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Saturday, December 14, 2013

PMS - Parating Masungit (Always Surly) Syndrome Otherwise Known as My Monthly Demon

My PMS are the worst in the world.  At the studio of my defunct children's show Pen Pen De Sarapen, 1991. I was 15 years old.
Here we go again...


Otherwise known as Pre-Menstrual Syndrome.

My husband calls it my nasisiraan ng ulo (crazy) time or my nababaliw (losing my wits) phase.

At this time, he usually backs off or gives me LOTS of space, physical and otherwise, lest he get in my way and I do any of the ff:

  • get super depressed
  • get super irritated
  • get super angry
  • get super paranoid
  • get super suicidal*

All of them have super preceding them because I really get the WORST PMS symptoms.

I am usually chirpy and cheerful and sweet for the most part of the month, until PMS hits and I turn into this seemingly demon-possessed creature who experiences all of the above emotions one at a time or in some unfortunate and crazy, manic episodes -- all at the same time!

I even researched on it so many times because not only did I have bad  physical symptoms: 
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bloating, water retention and weight gain
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Acne
  • Food cravings, especially sweet or salty foods
  • Sleep pattern changes
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches, migraines and cramps
  I also had even worse emotional issues:

  • depression, sadness hopelessness
  • anger and irritability
  • anxiety
  • mood swings
  • inability to concentrate

 PMS is usually the time of month when I would be oppressed by my usual demons. *(This was the time when I still had borderline anorexia and because PMS made me bloat, I felt FAT, and it was then that I'd get really suicidal.)

Upon research I have realized that I had what you called PMDD or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. If PMS had levels of strength, PMDD was at the highest level, and I had that. I battled with it for every month starting as a teenager.

There was this one incident (which we laugh about a lot when we recall it) when Dong and I went on a short out-of-town trip back in 1998 when we were just dating, and I cooked us some pinakbet (a Filipino dish with lots of vegetables with shrimp paste). At that time, I was still not that learned in cooking so the pinakbet became too salty. (I think I put a cup of shrimp paste instead of just a tablespoon!) He said sweetly, "Honey it is a bit too salty."

I was PMSing at that time, and when I was in my worst PMS, I got very very very sensitive and easily offended. I looked at him with extreme hurt etched on my face, stomped my feet, walked farther and told him: "A ganon? Tatalon ako dito sa bangin!!!!" (Oh really? I will jump off the nearest cliff!)

Ang Pinakbet. Bow.
By that time, he was already used to my monthly crazy antics, so he took me seriously and said gently, "Honey, it's okay... Come here, come here... Don't do that.", and he embraced me and veered me away from the cliff. (We were in Baguio City at that time and there were really lots of cliffs there!) Imagine if I went through with that! Suicide! Nobody would believe Dong if he said that I killed myself on purpose over a salty dish. They would all blame him and make him the culprit! They'd say he pushed me to my death! My honey would be in jail for a crime he did not commit... over an overly salty vegetable dish!!!!
This could very well be me!

Could be me too!
According to Wikipedia, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome afflicting 3% to 8% of women. On average, the symptoms last six days, with the most intense symptoms happening in the two days before through the day of the start of menstrual blood flow.

Emotional symptoms are generally present, and in PMDD, mood symptoms are dominant. Substantial disruption to personal relationships is typical for women with PMDD. Anxiety, anger, and depression may also occur. The main symptoms, which can be disabling, include:
  • Feelings of sadness or despair, or even thoughts of suicide
  • Feelings of tension or anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Mood swings or frequent crying
  • Lasting irritability or anger that affects other people
  • Lack of interest in daily activities and relationships
  • Trouble thinking or focusing
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Food cravings or binge eating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling out of control
  • Physical symptoms, such as bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, and joint or muscle pain
The symptoms occur during the week before menstruation, and go away once it starts. A diagnosis of PMDD requires the presence of at least five of these symptoms. I had them ALL. :(

I am writing this post while PMSing, and boy, is it hard.

I pretty much want to cry at the moment and I am battling with feelings of despair too.

This pretty much affects everything that I do, most especially my dealings with my kids and husband.

Dong even said the other day, "Patay. Nasisiraan ka na naman..." (We're dead. You are again losing your mind.") Not something nice to admit, given that I am writing a blog on being peaceful, right? I am supposed to be a model of good behavior. But, it has to be addressed.

Being a RESPECTFUL wife is  NOT easy when one is feeling anything BUT peace.

In fact at the moment of this writing, I feel a bit overwhelmed. Why? Nothing in particular, really. As of a few minutes ago, it was because I couldn't seem to find the picture within my computer to place on this post and I have been at it for five minutes and counting!!

There! Finally I found it!!!! I wanted to punch my monitor already!

This is the pic I was looking for! I am usually very sad when I am PMSing. I was 13 here.
Breathe in. Breathe out.

I do not know what I aim to accomplish at this point, given that I feel a bit plastic or a hypocrite, for still even attempting to write about God, when I am really far from well... being a godly person today.

