December 11, 2012


Posted by Megzy at 12/11/2012 1 comments

I’m not sure exactly what I’m trying to say.  When ideas come to me, they come as the whole (yet blurry) picture.  I have to then take time to try and dissect the whole down into detailed pieces.  So, if it seems like I’m rambling – bear with me as I try and talk out my thoughts and feelings.

Just this past week, I had a very bad meltdown (which I know now was due to PMDD) and it got exacerbated by what I think was a paradoxical effect of a medication I took.  I won’t go into much detail about that because that is not what this idea is about. 

For too long I’ve beat myself up for the meltdowns, for acting irrationally even though I try so hard not to.  I think “I must not be trying hard enough” or “I must be trying to sabotage myself and everyone around me by acting this way”.  Every time PMDD comes around, it feels like Ground Hog’s Day all over again; it feels like I’ve not gotten anywhere – I’m back where I was when all this horrible mess started.

 But that’s just not true.  Even with this disorder and any other disorder a person deals with, people grow and change.  I know that, but my head keeps telling me “yeah, but what about that old saying you are what you repeatedly do”?  And then I’ll be back down in the dumps feeding my depression when I am supposed to be on my good days.

Dealing with PMDD is such a conundrum because part of you wants to fight and beat it.  And the other part wants to give up.  There have been times that I completely deny I even deal with this disorder.  This is especially true on the good days because if I were to admit it, that would mean I’m weak.  It would mean that I’m fallible.  It would mean I’m not perfect. 

But none of us are perfect.  Honestly, if you went through the DSM you could probably diagnose everyone with SOMETHING!  Everyone has traits of some sort of disorder.  No one person is without problems and/or issues.

Then it hit me.  I’ve not accepted PMDD.  I’ve not accepted that I live and deal with PMDD.  Every month comes and I’m caught off guard like a deer in the headlights.  And for what?  To save face?  Pride?  Self-preservation…thinking I’m helping myself from getting hurt?  By not accepting this, I’m hurting myself more.

So, if I accept PMDD… will that make me worse off? 

Will it mean I’ve been labeled “broken,” “ruined,” “fragile,” “damaged,” or any other label your mind can conjure up? 

Will it mean I’ve given up fighting?

What does acceptance actually mean?
I would love to give you a simple break down of A, B, C or 1, 2 3 in acceptance and how to achieve it, but in all honesty, I’m going through this process right now.  I just recognized a couple of weeks ago that I had not accepted PMDD…truly accepted it.  There is a difference between knowing it’s going on, hoping it will disappear and understanding the disorder as well as yourself.

As I continue down this journey, I will share more.  There is something to be said about learning who you are.  If you accept PMDD, you will begin to discover who you are…who you really are deep down inside.

That is my next step in the acceptance process. 

October 10, 2012

Three Little Words - NOS

Posted by Megzy at 10/10/2012 0 comments

I am scared and don't know what to do. It's probably nothing - but so often I'm left alone with nothing but my thoughts. Those thoughts turn into bigger thoughts and then the bigger thoughts begin to cycle out of control until it contributes to anxiety and I feel like I'm losing control. I would rather not lose control. Because when I lose control, I feel like I lose all sense of accomplishment that I've made so far.

I've been taking Prozac, fluoxetine, since last July. I've been on many different types of medications. I've been diagnosed with many different things but always with those three little words - NOS. For those who may not be familiar with psychiatric disorders and/or labeling, NOS is the acronym for Not Otherwise Specified....or in laymen’s terms, we really don't know what you have so we're going to slap a general label on you.

I've been diagnosed as Bi-Polar NOS with traits of Borderline Personality Disorder and my newest and most recent diagnosis is Mood Disorder NOS....which is probably the broadest diagnosis a person can have.

What I have is PMDD. What I deal with is insecurity in who I am because I grew up differently from my American peers. I wasn't prepared for the transition that I was going to experience and instead of someone acknowledging that I was having transition difficulties; I got told I was demon possessed. I really wish I could let go of that, but that has messed with me more than I care to admit.

