I woke up angry. I hadn’t even opened my eyes yet and I could feel the simmering tension beneath my skin.
"Morning," my husband said. I looked across and in that moment I hated him. Pure hatred.
This is the same man, just a few days earlier I had whispered “I love you” to, whilst massaging his hair. Now I wanted to kill him. To smother him with a pillow. To never see him again.
I didn’t even answer. I just rolled over and checked the date on my phone. I knew without having to look what week it was. It was my dark week.
The week in which I disappear. Where I became a shadow. Black and empty.
Watch: If your period was a person. Post continues below.
I reluctantly pulled myself out of bed and began the monotonous morning routine.
"I’m so sick of ham, I want chicken," my eldest daughter complained while I packed lunchboxes. This comment was enough to make me want to cry
“Yeah well I want to be in bed,” I thought trying to blink away the oncoming tears. Instead I yelled.
My children were startled. I don’t yell. I’m far from perfect but I’m not someone who raises their voice. I’m patient and calm. I love to make up silly songs while I make breakfast. Like Mary Poppins.
I’m also usually an annoyingly chipper morning person.
I dropped them off at school and sighed. It was a loaded exhale.
“You are a terrible person and a terrible mother,” I thought. I went home and instead of working, I went to bed.
I drew the curtains to block the sunlight. I felt it was mocking me. I wanted darkness. For the outside to match my insides. I slept. I slept to escape my mind.
I know what you must be thinking reading this.
This woman clearly battles with depression. Or some form of mental illness.
I suppose that's fair. Except this was only my state of mind for one week of every month. Every other day I was happy. I loved my job, my husband, my family. I was a positive person who loved my life. Except every month during my dark week.
The week before my period.
It hadn’t always been this way. It began about 12 months ago. When I became completely free of any form of contraception. At the age of 33 I finally had a regular, completely natural cycle.