This is to be my second period only from when I got pregnant with Isabelle, and honestly, I am not used to the symptoms anymore. It doesn't help too that since I do not know what my symptoms are anymore, since my monthly visitor still hasn't arrived, it is freaking me out that I may be PREGNANT again, just when Isabelle is turning 8 months!!!!! I think that this may be a PMDD symptom -- my illogical thinking -- but it's so hard to control my thoughts. Since I  no longer play and replay the "usual PMS tapes" in my head i.e. my husband's faults/shortcomings, there is DEARTH to be filled. So, instead of feeling irritated or slighted by my husband's actions/inactions, I now have filled up that void with this ridiculous, irrational, groundless FEAR OF GETTING PREGNANT.

Hubby Dong has assured me that save for an Immaculate Conception, that is next to impossible. 
But the thoughts that are running through my head are :

  • But you don't KNOW my body! I don't know my body anymore. It may betray me!
  • How would you know? If we could just remain celibate FOR LIFE, I will never have to fear getting pregnant again!!!!
  • I just want to punch my stomach and make myself bleed, just so I won't get this scared anymore of NOT getting my period!!!!
  • Lord, why are you doing this to me? Why are you not answering my prayers to just have my period NOW so I can relax?!
Okay, lest you get so turned off by me, that I lose my credibility altogether, I am just being extra transparent to let you, fellow sisters in this journey, in order for you to realize that though one is already of Christ, one still is HUMAN. We do not suddenly become emotionless/hormone-less people. We would have to deal with the frailties of this sinful flesh.

A conversation that happened yesterday was:

Nikka: I still haven't gotten my period. I am so scared.

Dong: Don't be irrational. You are not pregnant.

Nikka: I cannot think rationally. I am all feelings now. I want to cry.

Dong: Okay, you cry later. You will feel better.

Therese suddenly hears and asks: Mommy, why do you feel sad?

Nikka: (silent)

Therese: Mommy, why do you want to cry?

Dong: Mommy feels sad right now, baby, but she is going to be okay.

Pretty heavy stuff for somebody just about to get her period right?

Some men and even some fortunate and blessed women (who never experience any of this!) are wont to say that this is all OA (OverActing) on our part and that all this is but a figment of our fertile imagination. I wish I could say that I could STOP.RIGHT.NOW. all my negative emotions but I really am having a hard time. I am so not imagining this!!!

Matthew 26:41

"Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Mateo 26:41
 41Kayo'y mangagpuyat at magsipanalangin, upang huwag kayong magsipasok sa tukso: ang espiritu sa katotohanan ay may  ibig,       datapuwa't mahina ang laman.

This flesh, this human flesh, MY flesh, is SO weak and I am falling into temptation. :(

However, because of my respect journey, though I really am feeling overwhelmed by my symptoms, I would like to say that despite the PMDD, I was able, with God's Grace to not:
  • snap at my husband for whatever reason
  • just sulk in one corner and be/look morose
  • engage my husband in a pinagtitripan o walang kabuluhang away (senseless argument)
  • scream or yell in my room (which I used to do when I was already feeling SO pathetic)  
I don't actually know what the aim is of this post except to rant perhaps, but hopefully, by allowing you into my innermost yuckiest thoughts at the moment, you realize that peaceful women in this submissive journey still have to battle through the most mundane things.

Once you become a peaceful woman, it doesn't mean you will NEVER undergo crazy spells like this again. BUT, what is different from my usual premenstrual episodes is that I am holding my tongue a lot now because I don't want to further sin, given that I can't control how I feel or even how I think. I do know I can control what comes out of my mouth.

Proverbs 10:19

When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.

Salawikain 10:19

Sa karamihan ng mga salita ay hindi nagkukulang ng pagsalangsang: nguni't siyang nagpipigil ng kaniyang mga labi ay gumagawang may kapantasan.

I have this joke in my head that I think Eve was PMSing when she disobeyed God that day in the Garden of Eden. Even in PMS, I am really a daughter of Eve...

Remember what she did, right?
  • She ate the forbidden fruit (extreme cravings and always hungry!).                                                Genesis 3:6  - "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye... she took some and ate it."

  • She was irrational and had decreased alertness/inability to concentrate (on God's Orders!).    
  • Genesis 3:2-5 

    And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die."Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

  • She felt out of control.   Genesis 3:13 - Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Pray for me dear sisters! I know that like all things, this too shall pass... I just hope it passes... soon! Grrrrrrrrrr....

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this wonderful informative post. I was dying to read a PMS article from a co filipina since most articles I've stumbled are from western girls. I too have the worst pms ever. And it has gotten worse now that I'm older. To the point that I have to stay in bed for like 2 days or so. Whenever I tell my mom she would always say "Hindi na normal yan. I have never experienced that when I still had my period." Kaya napapaisip na run ako baka nga di normal. Baka super OA lang ng mga western girls. But anyway after reading your article I'm relieved, di pala ako nag-iisa. :) Thanks again for the nice article. God bless you and your family!


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