Today is groundhog day and I hear he didn’t see his shadow, hence an early spring. Personally, I’m hoping he’s right. I’ve seem to have lost my mountain woman tolerance for the cold and the snow and anything winter. Do you hear my growling undertone? Yeah, it’s one of those days.
Ok, confession time. This week has been a difficult one. At 51, I’m in the throes of perimenopause and once a month I go through a very emotional set of days where hormonal imbalances bring on my own personal winter storm of gloom, depression, anger and unreasonable sadness. These grey bouts have made my light seeking journey challenging as it is during these times that I take those steps backward. My urges to crawl back into my cave become very strong, grief takes over residence in my heart and I feel annoyed and even angry at those around me who are light and happy (usually my poor husband). This angel of a man is so patient with me. Thank you God! I feel so fortunate to have Steve in my life. As a psychotherapist and naturopathic doctor, he recognized right away what was going on with me a year ago and started me on some natural supplements to control these imbalances (they work amazingly most of the time, I no longer wake up in a pool of my own sweat); however, I still have a day or two where I struggle with severe emotional swings. It is hard for me to imagine what it would be like to go through this experience without understanding what was happening to me and without emotional support from a loved one. Certainly it would feel confusing, devastating and despairing and I would think I was going crazy. Even now, when I know why I am feeling this way, I fight to pull myself out of it. A walk on the beach right now would do wonders, but instead I am snowed in and metaphorically perfect, Steve is plowing us out.
So I have a question? Why is this “change” such a mystery and a taboo? Why is it that as tweens we were educated about our changing bodies and adolescence but there is no class, communication or education about the changes women should expect to experience during perimenopause and menopause? Why are we women not talking to each other and sharing about our experiences? Is it because this period of life is so difficult and dark for most women that we feel ashamed or different or mentally ill? I would think that men would benefit greatly to learn more about his difficult transition for women. With understanding they could be sensitive to the craziness and even help reiterate to the beloved goddesses in their life that they are still wonderful and loved and that this depressing crazy experience is just an illusion being caused by some wacked out hormones. I know that there is a lot of information out there, but unless you know what is going on with you to research it, you will never seek out the info.
I would really like to hear from you. Please share with me and the readers here what your experiences have been or currently are around the subject of menopause. We all (men and women) have had experiences with mothers, wives, sisters and friends going through their “time of life”. Personally, I am anxious to hear that I am not alone or unusual or losing my mind. Let’s help educate each other through communication.