Monday, September 25, 2017

Revelations From A Flying Hamburger

I have the worst super power ever, you guys.

It manifests itself every month, and it's the ability to consistently and completely forget that I even have a menstrual cycle, much less when it's about to start.

 
 This feels appropriate here.


Thanks to an ablation years back I don't bleed much - if at all - but I still get the full force of all those jerkwad hormones running amuck, setting fire to the virtual curtains of my metaphorical Happy Place. And since those crank up way in advance of Day 1, it's a real sneak-attack situation.

Now, before you yell at me, I do keep a calendar. In the kitchen. Which I forget to look at.

So every month I'll be blissfully bopping along with my "s'all's good"s  and my "emotional stability," when I'm suddenly clothes-lined by what I like to call the Grumpies, because that puts a cutesy face on the black pit of rage-soaked misery and sudden onset desk naps.

Usually after that first day I realize what's going on and take steps to mitigate the fallout (cough cough PILLS cough), but I'm not gonna lie: getting there is a rough ride.

Cut to last week, when The Day had arrived, I of course had no idea, and John and I had a reader meetup to get to.

Now cut to the car ride there, where things were already tense because of those rascally lil Grumpies, and I was tired and hungry and attempting to eat a McDonalds hamburger.

As (bad) luck would have it, this was the first time in recorded history that a McDonalds hamburger was not only hot, but burn-my-fingers hot. So I fumbled the wrapper, yelped at the sudden burn, and then I kid you not, peeps, that burger TOOK FLIGHT.

It sailed through the air, the burger patty somersaulting free from the bun, and all three pieces landed - ketchup side down, natch - on the car floor in front of me.

"POOP!" I shouted, because no matter how angry or frustrated I am, I NEVER admit to swearing on the internet.

John, who was driving, reached a red light and stopped the car. He leaned over, and together we considered the burger pieces on the car floor. A long moment passed.

John started to chuckle. It rumbled through his chest, eventually erupting into an all-out belly laugh.

I started to sob.

***
 
If you'd asked me why I was crying at that moment - and if I'd been able to answer - I'd have told you it wasn't over a spilled burger. It was over a million tiny guilts and frustrations and inadequacies. Because depression - even a temporary, hormone-sparked brush with it - puts a wide-angle lens on your life. It zooms out and shows you every failure, not just the one right in front of you. Depression whispers, "You're about to disappoint everyone, just like ALL THESE OTHER TIMES which I will now conveniently play for you in high-def here in your brain." And boom, you're off, reliving the worst moments of your life over and over and over again.

I stared at that silly hamburger on the floor and relived a boss screaming at me that I was fired. I felt the helplessness from when John was deathly ill in the ICU. I saw in distorted detail how awful I looked in that last picture someone posted online, and hated every part of myself for not trying harder. I felt the terror of my last panic attack, the loss of the last time John and I argued, the guilt over my agoraphobia keeping us from traveling. I stared into that wide angle lens and could find no hope, no reason to keep going.

Because depression lies. 

I learned that from The Bloggess, and in dark times I cling to those two words: Depression lies. Our feelings lie. That wide-angle lens is a lie, a one-sided distortion that will only drag me down further the longer I look into it.


John and I eventually made it to the meetup, where I felt even more guilty and puffy and inadequate, but I was there and I smiled and I did my best. Then I came home, took my meds, pet the cats, and slept it off.

The next day was better.

The day after that, better still.

Depression lies.

Remember that, peeps. Remind each other. Remind me.


And while you're at it, maybe remind me to to watch the calendar better next month. Eesh. (Or, I dunno, you guys have any good apps for that?)

122 comments:

  1. Clue is a pretty good app....

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    1. Was going to recommend Clue as well. Really nice, simple app. Started using it a few months ago and it's perfect.

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    2. And with clue, there are red dots and blue dots, no gross "blooming flowers" to represent your menstrual cycle. Gag. Also: data! and graphs! and charts!

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    3. Here to third Clue! It is THE BEST.

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    4. I use Clue also! It's super helpful for tracking trends, especially if you're like me and tend to have an irregular cycle.

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    5. I got Clue a couple of months ago as well. My favorite is the notification, "PMS, coming up!"

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    6. Yet another recommendation for Clue. Love the popup reminder.

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    7. Chiming in with another recommendation for Clue!

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  2. I actually have 2 apps I recommend for that. (I use 2 b/c they don't always 100% agree about when I'm fertile; I don't use birth control and don't currently plan to have kids so I gotta keep track somehow.) I use "Period Tracker Clue: Period & Ovulation Tracker" and "My Cycles Period and Ovulation." These apps are accurate to the day my period starts; granted, it took at least a year for them to start predicting accurately, but they're life savers.

