A Lull of Positivity

As I’ve written about in my last post, I have been nervous about falling into a deep depression because of severe PMS.

So far I’m doing really well! I have been really careful will myself, like I’m cradling a porcelain doll. I am having a 3-day work week because I took off Friday and yesterday it was snowing and freezing rain all day.

Having a day off yesterday seriously reset me. I had a great balance of self care and getting shit done that I had been putting off for ages. I cleaned out my clothing, cleaned my shower and cleaned up under my bed which I hadn’t done in a very long time.

I am feeling like myself unlike how I was around this time last month. I’m really going to keep trying to enjoy this lull of positivity. To soak up as much of it as I can!

I wanted to give you guys an update in case you are struggling yourself right now.

Sometimes are worries never come to fruition, sometimes they never materialize into reality. Not every thought we have is true, they are not all accurate predictions because we with anxiety are clairvoyant.  I would say a good bit of us are not psychic even though we think we are.

If you’re having a difficult time, I really hope that this passes for you soon. You are strong, you are worthy, you are valued and you matter. You are alive for a reason, we are all glad that you exist.

Stay strong everyone!!

Worries Ahead

This is another post about PMDD and periods so if that doesn’t interest you, check out a different post of mine! There are some other good ones 🙂

Today begins the week before my period which can be just as miserable as actually having my period. Last month, I was living a nightmare with how bad my mental health was.

Last month I was constantly on the verge of tears, I couldn’t shower or get out of bed and I honestly felt that I was not worthy to be on this planet. It was such a difficult time that I am afraid of it happening again this week or next week.

Somebody left me a comment last month about how I should prepare for this time of the month. That I should create a plan to catch myself before I fall too deep into my own darkness. And if I collapse and hit the bottom, I can have soft pillows there to cushion my fall.

I’m already a highly sensitive person so I feel that I have to tread even lighter than normal when I’m PMSing or on my period. I’m going to care for myself as if I am a fragile butterfly.

So here’s my plan:

  1. Do not push myself beyond my limits: I have a fine line to walk when it comes to pushing myself beyond my limits. Sometimes I can handle taking on more while other times I crumble inside. My mental wellbeing needs to be a priority so I plan to gauge what I am up to from situation to situation.
  2. Exercise: Sometimes it takes a lot of energy to get me to exercise even though I actually enjoy exercising. I think I categorize it in my mind as a task and not as something fun. I almost always feel better afterwards so it’s worth doing!
  3. Eating actual food: Getting nutrients in my body instead of solely eating garbage is always a good idea.
  4. Take time to find reality: I will go into my head and got lost in there. I totally lose all sense of reality. Using a stress ball, smelling essential oils or taking a moment to breathe can sometimes bring me back to Earth.

Guys, let’s cross our fingers that I can survive this week and next week!

Getting Back to “Normal”

My period is over so I’ve, for the most part, returned to my “normal” self. All of my emotions that were at a peak have calmed down.

I met with my therapist this past Thursday and I cried the entire time. It felt so good to have a safe place where I could discuss my fears and cry with somebody who knows me.

Sure I pay her to hear me sob but it is worth every penny.

She helped me to rationalize some of my worries and put everything that had been frantically flying around in my skull into some sort of order.

By the end of our session I felt relieved. I calmed down before I left and set a session earlier than I normally would have if I was doing fine.

Yesterday and today I have been productive enough to make up for last weekend when I couldn’t get out of bed or shower. My mood is up and I’ve been eating vegetables instead of solely carbs, ice cream and chocolate.

It is such a whirlwind to be feeling like I want to end my life in one moment to feeling relatively content the next. There are so many ups and downs that it gives me whiplash sometimes. And I’ve had whiplash and it’s not enjoyable!

I am hoping that I can keep my depression and anxiety in check this week despite work being busy. In my two weeks of hell from my PMDD and period, I have found some new coping mechanisms! I’ll share them with you in case you are looking for some fresh ideas.