Back to why I'm scared.

So, I've been on Prozac for over a year now and it really seems to regulate my moods. It works really well for me the week before my period when I would normally have anxiety attacks and meltdowns. HOWEVER....once my period ends, my supposed "good time" has now completely switched on the medication. What's the point of being on medication if it helps one thing but creates another problem? In my case, my symptoms have just flip flopped.

Sure this may not seem like a problem, but it's incredibly frustrating to me. Over the course of 8 years, I've been on 7 different antidepressants, 2 anti-anxiety meds, 1 mood stabilizer, and 2 antipsychotics. I've tried intermittent dosing. I've tried a couple of medications together. I've tried going off medication for three years.

All of this to say, I'm not even thirty years old yet. I'm exhausted. I'm tired. And with all of this and the stress I've experience in my short lifetime, my cycle has NEVER been but a week late at MOST!

Since May, I've dealt with 2 complete missed periods and one really late start. Why now? Why all of sudden have all my symptoms been purely emotional. Why now is my body sabotaging me in this way too?? That's how it feels. I've been through the ups and downs of dealing with the stigma attached to PMDD and all the other stigmas attached to mental illnesses. I've been through the ups and downs of losing any and all friends and support. I've been through the ups and downs of wondering if I should try and help others or just ignore what I'm dealing with.

I started crying at work today because I just feel like I can't win. I try to be positive...and I try to be good and kind to others. All of that is overshadowed by my negative attitude and my lack of faith, especially faith in myself.

Not Otherwise Specified......let me tell you something specific about PMDD. It comes on you and creates havoc like you wouldn't believe. Then you have to try and pick yourself back up secretly hoping and wishing that you haven't made a bigger mess. Things appear to cycle just as your menses cycles. Hardly any relief.

I thought I was starting to get relief. The medication was helping me....and now, this. I count on knowing when my period is going to start. I count on knowing it because that is when my relief comes. That is when my sanity comes back. That is when I can relax, pick myself up and move forward again. Now that it’s not coming....I'm having more meltdowns....I'm having more anxiety and more paranoid fleeting thoughts. I want to stay strong, but I'm scared.

I'm so tired of dealing with this and now something new.
I'm so tired of fighting and then feeling like I'm getting nowhere.
I'm so tired of feeling like I have nobody that cares
I'm so tired of feeling inadequate.
I'm so tired of feeling like people look down on me.
I'm so tired of feeling like a monster in a cage.

I wish I had some real answers.  I wish I had some real specifics.  I wish I had more than just speculation and guessses to go off of.

October 5, 2012

Shedding Some Light on PMDD

Posted by Megzy at 10/05/2012 0 comments
I happened upon a great article!  And I am so glad to see that they are FINALLY bringing some awareness of the condition here in the states and Dr. Oz is a huge entity in the U.S.  I'm also glad to hear the author, who is a neuropathic doctor who specializes in the area of PMS and PMDD, has jettisoned the previous, highly talked about among extreme feminist groups, idea that PMDD isn't real or it is used as a sign of weakness. 

Those of us who deal with the condition know how far from the truth that is and how often we try and be "OK" (when we clearly are not!) due to the taboo of the subject.  I encourage you to keep doing your own research.  Try not to get discouraged by the lack of understanding that you may come up against and if you feel up for it, raise awareness!!!  You are not alone!!!

Check out Dr. Daniel Heller's article "PMDD: When PMS Interferes With Life and Living" on Dr. Oz's website.  Let me know your thoughts :)

September 30, 2012

Seeds of Hope

Posted by Megzy at 9/30/2012 0 comments
I recently have encountered some friends who are going through a difficult time.  I myself have been going through a difficult time the past several years...just take a look back through this blog and you'll see plenty of ups and downs. 

What I've come to realize is this world is not without hardships, trials, and tribulations.  There have been many times...MANY...that I've wanted to give up and felt there was no reason to keep going.  Whether that was to give up on a dream, a vision, a relationship, or even give up on my own life.