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    1. I use Clue as well, but I use it more to track my mood and physical well being because I AM on birth control and my cycle is clockwork, but my anxiety and depression are not. I just started using it less than 2 months ago, so I'm still not sure if there are any patterns, but using the app has been easy and kind of fun! I only wish there were more mood options, as well as other physical ailment things that I could track.

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  3. Team Ablation!!! Having that procedure done was the greatest thing I ever did for my well being. But yes, I always forget that I still cycle since I don't track it anymore, and I am often caught in a surprise hormone surge. Let us know what you decide to use to track if you settle on something.

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    1. Indeed! Although I'm now in full-blown menopause. Thank God for HRT...I'd have been arrested for stripping in public!

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  4. Can you put it on your phone calendar as a recurring monthly appointment with an alarm that goes off a reasonable amount of time beforehand?

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  5. I use an app called "Period Tracker" - the shortcut shows up on my screen as "My Calendar" so it's not blatantly screaming GIRLY STUFF HERE, though. As you fill out dates it figures out when your next period should begin and notifies you a couple days before, and you can add notes for various associated symptoms so you can keep track of those too.

    (Mine doesn't get much use since I went on a monophasic birth control to help various different conditions including depression, but that probably wouldn't be a good solution for everyone.)

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  6. There's an app called Period Tracker and I use it. I'd also suggest doing a recurring appointment on a Google calender for every 28 days. Because even if you're off by a few days you'll be reminded to check your app or evaluate your moods.

    Depression lies. But man...it's a convincing con artist isn't it? Thank God for the Bloggess. I think I'm going to go and color now and pretend I'm ten before all this 'You're a woman' bologna started.

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  7. This is so me today. Minus the burger, but all those feels! And all that "the world hates me" and stupid depression/PMS lies!

    I use Clue to track my body's attempt at a cycle. You can track basically anything health related with that app :)

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    1. I am another one who likes Clue. It lets you choose what parts of your cycle you want to track (so no pushing when you ovulate if you aren't worried about fertility)and it you can set it up to give you reminders on your phone. It has even connected to Fitbit, but only in relation to ovulation (still nothing to allow a person to compare weight gain/loss cycles against their menstrual cycle, but this is the first heart rate tracker that even acknowledges menses exist).

      Oh - and Clue does not use flowers or bright pink in its app. I sometimes wonder if it is the only one that does that.

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  8. I fully relate to this... though feel like mine manifests as impotent anger at all the things. Was just talking with my husband about it last week - I could feel this seething rage towards... a font being used in a document?? (you know, something totally earth shatteringly important) and I thought to myself "I am really upset about this. Am I more upset than seems necessary?? hmmmmmmm I wonder what time of the month it is" It's frustrating to not be able to trust my emotions sometimes - it makes me trust them less all the time.

    Anyways, I track my period using the app Clue... if nothing else, it gives me a ~3 days heads up when it's about to start - plus the "look ahead" calendar helps with travel plans.

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  9. I use the calendar app on my phone, schedule a repeating meeting, and include a reminder. Bang....monthly reminder that I'm about to get grumpy for no good reason.

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  10. What started (or at least when I recognized it anyway) as my monthly grumpies a few months ago has downward spiraled into a full blown depressive episode. Last night, I was mumbling my mantra, depression lies, but heard myself say out loud....but damn if they aren't seductive. We still can't believe them. And so we soldier on.

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  11. Amy from WilliamsburgSeptember 25, 2017 at 4:29 PM

    When I had my period (it has ended now ...) I used the Ptracker app - it really helped as I never remembered when I should be getting the Grumpies.

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  12. I actually do have an app for this! It's called SpotOn. It highlights its best guess for your starting date range in pink, while the rest of the month is blue. Then you can track energy level, mood, flow, and a couple other things. It's super handy, plus there's an adorable dinosaur loading spinner

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  13. While I'm a guy, I have a daughter and a wife. I've put it on my phone's calendar.

    With an alert.

    Because oh my dear lord...

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    1. Bahahah! John just brought me a giant box of donuts, for "no reason." Riiiiiiight. LEAVE YOUR SACRIFICE AND BEGONE, MORTAL.

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    2. You comment wins that internet for the day!

      My husband said the same thing until I hit menopause. Brace yourself, it gets worse! Snicker
      Debbie

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    3. Dude, you just reminded me of my all-time favourite episode of "Roseanne" (well, besides the one where she finds her ancient forgotten pot stash and they get all goofy), when Dan and the family are all on Red Alert because it's time for Rosie's horrific PMS to begin, just in time for Dan's birthday party which he was GETTING WHETHER HE WANTED IT OR NOT!

      Cheers!

      Storm the Klingon

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  14. *squish*
    This is me sometimes, too. "Why am I SO angry and sad at the same time??!" (Which of course makes me angrier.
    Maybe a repeating appointment on your Google calendar?
    Hang in there, sweets.

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  15. MyDaysX - Period & Ovulation, they've put in an update that alerts you 3, 2, and 1 day ahead that your period is coming. Life. Changing.

