(Just in case you thought the Wild Life was going to be super serious, I offer you this. BB)
When Ekhart Tolle* talks about being The Watcher of yourself, I don’t think he’s talking about feeling like the real you—the sane you—is trapped inside your body while this weeping harpy takes over and wreaks havoc upon your** happy life. If you are a woman, you are nodding emphatically over your coffee/pint of ice cream/fifth of booze because you understand that I am talking about PMS. If you are a man, a primal urge to back slowly away from the computer has overtaken you. Run, man, run. Come back in 4-5 days. It’ll all be better then.
Since I am a life coach and have coached myself into a state of never acting like a total freak show on acid once a month, I feel the need to write the definitive Guide to Managing PMS just for you.*** I am so removed from actually being a freaky needy crazy person once a month that it will be hard to write this piece, but I will try because I am a giver. Now of course I used to have terrible PMS where I would vacillate between clinging to my unfortunate beloved like a codependent clingy thing (God do I always have to think of the perfect simile? You are putting so much pressure on me! What? You’re not doing anything? Well then I’m just an awful person!****), and screaming at stupid-ass drivers who would not get the fuck out of my way, but now I only dream of flowers as I skip over rainbows and ride unicorns while waiting for my monthly gift.
Let’s get real. PMS is a bitch. There you are innocently going along feeling all normal and then one day…Bam! You instantly turn into some screaming, weepy, sensitive (not overly sensitive, of course I’m not talking about you babe) Bizarro-world version of yourself. It’s not pretty. You may be saying to yourself, “Bridge, I’m no harpy! Sometimes people really are so damn irritating.” To you sister I say, I feel you.
Here’s the Definitive Guide to Managing PMS
1. It’s happening, period. (Heh)
The time comes every frickin’ month and you are unwillingly flung onto a scary, scary ride for 4-5 days. Unless you are medicating yourself with little magic pills (in that case share!), this thing called PMS is happening. So accept it. You’re gonna be ok. People around you may not make it, but sometimes we have to accept that there will be collateral damage.
2. Your mind cannot be trusted.
Your mind will mercilessly mess with you, and it will have no sympathy for your delicate emotional condition! Anything that was just kind of floating around there in the back of your mind will be exacerbated (Ha! I said exacerbated. Don’t judge, you totally went there too.) and aggressively used against you. Your mind does not play fair. It can and will use anything against you. Hmmm now that I think about it, having PMS is a lot like being on a bad acid trip (allegedly!). The key to coming out the other side sane is to remember that it’s all an illusion. While your mind may have excavated something that’s actually an issue to be dealt with, it’s nowhere as bad as you think. Hang in and deal with it when sanity returns.
3. Moral support from me!
Prepare for a brilliant Life Coaching Tool!
Take some time to sit quietly in a corner while staring at the wallpaper and repeat after me:
This will all be over soon.*****
If you continue to feel discomfort, imagine I’m your significant other. I mean imagine I’m your significant other saying the below to you. You know, imagine your person! Don’t imagine me. You won’t because you don’t feel like sexy times right now anyway. Well, this just got awkward.
You are beautiful baby and I love you.
I’m here to listen and hold you.
Yes, that person is indeed an AWFUL PERSON!
Repeat as many times as needed. You are welcome.
4. Start a local chapter of a PMS “Stop the Crazy” support group.
Call each other and share your crazy. Friends: repeat lines from above. And you better fucking sound sincere.
5. Male partners read this section.
(Female partners—you should know better.)
Dear Men, bless you. It’s going to be ok. I was just kidding about the collateral damage part above.***** Here are some tips for navigating this difficult time. Say these things. (See the above comment about sincerity.)
“I love you baby.”
“You are beautiful and I don’t see what you’re talking about, but I understand you’re feeling badly about your body right now.”
“I’m sorry.” (Not the right time to try to win an argument my friend.)
“Come here and let me hold you.”
And guys, hold on, it will be over soon. Feel free to join your honey in the abovementioned Life Coaching Tool.
So, there you go. The Definitive Guide to Managing PMS. Now when you begin to feel that first tingle of cramping you’ll probably still wig out, but at least you won’t feel so alone. And baby, you look so beautiful right now. I love you so much.
* I don’t know about you, but I just can’t get through Ekhart’s books. The Power of Now sat on my nightstand for a year and every so often made the most comforting little weight on my chest as I drifted off to a peaceful sleep after reading a page. Just like having a little kitty on my chest—without the kneading and allergy attacks.
** Er, and when I say “your life,” I mean “my life.” But I am a life coach after all and this is valuable advice for you. It’s not something I wrote because I went insane last week. Nooooooo, totally for you. I live to serve.
*** I also never eat too much, am bitchy or fart. And I have Barbie parts.
**** I may be writing this while I have PMS.
***** This is why I work remotely–so you can’t reach out and slap me.
****** No I wasn’t.