First, a quick PSA for those who are following along from home: If you’re trying to track symptoms that occur during menstruation cycles, you need to pay attention to every other one. Your ovaries take turns producing eggs as well as all the accompanying hormones. Therefore, your symptoms won’t be the same month after month, but every *other* month they might be.

This little bit of knowledge has been tremendously helpful for me tracking the insanity of my periods. A year ago August, I had seven (!!!) periods that month, followed by hardcore anxiety in September.

That pattern has continued for a year. Being in ketosis the week before my period starts has really helped to minimize those extremes, to the point that I barely had any symptoms some months.

However, when I went to see my naturopath last September, who specializes in female hormones, he let me know that there would be a second, greater cycle as well. I would stabilize into a pattern for a few months. Then my hormones would go haywire for a couple of months. Then I’d stabilize into a new pattern for a few months.

This has absolutely been the case with me. Everything’s fine, then I’ll have a couple of months of crazy, then things will settle down again.

Unfortunately, he let me know that he’s seen other women go through this pattern for years. We’re hoping that because of my age, I won’t be doing this for that much longer.

In retrospect, I believe that the last two months (June & July) were haywire months. I didn’t realize that, though, so I was expecting to have multiple periods this month.

I wasn’t expecting to have hardcore anxiety.

I didn’t recognize my issue at first. I noted that my shoulders were tense early this morning. I didn’t enjoy my writing as much as I should have, due in part to feeling closed in and suffocated, trapped in a corner of the coffee shop.

It wasn’t until I was getting ready to leave for the afternoon that I realized just how anxious I actually was. I have a hard, walnut-sized ball of anxiety pressing down on my chest, making it difficult to breathe.

While I was driving, I tried smile therapy for a while – forcing myself to smile for ten minutes, trying to change some of my brain chemistry. It turned the dial down a touch, but it didn’t help that much. I figure there must be a constant wash of hormones right now, trying to crank the crazy back up to eleven.

The good news. I’m home now, sitting in my peaceful backyard, having a glass of wine. The other good news – I know what’s causing this. I can’t imagine how hard this must be for women who don’t have the access to the resources I do, who can’t figure out that it isn’t them being hysterical but just their hormones. I take extra B vitamins every day, and I figure that helps as well. And I have a husband who loves me despite the extra crazy sometimes.

I will have other thinky-thoughts later on, things I’d planned to blog about, but for now I’m just hanging on and trying to breathe.