Years ago (before Feby) my decade younger sister-in-law confided in me that her husband told her that she was so moody he thought she was crazy and she ought to go to the doctor to get medication for it. I instinctively said "Amelia*, you are a woman. You are meant to moody. We're all moody. Do not go on prozac or some such nonsense simply because you are bitchy once a month."
"What do you mean?" she asked, so sweet and unknowing in her youth .
"I mean, do you track your periods? "
"Kind of. Sometimes. When I remember." was her response.
"Well track your period. Mark it in your calendar but mark your moons every day, all month. I bet if you did you'd find that you're bitchiest right before you get your period. PMS you know?"
"Yeah. I've heard of that but it's not a real thing is it?"
"Oh, it's a real thing all right. I'm living proof. Once a month. Like clockwork, I lose it. Like clockwork I also cry, eat chocolate and go to bed early. You really should keep track. It's hormones.
"Hmmm. I'm going to do that." she said. "I'm glad I talked to you. I didn't feel good about taking medication. That seems a last resort if I was depressed or something, and I'm not. Sometimes I just get really fed up with Neil* and the kids and then I get mad at myself for getting so mad."
"Classic case of PMS sister."
We laughed but deep down I was really comforted that she had brought this up with me and maybe I saved her from something. I've seen too many of my close friends go on anti-depressants and become ghosts of their natural vivacious, if somewhat erratic, selves. (Please don't get me wrong, I understand there is often a genuine benefit of taking such medications but I just don't agree that natural highs and lows of being a woman need manipulating.) Amelia never did take a prescription to control her moods and for that I am relieved and grateful.
But I'm no doctor; I'm simply a woman who has lived this truth for a long while and and am trying to share the knowledge of that by means of a bracelet. Well happily, at the beginning of March a book was published that supported everything I believed in my gut all along about being a woman and being moody and that the two elements belonged together is some way and it was written by a doctor.
'Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You're Taking, the Sleep You're Missing. the Sex You're not Having and What's Really Making You Crazy' by Julie Holland, M.D. corroborates my theory and everything I've built Feby upon and I'm so estatic that she wrote this book. It may become my new go-to so full is it of thoughtful and well-crafted reasoning about the natural female experience.
The premise of Holland's argument is that fluctuating moods are not inherently negative and it would be in our best interest to allow ourselves to be authentic and follow the indicators that Mother Nature bestows us. .
The book is broken down into three parts. Part One is entitled Moody by Nature and Holland is quick to establish the importance that we possess awareness of our menstrual cycles and its effects on our moods primarily through hormones and chemicals naturally released in our bodies.
Part Two is entitled Mating, Milfs, Monogamy, and Menopause and this section is teeming with enlightening information largely because I'm presently married and probably in perimenopause as I'm 48 but would be helpful regardless of age or marital status. Most of us will at some time or another struggle with monogamy, motherhood and menopause.
Part Three is The Moody Bitches Survival Guide and here the author gives practical advice on how to use all the information from the previous chapters.
She cautiously advises to consider alternate forms of birth control other than the hormonal variety as these alters the body's chemistry in a very powerful, possibly toxic way. She believes that hindering the ability of the body of it's natural cycle of hormones and chemicals is not necessarily always in our best interest and natural family planning, condoms, iuds, diaphragms et al are a wiser choice in the long term.
I'm end this here as I could pretty much quote the entire book. Moody Bitches is an amazing tome to cycle awareness and embodiment. If you're interested in owning your relationship with your cycle, body and emotionality then I strongly suggest you get this book. Heck, pick it up for other women in your life who may need a nudge in self-acceptance and awareness. In this sisterhood, we're all moody bitches.
* Names have been changed