The day after the PMDD I wake, and once the fog of my meds lifts, I have a bit of a spring in my step. I get out of bed with some energy, a hint of excitement even.
It’s funny, because the feeling doesn’t feel familiar. It feels foreign. Two weeks have passed since this lightness has lived inside of me. For two weeks, the darkness has been leading the way.
So at first, I still fall to the coping practices of PMDD. I might snuggle up on the couch for some Grey’s Anatomy binge-time if I have nowhere else to be. I default to the slow moving, tentative mood, as if un-trusting of the change.
As the day goes on, I feel energy build inside me, piece by piece. I start to feel motivated to get outside and move my body, or clean the house or sit down in front of my laptop and write. I feel the passion return to my blood flow, inspired once again to do the work I’m here to do.
But with that comes sadness too.
I wish every day, not just two weeks out of four, I could have the energy, motivation and drive to do my best work. But the two weeks of PMMD, my luteal phase, just don’t work that way. Yes, I’m strong enough these days to keep life from falling apart but still, the to-do list has grown exponentially while the darkness was here.
I’m too tired during the PMDD. Getting through each day without running for cover beneath the duvet is hard work. Diligence. I monitor thoughts, substituting those of self-harm for gratitude or at least truth. Taking special care to make sure I eat well – no refined sugars, only whole foods, minimal gluten and dairy.
Basically, I pull out all the stops every day for two weeks just to keep myself alive – to manage the anxiety and still be able to parent, show up for work, and not project all of my pain onto those who love me. It’s a battle, one that calls for more surrender than it does fight.
So ya, when I have finally won the battle, yet again, there is a sense of relief that I’m sure only those with mental illness can understand. The relief that comes when the obsessive thoughts stop and peace returns to the complicated mind.
Peace and possibility walk hand in hand. I feel capable of so much when I’m well, the only limitation being the knowledge that in another couple weeks, the peace will fall away again, the PMDD taking my hand once as we walk together back, deep into the darkness.
How I wish I could feel the lightness always.
How I wish the peace was my constant companion.
The passion and purpose.
How I wish I could feel each day like I do this one, with confidence and determination.
But I live my life in two week chunks. A fortnight of light. A fortnight of dark. Consistently repeated, again and again. The only truth being their promised return, one after the other, cycle after cycle.
But today, on this first day of the light, I feel great hope.
I feel great excitement.
And so I write.