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Hipstercrite: The Twice Monthly Non-Period Period

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Twice Monthly Non-Period Period

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I noticed something lately. About once or twice a month I get really apathetic. Discouraged. Run down. Confused. Tired. I want to sleep under a rock for 48 hours and when someone starts talking to me I give them a blank stare as if to say, "Back the f on up away from me, friend." I sit at my computer feeling like a lead weight. I shuffle home and plop on the couch and can't think of anything. I curl up into a ball on the couch and whine like a little bitch and want nothing more than the day to end.

It's not my period. I know very damn well when that hormonal voodoo is messin' with me. And it's not depression. I have a pretty damn good life and depression does not run int the family. Instead I guess it's a 'everything is finally ganging up on me!' feeling. And I'm not even sure what triggers the malaise. Something or things slight enough that it falls off the radar, but if I actually took a minute to think about it, I'd see the string that led me to that place. Something someone said or something that happened or a movie I saw or song I heard that scratched the surface of a purposely stowed away subconscious thought.

The feeling of being overwhelmed constructs an emotional and physical obstacle that makes me unable to achieve anything. You can barely get me to complete a full sentence, let alone get me to hang out or create. It's the sort of funk that's not conducive to writing. I'm not wallowing in self-pity and drinking myself into a Hemingway-esque stupor. My mind, spirit, and soul have simply shut down for the day.

It's not uncommon for people to have funks. Shit, we all have a lot to feel funky about. Some more so than others. We all have a lot on our minds. We live in a time where we hustle, we stay connected 24/7, and we rarely have a minute to sit with ourselves. It would only seem inevitable that once in awhile our brain says, "Chill the f out for a second and digest." Digest the issues in your life. Digest the news you take in that day. Digest your daily relationships and occurrences. Digest all that is around you. And when you do that, it's like a piano being dropped on you. "Fuckkkk, man. I have three writing deadlines due. My last day at work is coming up. I'm starting a new job next week. Am I going to make enough money to pay my bills? When am I going to get my smashed car window fixed? It's hot outside! I have a boyfriend! Wow, a boyfriend. Shit, it's been a long time since I've had one of those. He's amazing. The poor guy is stressed because of the movie he's directing that you two wrote. You wrote a movie? Huh? What is it that you want to do with your life? Shit, I wonder if that is Mom calling. I better pick up because she might need someone to talk to because Grandma is driving her insane. Grandma is upset because her boyfriend's Alzheimer's is becoming severe and everyone is getting older. I'm getting older. Fuck, I'm an adult. This isn't going to get any easier, my dear."

I don't really like these funky moments, but it's life. There will always be days like these. Maybe if I actually dealt with my life in real-time instead of waiting until everything comes to a head, I wouldn't have to deal with the twice monthly non-period period. One period is enough!

Do you ever experience the twice monthly non-period period? Boys, I'm talking to you too!

18 Comments:

At 8:35 AM, OpenID arazel said...

You have just described my life, pretty much. On such days it takes all I can to pull out of that slump. Then, of course, there are times when you just have to step back and process stuff.

 
At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Shoestring Austin said...

"Mama said there'd be days like this," as the song goes. I like to re-read Breakfast at Tiffany's on days like that; I think the "mean reds" is an apt description.

I think it's definitely related to a need to slow down and digest things that have been happening, as you said. If you feel something, it's always for a reason, and sometimes you just have to stop and ponder where it's coming from--which is something we increasingly avoid with our gadgets. It's good to stop and unplug now and then.

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger IT (aka Ivan Toblog) said...

Sometimes, but not on a regular basis... and yeah, it's usually caused by some outside negative influence. More often than not, it is someone getting into my personal space, not literally, but figuratively.

 
At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it COULD be your birth control.

 
At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Scott Tammaro said...

"digest"...yes...

shit WILL take its toll.

P.S. - staying away from Dr. Phil "goody-goodys" during it allows me to get through
(digest)

 
At 4:22 PM, Blogger Randall said...

