Dear Diary: When Hormones Go Rogue

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I was 16 when I first realised that my hormones had more control over my mental state than I’d ever been prepared for.

I’d been on the contraceptive pill for almost a year and was weepy, low, erratic, moody and seriously unpredictable.

You can imagine I was quite the hoot to be around. Lol.

It’s only now, a decade on, when I can look back at that poor little lost mite and recognise that it wasn’t me. I wasn’t broken beyond repair, I wasn’t suffering from hideous personality traits attached to my soul, I was just off-balance. My hormones were just off doing their own thang, having a party and going wild in my blood stream, and leaving me weeping in the corner with my depressing MSN screen names and Heinz tinned sponge puddings (was anyone else obsessed with these? Nope? Just me?).

I wish somebody could have sat me down and assured me that it does get better. That hormones do settle down. You learn to live in harmony with them and HEY LOOK YOU CAN FEEL AS HAPPY AS A DISNEY PRINCESS. You just got to ride out the growing-up hormone shit storm (or y’know, change contraceptive pills).

The problem is that sometimes hormones go rogue. Even when you’re a functioning grown-up. Just out of the blue. For no reason.

They just plot to overthrow you and then hey bang you’re on the sofa and no you don’t want to watch TV and no you don’t want to refresh Instagram or go looking for Pokemon and you don’t want pizza or friends or cider or sunshine. You just want the sofa, indefinitely.

Can you tell I’ve had a really bad period?

I mean, it was an average period. It needed a couple of doses of ibuprofen to settle that heavy, uncomfortable pain in my lower tummy. And it lasted a few days, the way it usually does.

But mentally? Mentally it absolutely scuppered me.

I’d been feeling a bit emotionally delicate and was in my usual pre-period mood where I’m a bit like why I so fat, why I so bad at blogging, why I such a hideous human being. But I feel like I’m usually able to almost detach myself from that person and laugh at her. I’m able to recognise that it’s a hormonal reaction to life, and not my actual feelings. It’s just those pesky little period guys twisting everything in my head to try and convince me that everything’s 485882357 times worse than it actual is.

And then my period came and I ate some pizza and some chocolate in celebration like ok hun now we over the worst of it and let’s party on with life and happy moods.

I feel a bit like Fawkes the phoenix in Harry Potter. Pre-period I am the worst version of myself – all decaying and ugly, and then my period comes and I am reborn all glittering and new from the ashes, y’know?

Is that OK that I just compared my menstrual cycle to a mythical creature from a children’s book?

Anyway, this time there was no bursting into flames and being re-born. I am still sat here, post-period like um, hormones, you wanna just chill now? You wanna let me just continue on with life and be a functioning human being or nah?

And it has left me feeling confused and unsettled and if I’m being totally honest, a little bit scared.

I have cried about 7 times in the past week.

I usually cry about once a month.

I’m talking seven times of Kim K ugly tears. I cried hysterically for 15 minutes after Granger the cat scratched my neck, and then I let a single tear slide down my face when I remembered I was going to be 27 soon, and then I cried because I found a couple of fleas on my foot. And then I cried some other times about some things I don’t even remember.

I feel like that dad who started a blog detailing every reason his toddler cried just to show how ridiculous and lol they are. That is me right now. I am the unreasonable toddler.

FML.

I had this hour on Saturday, this hour where I feared the worst for myself. I feared that I would never snap out of this tearful, unmotivated stupor of the past week. I wondered how long it would take me to get a doctor’s appointment, whether I’d go on the same antidepressants as before. I wondered whether I’d still be able to make a living from blogging if I spent the foreseeable future lying on the sofa, unable to string a written sentence together.

Eventually I propelled myself out of my mood enough to put on clothes AND LIPSTICK and head out with friends for burgers and drinks. Yes alright, I had a glass of wine in bed and then I felt me enough to y’know, put on a dress. But whatves, small victories here.

I’ve also had that Pokemon Go list from yesterday (here if you haven’t read it yet) in my drafts since Thursday. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t focus enough to form decent sentences. It’s like there’s some big space war going on in my head with loads of meteors and space rubbish flying into each other and bright lights dancing about and I’m struggling to fly through it without being smashed in the face by a slab of meteor.

But it is getting easier. It is easing off. I mean hey look it’s 10.40am and I have a post almost finished. And the sentences kind of almost make sense, right?

OH and I’ve also had these massive painful spots all over my chin and just above my top lip which makes me feel like I’m not making up this hormone attack y’know? There is a physical sign. Aside from the tears, obvs.

I guess the point of this post is to admit that sometimes you can be just cruising happily in the middle lane of the motorway that is life (I so funny) and then out of nowhere, things can get rocky and feel tough to maneuver, even when nothing is wrong.

Because nothing is wrong, not really. And that’s what made it even harder – not being able to snap out of a mood, even when everything was saying you should be happy and content and smiling.