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    1. I use MyDays as well. Mostly just to keep track of when mine happens because I've been so irregular lately that it's predictions are no good.

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  16. I have two apps.
    Glow, and Period Tracker.
    Period Tracker has a little widget on my phone home screen that tell me how many days until I can expect to be incapacitated, which is super useful.

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  17. Put the horrible date in your agenda on your phone (gmail calendar, i phone whatever) and set it to recur monthly and give you a notification 1 day before. At least you'd have a heads up for the 'fun times'

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  18. I forget, too. Every. Single. Month. Thanks for the reminder about depression! And thanks for being you and sharing your struggles.

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  19. I HIGHLY recommend P tracker! I’ve used it for years, as I tend to get horrific cramps if I don’t watch my caffeine intake just prior to THAT time. It’s incredibly easy to use. I paid for the full version of the app which offers symptom tracking and alerts (among other things). It was worth every cent!

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  20. I'm glad you're feeling better. I actually have a reminder on my calendar for the day that whole bid-ness starts. And I have it recurring so that I can always see when it's coming ahead of time. (I'm on the pill, so it's very regular.) I hope you do find a way to remind yourself from now on. I would think being sneak-attacked by it makes it worse. If you know it's coming & can prepare, & that might make it a little more bearable. Good luck! <3

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  21. Clue! It's not sickeningly pick and girly. You can switch all pregnancy-related stuff off so it never, ever appears outside of the settings screen toggles. It'll happily recalculate any reminders for you depending upon your cycle average. You can tell it to exclude certain cycles from its algorithm if they're way outside of normal-for-you.

    I like Clue a lot. I'm just waiting for them to add the option of tracking the intensity of pain in the same way that they let you track heaviness of flow. I can add my own tags ("seriously, just go to the doc's and get good painkillers") but it's not quite the same

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  22. If there isn't an app for it then there should be.

    Depression isn't a long term visitor in my life, but since menopause kicked in, it has been coming for overnight stays more frequently. "I'm too old, too fat, don't have the training, can't possibly understand, my kids are having a hard time because of me, I'm no longer needed, wanted or desirable."

    The list goes on and each and every one is a lie. I can still learn I have more experience than all my coworkers, I've been through hell and lived to tell, my kids are adults and get to make their own stupid decisions, just like I did. AND 34 years of marriage says I am needed, wanted and desirable.

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  23. I use Period Tracker. It's awesome. I'm deep in the throws of menopause so it's a lifesaver to keep track of the erratic periods I've got goin on. Can you say "364 days without a period"? Close but not there yet!

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    1. This next one, whenever it decides on arriving, will be exactly 35 years since my first period, and sweet mother of Bowie, I am SO OVER IT. 49 years old, never used my bits for their major Intended Purpose and don't plan to, and now my period is being coy with me, gone weeks at a time, making me think "Oh, is it finally over...?!" and then BLAMMO! HELLO BLOODY PANTIES AND THE TOILET LOOKS LIKE A MURDER SCENE.

      Cheers,

      Storm the Klingon

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  24. My first ever comment here, although I've been a lurker for ages. I use iPeriod on my iPhone to track my cycle - its also available for Android. I think it does a pretty darn good job of predicting my start date even for my slightly-not-regular cycle. It's one of the few free apps I opted to pay for because it worked so well. It's got a bunch of other features now that weren't there when I first started using it, but I mostly rely on the calendar.

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  25. Glad you are better. I do have an app for that. It's called My Days. There is a free and a paid version. The paid version has a setting that will remind you that your period is on it's way. Also, no ads which is totally worth it. No affiliation, I've just been using it for a few years now.

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    1. That's what I use, the free version of MyDays. It's simple but works for what I use it for.

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  26. CLUE.

    You can get it to give you phone notifications when your period is due (and I think even when PMS is due). You can track all kinds of things from your period itself to moods to hunger to how your hair is behaving. Best period app ever.

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  27. I use the Clue app. You can track pain, mood, bleeding, sex, and more. Plus you can set up notifications. It's a great app!

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  28. There's gotta be an app for that! I get one day of the snarlies, and I know it's coming, but it still sneaks up and bites everyone on the ass (down, snarlies!) when I least expect it... then I remember the next day why I had the snarlies (truthfully, sometimes its the weepies, or the weepy-snarlies which are the worst) and give myself a break. Hang in there, sweet girl. --Jamie

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  29. Ugh, so sorry. Totally been there. I swear by the Clue app. It has a calender and you cab set up all kinds of alerts, plus it will then predict your cycle for planning purposes. It's been a life saver for me!

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  30. Thank you. Mine gets worse around that week too. It's ugly and awful and there have been moments when the only thing keeping me going was knowing without a doubt in this world that my husband loves me. I have a family member I love in the hospital right now because the lies depression told her got to be too much. It's hard and scary. Thank you for being you. You are a bright light and I love how you are willing to share the battle scars. It helps.

