There I have said it.
Out loud and in public.
To be factual, peri-menopause sucks. I am sure menopause sucks too, I just haven’t made it that far yet.
How did I get to 48 before I even heard of peri-menopause?
Bodily functions were not discussed in any way in my family. Having no sisters, lots of gay male friends and predominantly catholic girlfriends …well I guess I never really had much opportunity to discuss icky stuff like periods and PMS.
I just got on with it.
I never got around to having kids and my method for preventing them meant that my cycles were regular and predictable. In fact – everything was regular and predictable, including my mood.
So, WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED?!
In my naivety, I was looking forward to menopause because my periods would stop – easy right? The odd hot flush/flash and then all all over red rover, right?
- My bones ache – where’s that in the book? Every single joint on every single bone in my entire body, even my eyes ache.
- I am so irritable that everything bothers me. I am normally so accommodating and laisez-faire but now it irritates me when people …. well… everything irritates me. Please Ms Waitress, if you are going to ask “How is everything?” can you please smile and wait long enough for us to answer? That’s not too much to ask is it???!!!!!
- I am tired, so incredibly tired that I need a nanna nap most days.
- My body temperature is impacting global warming – no hot flushes per say – but hot. Hot feet, hot in winter, hot typing this.
- I am so feisty that I recently stood between two angry young men – fit young Tradies having a barney* – and told them to pull their bloody heads in or I would give them something to get really angry at! (I suspect I was channelling my mother at that point.)
- I have a headache. Like someone has put a heavy lead curtain between my eyes and my brain. Every afternoon of every day forever.
- Even a rendezvous with a naked Hugh Jackman couldn’t get me excited. I’d be really interested in his conversation but NOTHING else!
- However my desire for calorie and carb rich fuels is OUT OF CONTROL. I am constantly trying to pacify myself with mixed lollies and bags of chips – big bags x 2
- I am clumsy, I have turned into a grumpy, fat, irritable, lazy, anxious crazy woman.
*Barney is a fight, a stoush, a locking of horns
And lastly – brain fog. A complete inability to recall information. All nouns have completely disappeared from my brain. I can not name anything…
Can you get the ——- out of the ——- because I need the —— for the ——-.
Most days I can’t even remember the words thingamy or whatsedoover.
This sucks big time as my job is as a corporate trainer. I am paid to remember things and then share them with others. But some days I can’t remember where my phone is – in the fridge…
Why I am standing in the middle of the stairs – on the way to get my earrings.
Why am I backing the car out of the drive – going somewhere obviously?
Worse still, in a workshop, a participant answers a question and by the time I turn to write it on the whiteboard I have forgotten what they’ve said AND how to spell it.
Try to introduce two people who I ACTUALLY KNOW REALLY WELL to each other – forget it. Brain goes completely blank. Have you met my dear friend ……. Ummm…… we went to school together ….. Ummm this is my colleague …….. We work together at ………. And I pray that by now they have introduced themselves.
OH and I cry. Never cried in my life till I hit 45. Now I get teary when someone eats the lasagna I was saving for lunch. Larger misdemeanours like forgetting to hang out the washing can result in a complete emotional meltdown.
Some days I don’t recognise myself. But I have learnt self-compassion and the comfort of a community of women. And the other things that come as part of this ‘getting old’ package is perspective and the “no fucks given” attitude!
I am seriously looking forward to being a wildly wonderful older woman, but this midlife stuff is stuffed.