After a year and a half menstruation-free, my period has returned like a boss. I’m back begrudgingly buying tampons, with no tax break I might add. Writing off items in my wardrobe as too ‘high risk’ to wear for a week each month. Hunting for my old friend, the hot water bottle, to be my companion as I curl up on the sofa. I’ve not missed Auntie Flo.
My period has also returned with its sister-in-arms, premenstrual tension (PMT), oh joy!
The NHS website describes PMT as ‘the physical, psychological and behavioural symptoms that can occur in the two weeks before a woman’s monthly period.’
The majority of women experience the delight that is PMT in one form or another. There are a variety of symptoms but my own experience is that delicious monthly cocktail of irritability and tears- oh so many tears!
But in spite of this I am grateful for the return of PMT.
I often feel as though life is something to be endured. A sort of ‘grit your teeth, pack your bag the night before, and lie back and think of England’ type endurance. This feeling of soldiering on has only increased since becoming a mother. As parents we must keep the show on the road.
While chatting with a friend recently we both shared that since becoming mothers we’d barely cried. Aside from the sleep deprived tears at the start, neither of us had found the time or the emotional energy to cry. We both agreed, ‘sometimes I’d love a good cry but I just can’t.’
Today I had a good cry. I mean a GOOD, bawling over the washing up, cry. It was well overdue. And although it startled the Boy, it was exactly what I needed.
See, I spend so much time pushing through my emotions in order to keep our lives running that I often fail to unpack my emotional responses to life’s goings on. There’s no time to wallow in self-pity when I have to run to catch the train. My insecurities are put on the back burner as I speed-tidy our living room for our church home group. I find very little time or headspace for self-reflection.
I never thought I’d say it but I’m grateful for the return of my PMT; I’ve done more emotional processing today than I have for months. I prayed more authentically and vulnerably today than I’ve been able to in a while. This month’s PMT has been a blessing.
Although I’d much rather do without periods altogether, I’m choosing to view my PMT as a monthly reminder to pause and pray, then find a copy of A Walk to Remember and have a good blub.