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  31. I do have a good app! Clue can send you reminders for various things in your cycle. I don't get a period because of my IUD, but it's still useful for tracking the other symptoms. You do have to remember to tell it how you're feeling, but it's easy to use and has a lot of possible data points.

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  32. Clue! It's an iphone (and maybe android) app and you can track all sorts of things related to your cycle. Everything from bleeding to mood to birth control to sleep and on and on and on. It takes about three cycles to get really good at predicting, but for me it's been fantastic.

    Also depression lies, and it lies to a lot of us. Solidarity, you've got this.

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    1. Yup!I've got it on my android. I was tracking for 3 months on Excel and transferred all the info over to clue and then I got pregnant that month and didn't need it.

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  33. "Depression lies" I need to tell myself this when I'm hit by the depression train. You are helping me deal with my anxieties and depression by telling stories like this. Thank you so much!

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  34. Thank you for this. For about a year or so now (when the pre-period hormone swing happens) I have had times when I have been legit suicidal because of the lies depression tells. Sometimes I realize and tell myself I just need to ride the wave and in 24 hours I'll feel better. Other times, I forget (or deny that it's just PMS because dammitIamnotaslavetomychemicals!) or get so sucked in that it's hard to remember the good stuff. Not sure I have anything productive to say other than you're not alone. It sucks, but hang on and power through it and if you can make it out the other side, you'll be okay. At least for another three weeks.

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  35. Even with an app I'd struggle with mine, it often decides it's time to switch weeks. This month it grabbed me and said, Nope, not this week, nope not this week, and made me wait an agonizing near month for it to come back. I've gotten used to the "binge" my body wants to do with every sweet in the house the week before, but this was weeks of it. I cried, I swore (I'll totally admit I swear online XD ) and I nearly bought a test as, well I'm married and things happen but then one good side swipe of hormones there the shark was. Depression Lies like no bodies business and mine kicks in gear with those stupid hormones as well. Just remember, there's hundreds of us who think you are amazing, and while you are often a light in the dark for us, we hope we can be a light in the dark for you too!

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  36. The phrase I have come up with to explain this is:
    The Feeling I have are valid, the way I am expressing them is enhanced.

    Because I was tired of people passing over my emotions as "hormone crazy"

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  37. Oh my god, I totally relate to all of this. Thank you for sharing. I've got a new mantra: Depression lies. Feelings lie.

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  38. If you have a regular schedule you can set up a repeating google event that will email you at an interval you choose, say 24 hours before the event? And it's free.

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    1. Or when it hits you can tell Siri to set a reminder for next month. "Remind me in 28 days that 'it's coming'" or "take a dang pill". You get the idea!

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  39. This is so real. I began really struggling with depression about two years ago after a devastating breakup + other life changes. It's gotten a lot better, but I'll still get a day or two each month where I cannot surface from the pit of despair. I also have absentee periods due to my birth control, so it'll take a while to realize that PMS is why I suddenly feel like the most worthless excuse for a human being on the planet. And it's always a relief when I realize, oh, it's just hormones- it makes me feel better yo have a "reason" for those feelings

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  40. I use an app called Flo. It sends me a reminder notification. "Aunt Flo will be here in a few days!"

    One particularly heinous visit I full out sobbed because Burger King forgot to give me a straw and I didn't realize it until I was home with the food. Ugly tears bawling. It was bad.

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  41. I use Period Tracker app and LOVE IT. I monitor my moods the entire month since ovulation kicks my butt mood wise, and I love having notes referenced in months past to be like "Oh, yes, the world is not a bleak hellscape from which I can never get out and I am a raging failure of a loser, this is HORMONES". I cannot recommend it enough. Put it on your phone and track your moods when they dip, I PROMISE when you have a few months cached you will be so comforted to know that it is just the cycle and not, you know, life being a hellscape.

    And, thank you. I needed to see this post today because sometimes, at 36, I feel ashamed that my hormones so strongly dictate my feelings (endometriosis! ovarian cysts! fibroids! WOOHOO) and it is hard to find others that know what it is like. Download the app! Love you! THANK YOU!!!

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  42. I have been period free for a year, thanks to a hysterectomy. No more grumpiness of epic proportions, or accidents from being ill prepared. If you don't need your uterus, give that thing the boot and embrace freedom!

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  43. I've used both Clue and Period Tracker. I like Clue better, but then I'm usually just tracking when the bloodbath will start and not moods. Then again, I'm a wannabe hippie who switched to a menstrual cup a few months ago and will NEVER go back.

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  44. I use planned Parenthood's app called spot on every day! It is amazing and so helpful because you can track not only periods but also emotions, symptoms, and behaviors to see if they correlate. It's cute and easy to use and will send you notifications if you set it up, plus it predicts your periods once you enter enough data!!!

