It is the second day of slipping in and out of various dark holes. The monthly attack of the obscure hormones of PMDD happened again last night. It’s a terrifying reality inside reality for some women, like myself. But few women talk about it and practically nobody knows it even exists. It’s like PMS but with the emotional rollercoaster ride of the bipolar disorder and the sadness of pure grief. Even if it only lasts a few days every month, when it goes away you are left with the consequences of alienation and days of unproductiveness. And the feelings of shame and confusion.
It hits you during the time of ovulation. One minute you are fine – and the next you are falling down a deep and dark rabbit hole to a wonderland of hopelessness, covered in a thick, suffocating fog. Suddenly you are not able to relate to your world of familiar things, the people you love and your own positive feelings. The things you hold dear loses its colors and suddenly you can’t remember why you ever liked them. You can’t distinguish love from fear. Love is a faraway land and you’ve lost the map to get there. The food taste like dirt. You crave silence but if it’s broken, you feel hostile and confused. Every sound is threatening. A stab wound in your mind. Of course it’s a perfect disposition for arguments and conflicts. It’s like that horror movie cliché where a woman is caught in a cobweb and she’s trying to get out but only making herself more entangled in the sticky net. And the fog is closing in, surrounding you, locking you inside it while you’re fighting to get disentangled from the spider’s web.
Finally, you are so deep into the fog, so caught in the web that the only thing you you are able hear is your own breaths. You are there, in the world, and the hormones are spreading like a poison in your veins but nobody can see this isolation, the entrapment or the fog. Only you. Panic. And desperation. A conflict of consciousness. Two realities meshing, colliding, feeding off each other, destroying one another – melting and tearing at each other. Like two overlapping films, burning and melting into one distorted collection of sequences.
After a few days, the fog lightens and then it’s suddenly gone. You are disentangled from the web. The air is clear and you can breathe without inhaling fear. You can speak without chocking on the words as if they are swollen and doesn’t fit your throat. Your mind is open. Until next month of course, when the whole nightmare will repeat itself again.
The dark corner of womanhood is natural but feels so otherworldly. We shouldn’t have to feel shame on top of the struggle some of us are facing every month. It’s hard to reach us when we are lost in the fog, but it’s even harder for us to reach out and feel the lightness of reality.