Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Where I am with things now...

The following is part of a message I wrote to my new UK support group...  I thought I'd share here too.

When I started the support groups I was very active in all of them.  I was still struggling with my PMDD and needed the valuable words of support and advice that you can find in the group, however, life moves on and my struggles are far more under my control and I am beginning to focus my time on other things.  What this means is although I am the group owner, I may not be in here and posting all the time.  I will always respond to anything I'm tagged in, but I unfortunately don't have the time I used to have to dedicate to the groups.  There was one point in my life when my PMDD groups were the first thing I checked in the morning and the last thing at night!  I have always seen the need to create a UK group, so this, I think, will be the last group I set up!

I have been writing my blog for about 6 years and writing has my saviour so many times.  Go back a few years and you can read my posts from when I was at my worst, right up to now where I tend to focus my writing into creating more positive articles and blogs.  It has proved quite popular and I thank the Goddess for ever comment that keeps me writing.  I get lots of emails and inbox messages for people looking for help.  It would be impossible for me to help and support everyone, but what I can do is create a space where you can do it for each other.

I have lived with this since I was 13, and have tried many medications, birth controls, IUD's etc but the only thing that worked for me was changing the way I saw my period. I began working with the natural ups and downs.  I learned to deal better with stress and I make sure I avoid stressful situations.  Looking after myself, honouring what having a powerful connection to the cycle means has helped turn things around for me. I do not believe in medications.  I do not believe this incurable.  I see PMDD as a severe imbalance within the system, with many factors contributing to the overall list of symptoms.  It's a whole mix up of low serotonin, adrenal fatigue, excess hormones or lack of, sensitivity to the hormonal changes, not enough healthy food and exercise, lack of sleep, traumatic situations, childhood baggage, unhealthy relationships, being over worked, and negative though patterns etc etc... possibly mixed up with some depression and other health conditions you may have, and possibly brought on by some kind of reaction to hormonal medication, pregnancy, or underlying problem in the sex organs.

I now manage my PMDD and life so that I rarely suffer the severe symptoms.  I'm not free of it, but neither would I want to be.  PMDD makes me look at my life and the things I am doing.  It stops me from taking on more than I can handle.  It makes me streamline my friendships so that I only have people around me who I trust and who understand me.  It has led me to become strong and there is nothing better than PMDD to teach you how to 'not sweat the small stuff'.  I have achieved this through stopping all meds and birth control, getting lots of counseling, moving on from bad relationships and stressful friendships, and becoming more aware of my cycle.  I use spiritual views and ideas to get me through, concepts about the menstrual cycle that I connected with in a spiritual way.  It's made me be more honest and open with those around me.  It makes me ask for help when I need it. 

My menstrual cycle has become a source of inspiration for me and I no longer fear it.  I know the cycle.  I know MY cycle.  I rest when I need to, I work hard when I can.  I see my life, much like a circus act.  I'm the plate spinner.  I get one going, then my mood changes, so I set another one spinning... I keep going till there are things to do no matter what mood I'm in, so I focus on those things in turn as my mood changes.  Sometimes I drop all the plates, and after a rant, rest or cry, I start picking them back up and get spinning again.

 

One thing I have realised is that I will never be able to work a normal 9-5.  I cannot fit into the schedules of the outside world, so I will no longer strive to.  It has always been my plan to run my own business or go self employed, so that is now where I see myself heading.  One step at a time, always chipping away.  I used to think I would never get anywhere, locked into the crazy cycles, but now I see a path where before there was none.  

By meeting others and realising I was not alone I broke the first chain.  By learning from others and never giving up, never closing my mind to new possibilities I have got this far and so can you.  No matter what path you follow, whether it's meds, hormones, lifestyle, spirituality, alternative treatments or surgery, you will hopefully find someone else in the same boat who can relate, and who can offer support.  We should always be accepting of other peoples choices and remember that what may have worked for us may not work for someone else.  We can always offer a word of support even if we don't fully relate...

Currently, I am building a new website to launch PMDD Awareness UK.  I am hoping this will become a base for PMDD news and campaigns in the UK.  I am also hoping that women will join in in raising awareness, and the website will eventually provide posters to download, and info sheets to give to GP's.  I am also looking at creating a mood chart, downloadable from the website.  There are no organisations working solely for PMDD in the UK.  NAPS do a great job in working on behalf of women with PMDD, and I liase with them regarding PMDD Awareness issues.  They are still our only official organisation and a great place to get info and help.  They are also all set up for that kind of thing, so me, with my PMDD Awareness UK plans will need to continue to ask women to step forward, join the tribe and help try and change things.  You know that saying.. 'if you want something done...' well WE need something done about the state of PMDD and how it is dealt with, WE need to be prepared to write a letter or put up a poster...  It may only seem like small steps, but that's all we need to get started.  It's better than no steps at all! If you haven't liked the PMDD Awareness UK page, please come and do so www.facebook.com/pmddawarenessuk

Lots of love to you all! I wouldn't have got here if it hadn't been for these groups and the readers comments and messages on my blog! all of which have supported me along my journey, so thank you!


If you would like to join my new UK Facebook support group, and you currently live in the UK, please follow this link!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/ukpmddsupport/

2 comments:

Siobhan said...

Dang! I just wrote a long and heartfelt response to this posting then lost it when i tried to log in! How annoying! I was trying to say thank you for posting this and thank you for all your work. My experience is similar to yours except i am not as far in my journey as you. I've reduced my meds but have not yet taken the leap of getting off them completely. I suspect grappling with stress will be my lifetimes work :) I really agree with you that its so much more than hormones-our society's lifestyle just doesn't allow for our natural cycles and its hard to embrace the natural cycle when sticking to Monday to Friday 9 to 5.
Anyway I really appreciate your honesty and commitment to publicising your experiences and raising awareness. It gives me great strength to know i'm not the only one dealing with this. So thank you again. x

Scarlett said...

Hi Cat - (its me PennyMichelle)

I totally relate to this post and especially right now....I am so torn...I need income so badly, but I also do not fit into the normal 8-5 M-F scenario anymore....I have several days a month when I just cannot function in the outside world due to my PMDD....I really really really wish to find a way to make money from home - and I have tried many things from having a little consignment booth selling vintage clothing, jewelry, etc.....to selling outright to shops, etc...this works some of the time but is not always lucrative....

I am also a photographer,videographer and artist and am trying to get my photography back to where it was when I stayed pretty busy doing portraits, weddings, senior/graduate portraits, etc. It seems so much harder now days to make it that way....but....I am still trying....

well, you have helped me so much...I try to find local groups or counselors who KNOW about and UNDERSTAND pmdd, but it's so far non-existent....SO i come to your blog, and try to read where ever I can find confirmation I'm not totally nuts....

I have had a very hard past year with it, and hope to be getting better and better this year....

anyway, much love and thank you for all you do
xox

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