    As always, thank you for your vulnerability and honesty�� you're amazing!!!

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  45. Funny you should post that picture today. I am, at this very moment, working on my Wonder Womb Hallowe'en costume!

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    1. Ermergersh, please tell me you'll share pictures! I MUST SEE THIS.

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  46. Oh my gosh, that explains why everything suddenly seemed pathetic and dissatisfying last night and I've been so irritated all day today. My period is due in about a week and a half. Why do I always forget that about a week before hand I always get the grumpies? I always seem to forget and then wonder what's wrong with me...

    Thanks for making it clear early in the game this month.

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  47. I had to have a total abdominal hysterectomy last year because my cervix was trying to kill me, BUT they were able to leave my ovaries in place, BUT there has been residual scarring, so my ovaries don't work exactly right. All that to say that I get the random rage moments and deeply depressive moments with no physical manifestations which means I have no idea if I'm really mad/sad or if it my ovaries are randomly firing off. Very annoying. However much better than being dead, so there is that!

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  48. Back when I had functioning girl parts, I had a built-in app. It was called "hormonal headache." Sis has the same app, ain't heredity wonderful?

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  49. Because I can be oblivious (I like to say, "big picture person"), my husband clued in to some of my symptoms before I did. So when I come home and say I need chips, or fries, or olives (obviously, salt craving is a thing), he knows what's coming. When I don't.

    And, I use Ovuview, because it was the first one I found that didn't look juvenile or pink.

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    1. Girl, I feel you. I crave salt so bloody bad at the start, my Vulcan teases me that I turn into the Salt Vampire from the first episode of Star Trek; he waves a bag of potato chips at me and says "Salt! I've got salt! Smell it! Smell it, Nancy!"

      So very satisfying, yet also a drag; salt makes me retain water like a damn camel.

      Cheers, thanks a lot,

      Storm the Klingon

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    2. Oh no, I've been eating salty things all day. So help me goddess, if it's early again...

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  50. I usually realize IT's coming when I start crying at the Charmin commercials; that baby bear with the bum-fetti really gets to me *sniffle*. My husband knows IT's coming when his nails get too long. Apparently, he trims them once a month. Coincidence?

    I'm as regular as [insert something funny that I can't think of right now], unless I'm trying to go on vacation. No matter how much in advance we plan or how carefully I track it, I'm always on my period when we go on vacation. ALWAYS. I guess my eggs want to emigrate to warmer climes.

    -Just Andrea


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  51. I've mentioned this here before, but it's worth bringing up again (and I haven't seen anyone else suggest it): if you're willing to consider birth control pills, talk to your doctor about reducing the frequency of your periods. Until I stopped taking them to see if I was going through menopause (not yet...), I had been taking 12 weeks straight of pills (which gave me 3 months of period-free bliss), followed by 1 week off (or inert pills, same difference), during which time I would get my period. So I was only getting 4 periods a year, what a life-saver! There is a pill specifically for this, I believe- Seasonale- but my insurance wouldn't pay for it, so I did the work-around with my doctor's approval. It cost a little more, since I was paying for 4 extra months of pills per year, but it was TOTALLY worth it. How I wish it had been an option when I was younger and my periods would cause me untold pain and sickness, even sending me to the hospital on more than one occasion. Best of luck dealing with your grumpies.

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  52. My period is really irratic, so even though I use an app, it still tends to take me by surprise. I've been using Period Tracker for several years, and I like it. Using it so long means I see trends in my irregularity

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  53. Depression is a lying bitch...what helps me is to tell myself that I'm doing the very best that I can at that moment, and that's all anyone can do.

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  54. I use Period Tracker. Handy reminders that the day is looming large, and the ability to track all kinds of related misery like mood swings, headaches, digestive issues, you name it. Plus fun analytics (data geek here) that help you see trends/patterns in your cycle. (And when I go for my annual physical and my doctor asks "when was your last period?", I don't have to stare at her blankly while desperately trying to do the calendar math - I just whip out my phone and look it up.)

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  55. Jen, I know you hate hospitals/operations (me too!), but since you have such horrible symptoms, is having your ovaries removed an option? (Then, of course, there are other side-effects...)

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  56. I use an app called Hormone Horoscope. It's a period tracker, but what I like about it is that it specifically focuses on what your hormones are doing at each point in your cycle, and how that may be affecting your behaviour and mood. The writing is an slightly-odd-but-it-works combination of scientific facts and 'girl-talk', like if a 90's-era Cosmo magazine had a column by an endocrinologist. I'm particularly affected by hormones, and I've found this very helpful.

    BTW, did you know that your body makes serotonin (the 'happiness' neurotransmitter) directly from estrogen? That's part of the reason we have PMS - because our levels of estrogen plunge, our serotonin levels drop too. Also, progesterone can affect the GABA 'anxiety' receptors.

