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It’s 7am the morning of the New Year’s Eve and I wake up with a sense of dread. How did I not realize that I would be PMDD? My first thought is that I should cancel the party. Disappointing people is not something I would do intentionally and so I immediately dismiss the idea. It’s just not cool to cancel a party the morning of; I’ll need to suck it up.

Philadelphia’s catch phrase is the city of “Brotherly” Love and I had planned to celebrate those that have been hospitable to my daughter and me these past couple of years. These new friendships are my lifeline. They nourish me. They’ve helped me grow and have allowed me a space to safely expand my world beyond my PMDD. Even so, PMDD’s decent was as eminent as is the sun setting and the clock striking midnight. I had to prevail and push through and so I fell to my knees and I prayed to my higher power to help me show up despite myself.

I get on my feet and open my bedroom door to the day ahead as the thoughts begin to ruminate. Go shopping, cook breakfast, vacuum, feed the cats, scoop the litter, make juice, skip the juice, take a shower…..

STOP!

Breathe in 1,2,3,4….

Make my juice. It’s day number 26. It’s what I do every morning first thing. Something healthy for myself above all else: I grab the bunch of kale and start juicing. This ritual has become somewhat meditative in the sense that I am focused on what I am doing with an understanding that it is not only healthy for me, but something I am doing completely for myself and my well being.

I am taking care of my insides. Not just my thoughts.

It’s in these moments that I realize that I actually have love for myself and that helps me reset the PMDD from derailing to more of a local train ride. Each stop is another opportunity for an action step in self-care.

Drink the juice.

Sit breathe in 1,2,3,4

….exhale.

It begins again…Cook breakfast, go shopping, vacuum, feed the cats, scoop the litter, take a shower wake the child…..

STOP!

Breathe in 1,2,3,4….

Focused, I feed the cats and scoop the litter and the thoughts come back, cook and take a shower and shop and I stop…I turn away from everything and I decide to take a shower…we’ll grab breakfast at the diner and then we’ll go shopping.

My back is tight and my arms feel heavy and I know that I will begin to cry soon if I don’t sit still allow the water to rain on me. I breathe in the scents of peppermint and lavender: tricks to calm my mind in every nook of my apt…I still want to cry. I sit in the tub and I brace myself. I begin to cry. I sit there and let my tears and anxiety somewhat wash away along with my fears. It’s always so good to cry. I can see outside of myself crying and it’s like magic…I feel better because I am really ok. Just a little wound up…I dress.

Dare I drive? One-shop two stops three stops and parallel parking! When I am in PMDD sometimes it’s difficult for me to get to the simplest destinations. However today I have my 14-year-old daughter with me and I felt safe enough to tell her where I was in my PMDD and she’s savvy enough and acquainted with my affliction enough to go right into help mode. I hope I have not created a co-dependent. She asks me what I need of her and I tell her and it’s comforting to know that I am not alone.

We eat, we talk about anything she distracts me with little facts and tales about pop stars that make me laugh and we go over how we are going to tackle the day.

One item checked off of the list at a time and minor anxiety attacks along the way. I remain focused and every now and again overwhelmed, but I get through it! I get through it because I focused on everything outside of me that was good and despite my inside voice beating the shit out of me. I don’t know how I didn’t just crumble. Every now and again I hated myself for being different and I wondered if I were disappointing my daughter. Then for a split thought I actually resented her because there was simply too much pressure to be her mom in the midst of PMDD moments. She’s been nothing but supportive and she dropped her teen-tude when I needed her…I was safe.

It was then that it hit me. My PMDD mind is actually relieved when I feel safe.  When I can drop my shoulders away from my ears.  When I can lean into love, I am unequivocally relieved.

This last 2014 epiphany will allow me to begin to live the next chapter of my life in love and light beyond my wildest dreams…

#decidedlySane

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