Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Stemming a Red Tide

PMS: Pardon My Sobbing, Pass My Sweats, Pissy Mood Syndrome, People Make Me Sick, Plainly; Men Suck…

Maybe this is too personal, so be warned, this blog is about my period. It is just that I have never had a problem with it before, have even enjoyed it really (I know, truly weird) but since having Babou, I have the most terrifying periods I have ever experienced. I now get all the normal symptoms but they seem unduly amplified; the tearing up for no good reason, the unreasonable hunger, the irritation level sky-high. What do you do when you actually want to take off your body like you would a pair of clothes? My brain also could use taking off. I feel the shaving my head, even my hair is irritating me. Imagine wearing a wool sweater 10 sizes too small in the heat of summer. That is how I feel.

And mentally being able to function is ridiculous. I could not make a decision to save my life. Addled brained does not even begin to describe me. I went into the grocery store and had to leave because I couldn’t remember why I’d come. Has this happened to anyone—these symptoms getting worse after baby? Maybe I am a freak of nature, actually I am pretty sure of this, but this is new territory for me and I don’t like it at all. My husband is nervous, too.

And normally I don’t care that much for sweets but boy I do now. I could eat an entire Boston Cream pie (just as I did once, I am not ashamed to admit, while pregnant). I am trying not to veer too far off my diet path but it is HARD.

I remember reading in some hippy self-help type book I am very prone to reading that our menstrual cycles actually are very evolved emotional balancing systems. It described our cycle in terms of wanting to be involved in, or distant from, our world. Our ovulation, obviously, marks our most social moment (hey, those eggs want to get hatched y’know), and then our periods are the moment that we seek our solitude, head to a moss hut, and be alone. I wish I had a hut to spend a week in. Doesn’t that actually sound so civilized? Our periods are our time to tend our garden, so to speak. It brings to light all the irritations of the month, allowing you to process and release and start anew. The book went further to postulate that because of this we are more emotionally evolved than men who have to fester all the way until their midlives to really get it all out of their system. The idea is that we are actually lucky for our monthly cycles as they allow us to be fully present emotionally.

I always thought that was such a beautiful metaphor and would love to uphold it, but in modern life it seems difficult. Today I am going to try to concentrate on finding a way to weave this metaphor into my more modern life and uphold that vision instead of shaving my head and running naked into the hills. Wish me luck!


Life As I Know It said...

Did you read The Red Tent? It is about this very thing. About women retreating for one week every month. They are pampered and do nothing but relax and take care of themselves. For one whole week every month. It makes perfect sense!
And yep, my body went way out of whack after both my kids. Not just emotionally, but I developed an allergic reaction to nuts, had months of weird arthritic pain and began to get migraines?? Ah, the beauty of child birthing...
Hang in there!

Domestically Challenged said...

The Red Tent is a wonderful book!

Hormones are such a pain -
I went to see a homeopath to calm my pms - which has been scary in the past - she cured me - by eating cashew nuts and rye crackers - apparently it was a lack of heavy metals in my diet that made me ratty and crave the choccies. Previously I was known to persuade the husband to drive 10 miles to find a garage to buy late night chocs! Fattening and didn't make me popular!
Of course the downside now, is I never feel the need for chocs at all!
posted reply!

Jo said...

DC: Homeopathic medicine is so interesting fascinating--I am sure they would have a field day with me! And Life...I Know It, I didn't get the arthritic pains but boy did my back go out a month or so after giving birth and still threatens ominously every now and then. I have never known an experience like childbirth that left me so empowered yet crippled!

AuthorMomWithDogs said...

"Empowered yet crippled"

Perfect definition of a body after motherhood.

Me? After birth, pms not so bad, but boy oh boy migraines and bad allergies to perfumes.

Oh, and shaving your head and running for the hills sounds perfectly reasonable to me. :)

Hope you feel better.

Melissa said...

Oh dear...don't shave your head, but maybe do go for a long walk in the woods (the moss hut could be buggy and scratchy to spend the night in...). I agree, in our "modern enlightened age" we do lose touch with our bodies & natural urges/cravings/changes and mask them with chemicals--and does that really make it better?

Domestically Challenged said...

Hi Jo
I got the Elizabeth Gilbert book :-)!
Hope you are feeling better.

Claire B. said...

Wow! You and me. . . we're body doubles yesterday! Your sister sent me over after reading my post.

I think it's true: we should be in tents, alone, but we are FORCED TO INTERACT with other humans instead. And be "nice." And be "professional." I was running a business and dealing with customers and employees (and my HUSBAND) yesterday when all I wanted was to run for the hills screaming.

Oh, and I don't have kids. I'm just getting old. Can't answer the post-birth question.

Jo said...

Dear Claire B: I hope yours has gotten better--mine worse if possible. I feel for you, at least I just had to deal with husband, baby, and overly bouncy dog (think Tigger from Winnie the Pooh only...much worse). Could NOT imagine the plethora you had to contend with. My hat, if I had one on, would go off to you!