Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Hate Love PMS

I used to hear women talk about PMS and had no idea what they were talking about. I didn't understand what was the big deal. And there were guys at the business where I worked before I had kids, who complained about their wives' PMSing. They talked about it, too, like it was a major deal which one should avoid at all costs.
And I continued in my bewilderment. Not "getting it." Not understanding why those three little letters incited such fear in the hearts of my co-workers. Wondering if everyone was making something out of nothing.
A few years ago, something happened in this body of mine and the reality of these horror stories was suddenly very clear to me. And I was agreeing PMS is something which a person may very well want to avoid at all costs.
The hormone roller coaster rides and resulting mood swings make me feel like a totally different person. And I don't like her.

Last night I could almost hear the click, click, click of cars climbing the first hill of the roller coaster.
Stupid little things were annoying me.
Noises which weren't really that loud were driving me to the edge.
Normal, imperfect behavior from my children was angering me.
Thoughts of running far, far away were appealing.

Click. Click. Click.

I listened to my husband playing a game with my daughter in the other room and started thinking things like, If I were a really good mom, I would be in there playing that game and laughing like they are. I'm no good.
Fortunately the Holy Spirit reminded me that statement was a lie. Even with the Truth, however, I was still feeling rotten. And my crabby mood remained through the rest of the night.
When I finally made it to bed, I just laid there and prayed. I was telling God exactly how I felt (As if He didn't already know...) and I was asking Him to hold me and love me as I slept. I was sure of my disdain for myself and my mood, but somehow I was more sure of God's love for me and my desperate need for Him. I fell asleep talking to Him, and I am confident Jesus wrapped His arms around me and held me in His love as I slept.
And I did feel better when I awoke this morning.

But as the morning hours faded and the day wore on, the indicators of PMS became more pronounced. I got to the point when talking to my boys (about something I would be able to handle on a "normal" day) that I couldn't get a word out without tears escaping as well.
Joshua asked, "Mom, are you crying?"
I just said, "Honey, do you remember what I told you about girls and their hormones, and how sometimes they cry at simple things?"
He nodded.
"That's what is happening with me right now. It's OK. Ignore the tears, but please listen to the words."
Joshua seemed to understand, and Matthew just hugged me. I finished what I needed to say then went into my room and just cried some more.

I feel so pathetic putting this event into words. I've already had second and third thoughts about publishing this post. But God has put it on my heart to write this, so - trusting there is someone who needs to read it - I will click on "publish" in a few minutes.

Back to me crying in my bathroom...I did a little Pull-it-together-Karen pep talk and determined to move on with my day. Don't know why it is but usually after I have myself a good cry life seems a little easier to manage, and I can face the rest of the day with greater confidence. Maybe excess hormones are released through my tear ducts? LOL
So it was today. I am feeling much better now.

In the midst of the emotional and hormonal mess of this thing called PMS, I know God was still loving me. And that amazes me.
I was reading a blog post recently about blessings disguised as curses - how sometimes the things which seem just awful to us end up being a tremendous source of God's love and blessing. And as I reflect on my monthly hormone surge, I am learning to see there is blessing in it.
Almost every month I have a hands-on, in-your-face illustration of God's unconditional, un-ending, ever-present love for me.
For a period of 24-48 hours - when I can barely stand to be with myself - God reminds me of my desperate need and desire for Him. He loves me when I feel utterly un-lovable. And He holds me tenderly when, quite honestly, I don't want anyone else to touch me.
How God's love could be so deep and His patience so strong is completely beyond me. But it has brought me to the point of being able to be thankful for this thing called PMS.
Because when I am weak, He is strong.

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16 comments:

Nicki said...

Well, if there is a woman who says they don't battle this...I'd like to meet them!!! I really sometimes believe that God allows us to go through these "hormonal" spells for a reason. I'm a pretty "tough" momma on the outside. It takes a lot to bring me to tears 3 weeks of the month. But I always appreciate a good cry, hormonal outburst or something along the lines. =) It keeps us real, you know what I mean?

Wendy said...

Karen,
I believe I'm the one God wanted you to write this for. I needed it. Thanks for listening to His voice and hitting the publish button.

annie said...

I am usually too busy to realize why I'm moody and then it comes and I remember and think... "oh." I don't usually cry much, but just feel short fused which is not normal for me.

I love how you explained your tears to your son. Those sons are so sweet!

Jules said...

Thank you for that posting.

jules x

kim said...

I'm glad you posted this...I go through it too and it's so frustrating. Especially when you have a little girl watching your every move and emotion...I love your blog!

Love, Kim
www.journeytohannah.com

Alisun said...

I too needed this post today, I will not mention this on my blog as a few family members do not know of my operation. Ok here it goes I had to have a hysterectomy last week and that is why I was out of blog land. I have been a teary, bloated, emotional mess ever since. The pain was more than I thought and the emotional ride is awful. But Jesus has held me too and I sure needed him.
Thank you sooo much for making me feel normal again!

Coach J said...

I have those same kind of tear ducts! :)

Happyhome said...

Click, click, click...some days it's just trying to hold on for the ride and not hurt anyone in the process.

Rachel said...

Okay, this was so good, I'm going to entrust a special word to you (and anyone reading this too):
HORMOTIONAL. That captures it all. There it is for you to use!
R <><

luvmy4sons said...

LOL! Well you have to know you are not alone! I had horrible PMS when I was on the pill...better after children and more so after turning vegan but lately the Perimenopause...well, you read my post on that! So I sympathize. Totally cracked me up. And to be thankful for it...amazing! We are to thank God in all things...right?

screamofcontinuousness said...

Thank you for posting this. For your transparency. I really believe God wants us to love each other this way. Trusting in Him to knit us all together.
hugs,
Deirdre

Amanda said...

Love it Love it Love it. I have never been one to 'suffer' from PMS, but this pregnancy I am in REALLY threw me for a loop. My first trimester was a NIGHTMARE for myself and everyone around me. Praise God that He is there rocking us to sleep and wrapping us in His perfect Love.
WONDERFUL post...as always!
God bless-
Amanda

Becoming Me said...

Hormones can be so ugly, but you are right, they can lead us closer to God and that is a blessing. Hugs.

StaceyStace said...

Thanks for posting. I have been too embarrassed to admit how much pain I am in (only a day or two) each month, but it keeps getting worse due to endometriosis. We are holding out on a hysterectomy in hopes of one more child, but it has gotten to the point that I can not even stand my own self on those days!! I was in prayer over what to do just this morning - God's timing is perfect in encouraging us.

Melissa said...

The older I get, the worse my symptoms seem to be. There are some days that I believe I really can feel the hormones coursing through my veins! There are times I've had to explain to my six-year-old that there is this thing, that happens to women once a month, that God put in place to help them have babies, and that it makes me a little more irritable and tired than usual. I let her know that it's not HER, it's ME.

And, of course, I believe the lie that I'm the only one who feels that way, the only one who thinks of herself as a failure and gets out-in-the-ditch with her kid and the only one who cries for no reason.

Thank you for reminding me that I'm not alone!

Edie said...

I'm wondering if God brought me to this post this morning. I'm beyond PMS (thanking God for that), but have been a ball of emotion this week and could relate to much that was in here this morning.

Thinking maybe I should follow the link and see where the trail leads. :)

Love you Karen!