Saturday, February 5, 2011

Coping with PMS

Before I had kids, I was generally pretty even keel through the month.  Then, I had kids.  And everything changed.  I struggled with post partum depression after the birth of each of of my children.  It subsided after I stopped nursing, but my hormones never quite returned to normal.  

I realized this year that I have really begun to struggle with PMS.  Each month, I would find times when I couldn't keep from crying.  It was irrational.  This year I have also struggled to exercise regularly--which I was able to do after my girls births.  I began talking to friends about PMS and asking how they deal with it in their lives.  One friend shared with me that she plans her week so that it will be less stressful and gives herself more room to breathe.  But, other than that one friend, most women I talked to simply struggle with it like me.  

A few weeks ago, I discovered that Lorraine Pintus wrote a book titled Jump off the hormone swing: Fly through the Physical, Mental, Spiritual Symptoms of PMS and Perimenopause.  I recognized Ms. Pintus' name because she coauthored Intimate Issues and Intimacy Ignited with Linda Dillow.  Both books are good resources for women about sex and marriage.  Intimate Issues deals specifically with struggles women have with sex in marriage.  Intimacy Ignited is a literal interpretation of the Song of Solomon and a guide to how we can love our husbands well physically.  Over the years when friends have struggled with sex in their marriages, I have always turned to Intimate Issues for guidance about advice and encouragement I could give my friends.  I wrote a review of Intimacy Ignited last year and I enjoyed it.  I was so thankful to discover Jump off the hormone swing.  I felt very hopeful that it might give me some clues as to how I can cope with what is going on in my body!

The day this book arrived, I opened it up and read the first page.  I breathed in a deep breath of relief and surprise as I discovered that I am not alone!  That pit--that horrible pit where I tell myself what a horrible person I am and what a failure I am--she's been there!  As I began reading the book, I found myself deeply enjoying it.  Isn't that ironic--I enjoyed a book about PMS?!  Ms. Pintus mixes humor throughout her book that is engaging and lighthearted.  She has the ability to speak straight and be both encouraging and convicting at the same time.  

She first addresses the physical things that we can do to help us cope with PMS.  She then moves on to the mental symptoms.  There's even a chapter on ways we can stretch our brains and cope with stress better.  Finally, she addresses the spiritual symptoms.  She does not let women use PMS as an excuse for hurtful behavior towards others.  She acknowledges how hard it is and then talks about walking through PMS with God.  The final chapter is about the blessings and testimonies of women of how God has used PMS in their lives.  

After finishing the book, I can't recommend it highly enough.  If you struggle with PMS, I highly recommend reading this book.  I hope it will encourage you as much as it has encouraged me.  I now have a list of things I need to process and consider.  I have some changes I need to make in my life.  

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Moody Publishing.

1 comment:

Lorraine said...

Hi Ann! This is the author of Jump Off the Hormone Swing. Thank you for reviewing my new book. Thank you for your kind words. I must tell you that I spent over 5 years writing this book--much of that time was on my knees simply begging: GOD, SPEAK TO YOUR WOMEN--SHOW ME WHAT TO WRITE BECAUSE WE SO DESPERATELY NEED TO KNOW HOW TO LIVE VICTORIOUSLY WHEN HORMONES MAKE US FEEL CRAZY. Then after He faithfully gave me help from His Word and the book was published my prayer was this: GOD, BRING ME NOBLE WOMEN WHO WILL HELP ME GET YOUR WORDS OUT TO OTHERS.

So YOU are an answer to that prayer! Ann, thank you for who you are, for what you stand for, and for using your own gifts of creativity to bless God's women. You made me smile--I know you make God smile, too.
Gratefully, Lorraine Pintus, author, speaker, writing coach