There are a couple of things I've learned so far on my short journey and I would like to share three thoughts with you through the analogy of a flower.

1. As a young seedling, a flower begins its growth process in the dark, by itself.  Somehow, it is programmed to find the light; to find the sun. During this process, it bumps into rocks and other plant that may be struggling to survive and utilize the nourishment that it has been provided with. 

At this point, the plant could just stop since there are already other plants and rocks in its way...but it doesn't.  You want to know why?  Because it was created with a greater purpose.  To find the light. The rocks peel back the young seedlings shell and reveals the start of a vulnerable stalk.  The rock draws moisture and once the flowers roots have been revealed, the rock has become a life support by supplying water.  The other obstacles in the soil begin to strengthen and mold the developing flower.

The rocks.  The other plants.  The is all a natural part of life.  It is there to aid in the growth of the flower.  Just like the obstacles in our lives.  Keep in mind, these obstacles are only there to nurture.  They are not there to define.  They are there to help us grow and help us become strong as we continue on our journeys.  We have already been created with our purpose.  If you don't know what it is yet.  Keep striving.  Keep dreaming.  Your dreams often know your deepest parts better than you understand.  Keep reaching for the light.  Keep seeking the light.  (Matthew 6:33)

2. Another way flowers are unique is in the way they interact with other elements in nature.  Flowers rely on and are relied upon by completely different species.  To procreate, flowers utilize bees or the fur of animals to help spread their seed.  In order to fulfill their hunger, certain animals in nature rely on the nourishment from flowers.  It's interesting to know that flowers have the ability to evolve, if need be, and come into harmony with species completely different than it's own. 

As humans, we all are looking out for our own wants and needs and it can be incredibly frustrating when others don't get that or don't want to support us in our interests and goals.  Relationships are about give and take, though.  If we go through life assuming that everybody has to like what we like, has to do what we want when we want....we become overbearing and stifle the potential for growth.  If we fall flat on our faces and allow others who are overbearing to dictate our every move, we stunt our growth, as well.  It's all about balance and knowing that we already have a place in this world.  Don't try and grab more than you deserve, but at the same time don't minimize your potential. (1 Corinthians 12:12-31)

3. We may not always like our circumstances or we may feel that we have no control over what's going on in our lives.  I encourage you to look at the life of a flower.  A dandelion seedling may be carried far away from where it's original roots were.  It may not be surrounded by any other dandelions, but working in harmony and evolving with it's surroundings will allow the flower to grow to it's full potential.

Realize that just as nature comes into harmony, God is in control - we are not.  We never have been.  God created you and knew you in the womb before you were even born. (Psalms 139:13-16).  He knows what your blueprint - your purpose is, even if you're still trying to figure it out.  (Jeremiah 29:11)

Even if you don't know where you're going or why certain things are happening or have happened in your life, please do not give up hope.  Please realize that you are not alone and continue to strive towards the light.  You may never know how much others need you as a part of their functioning world, but you are unique and you are important.  Keep holding on. 

June 29, 2012

Comfort in the Pain

Posted by Megzy at 6/29/2012 0 comments
"All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us." ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (Message)

Oh, what a silly human I am sometimes.  Looking back over the last several years of my life and what a hardship I've been going through, things are just now coming into focus.  All I've ever wanted was to help others.  Then, all of a sudden I'm struck with hardships seen through PMDD and through my identity issues with being a TCK.  I completely closed myself off to others.  I almost lost my faith.  I was very close to throwing off all my belief in God, so frustrated that I have to go through these tough times.  So frustrated that it seems like I haven't gone anywhere since the tough times started.  Mad and angry that God didn't seem to be doing anything for me....that I wasn't being comforted.

As I started to read this wonderful message on "Where Can We Find Comfort" that is part of a series that RBC ministries has put out, something written really struck a chord with me. 

"We may want nothing more than a warm embrace and a reassuring word that will get us back on our feet and back to business as usual.  But Paul's experience of comfort show in some very specific ways that God may not want us to go back to where we were" (Sper, 2005, p. 7)

Honestly that sums up exactly what I've been wanting.  Just some reassurance or a kind word to get me back on my feet and back to where I was comfortable...

