If I place anything or anyone before my PMDD self-care, I not only limit my quality of life but also limit the opportunity of having a life beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve spoken about my journey in self-care in the forms of exercise, healthy eating and a change in lifestyle. However, the lifestyle change component extends itself to setting healthy boundaries and managing expectations of ourselves and of the people that we are in relationship with.
I reconnected and continued a relationship with someone that had really seen me in the suicidal grip of PMDD. Unhealthy and afraid, I didn’t handle my affliction very well and it wasn’t until nearly 3 years in that I finally got some sense of how to manage it. In changing my life I found an opportunity to finally be the person I knew I could be in this relationship, so I went back in and I tried to rebuild because I believed in the love. I always thought that our love truly was amazing.
Somewhere along the way I began to believe that I was lucky enough to be tolerated. I believed that I caused a lot of damage. I believed that all I had to offer was tainted by my PMDD. I didn’t believe I deserved more from my partner than what they were willing to give. I came to believe that it was my turn to be patient and that I had to regain the trust. At the time it seemed a pretty innocent and rational thought.
My thoughts began to shift from taking care of me to giving more, giving more, giving more of me and feeding the familiar source of my pain; a pain that I had recognized from before. I then began to confuse it with PMDD because the self-doubt and feelings of no worth were reminiscent. I allowed myself to live in a very small space between PMDD and the occasional good time. I allowed my life to be picked apart from where we used to be to where we were in that moment as a result of where I used to be in PMDD. It was clear that the burden of all gone wrong would always be on my shoulders and my willingness to carry it was not at all enough. I couldn’t really believe that there was no real room for redemption.
In hindsight, there were moments when I could not differentiate being PMDD or stressed by the relationship. My very small space was filled with emotions from feeling down about myself, needy, hungry for a hug or enraged because I was very often alone marinating in all that had been said. I re-decided it was ok to accept less from my relationship because I felt like I had to try to make amends for actions that can never be erased, never forgotten and finally much to my surprise will never be left in the past.
Eventually, I realized that my thinking was all wrong and I decided that I deserve more. I didn’t initiate the end of the relationship, however, I have decided to embrace the change in status and continue to grow my life beyond my wildest dreams.