So I’m just about on the tail end of my odyssey through PMS this month. I’ve been experimenting philosophically on ways to deal with it, as it seems impossible to get symptom free through diet and nutrition alone. I’ve had a monstrous time this month and yet I feel more optimistic about handling it than I ever have. It seems to be a sort of gateway to spirituality for me. This is new as I was shut down to my spirituality until quite recently–once I got passed a point in my withdrawals and stopped being so numb it started coming back to me. I was very spiritual in my early adulthood and, in fact, majored in religious studies as an undergrad. Once I began taking meds, my spirituality came to a crashing halt. I became a miserable, and hopeless atheist. (I’m not suggesting atheists need be miserable or hopeless–not in the least bit–that is simply how it was for me–it was part of my depression and numbness from the drugs–I am by nature a spiritual being, as I am now discovering again)
In any case I’m tackling my PMS with concepts that could be considered “spiritual,” but they certainly don’t have to be, anyone could adopt them as coping strategies. The coping skills I’m learning are in the context of reading somewhat spiritual material. First as I talked about in this post, I use the concept of Radical Acceptance. Now I’m borrowing from a book I’ve recently read, “The Seat of the Soul.” It suggests and it really came home to me that we choose our behavior at any given moment. I may feel like a radical bitch, but I don’t have to behave like one. This is a liberating thought for me. And it seems to be working. I just have to stop and think and take responsibility for my actions. If I stay conscious, I don’t have to act out.
Acting out was the biggest problem during PMS each month. I would lash out at my husband for no good reason and he would react with equal or greater force. Neither of us were behaving nicely, but I was always the one triggering it. We rarely argue when I’m not suffering from PMS. So anyway, lately I’ve been trying to stay conscious and simply feel the anger and hostility and come out with calm, rational, peaceful statements. No snapping. I CAN be responsible for what I say and do, even if I feel like shit….it’s working and I’m feeling empowered. Even at some of the worst dips in mood state, I felt a sense of power and optimism this month. Pain is inevitable, suffering is not. (didn’t someone say something like that?)
This comes back to the post I wrote about this woman, also look here for another “dumb ass disorder” excuse. These are people blaming their “disorder” for their bad behavior. I refuse to let my impulses dictate the way that I behave. And when I do lapse in that goal, I take responsibility and don’t blame my disorder. I spent years blaming my disorder, even while learning not to act out, but as I begin to refuse to blame “bipolar disorder” I free myself up to refuse to be a victim. How else can I expect to recover? And I do fully expect to recover!
I will write another post about my nascent spirituality as it emerges from the recesses of my soul as the numbing power of the drugs lift off of me.