But God doesn't always want us to be comfortable.  Comfortable means a provision of physical ease and relaxation.  There are times in our walk with the Lord that we do need to rest and relax, but we shouldn't be in that mode often - otherwise we're not getting anywhere.  We're not growing, we're not changing, we're not being molded into who God wants us to be. 

All these years, I've been looking for ways to put myself back in a place/situation/familiar surrounding that makes me feel safe and comfortable - when maybe God has been trying to stretch me and enable to me to grow and meet the desire of my heart which is to help others.

There has been a lot of research done on how there are many health benefits to helping others - especially for patients with chronic pain and depression.  Here is a great link that discusses this matter.

But, if we look closely, the Bible already discusses what science and research has proven.  Several verses discuss the importance of putting others at the forefront of our preoccupations and to care for each other.

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." ~ Romans 12:10

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." ~ Phillipians 2:3

Maybe part of the reason I've gone through hardships other than to change and be molded is so that I can help others in similar situations.  But I can't help others until I accept the comfort and help from the Lord.  And until I do that...I'm not going to move forward and I'm not going to be able to help others.

Maybe another reason I've gone through this season of hardship is to be brought closer to the Lord.  It didn't appear that way for the last several years.  In fact, I would almost say that it pushed me away from my faith...

But that is because I was relying on others to make me better.  I was relying on others to comfort me.  I was relying on the strength of myself (which I didn't often have) to pull me through. 

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed" ~ 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Sometimes we have to get to the end of our rope to realize that we have never truly been alone. We have to have things taken away from us to realize the ONE thing that truly does matter. And to learn that no matter what sort of storm we go through, we have our ever-loving God right next to our side.

May 29, 2012

Out of Step

Posted by Megzy at 5/29/2012 1 comments
I've always been one that enjoys change.  I like newness and something to look forward to.  Some people are really scared of change.  I admit, lots of change in a little amount of time can be incredibly overwhelming.  I think I did well with change when I was younger because I had constants in my life - my family unit and my religious beliefs.

Since coming back to my passport country, I've questioned both of my constants.  It's natural to progress away from your original family unit and it's healthy to question why you believe what you believe.  It's all a part of growing and maturing.  I didn't realize how important those two components were, though.  I continually search to have the life I use to have when I lived abroad and I just don't think that's going to happen.  I relied heavily on my constants to keep me afloat when things in my life changed.  So much of my identity was wrapped up in who my parents and friends saw and thought of me.  Now that I'm not around them, I feel peeled away and vulnerable and I especially feel like I'm not grounded at all. 

I think the reason I've had a difficult and prolonged time transitioning is because I didn't have time to truly dissect why I was going through all the anxiety and fear when I was first diagnosed with PMDD.  I was in the midst of the depression and I was just trying to survive.

Depression causes you to withdraw and push everyone away.  I've moved multiple times since living in the States and in doing that, I've nixed a lot of opportunities to have a support system.  I still have support - it's just the people I care most about are scattered all over the place. 

I've been doing a lot of soul searching, like I usually do, and I've tried to remember what makes me happy.  I'm happy when I'm helping others. I'm happy when I have newness and something to look forward to in my life.  My issue, though, is I'm expecting for others to understand and accept me now - the depressed, scared, vulnerable, identity-less me.  I've been looking for someone to seek me out and help me.  And that just isn't happening. 

Previously, I refused to become a chameleon because I felt I wasn't being true to myself.  I use to be really good at being a chameleon.  That's how I fit wherever I went.  That's how I fit when I met new people.  It's a great TCK trait.  But for whatever reason, I thought that trait was a negative.  The question that keeps popping up in my mind is - if it was such a bad trait, then why did I have so many friends?  Since I'm not using that technique anymore, I have little to no friends.  Makes a person think....

