Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Why I Use Birth Control

It's about to get a little real here. I pride myself on being extremely honest and open, and I'm not going to gloss over the fact that I have PMDD, and that's why I take birth control.

Anger is like taking poison and hoping the other person will die.

A professor I had freshman year told us that in class one day. It was the semester I was diagnosed with PMDD.

It was hard to come to terms with the diagnosis, but at the same time, I was so glad to have an explanation. I've always described PMDD as feeling like a werewolf. Because it seriously feels like I go temporarily crazy once a month. And even when I see it coming, even when I've been taking my medication, even when things are going pretty well--sometimes the smallest triggers are my full moon. The smallest things set me off into the werewolf.

Sometimes I can tell it's happening, and I can try to calm myself down. Sometimes I'm so blinded by anger or depression, and that's when I cause the most damage.

Maybe not to the actual people, but to the relationships.

I am not defined by my mental illness, and I do not like feeling like it is in control. I don't like thinking that there are people who will think that I really act like that--that I really am a complete bitch.

I want to be the best version of myself.

I don't want people to think the PMDD version of me is who I am. I'm so much more than that. But at the same time, it is sometimes a very real struggle for me to show the world that I am.

One time I was complaining to my brother about people thinking I was the PMDD person, the "werewolf", let's say. I said I didn't want people to think that was really me.

He said, at any time, you are being you.

I don't think I even responded because that was so painful.

I wanted to ignore my PMDD, just take the medication and it would go away. Unfortunately, it does not work like that. It gets better, for sure, and imagining what my life could be like/used to be makes me want to scream.

At age 18, I was put on birth control pills to treat my PMDD. At age 19, I was also put on antidepressants. At age 21, my antidepressants were increased. That was about a year ago.

My life has completely changed. I still have a lot of struggles with anger and depression, but the magnitude is so much different. Thanks to antidepressants and birth control, I have the chance of having a normal life, and instead of feeling like a werewolf once a month, just feeling a little off.

I have PMDD. It's a part of who I am. It's not all I am. Because I am on birth control, I can be more than my mental illness.

Don't take away my birth control, I promise if you talked to me without it, you will be sorry.

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