  1. Keep Items with a Happy Memory Close — I don’t think I thought about this before but having something that has a positive memory attached to it can lift your spirits. For example I put on a bright blue nail polish that I bought in Florence, Italy when I was on coach tour across Europe. I look at my nails and think of the amazing time that I had which gives me a little boost.
  2. ASMR — When this whole ASMR thing got popular, I thought it was kind of bullshit. But what I found was that I enjoy ones where they are cooking especially if there are crunchy vegetables being chopped up. What I’ve been loving is Peaceful Cuisine, it’s a Japanese guy who makes vegan food. Since I’m learning Japanese, it also helps me to read the ingredients in the language.

I hope that two little tips can help if you’re in a pickle jar right now. I’ll keep you all updated on how I fair this week!

Stay strong, everybody!!

My Brain Hates Me

My suicidal thoughts and urges to self harm are back with a vengeance. I haven’t had these incredibly strong thoughts buzzing in my brain for a long time.

For months my mental health was really good, I truly felt like myself.

Don’t worry reading this, I don’t plan to act on any of my brain’s ideas. I’m doing my very best to rationalize everything. My therapist has told me to not believe every thought my brain creates because my brain tells me lies. I am seeing her tomorrow so we can talk about all of this.

My brain tells me that if I kill myself, I will make the rest of the world happier. That until I end my life, cutting is the only way that I can ease the pain of my depression.

Like wtf!?

To somebody who has never struggled with mental illness and has to fight their own brain every single day, those previous sentences probably make no sense. They make no sense to me as I read those words back to myself.

Mental illness puts us into this mindset where nothing makes any logical sense. Your brain bullies you into a corner shouting all sorts of stuff that it wants you to take as fact.

Right now, my brain is doing exactly that. I don’t know if it’s just a wave of depression or maybe my antidepressant isn’t working as well anymore.

It makes me sad knowing that this time last month I was happy. I was totally content with everything but now it has all gone to shit.

When I get into this state my therapist says to list some things that are going well and what I am looking forward to. So here it goes!

What’s going well?
– I ate 2 carrots today
– I got all my work done at work today
– I painted my nails blue

What am I looking forward to?
– Ariana Grande’s new album comes out on Feb. 8
– I think I’ll get to eat cake at work tomorrow
– Therapy tomorrow

That took me a little bit but I made it through!

Coming Up For Air

Holy hell it has been a whirlwind of the past few days! I’m ready for a vacation from my weekend.

*Random side note: I think if I actually saw a whale I would cry. Like seriously, how beautiful is this photo?!?*

If you read this post and this post, you will know that I have really been struggling with my mental health because of PMS. Throughout last week but specifically this past weekend, everything felt like it was falling apart.

This afternoon I finally felt like I could breathe properly. Like I could finally swim up to the top and take a massive gasp of air.

The morning was total shit. When I’m on my period or PMSing, I get angry so easily which was the definition of my morning. I woke up angry, showered in anger, I was angry working at my side gig and finally when I got home, a sigh of relief.

I had lunch with my mom, took a nap and when I woke up, everything seemed better. I felt like the rocky waves were finally calming down.

I’ve been able to get some work done tonight for my side gig which really shows that I am getting back to my semi-normal self.

The mental strain of severe PMS makes everything in life the absolute worst. Since this past week was so bad, I really want to find out what I can do to help with these intense emotions.

When I was sad this weekend, I was sobbing. When I was sleepy, I laid in bed for 5 hours doing nothing. I barely had the energy to watch anything! You know it’s bad when the thought of looking at a screen for multiple minutes sounds exhausting.

I debated dipping into old habits just because I felt like nothing else would make me feel any better.

I even had a freaking panic attack! Somehow I was able to calm myself down very quickly which I am proud of myself for. I am lucky that I almost never get panic attacks so when they happen randomly, it’s confusing for me.

This isn’t normal at all. I should not be feeling such intense mental pain when I’m already taking an antidepressant. It’s not a wimpy one either!

I’m sure I’m not the only person out there really struggling with their mental health when they are PMSing or on their period. I am going to keep you all updated so that maybe somehow somebody reading this doesn’t feel so alone.

I see my therapist in a few days so hopefully she has some answers for me.