So, instead of beating yourself up and burrowing yourself even deeper into your cave of misery, just accept that sometimes your head is going to be a bit of a dickhead and it’s OK to just give in to it rather than fight yourself.

It’s OK to cut yourself some slack and cancel everything you’d lined up on your mental to-do list, because maybe, just maybe, you need a bit of time out from being a go-getting babe of an adult. Some time to pull yourself together slowly from the comfort of your bed, rather than forcing yourself to head into town for 534869 errands and social engagements that make anxiety rise in your belly.

Hormones can be hellish, don’t make it worse by punishing yourself for feeling something so unbelievable human. You’re not a failure, you’re not broken, and you CAN do this <3

(But if it does get really bad, there’s ABSOLUTELY no shame in a trip to the docs to get your mood back on track).

 

 

 

 

 

  • I think most women can sympathise with this, its horrible being a victim of your own mood swings. But there is definitely ways around it and it is important to realise the temporary nature of these down moments we all experience.

    https://lifestylelodestar.com/

    • Just what I needed to read after a hellish two weeks where I felt my mental state deteriorate. Had a bad reaction to ani-malaria tablets and went a bit cray cray, was worried it wasn’t the tabs and was just me but feeling better now (after a trip to the docs). Thanks for sharing as always Hannah.

  • Aaaah thank goodness it’s not only me. I am just pulling myself out of the weirdest meltdown week about… nothing? Everything? Ugh it’s been the worst even though I know it’s just silly, but it also felt like it might be super serious. Not that I’m happy you were having the same struggle, but yeah, I’m happy someone was having the same struggle! xxoo

    • Totally get what you’re saying – sometimes you need someone to remind you that what you’re feeling is so common and so normal because your head can totally try and convince you otherwise. Hope you feel better! x

  • This post really resonated with me – I have a couple of days a month where the cloud above my head feels so dark that I don’t know how to keep going. I worry about everything and then feel guilty for doing nothing and its awful, but you’re right, its just my hormones, not me. I’m going to try to remember this post next month when the period blues roll around x
    Sophie Cliff

    • it’s that feeling isn’t it when it feels like there is nothing you can do to shift those clouds. And every little thing feels like such a struggle and a mountain to get past. We just have to remember that 99% of the time, it is temporary and will disappear as quickly as it appeared! x

  • Nichola

    This is actually me!! Right now and knowing I’m not the only one has cheered me up slightly! Yet another truthful and brilliant post, keep it up! Xxx

  • I’d wondered where you were! Glad it’s getting better, I pretty much forget every month how bad hormones can affect me and then I am sat there craving chocolate and feeling really grumpy with the world and one little tiny comment will make me burst into tears, and low and behold, the cramps start and HEY, all explained! Alice xx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

  • I’m in that unpredictable phase right now, but OMG the comparison to Fawkes has made it all better! So accurate haha! x

    http://www.shayholly.co.uk

  • Lo

    Thanks for sharing, Hannah. Out of interest, what should one do about it? There are times when I’ve felt so low I’m not sure how to keep going. (Dark clouds as commenter before mentioned) what will a trip to the doc do? What I’m saying is I’m afraid that the answer will be to take some anti-depressants and just get on with it.

    • Doctors visits can be very hit and miss depending on how mental health savvy your GP is. I’ve heard amazing things about trying CBT which is like a kind of therapy that helps change your pattern of thoughts and the way you think about things (not sure if you’ve ever looked into it?) but it might be worth going to a doc appointment armed with some ideas of things you’d like to try. But for sure the next step is seeing a doctor, as that’s been the only thing to help me before! x

    • I used to get like this a lot too, have you tried looking into meditation? I made a pact with myself that I would do it everyday for 30 days and it has helped me so much. Basically just taking 10 minutes to just be still and try to quieten your mind.
      Plus even if you can’t stop bad thoughts from coming, the whole point of it is that you just accept them and let your thoughts go.
      You could just try for 10 minutes each day. There are heaps of apps that do it and honestly it does really help.
      xxxxx

      http://www.badhairandbackpacks.co.uk

  • Megan

    hey hannah
    hope you dont have too many bad days. can you see a doctor about this? it sounds too much for you to handle
    xxx

    • Oh absolutely if this mood stuck about for longer than a few weeks I would see a doctor, but at the moment I feel like I’m riding out of the hormone storm. It’s all about remembering it’s a temporary thing every month, and if it lasts too much longer than it’s A-OK to seek help ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  • My hormones have really been giving me some jip recently. I actually have a doctors appointment this week to see if I can sort it out. Its not nice when your hormones take over and make you feel like crap! Its funny because when I was a teenager I had no problems with this but as soon as I turned 20 it has completely played havoc with me. Now I just want to curl up in a ball and not talk to anyone every single month. Lol! Xx

