Self-sabotage from my period

Tia here! Today we're talking about self-sabotage. 

For me, the hormones associated with AF became a slippery slope of self-loathing that can sometimes tailspin into intrusive, negative thoughts about my life. The nature of these emotions came to the forefront as I cycled with IVF. The medications amped up feelings of anger and unworthiness far more than I cared to admit and continued month after month as cycles failed and my period showed in place of a pregnancy. 

I carried these self-sabotaging emotions with me after I walked away from treatment because I felt broken and unwomanly for not being able to procreate successfully.

So, let's dive into period-life these days: 

Each month, for 4-6 days, my creativity, clarity and overall high standards of myself go out the window. 

It happens like clock-work, every 25 days (#blessed) and yet, sometimes I forgot to give myself grace. I know it's going to happen and I know I just have to ride the wave until my normal, vibrant self returns, but I am also human, and humans make mistakes.

It is so easy to focus on the negative. I'm eating everything in sight, my face is breaking out, I am sweating all the time, my pants fit tightly, and the biggest issue for me? Brain fog makes even the simplest tasks like organizing my desk or doing the dishes feel like I am building a house from scratch with no tools. 

I find myself buffering from taking real action because I am bloated and whiny and constantly at war with my brain, knowing I should do-more, be-more, but not finding the motivation to actually put in the work.

I am overly hungry and tend to crave carb-heavy food.
I am sluggish, lacking desire to follow-through with scheduled workouts (or moving in general).
I am short-tempered. RBF is on-point more than ever.

When you've worked hard to create an unlimited life, then get tripped up on something trivial like not finding your car keys, or that large forehead pimple that came out of nowhere, it's easy to feel like the weight of the world is crushing you and you'll never get out from under it.

So how do you work through these tough times?

A great mantra that gets me through this has always been..."this too shall pass."

When anyone loses the amount of blood we do I can only would assume they likely lose their mind, too. This emotional turmoil feels like its fighting against every fiber of my being. It's not who I really am...and yet, it is. 

Side note: Could you imagine if guys had periods? The whole damn world would shut down. 

While I can typically mask this sort of negative behavior in public, the emotions have to come out at some point, and that time is at home in the safety of my sweatpants.

In my 21 years of monthly gushing, I have coached myself through no less than 300 periods. 
This is the take-away:

1. I tell Mark. Yup - that's right. My husband is literally the first person to know my period is on its way or has abruptly arrived. Why? Well...for one, I don't have to smack him away when he comes at me first thing in the morning, looking for a quickie, and subsequent questioning of WHY I'M NEVER IN THE MOOD. *side-eye*

More importantly, guys don't really take the time to understand their own emotions, much less someone else's, especially when that someone goes from sassy rock star to angry hobbit overnight. 

So, I make things VERY CLEAR that I'm about to be all sorts of confused and lack emotion and not feel very motivated. I clearly spell out what is working with me (my desire for french fries) and what isn't (my brain). This avoids all sorts of unnecessary drama. When he married me, he married my emotions and my periods too, so he might as well know what's going on, right?

2. I give myself downtime. Like most women during that time; I exhaust easily. One theory may be because we're bleeding out 1/3 of our body weight and replacing it with french fries. But alas, napping, sleeping in and generally slumping around is my favorite period-past time, so I try to allow it to happen more than normal (read: never). 

3. No major decisions. Just like I declared Monday's the day to make no major decisions, this time of the month yields no amazing results either. If I'm feeling up to it, then AWESOME, but most of the time it's not worth fighting with my brain to be epic when I'm just not feeling it.

4. Drink tea not booze. Yes, this one is for me personally as I love a good cocktail, (or three). But while I'm already foggy AF, I don't need to add fuel to the fire and tie one on, too. I do my best to balance the french fries and ice cream with whole foods and simple snacks.

5. Give myself SO MUCH grace. This is just a blip in my life, not my whole life. This is just a small season filled with lack of inspiration. 

I am not a terrible person because I'm not reaching my fullest potential in this moment. 
I am not a bad wife because I feel temporarily gross and don't want to be around my husband. 
I am not a bad career woman because I let a few things slide. 
I am not a failure because I can't easily figure out simpler tasks in this moment.

My hormones are just doing what they're supposed to be doing and we, as women, need to embrace them for what they are, rather than shaming them and trying to combat them.

I was not proud of these harsh emotions for a long time, but continue to work through them and honor them for what they are because, well, let's face it, AF is going to show up, month-after-month, for the foreseeable future. 

I believe in making the most of the less-than-stellar seasons, as they are what make the amazing ones so much more amazing. I believe you can't have the good without the bad. 

Repeat after me:

I am more than my scars of Infertility and I am doing my best to remember that when my period shows each month. 
I am changing my thinking from my body is a broken failure to my body is a well-oiled period-machine. 
My body has not failed me. 
My body is doing exactly what it's supposed to do, in exactly the right time in my life. 

Take care and honor-thy-period.