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A Personal Letter...

PMDD Corner = comfort + some personal stuff

Awhile back, I said that I would be sharing some of the new stuff that is going on with me. Since then, I’ve been letting my feelings and questions about it gestate—how much to share, what will be the most beneficial to you and to me, stuff like that. But I don’t think the answers are in any kind of thinking or preparation that I can do. I think the answers are in just allowing myself to act when inspiration and guidance urges me to, and today that urging has come. So I want to share some very personal stuff with you…

GRIEF

I’ll start by sharing about a loss my husband and I experienced in 2020. Just a few weeks before the quarantine started, we lost our unborn child due to complications after 4 months of pregnancy. It was heartbreaking and we still grapple with our grief today. For me, the loss of my pregnancy and the beautiful amazing thing that was happening in my body was immense. For my husband, the loss of the daughter he was dreaming of raising was devastating.

HORMONES

Since my teens, I’ve known that I am highly sensitive to hormonal factors in my body, and so I could feel that I was going through postpartum depression on top of grieving the loss of my child. It was overwhelming and unbearable, but the quarantine gave me the time I needed to focus on healing, and I began working with a therapist.

PMDD

In the process of working with my therapist over my grief, I discovered that a hormonal pattern that I had been managing for over 30 years had a name and was considered a disability due to the disruptive and emotionally taxing impact it has. This disability is known as PMDD, or Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

Having grown up in a time when anything menstrual was to be joked about and dismissed as “female stuff,” I find it important for me to say out loud that this is not something to be shrugged off. It is life-threatening for many people due to the dysphoria we are living with for two to three weeks each month. Dysphoria is defined as “a profound state of dissatisfaction and unease,” but these words hardly capture the suffering and destabilization involved. Suicide rates are high among those living with this condition.

There is a lot I could share about how it is for me—it’s complex and there are a lot of details and nuances to my personal patterns, but for now let me just say that my spiritual practices, intellectual strategies, and natural tenacity have made it possible for me to avoid any life-threatening events and be comforted during the dysphoric weeks of my months. I am able to find beauty, comfort, and of course, as you know, magic, in my life, despite how much PMDD has cost me and how much it is still very present in my life.

LAW OF ATTRACTION

I look at what I’ve shared so far and I see at least 5 words that Law of Attraction teachers might frown on for having low vibrations. If you don’t already know what Law of Attraction is in terms of personal practice, it’s the idea that your thoughts, feelings, moods, and emotions create vibrational frequencies and those frequencies magnetically draw in things that match those vibrational frequencies. If you want good things to happen in your life, you have to have good vibrations to attract them.

For me, having hormonally generated dysphoria every month for 35 years means I have lived in low vibrations for over half of my time, for over three quarters of my life, and that means there is no way for me to possibly maintain the high vibration required for a beautiful life, according to common Law of Attraction teachings. Pretty disheartening stuff.

I have spent the last 14 years trying to positive-think my way out of the PMDD pattern, even before I had a name for it, and what it has boiled down to for me is a choice between an overwhelming and heartbreaking sense of failure or a courageous venture into total self-acceptance.

It’s not what those Law of Attraction teachers are saying, but it is what keeps me from total hopelessness. So I am at a crossroads with my Law of Attraction practices because I think there’s more to the conversation than what’s going around—positive thinking and all that surface stuff. I think there’s some deeper stuff, like what my vibration is really made of and what spiritual dynamics overrule vibrations. Because even though I do believe in the science of vibrational magnetism, I also believe in the spiritual powerhouse of grace. So that’s what I’m exploring these days—grace.

GRACE

Grace is “the receiving of goodness without having worked for or earned it”—which I talk more about in my Mystic Woman work and my upcoming Mystic Woman: Inner Retreat Workbook. It’s a spiritual force to be reckoned with and no wiggle from a vibrational flash in the pan is going to overthrow it. Plus if, as Law of Attraction suggests, we create our total reality, then I have the power to set up my reality with a principle of grace that wraps itself around my vibration, high or low, and keeps me receiving blessings whether I’m earning it in the vibrational department or not. Look, I’m here for that.

And I have seen it at work in my life. Some of my biggest blessings have come when I was in some of my lowest places. Meeting the first great love of my life came when I was grappling with a massive depression triggered by betrayal and ghosting from someone I trusted. And the second came when I was heartbroken over a 12-year friendship-turned-romance coming to an abrupt and surprising end as soon as it had begun. I literally sent up a mini-tantrum as prayer and met my future husband within the week. Tantrums aren’t high vibrational behaviors, and yet I was blessed.

That is grace. That is the power of the spiritual dimension to surpass the laws of science and the physical dimension—including the vibrational ones. And just to be clear, I have not been a miserable person all my life—not at all. I have had times of great achievement, high confidence, elevated status. I have a spirit that lights up a room—sometimes with whimsy, sometimes sass, sometimes silliness. And a wit that tickles the earballs of my blah blah blah.

So it’s not like every blessing that happens in my life happens in a low time because it’s always a low time. The blessings have had options, and some of them have chosen to arrive in the low times.

For me, recognizing that is a lifeline. Because it means I’m not ruining my life every time I cycle back around to dysphoria. It means there’s hope for my remaining dreams to come true, even as someone with PMDD. It means there’s hope for me. Period. See what I did there? ☺

POP-UP STUFF

I wanna talk about all of this more—coping with grief, feeling inspired by life, letting ourselves just be, and of course playing with our magical toys—and be here for you if I can, when I can. I don’t exactly know what that looks like yet, but it probably won’t happen on any Gregorian calendar’s masculinely inclined schedule. It’ll probably happen on my biocycle’s schedule. It’ll probably be pop-up group stuff like tea leaves readings and a symbol of the month, finding comfort during dysphoria and other kinds of grief, and stuff with music because I just love music.

In fact, I’ve already gotten started. I’ve set up a new PMDD Corner here at Soul Candy, with a focus on finding comfort in times of dysphoria and grief, and posted on Instagram.

So, please go visit PMDD Corner, and follow me on INSTAGRAM because that’s where I’ll be doing stuff and having more of this conversation. And we’ll talk more here soon.