The Blog

I Don't Need a Day Off for My Period - I Need It for My PMT

Earlier this year, there was dialogue about "period policy." A Bristol firm called Coexist pledged to give women time off for period pain - prompting the Daily Mail to declare in outraged capslock, that women were due to get paid period leave "EVERY month."

Last night it occurred to me that while I don't need a day off for my period, I'd treasure time out for PMT. My temperament can be artistic anyway. I recently queried a delay in promised press shots with the tact of Trump rocking up to Tijuana, with a lorry load of dynamite. Apparently the pictures of their client needed to be approved. "He's fully clothed in all of them," I emailed, "he's not holding a dildo or pooing his pants - surely you could approve something?"

The day before my period starts, I throw Turner Prize tantrums. My artistic expression is less Leonardo da Vinci, more Tracey Emin's unmade bed, piled high with everyone she's ever slept with, and Jackson Pollocked by a pack of dogs with dysentery.

I'm not always angry. Sometimes I'm filled with overwhelming sadness. This month's PMT Tragedy comprised a melodramatic message to Bae, in which I unleashed a stream of consciousness to rival Molly Bloom, if she'd been in a mental asylum. The message below is the one I sent Bae, edited for length and clarity:

"You went daaaaaaays without making plans to see me. I need to feel wanted and I didn't. There's no room in your life for me. You are lovely and kind and nice and funny and clever and everything I want and I will push you away because I'm an idiot and that is what I do. Because I like you and I'm scared you don't like me back. You are better off with someone else."

We'd been on one date. One date. We'd met online and hadn't even exchanged phone numbers. The poor man messaged back to politely explain that he'd had to think how to respond but, having just come out of a marriage, he wasn't ready to "dive straight in." He has probably re-routed his IP address.

Having cried my heart out, as if it was broken, I woke up the next morning with my hormones on a different dial. Aside from mild mortification at the messages I'd sent, I was on fine form! I wasn't even phased when I got back from Starbucks, to find Mother Nature's mark on my white jeans. If anything, it was a relief. It absolved the day before's behaviour - I wasn't cray! You know your PMT's beyond bad, when you welcome a crimson calling card in your True Religions.

I can deal with period pain, and feeling like my love tunnel's bombing out wedges of womb: PMT is the time I need TLC. It's like having emotional epilepsy. Some people argued against period leave - I was sceptical myself. Surely for women to get ahead in the workplace, we shouldn't admit to any weakness? Confessing we fall into a monthly mire, is like handing ammo to the misogynists.

But constraining my histrionic hormones would be like Sigourney Weaver trying to wrestle an alien back inside her six-pack. If companies like Coexist are concerned about creating a happier work environment, they need to take it a step further and offer isolation tanks. So when my PMT strikes like a tsunami, there'll be no flashbacks of embarrassment, and no budding relationships - romantic or otherwise - left ruined in its wake. Never mind climbing the career ladder - I just need to be saved from myself.