Christmas day may seem rude or selfish, but not if you've explained.  An hour or two in bed may mean you have a happier evening, rather than end up snapping at the kids or your partner.  You have to look after your own needs, and put things in place so that you avoid as much stress as possible.

Christmas can be a really challenging time for many, whether you have PMDD or not, so try and prepare a little.  One of the good things about PMDD is it is usually quite predictable, so we can look a week or two ahead and get an idea of where we will be in our cycle.

I hope this little blog helps, and I hope that your Christmas passes without any form of crisis.

If you do find yourself alone and in a dark place, please don't hesitate to contact someone.   If there are no friends or family you can call on then make note of your local helpline numbers. Don't suffer alone.  If you are a member of mine or any other support groups, remember you can always post in there, even if it's quieter at this time of year, someone will respond, and sometimes support comes from unlikely places.

Sending much love and many Yuletide blessings!
Cat xx 

Support lines in the UK

Samaritans - 08457 90 90 90 (24-hour helpline)
Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

Sane - 0845 767 8000 (daily, 6pm-11pm)
Charity offering support and carrying out research into mental illness.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Happy Birthday!

PMDD Support is 2 years old today! Happy Birthday!

I clicked the create button two years ago on a group (PMDD Support) I was hoping would introduce me and allow me to talk to other PMDD sufferers. A few months later we went up to two grou
ps (PMDD Support 2). Then the PMDD Support Red Tent was created... The family and friends group has come and gone.. but on the whole I feel very proud that the groups are still attracting members and that discussion is still going on.

Life has changed dramatically for me since I first created the groups. I was a very different person. Still on meds, still trying to deal with the fact the injection was unsuccessful, desperate for information, for friendship, for anyone to listen and understand what was going on. I was still getting over the effects of a negative relationship and trying to build a new one. Over the past 2 years I have met some incredible women, some who are still in the groups and some who aren't. It's been awesome to see women learning, figuring themselves out, figuring out how to manage their PMDD, what works, what doesn't... gaining support from others who understand. I've seen women who are so down on themselves, thinking they are the worlds worst.. who then write a lovely supportive post to someone else... showing so much compassion and understanding.

We are far from the nasty, stressed out, angry, crazy women we see ourselves as. We are strong, we have the capacity to feel the deepest emotions.. in our own healing paths we HAVE to learn about ourselves. If we try and carry on blind to our own needs, we see ourselves becoming more unwell. All in all we become the women who dance with the darkness, who learn to control themselves, who inspire others to keep on. If we can do it, what's the problem with everyone else?

We are picky with who and what we spend our time on, we know how precious those moments are. We have to learn how to 'not sweat the small stuff'.. we become the ones who understand ourselves better than anyone else ever could, and with that we CAN have happier and more successful lives

With the support I have found in the groups, I have been able to take on more groups, I have been encouraged and inspired to write blogs. I have found much better ways of communicating with my man, I got married!! I continued the PMDD campaign. I have come off all medications. I found a way that worked for me.. ideas that made sense, a way of understanding PMDD that helped me to heal.. I have had almost 2 cycles of barely any mental/emotional symptoms.. I have many projects on the go.. I even earned a little from my art recently! Things can change, in fact things ALWAYS change. Of that we can always be certain. So no matter how you are feeling today, know that life is ever flowing, ever changing.. if you are feeling good, it is possible to feel even better. If you are feeling low, it is possible and most likely, that you WILL feel better again.

Sending love to you all today (and a virtual slice of birthday cake!)

Cat xx

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Mind! here we come! and NEW NAPS FORUM!

After my third attempt at trying to get through to Mind, the mental health charity regarding the inclusion of PMDD on their website, I finally wrote again, making it quite clear I wasn't happy.  This time I got a reply.  I have to write a proposal form so it can be taken into consideration at the next meeting which is in February 2013.

I passed the information on to Jackie Howe from NAPS as I felt a little out of my depth.  I believe we are now going to be working on this together, as I saw this on their website today!
Cat Hawkin’s has been working very hard to create greater awareness of severe PMS/PMDD and has been a major campaigner to gain acceptance by the WHO of PMMD in their International Classification of diseases. She has received notification that she can now make a proposal to MIND, the mental health charity, for a web page ,called Understanding PMDD.NAPS will be taking forward this proposal with Cat. Many women.... read more..
Feeling pretty good about this!  Let's hope we get the recognition we need.  The more people who learn about PMDD, the more the demand for research and development of better treatments.. which in turn leads to a better general understanding of PMDD and an easier journey to healing and management of symptoms.

In other news...

NAPS have re opened their forum!  It's free to join and was always a hive of conversation.  Pop on over there and sign up!  While you are there, take a look at their membership.  You can get access to specialists and advice.  NAPS is the only charity working for PMS and PMDD, every member helps them to do more work and raise more awareness...

Monday, 3 December 2012

Christmas Crafts!

I've been getting crafty, and am currently taking commissions for hand made light catchers.

My light catchers are hand made from recycled glass jewellery, lamp work beads, vintage crystal beads, gemstone beads, hand cut mirrors and sparkly prism drops. 

Prices range from £10 to £15 plus p&p.  I mainly make these to order, however now and then you may find some ready made on my page.

You can order by contacting me on through my Facebook page

These are my most recent creations...

I have also been making toadstools for the Christmas tree!  I made a set of these a few years ago now, and every year, they take pride of place.  This year, I have made some sets to sell, as so many people said how much they liked them!  Again, if you would like some, please contact me on my Facebook page as soon as possible.  I make these in small batches, so they sell out quickly!  I will make to order, so please get in touch.

13 Toadstools hand made by Cat Hawkins.  A fairy ring for your tree! £10+p&p

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