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Closet Fascination

A blog about a journey, smoking, not smoking, vaping and everything in between

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PMS

Anxiety Strikes Again

So I sit here on a Friday, after spending the majority of my evening paralyzed by anxiety or a depressed mood or both. With 8 days until my period, I know this is my ‘normal’ PMS mood swing. Knowing that doesn’t help me change how I’m feeling very easily. It helps explain it, which reduces any inevitable worrying about why I feel so shitty but nothing on the actual reducing how shitty I feel.

Being a teacher of how to take care of one self when one is experiencing negative moods, I know what I should do. De-stress, take it easy, distract with an activity, avoid alcohol or other drugs (cough- nicotine), try not to overeat. I’ve managed to do most of those things, aside from overeating.

Overeating is the worst. I find when I am feeling this way, I mistake my anxiety for hunger and try to eat it away. Of course, it doesn’t work. No quantity of food could satisfy because I’m not actually hungry (to a point, I always start hungry). I don’t eat quantities of food that would qualify as a binge, but I eat more than I need and beyond the point of comfort. Part of me figures it would be good to go back to tracking my food as I did this less often when I was tracking all of my food. The drawback is I become a bit obsessive about what I eat when I track. I need some sort of happy medium between tracking each piece of food entering my lips and the free for all I’m practicing right now.

Next time I feel this way, which I guess could happen as early as tomorrow, I’m going to try to chug a bunch of water first as I actually find that being dehydrated sometimes feels like hunger.

I’m happy I avoided drinking alcohol and smoking (although that was more of a thought than an urge). Alcohol always seems like I good idea in the moment, but in these moods I find that my anxiety is even worse the next day. I should probably avoid drinking again until I have my period. I also cleaned the kitchen which is something as well.

To end on a more positive note, today I had a good day at work. At the end of each of the classes that I teach students can give their feedback. The feedback today was overwhelmingly positive. My favorite piece of feedback was this: “Thanks for helping me feel like a person again.” Jail is a pretty impersonal place so I’m glad I was able to help this person feel this way.

I feel better after writing this all down. I often tell my students that writing can be helpful but sometimes I don’t take my own advice. Time to continue the de-stress with a bath, more water, perhaps a book and maybe a relaxation meditation.

How I’m doing…

Overall, I’m doing fine. While things aren’t always easy, my moods are more stable and more predictable than when I first quit. My cravings are super predictable as well. The weeks following my period when my estrogen levels go up, I’m happier than the period of time before my period when my levels are low, but I’m also more anxious. The anxiety triggers cravings. But because my body is setting up to ovulate as well, my libido is super charged  and I get more ‘fetish cravings’. It is actually a wonder that I get through these periods without relapsing. Vaping has helped immensely though.

Following ovulation, as my progesterone levels rise, the anxiety goes down but I am less happy almost borderline depressed. As long as I can remember, I’ve cycled like this. I’m going to mood track for another month and see what kind of data I can collect. Then I’m going to see my doctor about options since I’m not actively wanting to get pregnant, perhaps a hormonal birth control might even me out. Or an antidepressant during my PMS phase, that was something that was found to be very effective with a women with premenstrual dysphoria. It is all worth looking into at the very least.

Anyhow it has been 41 days now. I’m proud of myself, even though it has gotten easier. Things aren’t really easy all the time, but I want  to stay quit so that desire gets me through the cravings.

Until next time…

Day 19: Reflections on Health

Nothing of note happened yesterday, other than the realization that, on the whole, I need to take better care of myself. I woke up anxious yesterday and I realized I would have missed feeling that if I had still been using. Perhaps it would have been one of those mornings where I couldn’t pump enough nicotine in me to make the anxiety go away.

Why was I anxious? It is unclear really, but I suspect based on what day it was it was the beginning of my premenstrual phase, so colloquially: PMS. I suffer from pretty bad PMS and I’ve never really done anything about it. My PMS is bad enough sometimes that I can’t wait to start my period again, because that means the mood swings are over, at least for a little while. Today, I woke up feeling OK. Tomorrow, who knows? Once I’ve got 30 days off nicotine under my belt, I’m going to start making small changes in my lifestyle to hopefully help with this as well as better track where my mood is at so I’m not randomly flying off the handle at my husband.

We slept in today, I got up with the dog and came back to bed and fell back asleep. When I  did, I had a weird dream. I was in New York for a friend’s bacherlorette party. It was getting pretty wild and we were riding in twos in chariots pulled by horses and we were seated backwards. My childhood friend pulls out a pack of cigarettes and lights up. I ask her for one, she starts to give me one and I tell her no, I don’t want one. I think it is the first time I’ve turned down a cigarette in a dream. I’m starting to think I’m really done with smoking.

Yesterday, I also gave away all of my nicotine juice. I couldn’t bear to throw it out and even though I trust myself with it, I didn’t want it to go to waste. I picked up Bowden’s Mate from the post office in 0 mg. I had ordered it as a reward to myself for making it this far. It is by far my favourite juice. I’m half considering stocking up in case it dies with the FDA ruling. I mean I found some clone recipes to make my own, but now that I vape so much less than I did before, I’m not sure I need to go that route.

Now it is time to do some garden work. Have a brilliant day everyone!

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