That time of the month

Up until this year I had never in my life — or at least to the best of my memory — experienced PMS. Yes, PMS — every woman’s favorite and most abused excuse for being a bitch one week out of every month. I’m not entirely sure how it suddenly developed; it could be because I had just happened to switch from Ortho Tri-Cyclen to Yasmin in January, or because the Big Move was looming. Then again, that’s about the same time the weight started piling on at a rate too alarming for my liking, so maybe it’s just one of those you-turn-23-and-it-all-goes-downhill myths. Whatever the reason, it’s always around this particular week that everything seems to go wrong, or at least appear not quite right, and that’s when the urge to crawl under the covers and turn off the rest of the world is stronger than usual.

When we feel the need to shut down, we retreat into our own little world and block everything out until we are ready to deal with life again. As someone put it, it’s really so we can have the space that we need, even though to those who don’t know any better we’re just alienating ourselves. But to what end would we be doing that, if all it means is delaying the inevitable, in this case having to come out from under our rock and face a world that did not stop for us just because we chose to run away from it? Granted we may have had our own reasons for doing so, because some things just aren’t worth revisiting, but in a world so uncomfortably tiny and with a grapevine that is far too widely-spread, why do we still feel the need to keep running? And where do we draw the line between shutting down and shutting people out simply because (we don’t want to have anything to do with them)?

I can count on one hand the number of people I make an effort not to shut out. So what, then, is my reason for shutting out everyone else the way I’ve been doing since I arrived home? To say that I had a life not worth reliving before I went to Buffalo would seem histrionic. To say I had terrible friends whom I don’t want to have anything to do with right now would appear ungrateful. To say there are countless aspects — both human and consequential — of that life that I don’t care to reflect upon because to me they no longer exist would just spell B-I-T-C-H.

So maybe all I can say is, “It’s PMS week.”

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