I have recently embarked on a very interesting experiment. I have, for years, paid attention to my hormones, my cycle, my shifts in mood. I came to grips with the fact that PMS is very real and it affects me in a very real, very biological, very physical way. I get cranky. My patience is shortened and tightens like a cold rubber band that is ready to snap at any moment. It lasts for 1 - 2 days and it ends with me sitting alone and having a good cry. I know what it is. I just allow it to happen. It's never a big deal anymore. I bite my tongue and I apologize frequently during this period. It's a work in progress, but it's part of who I am, so I try to stay very conscious of where I am in my cycle, how I'm feeling and how the two correlate.
I think it's important to note that during PMS, women aren't emotional messes. We are actually quite the opposite. We are fine-tuned protectors. We are hyper-sensitive about protecting ourselves and our loved ones. We get emotional because there is a lot going on in our bodies. This is the time when we are either starting to grow life inside our wombs, or we are shedding the walls and eggs that our bodies have worked to create. Either way, our bodies are weaker because they are working harder and so our emotions and senses are heightened. This is a time when I might cry at the drop of a hat, but it's also the time when my friends, lovers and family can rely on me the most. If something pops off around this time of the month, you want me around. Because, my instincts are sharp and my temper is volatile. If someone tries to fuck with someone I love, I will defend by any means necessary. *Insert imagery of mother lion devouring flesh to protect her young.
Without even looking at a calendar, there is a certain point when I know my period will arrive within the next 12 hours. I have narrowed it down to an almost perfect science. I can feel the weight in my abdomen. My eyes grow heavy, no matter how much I sleep. I lose all appetite and I get a slight touch of nausea. Yes, it's a rather charming time. But, that is something I have known. That is a time when I am super tuned to my body and I can read everything.
So, just about a month ago, I noticed that my moods changed ever so slightly every few days. It wasn't necessarily something that just anyone would notice. No one would think twice about it or think "J isn't herself today." But, there were subtle changes that I notice. We all notice them (in ourselves) in some way or another, but what we may not notice is the pattern in which they fall. Some days I am ravenous. Some days I eat a lot. Some days I have no appetite. Some days I want to hump the wall. And some days I would like a one-mile-radius shield between me and anything with a dick. It's just how it is.
But, on this particular day, just under a month ago, I was IN THE MOOD. I had been having these intense sexual dreams and everything I thought about was laced in some sort of highly erotic tone. During meals and conversations, I would find myself drifting into fantasies. I approached conversations with the men in my life in a whole different manner. And I was masturbating far more than usual. I knew it had to do with my hormones. Of course it did. What else could it be? So, I decided to make a note of it. I opened my calendar, and for that day, I wrote the simple words "Want sex a lot."
But I didn't stop there. I chronicled all the days I wanted sex. I chronicled the days I wanted to be alone. The days I felt sad and the days I had a lot of creative energy. I marked my ups and my downs, however slight and I went back and read old blog posts to see how the days correlate. It was brilliant. I have always known my periods are like clockwork and, since I am not on prescription birth control, I have a very natural hormonal cycle. But, this was more than I had expected to learn about myself.
It was perfectly on track. I figured out that the days I really really want sex are the days on which I am ovulating. The days I want the world to shut down are the days when my uterus is shutting down and starting to shed the unused eggs. Another month gone by with my reproductive organs working in vain. Or were they? After tracking a full 28 days, I had a realization. My hormones bring my creativity. They bring my good days, as well as my bad. Being a creature that is driven by hormonal changes is what makes me beautiful. It gives me days of brilliance and strength, as well as much needed days to step back and reflect or recharge.
This morning I woke up and I sent The Maybe Boyfriend a text. It was ill planned and he got offended. I really meant nothing by it, but I felt bad. I hadn't meant to offend him or hurt his feelings. How had I gone so wrong? I went to class and began making a series of stupid mistakes. I asked seemingly simple, slightly dumb questions. I made ugly compositions. I worked with colors that didn't work together. I am really good with color. Why couldn't I be me today? Then, the professor put on an animation for us to watch and it was brilliant. It was funny and the colors were vibrant. Watching it felt great. Then, I realized it. Today is my dumb day. I just wanted to sit and watch shiny things. I thumbed back through my calendar and there it was. Validation in blue ink, "Dumb day." Today is the last day of my period. It's my dumb day. 28 days ago today, I was dumb. So, as soon as I got out of class, I came up to my room to write this post, then spend the rest of the day watching Tom and Jerry. I'm allowed to. It's my dumb day.
So, I have to insist that everyone make a hormone calendar and track your overall moods and abilities. It's really an amazing step in getting to know yourself. Paying attention to my body has helped a great deal in understanding me. It helps me understand why I am feeling the things I am feeling when I am feeling them, instead of only being able to look back and understand in hindsight. I have always been one to think on something for a few days before acting on it. Now, I have even more reason to enact this behavior. I have the peace of mind of knowing that this too shall pass. My thinking, intelligence, reasoning, creativity and patience levels change from day to day. So, there are days, like today, when I just have to give myself a pass, watch some cartoons and know that today is the day to intake and not the day to output. It doesn't make me a moron. It just makes me a human. In two days, I will be able to peel the paint off the walls with my intellect, and four days after that, I will be able seduce a nun. I can't be good at all things all the time, but it helps to know what I'm good at day-by-day.
- Poly Amory
- I am the product-child of the Women's Lib movement. I have a grade A education, a promising career and no immediate goal for children or a spouse. I will be 30 this year and I have spent many years in monogamous relationships. In and out of 1 to 2 year relationships, I always dated with the goal of meeting someone special. Most of the time I didn't date. Most of the time I found myself falling into relationship after relationship. These relationships were doomed to fail. They were all built on expectations that were, for me, unattainable. I love meeting new people. I find sex enjoyable and empowering and I am not happy when I am monogamous. So, after my last break-up, after taking some time to grieve, I decided to cut my societal puppet strings and get back in the game. I set out on a mission to spend the Summer of 2010 dating as many men as possible. My only initial criteria was attraction. My only limitation was - no love and no structured relationships. This is my date by date tale of what life can be like outside of the goals of relationships and love.
- Can You Be Naked When I Come To The Door?
- Out With The Old & Back In With ... The Old?
- Pump The Brakes
- Pump The Brakes
- Talking to Strangers: SXSW Edition
- The Housekeeping Incident(s)
- I Hope They Serve Fries In Hell
- Self Love
- Happily Ever After ...
- In The Moods
- Defined By Restraint
- ▼ March (14)