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  57. Oh...A friend turned me on to the app CLUE. So darn helpful. Even gives notifications if PMS is coming.

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    1. Clue to the rescue, super convenient app!

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    2. YES CLUE!!! Usually about the time I'm ready to lose it, *DING*...Ah yes, where was that pill bottle again???

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  58. Oh my gosh, I needed this today. Thank you, as always, for sharing.

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  59. No advice here other than whatever you do, please do NOT rewatch any movie or tv show episode which has a main/favorite character death in it. Voice of multiple experiences says you will cry harder then when you watched the episode originally and be supercalifragilisticexpealidocious extra depressed for the rest of "shark week" (or as my family calls it, Garden Week, since flowers are prettier than sharks and we call the stuff garden supplies.)

    I don't use an app, but what I do is design and print my own one page,three-month calendar in my room that I renew every month. It has the current month large enough for everyday use and the previous and upcoming months small and off to the side so I can track stuff. I track the day it starts, count 28 days later, mark that day with a shape (usually a square) and then three or four days ahead of the "square" day I put question marks. I'm sure you have your own tracking system but I feel better about weird stuff like that if I can explain it. This is helpful for me because I spend more time in my room than in the kitchen, but it doubles as a motivational/inspiring/fangirl poster. Oh, and I put the current month and year in big outlined letters so when I print it off I can color it with glitter pens. Wish I could post a picture, it's currently Pinkie Pie in her gala dress and a collage of Zane (from the Lego Ninjago: Masters Of Spinjitsu TV show) being cute.


    Okay, that was a lot more than I was expecting to write. :)
    Cheers for you for taking pills that help when needed and cheers for Mr. John for being able to see a funny side to the hamburger situation. You've both amazing.

    Pinkie Welborne, 16
    Indiana

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  60. I think, out of all of that, I needed to hear: Depression Lies.

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  61. This reminds me why I'm so glad to have gone through menopause! So great to be off the dragon ride!

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  62. This is perfect. I have such a hard time explaining to the people in my life why I'm suddenly sobbing because I missed that exit on the freeway or whatever seemingly small (in their eyes) thing just happened. You mix depression bullsh*t lies with the grumpies and low blood sugar and you get me in a puddle of tears every time. I've never been able to so accurately articulate that wide-angle lens feeling though. I'll just be forwarding this to everyone I know so I can say, "see? Just because you haven't personally experienced it doesn't mean it's not a thing." So thank you for reminding me that I'm not alone in that.

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  63. All of this. God, I have so been there and it suckkksssss. And yes, I do have an app recommendation, it's called WomanLog (I know, horrible name, great app.). There's a free version with ads and a paid version. It's the best because you can also track things like symptoms and it has a shit ton of symptoms to pick from. I use it to help keep track of my Hashi's symptoms along with when I feel depressed or anxious. It's so freaking useful! :)

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  64. I never really had a problem with this and now, being post-menopausal, none at all, but I did have a roommate who 90% of the time was the nicest person on Earth, but hooboy, that 10% when she was PMS-ing (I now kinda understand the belief in demon possession).

    I finally convinced her that getting on the Pill did NOT mean she would automatically turn into a slut, and she became the nicest person on Earth 100% of the time. If you haven't talked to your doctor about hormonal therapy, please do.

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    1. Absolutely talk to your doctor, and for everyone it helps, thank goodness!

      For us other luckies, though, it wrecks even greater havoc. So, like everything else, be sure to try things (and try them awhile), and then change them when they don't work.

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  65. Sorry, no app -- I kick it old school and put a black dot on the calendar. I'm at that wonderful age where I get zits next to the wrinkles and have hot flashes during my PMS. After 40+ years of this period nonsense (and never wanting kids), I'm ready for the fun part of menopause!

    I totally have been there with the hamburger thing. Yesterday, I had to stop short when a car cut me off and my Costco container of dog training treats for the shelter flew off the front seat and opened up on the floor. I cut the treats ahead of time so they're ready to use and this was an almost new container. You get the picture. The final irony -- this was on my way to my therapist's appointment.

    Glad John brought you an offering to the womb goddesses.
    -Zippy

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  66. Try the clue app. It watches your whole cycle, not just the monthly visit, but also the everyday symptoms, from sleep disturbances, pain levels, mood changes, digestive issues, everything. At the end of the month, it has a summary of your cycle, with patterns tracking out over time, and gives you an idea of what to expect going forward. It's pretty good at predicting your next visit and can be set up to send you reminders ahead of time. I hope it helps!

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  67. Just wanted to give my support for what it is worth, as I never had a uterus, but I have dealt with depression and I try not to swear myself (Sometimes I feel like the only one. What you have done with your two sites have meant a lot to me and my wife and daughters.

