my journey to heal my emotional pms began decades ago...

I first began to experience waves of depression when I was in high school, but I had no way of knowing it was anything other than the typical moody teenage years, perhaps made more intense by my unusually rocky life experiences at the time. Slowly but surely, I began to notice a pattern.

By college, I can remember visiting the campus health services and explaining quite clearly that I knew there was a link between my hormones and my intense emotional struggles, but the doctors I saw insisted that I needed to treat my symptoms of anxiety and depression with traditional antidepressants.

The four different prescriptions I tried not only failed to help, they made my life much, much worse. Think "full body hives that look like radiation burns" level of bad reaction. Yeah, it's not easy having a super sensitive body.

it took years of struggling and changing doctors...

Finally I found someone who believed me when I said, "I think my problems are related to hormones, not clinical depression!" But then the only solutions my doctor offered to me were different forms of birth control.

I tried about a half dozen of those, too... Including one that made my emotional symptoms significantly worse, one that left brown spots all over my skin, one that made my joints ache and my heart pound, one that made me feel like I was going to faint every time I stood up, one that made me bleed for four months straight... Until finally I gave up on the idea that allopathic doctors had any solutions to offer me, and I nixed the hormonal birth control, too.

meanwhile, my symptoms were taking a real toll on my life...

It can't help but negatively impact your career and relationships when you are knocked flat on your ass for nearly a week out of almost every month, or when you spend days sobbing your eyes out for no apparent reason. This was especially challenging to navigate in the years when I had a demanding corporate job (before I struck out on my own as a freelancer and could work from home).

Things got brighter when I discovered the positive impact that acupuncture, yoga, nutrition, supplements and exercise could have on alleviating my symptoms – and my monthly cycles improved even more once I unplugged from the corporate grind. I still didn't have a complete picture of what was happening in my body or a full resolution of my symptoms, but I knew things were just ... generally better, overall.

* record scratch * ...enter the unexpected plot twist...

In my mid 30s I experienced an accident which left me with severe damage to my liver and intestines – and surprisingly, my emotional PMS symptoms also went completely off the charts following the accident. Each time my menstrual cycle drew near, a freight train of crippling depression and gut wrenching anxiety would come barreling down at me, and I felt as though I were hopelessly chained to the railroad tracks. I never felt so tortured by the suffocating weight of anxiety and emotional pain as I did in that period of recovery following my accident.

This was the point when I knew – cracking the code on what was causing my PMS symptoms and how to cure them was literally a life or death situation for me. But it took me a few more years of relentless research – studying nutrition and the body through both a western and eastern lens – before I finally put the pieces together.

my menstrual cycle no longer holds me hostage...

I still experience the changing tides of emotion throughout the month, but the peaks and valleys are nowhere near as extreme. I have learned to lean into the rhythms of nature and give myself the proper balance of movement and rest, nourishment and care at each different phase of my cycle – and the choices I am making throughout the month and year support me to have a healthy experience of menstruation.

I truly wish that nobody else would ever suffer through the same experiences I've had, but unfortunately I know I am not alone. This is why I am passionate about sharing everything I have learned, in the hopes of seeing others collapse the learning curve and achieve their own freedom from the nightmare that emotional PMS can create.

It shouldn't have taken me twenty years of suffering to finally learn how to caretake this body of mine, and in my darkest moments I wish there had been someone on my path to hold up a lantern and show me the way. If you are experiencing a similarly challenging time, I would consider it an honor to support you on your journey to finding the knowledge, wisdom, ritual, and community connection you need to achieve your own rhythm and balance.

my doulaship draws on the following influences...

* Lived experience & relentless research

* Cornell University's Graduate Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition

* Multi-Year Apprenticeship in digestive health with Deborah Graefer of GoodApple Nutritionals

* Multi-Year Advanced Practitioner Training in Sound Healing with Tryshe Dhevney

* Ayurvedic & Yoga Studies with teachers who have included Dina Elkoussy & Jamie Hanson

* Nearly two decades walking the path of Sufism, which has led me to being named a Sufi Master Teacher

Ready to take the next step in your own healing journey?