One day not too long ago I picked a fight with my boyfriend over him not kissing me goodbye before he went to work. He works nights, and so the main time that we see each other is before he goes to work in the late afternoons. That goodbye kiss is our little routine before he leaves, and a meaningful gesture for me.
But normally if he forgets I don’t overreact as badly as I did this time. Normally, I would be disappointed, but would hold my anger and talk to him about it later. But this time it really bothered me. My mind went wild, “Does this mean he doesn’t love me anymore?”
I couldn’t figure out why I was so upset over something so little. Later that day I got my period and realized that that was part of the reason I got so upset.
It’s definitely not easy being a woman. With all the ups and downs of hormones things can get very chaotic during that once a month, five to seven days of feeling like you’re going to croak—the lovely PMS time.
I know for myself that I am a basket case during that time. I feel awful for my family. I try to rein in the crazy beast inside, but it doesn’t always happen.
During that week, I’m known for flipping out over the smallest things and not being able to keep my mouth shut, even though I’m usually pretty good about staying calm. I’m agitated and ready for a fight, while at the same time emotional and sensitive. I’ll feel depressed and cry over everything. I’ll fear that the world is out to get me. My feelings get hurt at the drop of a hat.
And yet, I don’t want to ever use my hormones as an excuse for my behavior, especially for the way I treat the people around me. There is a balance between on the one hand recognizing that my hormones do powerfully affect my moods and emotions, and on the other hand not just accepting that as an excuse to do whatever I feel like doing or saying. I might feel like yelling at my boyfriend, but I want to learn how to deal with my mood swings so that I don’t just give into them. I may not be able to control my feelings, but I can get better about controlling my actions.
One thing I have found that works for me is alone time, since I tend to get stressed very easily when I’m around other people. During my alone time I read a book or watch a sappy movie that I know will make me cry. That seems to help a little by getting some of the emotions out.
But as a mom of two, alone time isn’t always possible. If I can’t have alone time, I try to destress by listening to peaceful music and doing something that I enjoy like cooking or reading. Even talking to someone about how I’m feeling seems to help a little. There are also a lot of natural ways to relieve symptoms—two of my favorite being drinking hot tea and using a heating pad to ease cramps.
I’d also like to talk to my doctor more about my symptoms, and learn more about my hormones and how they affect my health. I took a class at FEMM that explained how sometimes if your hormones are out of balance it can be a sign of other underlying health problems. Learning more about my cycle and hormone health could help me to deal more effectively with my mood swings.
With all of the hormonal craziness, thankfully my family understands, especially my boyfriend, God love him. He tries to give me my space and let me do my own thing and usually ignores my crazy talk. He will let me say what I have to say and then walk away instead of feeding into an argument. He’ll let me be if that’s what I need, but he also knows when I just need to be loved and cuddled.
As I continue to become more aware of how my hormones can affect my health and my relationships, I’m thankful that I have a boyfriend that is patient enough to stick with me in all the ups and downs.