My PMS Is On Steroids – A Story From The Sisterhood

July 02, 2020.

Once upon a time lived a reasonable woman, let’s call her, oh, I don’t know…Rachel….with a sound head on her shoulders, a positive outlook on life and all those who inhabit that life. Rachel especially liked her husband who made her laugh frequently and she set about meeting her daily demands with an upbeat tenor and a decisive approach.

Every couple of weeks…..Rachel…….would get a little cranky, a little “short,” if you will, and not in stature. But she kept things under control. She was able to keep her cool. Some days she’d feel weepy, but who doesn’t?! So what if she couldn’t button her pants every 14 days?

Rachel didn’t really mind. She was a REASONABLE WOMAN, remember? She handled it. Played the cards she was dealt and knew with the utmost confidence that her buttons would fasten once again soon and she’d return to the even keeled, happy-go-lucky gal she was always known to be.

Where has that woman gone you ask? Well, here’s where the story takes a sad turn. You see, Rachel’s ship has set sail! It’s gone, people! It’s GONE.

But, who has replaced her, you say? Who has stolen Rachel’s good nature? Her harmonious, low-key amiability?

It’s that JERK, perimenopause! Cue the horror movie music damnit, cue it!

“PeriMeno PMS,” as I like to call her, is, well…I’m whispering so she can’t hear me….She. Is. Awful. Just awful! And she hates me and threatens to disrupt my mental, physical and emotional well-being every month she gets!

In all honesty, I never had an easy cycle. PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) was always a “thing” for me and I had such envy for those women who knew exactly when their period was due, for no other reason than it came right on time!

Every. Freaking. Month. No mood swings, swollen boobs or migraines. No acne or feelings of despair. They just “got it.” They may have been the same women who called it their “friend.”

As in, “my friend is coming.” Are you serious? She ain’t no friend of mine. I was never that lucky. I always had terrible PMS so it should have come as no surprise that just before I get my period these days, and I never know when “these days” may be, I feel even more out of sorts than I used to.

The migraines? Worse. And they last longer which is great when I have actual real life things and responsibilities to tend to. The acne? Ha! I never had it so good! I mean BAD. Mood swings? Umm, just ask my husband. Poor guy has learned the art of “hitting the deck.”

Just kidding, I don’t ACTUALLY throw things. But I do think about it. The sore boobs? Check. And the best part is, my PMS now starts much earlier than it used to. And since I never know when my period will start, it’s a seemingly endless spectacle of troublesome behavior and emotional upheaval that make me wish I was young again! It’s a horrible roller coaster and I hate amusement park rides!

Rachel with the Perry Menopause Journal 

Sounds pretty bad, right? I know, I know. Maybe it’s not THAT terrible. But look, it sure feels like it and who wants that?

What do I do? How do I manage it? I thought you’d never ask! I exercise. Because it helps my mental health as much as it does my physical health. I spend time alone, because I like to and doing so helps “fill me up,” so I can deal appropriately with all the petty things that will undoubtedly send me into orbit. I take supplements. Things that help me to feel relaxed, calm, like I’m closer to that beach chair in Maui I’ve been daydreaming about. I let my husband know I’m PMS-ing.

Because really, as much as I think, “HE SHOULD JUST KNOW” how I’m feeling by now….he doesn’t. And he won’t. He may just think I hate him and even if DO at that very moment, I don’t really want him to know that!

That would make me feel lousy. Later. When I’m not PMS-ing anymore. And then I’d feel like I have to say sorry and well, you know where I’m going with this, right gals?

Now hear me out and I mean this. Some women have PeriMeno PMS REALLY badly. Seriously. It’s bad and painful and can cause terrible bouts of depression and/or a general feeling “out of one’s mind.” I’m not making a joke. Some women really suffer this and if you are one of those women, PLEASE go see a trusted health care practitioner. You do NOT need to struggle like this nor should you.

For the rest of us, able to ultimately find humor in the agony, carry on, sister, carry on. I’ve heard this too shall pass. Although, it’s been over five years of this crap and I’m ready…umm, hello, I’m done here. Where’s my ship?!

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Rachel Hughes
Rachel is a CNC, wife and empty-nesting mother with a sincere heart to create safe spaces where peri- and menopausal women can help each other navigate these particular years together with honesty, thoughtfulness and a lot of laughter. After finding that her own perimenopausal symptoms were disruptive to her life, Rachel sought out meaningful help and information and felt that there were not enough resources for mid-life women where they could learn from each other and express themselves with plenty of compassion and without judgement. Check out her amazing blog at https://www.themenomemos.com/

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