Im going to broach a subject that most people are scared of, uncomfortable with, and mystified by: PMS. That’s right pre-menstruation: that time of the month when women everywhere become unidentifiable to the people in their lives. I realize most men who might be reading this are cringing right now, but stay with me. I hope to shed some light on this frustrating and somewhat despised phenomenon.
As we were taught in Sunday School at a young age, God gave woman the amazing gift of being able to bear children, to procreate, to further the homo sapien species. For this to be possible, however, a woman must also endure the monthly emotional assault of PMS.
Before I go any further, I would like to apologize to all husbands, boyfriends, children, friends, companions, co-workers or anyone who may have ever been in the path of a pre-menstruating female. But please keep in mind, this IS a condition to be taken seriously. The term “PMS” is truly something to be feared and respected. It is not a term used lightly by women as a cop-out for sympathy or excuses.
We’ve all been there: zapped energy, tummy bloating, cramping, uncontrollable crankiness and mood swings, unending hunger and crazy food cravings. The week or so prior to our “monthly visitor” these characteristics take over our bodies and we temporarily become someone else. I used to not even recognize myself when this would descend upon me. “Why am I crying?” “Honey, please stop breathing, its driving me nuts.” “What, you also wanted a piece of this large pepperoni pizza?”
I feel in order to be fair to ourselves and all those around us, I should outline a few simple guidelines to follow when we recognize some of these symptoms beginning to set in.
1.) Men and children: stay the hell away. Run, run as fast as you can to get as far away from Ground Zero as possible. There is no reason you should also be taken down by this horrible display of aggression.
2.) Women: Just own it. Admit to yourself and others that you are menstruating and that’s just the way it is. It’s a real, unexplainable emotional roller coaster and that is all everyone else really needs to know. If you aren’t happy with the way I roll my eyes at everything you say, or cry because my scrambled eggs aren’t scrambled enough, well, that’s just too bad.
3.) Women: Use this phrase as often as you can: “It’s not you. I’m just menstruating.” It’s amazing how those six little words can quickly end a discussion (and heavy petting).
4.) Remember, this is the time of the month you may do irrational, out-of-character things, so stay far away from shopping opportunities. In the log run, this will help you avoid post-purchase anxiety and obsessive questioning by the spouse.
5.) Allow yourself to give into your cravings for gallons of ice cream, pounds of chocolate Kisses and the Chocolate Molten Volcano dessert at Chili’s. I have read that this is actually a legitimate, intentional bodily craving. Our bodies loose quite a bit of blood/iron during menstruation and those cravings are actually our body preparing for that loss. Pretty cool, huh? I mean, there are healthier ways to fulfill your body’s iron craving, but they are not nearly as fun. And with the large amount of mind you also loose during that week, why not give yourself a little pleasure.
I think that should just about cover it. Follow these simple guidelines during your next cycle and hopefully it will make for a much smoother PMS week for everyone. And just think, after all this is done, we have menopause to look forward to.