I received a few comments after this entry from people who seemed to be under the impression that I had managed to work through so much, had come out the other side, was on top of things, etc. I would like to clear that up. As much as I raged on and totally believe everything I said, the fact that I know those things in my brain does not mean that I am always capable of emotionally overcoming all that crap whenever it presents itself, especially when my body decides to be unnecessarily evil, which it did.

The lead-up to this period (menses, for you more dense folk) was horrendous. Under the circumstances, I managed to hold up quite well. I only tried to pick a fight with Starcat maybe twice. I kept my overeating down from what I know I am capable of, although that string of restaurants I camped in over the weekend did keep my food intake at generous levels. But really, I'm only trying to look on the bright side.

I broke out more horrendously than I have in years, and now my face has areas that look more like an allergic reaction or scabies. Other spots have developed those deep, volcano-like eruptions that leak clear fluid if I touch them. If you are in your teens or early twenties and are holding out hope that your acne will magically clear up with some hormonal shift as you age, I am living proof that the hormonal shift can be demoralizing and festering.

The bloat this time was worse than usual, as well. We're talking approximately eight pounds of lumpy, white-girl belly and thigh dough, people. I know that it doesn't look nearly as bad as it did in that change room yesterday with the single bulb hanging from a wire above my head, casting shadows where they should not even rightly be, swinging just enough to suggest that I should start my full confession NOW, or I would be forced to look at myself if the fat mirror.

The rest was lovely as lovely gets: constipation, nausea, social paranoia, hot flashes, anxiety, and a sense of utter personal worthlessness. Now, before I get a bunch of e-mails telling me how my hormones are out of whack and how I have to get back into balance, blah, blah, blah, I want to let you know that it is not always this bad. Approximately three times a year, I suffer horribly, but the suffering the rest of the year is less horrible.

It's funny, though, because since I wrote that entry, this bout with The Horrible Suffering™ has had good to balance out the evil aspects. For instance, despite the horrible bloat, I went clothes shopping yesterday after work, and I managed to find an excellent pair of office pants that are elasticy, which meant that I was able to try them on and do them up without stuffing myself in and wondering if they would still fit alright after the de-bloat. Actually, now that I look back over this paragraph, I think the pants were the only physical event that was good. No, wait, that pouring of creamers into the garbage can thing from my last entry was pretty funny, and Cosmopolis was really quite good all around with the food and friends and beer and much-belated Christmas/birthday presents from Starcat. So, yes, good did balance out the evil. And the pimples are now in the beginning stages of healing, so any day now I will be able to take this ridiculous Duckman mask off my face.

Things I know now that my period is in full swing and my body chemicals have mellowed somewhat: the Fiery One does indeed still like/love/want me and is not trying to fob me off on others, I don't really smell bad, my worth or lack thereof can be based on nothing actual which means that I can just decide that I'm worth all the soy in Japan because I say so, my breakout is momentary and should not be used as a measuring stick for my attractiveness for all time, and eight pounds is never enough weight gain to allow myself to proclaim my fatness in some sort of helpless, arm-flapping fashion.

Really, this entry was supposed to be about what a ridiculous tit I am for having secretly gone off my regimen of St. John's Wort months ago. The Fiery One was away on a work trip, I was running low, and I kept forgetting to take it regularly, so I just quit. St. John's Wort is one of the only things that keeps my social paranoia, depressions, anxiety, and PMS in check. It is the only thing that has worked for me without making me feel numb or distanced, and it doesn't offer up a whole slew of side effects that can be as difficult to deal with as the difficulties I am trying to soften.

So, why did I quit? I already told you. I'm obviously deficient in the smarts department.

Everyone who knows me should go now and thank the Fiery One, because without being at all aggressive or accusatory or condescending, he asked me if I was on the Wort in the middle of my PMS hell, and when I confessed to secretly having quit the Wort months previous, he asked if I still wanted to take it, and when he received an answer in the affirmative, he simply brought me two caplets of the glorious plant and a glass of water. The sweetness abounds.

Feldspar And Pointy Sticks Call For Beer, Beer, Beer

A Visit to Cosmopolis as Seen from Inside a String of Restaurants (and Some Pinter)