Laying In Bed

I think I have come to the conclusion that my PMS is not just regular old PMS. I think that I have PMDD or something because this past week has been absolute hell for me.

I wrote earlier this week about how PMS amplifies my mental illness. This week has been way way way worse than normal. I can’t function at all!

I have been drowning in my depression for days. Today and yesterday I spent almost all day in bed. I haven’t showered since Friday and I have mostly lost my appetite. Today I am not crying every other minute like I was for the last few days so that is one positive thing!

Where I live we had a snow storm (that really wasn’t even that bad, we’ve totally had worse) so it’s been an excuse to stay inside and not do anything.

Today I keep saying, “I’ll get up at noon.” I stay in bed. “I’ll get up at 1.” I’m still in bed. “I’ll get up at 2.” I’m sitting up but I’m still in my bed.

While I’ve been in bed, negative thoughts keep buzzing in my mind. Stuff that I know I shouldn’t be thinking about but they don’t seem to want to leave me.

Thursday I have therapy so I’m going to talk with my therapist about this horrible week I’ve had. I don’t know if she will have any answers with how I can survive my next period but maybe she will have some ideas.

Online when I was looking for what people typically do for PMDD/severe PMS is to put them on birth control (I’m on it) or antidepressants (on that too). So right now I’m feeling that it’s all hopeless. That once a month I’m going to be losing my sanity and damaging my relationships and health.

I am not ok with that at all.

My mental health had been pretty good until Monday. I felt like I was on the top of a hill then pushed down into the fucking ocean to sink to the bottom where I’m wrapped up in seaweed.

Writing this is actually making me feel a little better. I might be able to get out of bed now, I’m not quite sure. I want to take a bubble bath but I can’t seem to find the energy.

Depression really drains me of all my energy. Doing the simplest task, like showering, seems nearly impossible. I hope I can survive this bullshit.

My Boss Made My Mental Health Worse

Working while having a mental illness can be incredibly difficult. I write and design for a non-profit organization which was a choice I made specifically for my mental health (and my bank account).

In my previous job at a local newspaper, I was one of a handle full of reporters covering a wide variety of news stories. My main beat when I left was religion, education, charity, police/fire and general news. Whenever there was a story that needed to be done about those topics, I was the one who was writing them.

I had always dreamed of being a reporter and I loved the actual work of it. I loved getting to meet so many people and tell their stories to the community. I loved seeing how my stories could make a difference in other people’s lives. There are a few stories that I hold close to my heart because of how deeply they meant to others.

I got a card in the mail once from the daughter of a woman that I had wrote about her mom. The mom had passed away and they had the story I wrote about her framed at her funeral. It brings tears to my eyes even now because of how that little story impacted their family and helped them to remember her in a special way.

It wasn’t the stress of doing a million stories at once or meeting deadlines. It was my freaking editor. I’ve never met anybody like this woman, she is absolutely crazy. I know that word can be upsetting for some but there is honestly no other way to describe her.

She has screamed at me, ripped my head off, chewed it up and spit it out onto the unvacuumed floor of the newsroom. I lived in constant fear of her. I worried that I was one story away from getting fired. Especially in the beginning, my stomach was in knots because I was so anxious about getting fired.

During many times when she made me cry, I would usually go into one of the single stall bathrooms or , if it was really bad, out to my car. I would usually be in there feeling like a total failure because of some mistake I made that my editor would intensify.

It was such a battle to love reporting but be terrified to walk into the newsroom.

So when I was asked to work at a local non-profit by my former boss, I jumped at the chance. Not only was I going to get paid more, I was going to be in a less stressful environment. I also believe strongly in the mission and the programs we have to help victims of violence and women and children experiencing homelessness.

Changing jobs really did help my mental health. I got my own office where I could cry in private, the stress was lower and I had a regular schedule instead of one that bounced around.

I still have depressive or anxious episodes that I have to ride out which happened today. I get very distracted when I have a thousand thoughts buzzing around in my brain. I can’t focus on whatever I’m supposed to do so I end up zoning out a bit.

In my next post, I’m going to give some suggestions about what I do to help when my mental health is making work nearly impossible.