The Quarantine Diaries #41: Will the cycle be unbroken?

Another week of PMDD hell. By Monday I was almost beside myself, I was feeling so bad. I just wanted to talk to somebody who could understand. But who in my circle could understand? I am incredibly difficult to live with when I’m going through this, and sometimes the least damaging thing I can do is shut myself away. Then on Monday evening, something quite wonderful happened.

I decided to post a dVerse Quadrille about PMDD. The response was something I hadn’t expected at all. I just felt like I was complaining, being annoying and venting my frustration, but the amount of kind comments and words of encouragement I received from readers and fellow writers was truly heartwarming. It got me through that difficult day.

I’m not one to suffer in silence: I like to talk my problems out. This wonderful community of writers helped me do that. Thank you to everyone who showed me support and kindness during this difficult time. I can’t put into words how much this means to me!

Facing the future

As several people have pointed out to me recently, 1/3 of one’s life is a long time to spend going through hell. Sometimes I can tough it out better than others, and when I’m in my ‘well’ phase of my cycle, it’s as if my PMDD doesn’t exist: I feel as close to a normal human being as I’m ever going to get. That’s partly why it’s so hard to convince people it’s real: even I hardly believe it when I’m asymptomatic.

I had a long chat about it with my oldest son on Sunday night. I feel sorry for him, as I can’t be there for him when I’m ill in the same way that I can the rest of the time. I explained ‘mummy’s going to get ill like this every 3 weeks for the next 10 years or so.’ And that’s when it dawned on me that perhaps I have to examine treatment options. It’s a lot to expect of a person to just go through it, and also a lot of pressure to put on that person’s immediate family. I’m just so reluctant to go to the gynaecologist in case they don’t believe me. But I think it will have to be done. Let’s hope the cycle will not be unbroken.

In the meantime…

I kept myself busy writing. I seem to be able to do that, in one form or another, however bad I feel. I launched my Anthropocene Hymnal project and received a tremendous response. I was nominated for Spillwords Author of the Month. I started the week feeling very positive, in spite of my symptoms. So the cycle continues: I feel bad; I write. I feel good; I write. I move across the continent; I keep writing. My kids grow up; I keep writing. It seems to be the one constant in my life right now, and I’m grateful for it. We all need something to keep us grounded and anchored in the tempestuous sea that is this life.

I’m going to leave you with a song and a question: I could never work out whether the circle being unbroken was supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing? If you’d care to enlighten me, I’d be most grateful…

34 thoughts on “The Quarantine Diaries #41: Will the cycle be unbroken?

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  1. I’m so sorry you have to go through this, but I’m also happy that you felt love and support coming through. I think most women who have experienced any sort of difficulties or PMS can imagine and sympathize with you going through so much worse. I’d say if your doctor doesn’t believe you, then perhaps find a new doctor.
    I think the unbroken circle is supposed to be good? Circle of life and all that.

  2. Oh Ingrid, I’m sorry it was so hard for you this past week! Thanks for sharing and allowing us to be part of your sharing your truth and hopefully healing circle.. My wish for you is when you go into menopause it erradicates itself. In the meantiime hang in there and do what you are doing. Your boys know you love them and are constantly there for them so don’t be hard on yourself but good you told them. beautiful song!πŸ’–πŸ™πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸŒ·πŸŒ·πŸŒ·πŸŒ·

    1. I’m better now Cindy, but it was a rough start to the week! Now I can breathe for a fortnight before it all starts again πŸ˜… thank you for your kindness ❀️

      1. So glad to hear that but so sorry you have to go through it!. you’re so welcome. I wish I had something more to offer!. πŸ’–β€οΈπŸŒ·πŸ€—

      2. Your kind words mean so much πŸ₯° look forward to hearing about your little holiday ❀️

      3. Oh I’m so glad!
        You know it was just a break dfrom the duties really and the kiddos and hubby with love. The hiking was glorious, food and sleep. 1rst time i put lotion on my legs in 20 years. 🀣 seriously.. hahahah 3 hrs in the tub later meditation, reading, yes of course checking blogs duhhhhh , 🀣 πŸ’– Thanks for asking!

      4. hahahahah it was in the hotel… i spluged… you expect me to remember 🀣 details details.. actually i think lemon grass.. really nice

  3. I would say go see someone. There are some things we have to live with but some we can definitely lessen and maybe eradicate. I’ve had some chronic issues and was very hesitant to get help. I have interstitial cystitis and was diagnosed with bladder infections and on antibiotics for years before they realized it was an immune problem and I saw a specialist. I didn’t like the meds they gave me but simply keeping a food journal has helped me learn some food triggers and lessened it. And PMS makes it worse so I have to work harder to keep my body balanced. Overall, it helped to speak to the specialist and know I wasn’t alone in my problems! πŸ’•

    1. Thank you Tricia, I think you’re exactly right. It’s important to see a specialist in these matters, and perhaps not every family doctor knows a lot about them. I am pleased you are getting the help and support you need. I am working on my diet too. On the bright side, I am back to ‘normal’ again so at least I have two weeks’ respite…

      1. I found keto diet to help but so hard to stay on. It will definitely change your hormones though. At least we can vent through our poems! πŸ’–

  4. What awful things some women put up with every month! Have you heard of Emma Barnett – a British radio personality? Apparently she’s written a book called Periods – About Bloody Time. I listened to her interviewed by Elizabeth Day (Podcast – How to Fail with Elizabeth Day – most recent episode). She is trying to open up the book on women’s health. I don’t know what can be done to help you but I definitely think it’s worth asking. Good luck with your decision and your endeavours. I hope you find a kind and empathetic doctor who listens properly.

    1. Thank you! We certainly need to open up about women’s health for a better understanding. I will check out the book, thank you πŸ™

  5. Oh… sorry to keep rambling. But another interviewee of Elizabeth Day was an acupuncturist. He said 80% of his customers are women and said he thought that was because of the difficulties of the menstrual cycle and the effects that can have on the body. (Apparently he has treated Harry and Meghan! La di dah!) You could try something like that too. Quite a few people have told me it’s very effective.

    1. Yes, I really need to look at treatment options, because telling everyone to go away for a week has it’s issues! Thanks 😊

  6. I agree with everyone, try to find a doctor who can help. As to acupuncture, mentioned above, I have known it to help many people with many different types of physical pain as well. So it might also be worth a try.
    In terms of the song, I think it’s the circle of life and death becoming one, becoming eternal life. It’s a Christian spiritual after all. (K)

  7. I was actually telling my wife about you just yesterday and about how you are teaching people about your experience. She said (and I agree, of course) that you are doing something very important by sharing with us.


  8. I’d like to say all the right things but how would I understand what you’re going through? All I do know is your poems/ writing are very good and I hope you can find some sort of ease, if possible. I’ve had heart attacks and now have heart failure and when somebody says something stupid like “Chin up” I want to punch them in the face! So I won’t say that. It’s just one moment at a time, and take the day as it comes.

    1. Thanks so much Vinny, I appreciate your kindness. The good thing is, it’s only temporary and I feel much better now, but the rapid cycling of the illness is exhausting! (It is often misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder, and I can understand why.)

      1. Sounds terrible. Bit of a sideways question. What’s the health care like where you are? My daughter’s in the Czech Republic and it’s pretty good there.

      2. It’s pretty good here as well. They have free universal healthcare which seems to be of a high standard and the waiting lists aren’t too long. I really should get off my behind and go to the doctor!

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