Tuesday, 24 July 2012

CODE RED

In my previous post, I talked about an idea about having a code that you could send to your partners or close friends when you need help, or are feeling unstable and anxious.

It could be used in all sorts of situations, but for me, it would be when things are becoming difficult and I'm losing my rag, and I want to communicate with my partner without dragging him into the tornado of emotions (that are all mainly irrational and dysphoric).

So, I've decided I'm going to go for a really easy idea, of CODE RED.  But you could equally use numbers, or some other symbolic word etc.

Contacting my husband at work is something I now stay away from.  We text occasionally, when there is business to do or to tell each other we love them, but in the past, texts have been so destructive, and a childish and cowardly way of dealing with things during pre menstruation.

I now, rarely, ever send nasty or crazy text messages.  It can be hard to stop myself, but most of the time I succeed. What is usually behind an outburst is a need or worry that needs to be sorted.  When things don't get sorted, the problem grows in my head, like I have a brain of fertiliser, and it ends up flying out in a shit storm of frustration. All I might want is a hug, or some time to myself, or it maybe I just need to talk about something.

I can't ever explain whats going on in my head through a text.  However, if I use a code, it will signal to him that I'm having a rough day, and I may need to talk, to be pampered, left alone, or all three!  It may alert him that there is a difficult conversation that we need to have, or that I might not be cooking a meal that night...

You may even go so far as to include orange and black too...  I would keep it simple though, no one needs to refer to a flow chart all the time!  Here's an example:
CODE ORANGE - I'm feeling rubbish, really low and crappy. I need a hug and I need you to know that I'm not doing so great.  Today might be a struggle.  I might not be able to cook tonight.  I'm tired and stressed.
CODE RED - I'm feeling pissed off, probably for no reason, but I feel frustrated and easily angered.  I need to talk to you about some things that are bothering me, but I need you to know that I am battling with lots of negative thoughts and worries so it might not be easy.  I need you to understand, I feel like I'm on the edge of losing it.  Everything feels out of control.
CODE BLACK - I'm dangerously low...  I need you.  I'm scared.  I feel like I shouldn't be here, that we shouldn't be together.  I have no friends, I just want to sleep and never wake up.. Help, I need you home/to speak to you as soon as you can.
How your partner responds can be talked about between you, and in the same way, your system can cover whatever it is that triggers you...

It's a good exercise to do, to get an idea of what it is that triggers you, or how you respond to the stress within or outside of you.  It also helps your partner if you have some idea of what is the best thing to do in these situations.  You feel lost, they have no idea what to do, and every partner who claims to love you, should also want to support you, but unless you figure out what it is you need, you will both float out to sea.  In those times, you need your partner to be your anchor, whether thats being with you or leaving you alone.  Knowing you can have what you need, talk about what you need, feel loved and looked after when everything feels so scary really helps, so start to look for patterns, triggers, things you always do that always end in disaster.  Identify them and work to change the patterns.  The same choices will always bring the same results, so try and change the way you react or deal with things.  Be mindful, think, don't react.  Put some trust in the future even when you feel there is none.

I will be discussing this with my man, that if I send him a message saying CODE RED, that I am having a crappy time.  This way he can be prepared but not hurt, upset or angry with me by the time he gets home.

And what do you do in the mean time? when your head is all over the place and you have a few hours before the person who (almost) understands you finally gets home.  You focus on other stuff.
Get jobs done, look after the kids, get someone else to have the kids, get some sleep, go for a walk, draw, write, call a friend... anything to stay away from any stressful situations. If you have the luxury of time to yourself then chill!  enjoy the space, the quiet... eat an ice cream (like I am doing right now!)

Do anything but dwell and over analyse, fantasise and add fuel to the fire.  It's amazing how quickly you can change your path and how doing simple things make you feel better.

Averting disaster

So this morning, day 27, I woke up after a reasonable night sleep.

