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PMDD and me…
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of pre-menstrual syndrome. PMDD is not recognised in the UK and doctors may refer to it as Severe PMS.
PMS is very different from PMDD. I can’t speak for all woman who suffer from PMDD but for me it makes me feel incredibly weak and pathetic… Nobody, unless you’ve experienced this illness, can understand. When I’ve spoken to friends and my GP about how I really struggle two weeks before a period, I’ve felt like no one believes me and that I am just making a fuss or being weak and pathetic. I feel judged, in a bad way. Every woman has a period, just get on with it.
For years, I would struggle on through each month, pretending in my own mind that I was ok, that this wasn’t happening. When my husband would ask what was wrong, I always felt like I failed myself and this would make me spiral down further into despair. I soon learnt that hiding from how I was feeling was making me feel worse.
I started to speak to my husband more and more about it and over the years he has become my safe place and I know, no matter what I throw at him, he is always going to be there. I am very lucky to have his support. He started to research more about it and believes me. Being honest about what was happening to me has really helped me understand this illness better.
I started to track my periods and by doing so, it became obvious that my mood changed during ovulation and basically it goes downhill from there. I also noticed that the severity of emotional and physical experiences varies each month, which makes it difficult to track whether a change in diet or doing more exercise has helped, this illness for me isn’t consistent.
To give you an idea, a good month for me would be not wanting to rip the hair from my head or wanting to break my fingers! Despite not wanting to hurt myself, I am still just awful to live with… When I am in the full throws of it, I feel like I am possessed by something, I can hear the words leaving my mouth but its not what I want to say. I am screaming inside to be set free, but those screams go unheard because whatever has taken over me is too busy being destructive and hurting the ones I love the most. This breaks my heart and I pray for my period to come soon.
As soon as my period arrives, I feel I am back and in control.
I wrote this for my husband in 2017:
Remember Me, when I am lost in this darkness
Remember Me, when I look so sad and helpless
Remember Me, when I am sat beside you in silence
Remember Me, when I spit out horrible words
Remember Me, when my eyes have no sparkle
Remember Me, when I darken our happy home
Please don't forget me.
I am still here, stuck in the dark but I will be set free again soon...