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  68. the only person who can keep track of my cycle is my partner - up side of being with a scientist. downsides are things like the second time we slept together and I stopped to ask him why he was looking at me funny, to which his reply was that he trying to figure out how I worked...

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  69. I feel for you Jen. That time of the month is never much fun and less fun when it sneaks up on you.

    I use an app called Clue to manage that calendar for me. It lets me track symptoms and emotions and gives me a reminder when my period is due. I find it really useful, it's especially helpful if you're not regular or if you want to check the effect of your period on things like sleep disturbance, your skin etc. I hope it helps!

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  70. Not to be all up in your business (see what I did there?) but have you considered an IUD? It's, in all honesty, better than sliced bread. I don't have a period or cramps or overwhelming sad for the baby I don't have (and don't want) and it last for 5 years! I have Mirena, as does everyone at my OB/GYN and I love it.

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    1. I also have Mirena and love it! Unfortunately I still get hormonal mood stuff, and with no period to alert me, sometimes it takes a while before I figure it out. But the "no periods" thing is the best!

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  71. I use the Glow app. I like that it tracks symptoms and isn't cutesy.

    But I mostly wanted to comment and thank you for this post, and you are not alone.

    My anxiety is increasing in my third trimester. Yesterday, I got up early to be on time for a committee meeting that was cancelled, I felt bloated and crappy in this 90 degree weather , and my lunch leaked all over my tote bag. And when another department's supervisor emailed me to ensure that I set up training for a task that would normally be mine were I not about to be out on maternity leave, I freaked. She didn't even mean it like I was failing at my job, or that I was being replaced. She was just tying up loose ends. But my Anxiety Monster twisted it, and I heard my first boss telling me I was some kind of idiot and firing me. And then, I felt the black hole that consumed me when my Gran died. And all the old dark thoughts jumped in.

    So, I shut my door and let myself cry and listen to some of my favorite music while I played Candy Crush for a few minutes. (I find senseless, wanton destruction of cutesy meaningless objects to be very cathartic.)

    *hugs*

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  72. All of this advice is really good. Plus "Depression Lies" and Jenny Lawson, quite literally, saved my life. But the point I think everyone may be missing is that sometimes...SOMETIMES...hamburgers are assholes.

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  73. On one of my Days, I cooked up an entire plate of shrimp in butter. Butter is slippery. Yep, the entire thing went sliding off the plate. I cried because I had no supper and there was all that precious peeled shrimp on the floor. I don't even like shrimp that much.

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  74. Jen - read your post and almost burst into tears. At my desk. At work. I don't know how you find the courage to think and write about the lies that depression has whispered in your ear, much less the courage to post this for the world to see. But I am immeasurably grateful that you do. My personal whispering gremlins have been at me all morning and your post has helped me to set them to rest. At least for a while. Thank you, dear.

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  75. Thank you so much. Last week i too had those horrible memories and wide angle views mocking me and putting me in just a black pit of worthless feelings. But depression lies. And so does damned PMS. I've had better luck tracking than you but still get blindsided by the bleak days. This will help, I think. Thank you so much Jen (and John) for all you do at Epbot.

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  76. I need to get some fancy letters, preferably glitter covered and put "Depression Lies"on my mirror. The past couple of cycles have been rough for me. I've been dating a guy who is wonderful for almost a year and every time that week rolls around, I become convinced that I am the fattest, most disgusting blob of a human. How DARE he not be able to keep his hands off of me (I've actually had to tell him to stop touching me for like five minutes!), How dare I try to dress cute with what little clothes I allow myself to own that are from 5 years ago, and when I look in that mirror I see and feel like a beached whale.

    I'm starting to actually wonder if I have a little dysphoia over my body because sometimes I swear I look differently. So yeah.. totally with you. And I use a calendar app called Clue that many people have recommended! Still am BLINDSIDED every month by my Hormones because they usually hit the WEEK before I actually bleed and I'm on hormonal birth control which I didn't start until about 6 months into dating so I'm sure I'm also getting used to THAT. The joy of horomones..

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  77. Yay for successful ablations! But with no physical evidence and a cycle that's not regular enough to track, those hormones can sure sneak up on me and then I'm sobbing because "A Boy Named Sue" is playing on the radio. Menopause is going to be an interesting trip.

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  78. i use the iperiod app you can have it send you custom notifications and it keeps track of symptoms and moods. it's also free!

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  79. Ah, Depression, the Evil-Bitch-In-My-Head, how glad I am you don't visit as often as in bygone years.
    Depression-fuelled moments I could have done without:
    *Failing an entire semester at university because I couldn't get out of bed, let alone write a 5000-word essay on Civil Society. Fortunately my treatise on why everything sucks and people can't be trusted got a pass mark, yay!
    *Spending a year arguing with civil servants that finishing my degree was more useful than taking a minimum-wage job and could they please stop cutting off my student allowance every second week?
    *Weeping hysterically on the staircase at Gare du Nord, just because it seemed like hell on earth at that moment. I was wrong, hell is in Charles du Gaulle Airport, not Gare du Nord.
    *Letting insecurity and heartless bureaucrats convince me to take a highschool teaching post I was unqualified for because there were "not any" junior primary posts available. In the entire state. In the middle of a teacher shortage. Yeah, that semester was REALLY good for my mental health. On the other hand, resigning from that position actually WAS healthy. Some days good does come from dreadful!