  • I feel you, I so feel this post. Hope you’re out of your hormone induced stupor x

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

  • C

    Yes yes yes!!! I know exactly what you mean. I always call it “all-encompassing”. That’s the only way I can describe it. This bad mood just takes over and you can’t escape it and you’re right. It makes it even harder that there is no reason (other than hormones) so there is no way of fixing it because nothing is really wrong. I try to remind myself every time that it happens every month and it’s only a day or so (that “all-encompassing” bit – the crying when you see a puppy cuddling a teddy bear or when your favourite coffee shop is out of triple choc cookies (true story) lasts a bit longer). I got irrationally angry at an origami book a couple months back, tears welling up because that book was just being mean to me by being so impossible to follow and then I just marched into my room, climbed into bed and pulled the covers over my head. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • aw. this was so nice, and it came at a perfect timing. I was reading the whole thing saying “yes that’s me. preach girl” in every sentence. I can relate to every situation in here and thanks for the reassuring words <3

    Chrizzia xx Thistled Soul

  • I love the fawkes metaphor here! That is exactly what it’s like. I don’t get periods, but oh boy do I still get the hormones.. It is the worst because there isn’t as much telling when its going to come/stop either! I don’t think any of us should be made to feel BAD about this though, it is a part of life – a sucky one, but a part nonetheless! I’m glad I’m not alone too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Alice | Whiskey Jars Blog

  • I’m so so so so happy that you posted this! Yesterday I had a cry because I wanted tea and cake, and my boyfriend politely declined. Yep. I CRIED OVER CAKE.
    And I’ve been in this really weird ‘what am I even doing with my life I just can’t even leave the house and face people’ mood for the past few days… Must be the hormones ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป
    Charlotte
    http://www.twocatsoneflat.com

  • I am so so glad I read this post and all the comments, every single month I feel like this, I donโ€™t want to do anything, nothing can cheer me up and I just feel like curling up in a ball and crying. My partner always tries to cheer me up and I end up snapping at him for no reason at all. I tell myself itโ€™s hormones and try to fight my way out of it but itโ€™s literately like I am split in half having a battle with myself! So glad I am not the only person this happens to!

  • Aimee

    I completely get where you’re coming from lovely and I love that you’re shouting out the message that it’s okay sometimes to admit you’re not okay! I have PCOS which means my hormones are out of whack like 90% of the time making life pretty damn hard to get on with sometimes. I went to the doc about it 6 months ago and after loads of tests and waiting finally got the diagnosis! The shitty part with is so far I’ve just been told to look after myself more and shift a bit of the cocktail induced flab around my belly. Easier said than done when your hormones and insulin levels are fighting against you! Saying that, today is one of the good days…put on an outfit I loved and faced the world feeling pretty sassy! Glad you’re starting to feel a bit better <3 but remember we all feel shitty sometimes and that's okay too xx

  • You’re definitely not alone. It’s not until people write about it that you realise and so many people don’t because of the stigma that surrounds hormones and mental health in particular. Hope those good days come back soon for you xo

  • Sam

    I think most women will be able to empathise with this post, so if it helps, know that you’re never alone xxx

    Sam // What I Know Now

  • Lottie

    Your blog posts continue to be so relatable and are not at all pointless. I keep recommending it to all my blog-reading friends. Have a sassy Tuesday.

    Lottie

  • Bo

    I LOVE YOU this is just how I feel at the minute, so glad I’m not alone x

  • This post honestly gave me a little giggle, and a gentle reminder that not everything is going to be perfect all the time, and that it’s okay to let yourself do it’s own thing. And in some way, it’s okay to do what you love or don’t do in that matter. I love your style of writing as well. ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

    Kyia at WANDERLUSTGIRL// lifestyle & beauty

  • Amy

    It is such an odd thing that our hormones have such a hold over us, but I think I’m finally starting to recognise when my feelings are just hormone feelings and not real ones – thank god because otherwise I’m a right bitch haha. Also the Fawkes metaphor is probably the best compariosn you’ve ever written!
    Amy xxx
    http://www.callmeamy.co.uk

  • Babes I can’t tell you how much I needed to read this post! Last week my hormones were OUT OF HAND (Ben didn’t know what to do with me bless him) – I wrote a blog post on not feeling good enough, and that’s exactly how I felt, like I wasn’t enough.. it was horrible but I snapped out of it a few days later! Goddamn periods – sometimes I wish boys could understand!

    Hayley xo
    http://www.frockmeimfamous.com

  • “Is that OK that I just compared my menstrual cycle to a mythical creature from a childrenโ€™s book?” Yes! Absolutely! Loved it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • My hormones have been such a hold on my skin, and they just casually do their thing all month long – they’ve got better recently which is nice (thanks hormones) but stress, that still hangs around – I’ve had to cancel one thing and rearrange another just so I can have headspace.

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Beauty Wellbeing


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