Do you ever feel like everything is ok, maybe even good, and then out of nowhere one simple thing can change your mood completely? Well, if that sounds at all like you, please rest assured you are not alone. This exact thing has happened to me and continues to happen. At first, I tried to resist it and tell myself that I should be happy and grateful and everything else I teach others to do, but the reality is it is just not possible. In fact, forced happiness and pretending create more stress and can make you feel even worse. I think having gone through breast cancer and ongoing hormone suppression therapy may intensify this experience for me. The drugs that are meant to keep us healthy can also have side effects that create mood swings like the ones I am describing. I know that this is a very common experience for many women, but it’s never talked about at any of my doctors’ appointments. I am always asked about how I feel physically if I have had any pain or changes in my body, but I am never asked about how my mood is. Like many of you having or have had breast cancer is just one part of my life, I have many other responsibilities my daughters, my work, my dog, my home, and the list goes on and on. I notice that especially in the colder months my moods fluctuate much more and I find myself on a bit of a rollercoaster mood-wise.
Change in mood
I put into practice everything I can to maintain a level and stable mood, but sometimes I just lose it. Here is a recent example of how I went from an overall happy day to a complete disaster in a matter of minutes. It was my 49th birthday and I woke up very happy and grateful to be alive and feeling healthy. I started my day with wonderful phone calls and messages from people I love. The day was going so well, I had a busy day at work full of client meetings and things that I enjoy. I was feeling so solid and like nothing could take away this incredible high I was experiencing, and then in a matter of seconds this all shifted and my mood changed. My daughter called to tell me that she had some disappointing things happen to her at school and she was very upset. Even though I knew that what she was going through was a natural part of life and that she would get through it my mood immediately changed. I went from being so happy and stable to a place of sadness almost instantly. I tried to resist it and pretend that it was all good, but the reality was that I was going to have to deal with it and find a way to support her through what she was going through.
Instead of judging myself and adding to the story I simply sat in my bad mood. I allowed it to take its course knowing that it would eventually pass. I don’t know how much of this is because of the breast cancer meds or just the reality of life, but I find this part really hard. I hope that when you are experiencing a mood swing you will now know that you are absolutely not alone and that you remember to be kind to yourself and allow it to pass.
Have you experienced mood swings before? Share with us your experience!
Do you find it easy to advocate for yourself?