As stated previously, growing up, I was incredibly reliant on my family and friends to help mold my identity.  I don't see that as a bad thing, if anything the community I lived in was incredibly collectivistic.  Now, living in an individualist society, it's hard to fit in anywhere.  Everyone already has their family and friends.  It's difficult to make new friends when you live in a place where nobody ever really moves.  I'm trying, though. 

I often feel like these fish.  I exist in the world with other people, but it's like I live in an entirely different bowl, looking and longing to "be" in the same bowl as others. 

I guess where I'm at now is trying to decide if I want to continue to feel disconnected from my current state of being or if I want to do what I need to do to jive with the society I'm in.  I'm realizing more and more that my issues with PMDD and being a TCK are connected.  I'm trying really hard to find ways to flourish and truly live life instead of just surviving and constantly feeling out of step with everyone else.  What do you do to help yourself not feel so out of step?  Or do you ever feel out of step with others?   

May 18, 2012

Try Again

Posted by Megzy at 5/18/2012 0 comments
Closing yourself off.  Withdrawing from others.  Isolation.  All of these things come naturally when you're dealing with depression....but they're detrimental to any person's well being.

I've got a double whammy dealing with PMDD and also the cultural differences that come from being a TCK.  Both of these issues have made it difficult to thrive and exist happily in society. 

PMDD causes a woman to feel she is going crazy every month.  It makes her feel like nobody understands her - like she has no control over her thoughts and/or actions.  Because I didn't often understand my own moods, how could I expect anyone else too.  I became embarrassed and closed myself off from the rest of the world.

Being a TCK in my passport country has caused me a lot of heartache because I feel people are so segregated in the US.  A good majority of people don't know how to welcome newcomers and/or transplants.  Therefore, it's easy for a TCK to become isolated even if we have skills to jump into a new place.  I never had as difficult a time moving to different countries (granted, I only moved twice abroad) because there were always others in a similar situation that I was.  People were willing to open up their hearts to a newcomer and in turn, I did the same when I met newbies.  Here in the US, in my passport country, it seems there are a new set of rules that I haven't been privy too and I feel vulnerable and caught off guard so much of the time.  I feel like a stranger in a place that is supposed to be my home. 

Because of these two issues, it has been easy for me to close myself off from the rest of the world.  It has been easy to say, nobody gets me - who cares - what's the point.  There is a point, though.  And no matter how lonely it gets - no matter how hard it gets, you are not alone.

I was so hurt when I initially came back to the states, that I closed myself off from wanting to participate in everyday society.  I did what I needed to do to survive.  I got up every morning, went to my job, interacted if I had to, came home and stayed home.  This sort of living was not the person I was when I lived overseas.  I was very active in the community, always looking for something to get involved in.

I was a candy striper (volunteered at the hospital), I was in cross-country, I was in drama and plays, I was very active in music, I was our high school mascot, I was a bagger at the base commissary for three years (I would always sing to my customers at Christmas time to get better tips.  I don't know if they were paying me because they liked it or to get me to stop...haha!), I tutored, I babysat, I was involved in FBLA, NHS, my high school committee.  I took piano lessons from Gustaf and we often had recitals.  I always had something going on.  I felt apart of the community and that my life was a contribution rather than a nuisance or not worth anything.

Somewhere between dealing with the hardships of acclimating to the States and the onset of PMDD, I lost all grasp on the world that I knew.  It has felt like I've been falling down a black hole for a very long time.

I'm tired of closing myself off, though.  I'm tired of not believing in the person that I am because others don't understand me.  I'm tired of becoming defensive and hurt.  I'm tired being bored out of my mind because I've closed myself off to the possibilities of what could be.

Yes, I'm still incredibly sensitive to the fact that when I go to the gym, because I'm not there with other people from work or friends, the other people don't talk or interact with me.  But I'm an extrovert for crying out loud.  I'm going to weasel my way into people's lives because this other way that I've been living the past 9-10 years hasn't been working! 

I would just encourage other women with PMDD and others that are TCKs, don't close yourselves off.  I know there is a chance that you may get hurt and it's frustrating when you feel you're not understood or don't belong.  Just don't stop trying.  Stand up, brush yourself off, and try again.     

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