Don't PMS with me!

An open sanitary pad and closed pads on a pink background.

Every six weeks or so, a pattern repeats itself.

I find myself angry at small inconveniences (well, more than usual), hating my appearance (again, more than I typically do), and finding every opportunity to have a cry. I'm irritable, I'm prone to sadness and I'm overthinking everything. I have a moment where I think that surely the whole world is conspiring against me. Every minor thing becomes significant and stressful, as if the entirety of that day has been designed to get on my nerves. 

And yet, the next day I will realise the inevitable has happened: I got my period.

All of my friends who get periods tell me that they experience the same thing - an incredibly intense burst of emotions where we never even stop to consider, 'oh that's right, I'm due for my period'. When you are so focused on the fact that nobody is on your side, you never take that much needed step back to consider that it just feels that way. But PMS symptoms, both physical and mental, are such a common part of the experience of having periods. Yet besides from being met with the sexist is-it-your-time-of-month comment, I do not always feel as if we talk enough about how to handle the intense emotional period in the lead up to or during your period.

What works for me? I find that once I acknowledge that my anger is owing to my period, it is a relief. I look back on the events of the days before and can laugh, because was I really having a cry because someone raised their voice at me a little? Did I really cry that I have no friends just because one person left me on read for an hour? I find it is good to have the self-awareness, to let yourself know that it is okay and perfectly normal that you felt that way but in hindsight, these things will definitely turn out alright.

As always, once I know that PMS will be affecting my mood, I make the effort to try and surround myself with my friends and loved ones as much as possible, my cat included. But in saying this, will I still be having an (adult-sized, hopefully) tantrum in a month's time over something stupidly insignificant? Almost certainly. Afterwards though, I hope I can tell myself that I was being quite ridiculous!

Tagged in What messes with your head