Yeah, I'm right there with you. I'm not even sure that my life isn't just all non-period period... and then twice monthly I manage to get out of that apathy - or maybe for me, not apathy, but just... discouragement, and like you said, just feeling overwhelmed. Feeling like lifting my head is chore. Feeling like nothing I do is really building to anything - that I'm not just doing things hoping to succeed, but just hoping not to fail so damn hard [or at times, hoping to fail *spectacularly*].

I think in a roundabout way, my blog, my Twitter account, these have both been things I've used to fight this feeling, and along the way I have ended up chronicling that struggle. Your output and your success thus far as always made me think that these feelings didn't hit you quite so hard, but reading this now, I feel like a dope because of course you've struggled with this too. If everyone doesn't, than at least everyone in situations like ours do [if I can be so presumptuous]. And it's easy, because so much of what other writers post are the successes, are the accomplishments, that I don't think we too often get to realize our peers online deal with the same emotional hang-ups we do, and a lot of us look at these kinds of feelings you mention when we're having them, and feel like we have to just deal with them alone.

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Teeny said...

I don't think this is something you should have to accept as part of normal life once or twice a month. Sh*t maybe I'm aiming too high? I know life isn't designed to always be a box of f*cking fluffies, but surely to feel melancholy so often is draining. I agree with your reasoning though....a primordial slow down that our little human brains and bodies need in order to cope with the immense pace and volume of living we do. Can you drop anything to make your life move a little slower? Guilt is a crappy thing to carry around, would you allow yourself to be more selfish? A friend of mine told me the other day that I had no manners (because if i said i was going to do something, i gave myself permission to cancel if i didn't have the time/desire to do that thing anymore)...i figure I'm just looking out for my sanity. Anyway, as always, your posts are well written and divine to read. When i feel crappy, I tend to hibernate too.

 
At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Jodi Henderson said...

Oh. My. God. I can TOTALLY relate to everything you said, especially "My mind, spirit, and soul have simply shut down for the day." Unfortunately, I think it might happen for me more often than 2x a month. I'll have to track it to be sure, but it totally sucks to feel this way at all, let alone twice a month. *sigh*

 
At 3:08 PM, Anonymous SL said...

Thanks for writing this. I feel the same way a lot, and sometimes think it's just me. (But I DO have crazy hormones and depression, so there's that.) Plus it's 100-and-freaking-ten degrees outside, so that's not helping one bit for anybody in this town! Just walking from the car to the grocery store is overwhelming!

 
At 6:14 PM, Anonymous cj Schlottman said...

Lauren,

This may sound trite, and the last thing I want is to trivialize your feelings, but I think we all have these days when we can't think worth a shit, let alone create.

These days come with anxiety, distraction and a sense of helplessness. You, as strong as you are, are not immune. Give yourself a well-deserved break.

I send you BIG ((HUGS)).

Namaste..........cj

 
At 6:34 AM, Blogger Jesi Yvonne said...

I have the same problems. WIth a new job that I started to try and meet people, and feeling like a desperate high schooler at times (I was homeschooled so maybe I need to experience this?). I do actually have crazy horomones though, which is only a part of it. I didn't have a period for 10 months, ie: I was pregnant. Of course it was planned with my husband, and now I have an awesome baby boy. But after having emergency gallbladder removal at 14 weeks pregnant, and then a blood infection which seriously almost killed me and put me into a short coma at 30 weeks pregnant, I guess I feel lucky. Yet I still feel down about people, friends, whatever it all means. There's a type of strange stigma one gets when they are strolling a baby around, I don't know what goes through people's minds but it normally culminates in not hanging out. Even though we don't have TV, we're not 'those parents', my son doesn't have tons of toys for baby geniuses or whatever that crap is... None of it seems to convince people that I have plenty of time to 'hang out' and have a good conversation. But most people don't want to converse, they'd rather get drunk and talk about nothing. I'm starting ballet soon though, so, maybe that'll all change and I won't give a damn anyhow. Also, don't mention 'mom friends' there's no way I'm doing that... those women are crazy. ;)

 
At 7:09 AM, Blogger Carrie Clevenger said...

