According to Harvard Health Publication, Harvard Medical School – 2009, Lifestyle change to treat PMDD is still under investigation. It was the height of the onset of my PMDD and I was going down the list of serotonin re uptake inhibitors, quitting alcohol as the combo of Lexapro and Patron is worse than any 10 days of PMDD. I was seeing a therapist. I was living in the residual of a relationship that had become toxic. I was holding on to a relationship that I felt guilty about walking away from and looking ahead and beyond these things didn’t bring any sort of clarity. I would become consumed by PMDD. My life became about smoke and mirrors, hiding, isolating, coming out every now and again but being most comfortable in the dark and alone.
From 2007-2013ish, my personal life and my career would go through major triumphs and crisis. PMDD had killed any semblance of the Lizette I had known. I suffered through the “shoulda’s.” I should have taken, FMLA from work. I should have been more honest with where my mind was with my partner. I should have admitted myself to a hospital for help. I should have done all these things that I thought would allow people to view me as mentally ill and unstable. No one really understood what PMDD was. PMS had already had a bad rap in society and I didn’t want to lose anything else in my life, not access to my kids, not my dignity and I definitely did not want to pick up pity from my friends and family.
Clinging to life and those that I allowed to extend comfort to me I was a shell of myself and in pain. I had stopped taking all the medications prescribed as they only made me feel worse, except for the lo-estrin birth control pill. That was my saving grace. Other than that I was literally left to my own devices. I felt broken. I can still remember this feeling…so low, dark and afraid. In hind site, this sense of hopelessness actually saved my life. This actually gave me space to grow beyond the worse time of my adult life. It was with a broken spirit and heart my comeback was on the rise. I changed my life. I had given up the drinking already for quite some time, I had given up smoking for about the same amount of time and it was time to give up certain foods and ideas. It was time for a second “Lifestyle Change.”
What else can I change? I changed how I treated myself. I had to nurse myself back to life and the only experience I had had with taking care of someone fragile was being a mother to my babies. So there was my breakthrough. I decided to love myself and take care of me like I took care of my infants. With self-care, love and mindfulness I was on my way to changing my lifestyle. I changed my diet. I prepared my food consciously making healthier choices in my food intake and began eating on a more consistent schedule. I began to exercise no less than 3 times a week. I allowed for no less than 7 hours a night of sleep and I began a meditation practice.
It’s a practice of maintenance living this way, but it’s been working for me. Like medication, if I change my routine or fall out of my practice I feel the results of it immediately and I am in pain. So, for me the verdict is in. The lifestyle change aspect truly has saved me from the grips of PMDD and has allowed me to live my life even when I am in it. In the dark I can still see the light.