It's been 11 days since I got married.  My man has gone back to work and the kids are now off school for the summer.  The sun is shining today, which has been a rare thing in the UK this year.
Been feeling narky for the past couple of days, and already entered my quiet time over the weekend.  My quiet time (pre menstruation) is when I can't find the words to say, when my head is caught up with other stuff.  I become forgetful and frustrated.  My mind dwells on things, things that are bothering me.  Up till now, it's been about the wedding and the things that didn't go quite to plan.  This morning it was maintenance issues... I know!  how ridiculous!

I have a few things that need doing in the house, and the communal lighting in our close is broken again and lights stay on all day when they should go off.  Now, I've had to report this a few times to our housing association.  No-one else seems to care, despite the fact we already pay a service charge for sweet FA, and all that wasted electric will only give them an excuse to charge us all even more.  It should be a quick call, but for some reason the people at the HA rarely understand that I live in a CLOSE not a flat, and yes we do have communal lighting, and no, I haven't broken it, and no, it's not my property, it's OUTSIDE.... sigh...

While on the phone, I can feel my frustration rising.
It's simple.. the lights that are YOUR responsibility are broken AGAIN... the outside lighting has been on for 24 hours a day, everyday, for over 2 weeks.  I'd hoped someone else might call you but they obviously haven't. It seems to be my responsibility again.   I report a dodgy fit and lock on the back door (due to the heat over the past week) and it's 20 questions about why I hadn't contact them sooner.
I got really arsey and asked why it matters, I'm reporting it now, and I'd just got married, been busy etc and could feel my top about to blow. Tears started coming, I wanted to hang up, go back to bed and cry/sleep the day away.. Then, just as I was getting somewhere, their computers go down, so she tells me she'll call me back.

I sit in the garden and my head is going crazy... all the issues I'd already created popped back up, the annoyance and frustration with the woman on the phone, the worry about the issues, the feeling like I'm going to crack under all this pressure (which for many can be sorted without a care in the world, including myself at a different time of the month).

I wanted to text my man.  I wanted to let him know I felt like I was about to crack, and that the kids are home and I don't know how I will cope, that I am feeling terrible and dwelling on loads of stuff, and there's some stuff that's bothering me and we need to talk.....

He's just gone back to work, I hate stressing him out or worrying him more at work.  In the past, without the control I have now, I would have sent him some annoyed text, or something crazy about how he shouldn't love me, or why is he with me?  Or that I'm pissed off about something he's done and I can't be with him anymore...  It could be that irrational, and to him, a bolt out of the blue... an insult, a break up threat, or some other equally unreasonable thing to say by text to someone you love.

I ended up thinking about how I could let him know I'm feeling crap, while at work, without having to go into all the details while he has his job to do (which supports me and the children).  It's not the first time I've tried to figure out the best way to communicate when I'm like this.  Due on tomorrow and my fuse is seriously short.  This would have been the time of massive arguments or fall outs, or me biting on to an issue and rather than discussing it like an adult, my hurt, PMDD self takes over and buggers it all up with anger and a spiralling sense that everything is gonna fall apart because of one small thing.

Us PMDD girls who are trying to keep our relationships, who are trying to stop the destruction that being dysphoric can cause, should be figuring out a code to use that signals to our partners that we are in emotional/mental trouble.  Like sending up a flare.  At that moment, it's often the fact we just need someone to know that we feel terrible.  That today is gonna be a struggle or even, on a more serious note, that we are in complete turmoil and we fear we may do something stupid.

As I am grabbing my second chance of married life with both hands, I want to make sure that I do all I can to communicate and work through things with my man.  I've had some terrible relationships in the past, and am finally very happy.  He's seen me at my worst, and I never want to go back there again.

I've had many moments when I desperately need my partner's support, whether that be to talk to, to help out, to give me a break, or just to sympathise, but I go about it in the wrong way.  The stuff I need to talk about can come out all wrong, disagreements happen, the road gets super rocky and in an instant it feels like your relationship is ending and it's all your fault.

