Yesterday, in response to a friend’s Facebook post requesting information about moving toward menopause – I wrote this “comment.” I am laughing, because I also wrote another “blogment” (suzism) later in the day – on a different post…
I’m good at hiding out in Facebook comments. I love to write, but it is much easier for me to be one of the many voices hidden below the original post. Still working on sharing my voice.
So – that said – I’m going to add on to that comment that is an overview of what peri-menopause looked like to me and make it an official post. I don’t want this blog to go all dark. There are plenty of funny stories to share – and honestly – a whole lotta living went down in my 40’s – which also just happened to be the decade of my hormonal flux – and my first full decade without booze. The last couple of years have been rough. Life coupled with what I call my second “puberty”… The change over the last year has felt just as painful and angsty as puberty – it has left me CRAVING pot and just wanting to hide out. This is NOT just about physical changes, although I’d be lying if I said those have not been challenging – and yes, I want to address them. Up until now, though, most of the pain has come from reflecting. It’s been in the letting go…
I think my life might look different if I were heading into empty-nesting right now – at the age of 50. Yeah, I know, grass is always greener… I do think there would be a more certain feeling of freedom to go along with the freedom from a cycle if that were the case, BUT that’s not my life situation. My life situation encompasses helping my teen with Asperger’s, Dyslexia and Dysgraphia make it through his last 2 years of high school (following years of doing the same – and building a system from the ground up that supports him) and parenting my 8 (soon to be 9) year old. “Freedom” is some distant land that I will not be heading to for quite some time. I get closer to coming to grips with that all the time.
Again – no darkness there – just the facts. I got a late start – as many of my generation have chosen. For me it wasn’t a choice, really. I wasn’t holding out to get my career and life in order. I laugh at the thought. No. I was a party girl who was grieving the death of her mother and grandmother. I hid from or drowned my sorrow in booze some days and tried to blow it away in puffs of smoke on others. That was me.
I hid from or drowned my sorrow in booze some days and tried to blow it away in puffs of smoke on others.
My pregnancy at 32, and giving birth at 33 saved me. My now 16 (almost 17) year-old saved my life. The rest is history – and lessons. Lessons that were meant for me. I was at a She Recovers convention last year and Glennon Doyle was speaking and motioning a turning of her daughter’s shoulders toward the girl’s problem whilst saying, “That fire (pain) was meant for you.” I wrote that on my heart. I repeat that phrase to myself daily. Daily. I share that story with a variety of women at least once a week – if not 5. I share it with my boys. It’s so important. Yes. These lessons are mine – and I’ve realized the sooner I sink into them, own them, get present with them – the better off I am. If I fight them – if I run from them – if I turn my back on them – they will continue to grow. Our fires do not put themselves out. They are put out by our walking straight into them.
Yesterday’s bloggy “comment :
“I don’t remember where I read the article, but one of the issues is that “peri-menopause” talk is all the rage and is brought up as a thing much earlier and more often than it ever was. I think this leads women to believe it’s a negative thing that you just have to deal with. And honestly, because of my early onset and its duration and the changes and challenges happening in my personal life during the time, that stage of my life was not all too pleasant. But, I must say, that during my forties I found my voice as I lost my estrogen. Part of finding my voice was being able to say “this sucks” at times. ” 🙂 or “I’m pissed.” Or “No, I’m not going to act happy to make you more comfortable.” Making myself laugh, but it is also true. I had always been such a people pleaser. I think the hormonal shift helped carry me away from that. It’s all rolled up in the same ball. I put up very little resistance to the actual change. Little yam cream in my early 40’s (got pregnant). Very short time trying out HRT a couple of years after Ben was born. Wasn’t for me. So I rode it out while dealing with quite a lot in my personal life. Talk therapy. PT and yoga. Cleanses. Juice Fasts. Supplements. I also have bouts of depression, have for most of my life so I do understand that that affects my experience as well. Bouts of depression while losing estrogen as a hormone is like losing one of your natural “antidepressants.” Having just had my periods end, I am looking forward to leveling out. I already feel it happening because there is no surge of hormones now. Even though physically I am at my worst point ever I FEEL GOOD – as I did at various times during perimenopause – especially in the beginning… in the beginning, I felt sexy as hell. I was a single mom with my own business. I was in great shape and felt like my life was taking an amazing new turn. Which it did. That amazing new turn came with its own new challenges, though. I worked through so much shit while perimenopausal. I learned so much about myself. Peeled the onion so to speak. Found my true essence. It’s not one or the other. Not good or bad. So much gray in there. It’s life… Everyone’s experience is different. Stay the course, mama. You have an incredibly positive outlook and a great jumping-off point. I’m super happy for you. “
So – right now – my biggest fire is my physical state. It’s a f’n wildfire. My entire body hurts – and has for awhile – some parts more than others. I put myself here by putting a good chunk of who I am – my everyday self – into helping my son get on course – paying attention to his fire while not-so-much-except-here-and-there to mine. So – now he’s got a course. I need one. I’ve got tools. So many tools. Calling it “recovery from my 40’s” may seem funny to some – but looking at it from my perspective – it’s no joke. It’s time to treat this as seriously as I’ve treated my recovery from substance abuse. I have fear. That fear being that the damage is done. No. Not going there.
It’s my turn. Facing that fire. Walking on in.
Feeling the heat.
Letting it burn.
I will return to my essence.
I will Recover.