self-awareness - decidedlySaneIn my darkest hours of PMDD I was distraught suicidal and inconsolable. I acted out in ways that made my partner feel insignificant and for days after the veil of rage lifted I spent weeks trying to make up for someone else feeling badly and helpless about my affliction.

Several years have passed since my PMDD was diagnosed.  I’ve gone from feeling entirely alone to now having an amazing digital community (#NAPMDD) of women sharing about their PMDD, their family life and how they cope.  It’s been incredible to watch this #PMDDAwareness explode in this past year. It’s allowed me the space to feel useful. I am ever so grateful for the opportunity to be able to share my story and to have helped some women along the way get through their dark hours.

Self-awareness is what saved my life. I knew that I really didn’t want to kill myself.  That just wasn’t an option. I know changing my lifestyle and changing my language in regard to myself was going to save me from the wrath of my PMDD because many parts of my story derive from the dark thoughts and my inability to communicate my feelings. The thoughts that beg me to undo all that is good in my life had to be quieted. My thinking was flawed and I began to seek comfort from people that were kind to me while I couldn’t love myself. People who lived a lifestyle that I wanted. People that didn’t take ownership of my affliction, but instead allowed me a space to travel on to the other side of it.

I began to take actions that made me feel better about myself.  I began to write about my PMDD and journal about what I was experiencing.  I began taking stock in my life outside of PMDD so that I could see that my life is bigger than my PMDD; remembering who I am is key. I am not simply someone who suffers from PMDD.  I am an amazing force to be reckoned with and I have PMDD and so I must manage that part of my life head on – with self-awareness and compassion.

Today, if I am in PMDD and I can’t deal with a scenario. It’s ok. I press pause when I can or I push through when necessary. It is not effortless, but it is not impossible either.  I was diagnosed nearly 8 years ago but I know I’ve always had PMDD. It’s taken me 3 years to get to this point in my life where not only am I aware am of whom I am outside of PMDD,  I have a general self-awareness that breeds love and compassion and that has become my safety net for my entire life.

If you are suffering from this affliction I challenge you to dig deep to find yourself and to love yourself through and beyond PMDD.