I totally get what you're saying here. Maybe it's the moon, heat, or just natural blahs? I wondered if I was the only one. It's not exactly something that comes up in conversation.

Hugs. xx

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger nova said...

I get that too, like clockwork. I'm actually worse at that weird time than before/during my period. I just assumed it's a hormonal thing.

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger YoungUrbanAmateur said...

I've always felt that feelings like that are fine unless they truly disrupt you. As in, if you can say, "I'm not going to write for a few days," that's fine. But if someone asks you to write something, and you promise to deliver it by tomorrow (with the full intention of doing so), but then you get home and suddenly feel like you can't do it, that's a problem.
I've had much worse problems than temporary freakouts. Much worse. If you'd told me four years ago that my situation could improve without powerful drugs, I wouldn't have believed it. But if you'd told me that one day I'd still feel those strong feelings, but they just wouldn't last as long or cause as many problems, I also wouldn't have believed it.
In the end, I feel like if you can freak the fuck out for a period of time, and you can manage to get through it without alienating everybody who likes you, you're good to go.
Then again, I'm the kind of person who, if I had a broken car window, I'd either say, "I guess it'll be this way forever," or I'd take it into the shop and pretend I didn't see any numbers on the bill. (Probably the former.)

 
At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Kate said...

i prefer to refer to those times as "kicking ass and taking names" segments.

 
At 6:24 AM, Anonymous M said...

God it's so helpful and almost rewarding to read that others share in what I coined my "quarterly anxiety attack".

It happened to me most recently last month while talking with my 3 older friends who all have great teaching jobs and are underway to excellent careers. One owns a house and the other two own condos. I still live with my parents and I can't find a permanent contracted-job.

These anxious thoughts creep into my mind when my walls are down. Last month, the feelings of "how am I ever going to make it?" with the economy & having no savings, etc-- they crept in and I let them overtake me until I was having a 2 day anxiety attack in which I was unable to breathe, crying on the phone to my mom that I'm crazy, that I have too many credit cards, that I have to go back to school, and why won't the cosmos throw me a bone and get me a good paying job already...

Caught off guard but not unfamiliar to my "melt downs", mom talked me out of it and convinced me to go for a walk/jog to feel better. And I did and she was right, it got me over the fear and thoughts and buried them at the bottom of my chest of thoughts to rear their ugliness at another moment of weakness.

I've found that I can avoid the anxiety by keeping my head clear with good healthy food and excercise. Ha- that's when I'm in the mist of anxiety, I drink, smoke and eat the occassional junk just like everyone else.

One of the most comforting thoughts (besides being VERY fortunate to have parents who understand that everything for a 20-something in the economy sucks right now) is that: I'm not alone. It's a sad thought, but's comforting to know that others are sharing my frustrations with finding a grown-up place in the world.

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger Big Mark 243 said...

"I go on... and don't stop!"

I remember that as a line from a hip-hop song in the mid-90's... and the attitude is one that I have had most of my life.

Although I acknowledge the 'twice monthly non-period period' being a part of life, at this point in my life I have simply become accustomed to it and believe that if I do expect to get anywhere, I better get used to dealing with life when it gets gooey and gummy.

 
At 9:38 AM, Blogger Carter said...

Are you an introvert? I've been having days like this more and more frequently. I do creative work but have to do a day job to pay the bills and I end up overextending myself until it feels like I hit a wall.

When that happens, I don't want to talk to anyone and can barely form sentences. It's like my brain shuts down and says "no more!"

The only cure I've found is sleep and down time (alone). Lately it's been happening so much that I'm contemplating cutting back and even quitting my job for a few months to get back on track.

 

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