    Anyway, bless you, Jen, for your honesty and the beautiful things that come out of your brain! I love you, and I don't care what the bitch in your head says, gravity and hamburgers are not your fault! *hugs*

    And just because she makes me smile, a quote from my three-year-old: "I have a lot of imagination so I can imagine a lot of penguins!"

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  80. I wanted to second the suggestion of exploring using birth control pills of some kind to reduce the number of periods you have a year. I have a host of autoimmune diseases that like to flare up along with my hormones each month. It made things doubly bad emotionally and physically. Getting on a routine of skipping the sugar pills but a few times a year has made life immeasurably better when it comes to monthly challenges.

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  81. Not exactly related, but Generalized Anxiety Disorder is Depression's bitchy sister. And she lies, too.

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  82. Can't help with an app suggestion -- I'm 5 years post-menopausal, but for the decades between puberty and menopause I had to carry spare pads with me every day because calling it a "menstrual cycle" constituted a felonious assault on the dictionary. Throwing darts at a calendar while blindfolded would have been just as accurate a prediction as any other method.

    OTOH, do you have room in your bathroom to put a calendar near the sink? I have to replace my contact lenses every two weeks, and always had trouble keeping track of which evening was throw-contacts-in-trash-night until I moved the calendar next to the bathroom mirror.

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  83. Thank you. I recently began taking oral contraceptives and it makes my pms get very bad. Top that with the depression that's already there and I can have some pretty bad days. Today was one of those days and I really needed this. Thank you so much. -L

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  84. Thank you for being as honest as you are. Three to four days before the grand arrival I usually find myself crying over the little minor things that normally don't bother me. After last week's crying episode, I found my self sitting on the toilet, hunched over from cramps, and those hormone/depresssion lies started to creep in. I had to repeat out loud for a few minutes "But I have hope!" to get those demons to go away. It took another 12 hours to come back to my normal self, but that's the worst it's been in a few years.

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  85. My grumpies escalated to full-on pre-menstrual dysphoria (where one changes from one's normal slightly-morbid but reasonably even-keeled self to a bleak pit of depression with intrusive thoughts of suicide for 3-4 days a month). My doctor switched my birth control to continuous cycling pills (plain old regular pills, but instead of taking the placebo week you just start the next packet), and my life is so much better.

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  86. I know the feeling of sobbing over a spilled burger, and it's so frustrating not being able to explain it. I lost it on Christmas eve last year because I couldn't find my favourite lipstick in my purse, but that was just the cherry on top of weeks of stress and sleep deprivation and anxiety and drama, and everyone around me was really confused about why I was so upset over the lipstick.

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  87. Thank you for this reminder today, even though you didn't post it today. :) I've been having some VERY dark thoughts so it is well-timed for me to read.

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  88. So today I took a screenshot of your words about how depression lies. And I sent them to my friend who lives far away and was definitely down the rabbit hole like I've never seen her before. And she understood what you meant and I'm so glad I had your words to use. She's in the ER right now being evaluated and I can't tell you how much your words helped me help her. thank you thank you thank you

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  89. Hell, yeah, depression lies. Depression is a Nasty Lying Bitch who is Out To Get You, and her name is XXXXX (insert appropriate bitchy name that fits the visual in your head). Set a reoccurring reminder in the calendar / app of your choice that 'XXXXX is coming to visit, take all necessary steps NOW'.
    It would also be a good code name/word to pass on to family, friends etc, if you are uncomfortable talking about such things but you want to let them know (or so they can let YOU know) you're not really a psycho :-)

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  90. Nthing the suggestion to set up a recurring Google Calendar event that will send you an email and/or pop up as a notification on your digital devices.

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  91. I tried a few different specialized apps, but just ended up creating a recurring calendar event (depending on your calendar, you may be able to set it for "repeat for 5 days every 28 days"). This helps me plan ahead a bit, and understand changes, but without needing to rely on another app (I use Google Calendar for planning everything).

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  92. My book club recently read "Burning Bright" by Melissa McShane and we all connected with the part where the (otherwise smart & capable) heroine realizes a few days into an indefinite sea voyage that she hasn't brought any ladytime necessities. We've all been there. If I didn't take hormonal birth control I would still be surprised every month (and also I would still have debilitating cramps every month, hence the hormones).

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  93. All I've got right now is: *virtual hugs*

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  94. IP (iPeriod) give you 7 days of warning

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