I remember slamming things around the kitchen one night and feeling like I’d lost my mind. I was angry about something so minor, I literally can’t remember what it was and I don’t know that I knew then either
Depending on your take, PMS may seem like a running joke, a quasi-scam. Maybe you see it as a treatable or at least manageable condition affecting millions of women every month. Maybe you don’t think about it much at all, which is where I was until a few years ago. Now I see it as a monthly threat to my sobriety until I recognize it for what it is: powerful but temporary.
I used to brag I didn’t get PMS. It’s more likely that I self-medicated every month by drinking through the worst of it. When I got sober and started experiencing sudden shifts in mood, I didn’t notice that it happened every month with almost clockwork regularity and thought something was wrong with me.
My normally sunny outlook clouded over. I felt morose, irritable, hopeless. It reminded me a lot of how I felt in my later drinking days, so naturally I questioned why I didn’t at least get to drink. For months I woke up roughly every 28 days and white knuckled through the day without questioning why my life suddenly sucked, so complete was the transformation. The change would come on so suddenly, at least a week before my period was due, and the depression would lift so gradually that it often took a well-meaning but unwelcome comment from my husband to recognize it was PMS.
I remember slamming things around the kitchen one night and feeling like I’d lost my mind. I was angry about something so minor, I literally can’t remember what it was and I don’t know that I knew then either. I only remember how out of control I felt until my husband asked that ill-advised but in this case dead-on question: Is your period almost here?
This was not the first time he’d said this to me, though it was maybe the first time it dawned on me that he was only trying to help both of us. Something clicked in my brain and the sense of relief was sudden and sweet. I was not going crazy. My life was not suddenly, irreversibly terrible. I had PMS… and it would pass. Read more…