When Mood Swings Take Over at Work: A Story of Grace
Posted byBethany Johnson
The following blog is a fictional story inspired by the experiences of real women.
Misty awakens, her alarm blaring across the room. She’s groggy and sleepy — more tired than usual. She wipes the fog from her eyes, stumbles to the bathroom, and realizes she started her period. Today of all days! She’s due to give a big presentation at work in a few hours. She needs her mind uncluttered from everything that comes with her time of the month: bloating, heavy bleeding and of course, mood swings.
Perfect, Just Perfect
She jumps in the shower. The hot steam feels good on her cramping abdomen. Reluctantly, Misty steps out, hurriedly dries off, and heads to her room to get dressed. She makes a mental note: wear dark colors and that pair of slacks that have a little give in the waist.
On her way to her job as brand manager at a marketing firm, Misty stops to grab her usual latte and a bite to eat. When the chipper drive-thru guy informs her they’ve just run out of her favorite chocolate croissant, she snaps at him. She knows the churlishness is uncharacteristic, but she doesn’t care. She’s got too much on her mind.
Misty gets to work, through the door and into her office.
Within minutes, she’s interrupted by Carol, the interior designer of the company.
“Misty, can we talk?”
Reluctantly, Misty agrees, despite having to forfeit her cherished morning solitude.
Carol starts explaining how the current shade of purple in the brand’s color palette is going to clash with the new design aesthetic. She can’t find anything to match, so the color must change. To make matters worse, Carol explains that she already spoke to Brad, the CEO, and he agrees: out with the purple.
“Ughhh!” Misty growls. She considers biting her tongue, but decides she needs to say what’s on her mind.
“Carol. This ruins everything! You ruin everything. We’ve already spent thousands on digital and print materials that have this shade of purple! This design was initially approved and now you want to waste loads of money with your late decision! Why can’t you just match my design already?! You are so selfish, always wanting your way, and manipulative too, to go behind my back right to Brad! How dare you! This wastes so much of my time, not to mention, the money. Why do I even bother doing my job?! Maybe I should just give my job to you and Brad, and you can — ”
Misty stops abruptly when Carol suddenly stands up and leaves, slamming the door to Misty’s office. Misty is livid, her ears ringing. The situation has been brewing for months, she tells herself. She’s justified. Carol had it coming.
On Second Thought …
Misty forces herself to close her eyes and count backward from 10. She’s still frustrated, so she texts her husband about the situation. Misty taps furiously, her fingers flying over the keyboard. She pounds send. Misty scrolls up and reads her account of the argument, and that’s when she realizes that she might have made a mistake.
Her husband, knowing that Misty battles mood swings when she’s on her period, calmly tells her that she is a wonderful human being and the perfect brand manager for her company. He reminds her to approach others with the best intentions and not the worst. She realizes that her period and crazy hormones are behind why she has been so irritable.
Misty continues her deep breathing and does a few stretches to shake out the bad vibes.
An hour passes, and Brad knocks gently on her door. He wants to talk about a resolution between Misty and Carol. Anticipating that Misty will blow up at him like she did at Carol, he approaches cautiously.
To his surprise, Misty apologizes. She knows she quickly escalated a discussion that could have been handled calmly with a rational mind. She knows her hormones are to blame, but she doesn’t use her PMS as an excuse for her behavior. Instead, Misty accepts responsibility for her actions.
Misty asks Brad to invite Carol in. Misty wants to apologize to Carol personally and work out a resolution between the three of them.
She recognizes that while her crazy hormones can be hard to control, it is imperative to be fully aware of what is happening in her body and in her mind. Controlling herself around her loved ones and coworkers is critical, even when it’s hard.
She repeats to herself, “I can do hard things.”
And with that, she calmly walks into the conference room, fully focused on her presentation, and incredibly glad she wore dark colors.
- Posted by Bethany Johnson
- On May 19, 2017