I figure I need a code.  I need a way of telling him that I need him, without bringing all my shit to his work desk.  You can find my code ideas here... http://meetmypmdd.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/code-red.html

By the time I'd realised that I had a few blogs that I need to write around the subject of relationships, and the thoughts/worries about all the other things I need to do today, the phone rang and all my maintenance issues will be sorted tomorrow...  I apologised for getting frustrated with the situation and all was well.  I felt better for saying sorry, even to a complete stranger.  She was only trying to do her job, my PMDD is not her fault.

I felt a bit better, and focused on some household chores, mowed the lawn barefoot in the sunshine, cooled down in the shade and battled with my mind for another 10 mins as to whether I go get a shower before I write, or just get on with it.  The pernickety me, would want to shower and get ready for the day before I get writing, but there is always the risk I will lose my flow of thought and not get round to it, so I decided to sit here in my garden dress and get something written.  The kids are happy playing, I'm not due to go anywhere or see anyone, so that one 'rule' can go out the window today.

It's easy to obsess at this time of the month.  It's easy to get caught out and trip yourself up, it's easy to end up in a crazy situation because you haven't tried to divert yourself from disaster.
At this time of the month, I can spend all day talking myself away from a potentially sticky situation, talking myself away from irrational thoughts.  I sleep more than usual, often just to quieten down the endless babble.  The calm will come.  I will hit a place of feeling centred.  I can feel the urge to draw or create giving me a ton of ideas for writing, pictures, cooking struggling to be heard through the ridiculous fog that makes me go round in circles.  The worries will be defeated.  I make lists of things that I can do something about, and start ticking them off (energy allowing).  The things I can't do anything about immediately, I leave till I feel stronger to deal with them, or wait for an opportunity to tackle them.  Getting things done, rather than worrying about the fact they need doing is a far better way to spend time, and it is possible to deal with mundane things in this head space.

I know I'm due to bleed very soon.  I know that I need to rest.  I know that I need to stay away from stressful situations, and even more so, I need to make sure I don't create any negative situations for myself.  I have more writing to do, I have thank you cards to make, write and send, I have a ton of stuff to catch up on.  I am blessed to have a night without the children tonight, quiet time to indulge, or time to sleep... either will do.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Wedding!

The wedding went perfectly!  We had such a great day.
After 6 months of hard planning and shopping and praying the weather would improve, we made it!

I was on day 16, so just around ovulation and at the time of the month that I have energy and am not so afraid of social situations.  It was a bit of a flook that it ended up during that part of my cycle, and I don't know if it would have all felt so good at any other time of the month.  

I was surprisingly calm all day, with only a couple of stressed out moments in the afternoon, and I coped with all the people and how hectic the whole day felt.

I will be writing more about planning a big event, giving consideration to your cycle in future posts, but for now, here's a few pics!




 






Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Exciting times!

I haven't posted properly in a while.  Life has been VERY busy.

Some of you, mainly those that follow my blog on Facebook, or are members of my support groups, will know that I am preparing for a very special event.

In TWO DAYS, I get married!  Friday 13th July 2012.

This is the reason I haven't posted anything new in a while, and the reason why it may be a couple more weeks before I get back to my writing again.

We have been planning the wedding for about 6 months, on a very tight budget, but after all the effort, I finally get to marry my man and see all my hard work pay off.
I'm very excited, and as someone who said she would never get married again... I'm pinching myself regularly!

I have a few articles that I can't wait to write, such as, how to cope with planning a wedding with PMDD!  and when everything get's settled, I will be back with new articles, and news of my happy day!

Take care of yourselves, and remember, the bad times always pass... and it IS possible to look forward and enjoy life...

The next time I write, I will be sporting a new surname, a beautiful wedding ring and I will officially be a married woman!

Big love everyone! xx
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