Thank you all for your support and understanding (and in some cases commiseration!). TMI/hormone discussion below – in case you want to avoid or just don’t care.
Interestingly, I never had PMS/PMDD until my late 30s. I had irregular cycles as a teen (and didn’t even start until 15.5!), took birth control pills from something like ages 19-29, and then had hypothalamic amenorrhea (with its accompanying fertility woes, which sucked, but NO PMS!) for 2 years or so before getting pregnant with A.
I went straight from breastfeeding A to pregnancy with C, so zero cycles between those two! It wasn’t until weaning C at age ~35 that I actually started experiencing the hormonal cycles that most women probably have at least a decade or 2 of experience with by that time.
Then I had G, and when she was ~16 months or so, my cycles came back even though we still were nursing 2x/day. And now they are regular as all get out. And so I have to deal with the reality that I am not the nicest / most patient / most rational person for approximately one week (okay, sometimes even little longer) per month.
I find that the regularity — and tracking my cycles — does help me a little bit though. Because I can (sometimes) see how skewed my thought process can get during those times. Yesterday was a challenging clinical day and everything pissed me off, but I was nice to everyone because I KNEW that I had to be extra careful to maintain composure. In fact I probably overcompensated (extra cheery + polite – sometimes the best way to deal with those feelings, particularly in the professional world, for me).
I went to bed early last night (after drinking a pumpkin beer + doing a charcoal anti-acne/pore minimizer sheet mask for the ultimate self-care!). (Side note, Josh is NOT a fan of me lying in bed doing sheet masks. I think it scares him though I do try to warn anyone when they are coming in!). Today I started out a little negative but I went for a decent run and G just took a SOLID nap (so I finished The Gifted School which OMG INSANELY ADDICTIVE AND PROPULSIVE BOOK!) and I am feeling better.
YES, I have bad days too. And bad weeks. And my Inbox is NOT always at zero (even though I wish it was and try to get there when I can). The blogosphere used to be filled with a lot of angst (think TypePad or LiveJournals!) but now they are really filled with a lot of filtered perfect images and so blessed and all that. I really do have gratitude for my life but some days are still a struggle. Thank you for understanding and welcoming the imperfection. You all are the best!