I love my body, my body loves me, I am a Goddess, blah, blah, blah. I usually feel quite good about myself and as a result, I usually feel quite good period. Period is the issue, however. I always had normal periods my entire life – freakishly so, in fact. I could set my clock by the prediction that I would start at 10:00 AM every twenty-eight days. Because I had six children and breastfed five, years would often go by when I did not menstruate, which was glorious. When I was younger, I had hellish cramps, but as I worked out some of the unpleasantness in my life, the cramps went away, rarely to return. It has been around fifteen years now since I had any significant cramps.
I started menopausal symptoms when I turned forty, which was more than twelve years ago. I thought I was dying until I saw a program with Robin McGraw about menopause and realized that I had nearly every symptom. The palpitations, hot flashes, night sweats, night restlessness, memory loss, hair loss, and irritability all made sense then, so I relaxed into it and awaited my actual pausing. I took Remifemin and New Phase and Estroven and the symptoms eased away.
About three years after that, I ran out of Remifemin and never got more, but found that I was symptom-free. I would have an occasional hot flash, but my hair was growing in normally, which in this case, I was not losing it faster than it was coming back in. I still flowed like a school girl and was still very regular.
In January, my body decided to skip a month. I had all of the early symptoms such as the crazy water retention that causes my blood pressure to creep up, the sore, swollen boobies, and the mild irritability, but then no output. After two weeks or so, the other symptoms went away. As though nothing happened, right on time, in February, things started again and my goodness, did they ever make up for missing that month.
Now, here we are in March and I am five days late. I have an extra 10 pounds or so on me, which is driving me nuts. I am puffy, bloated, and sore. I can only ever sleep if it is between the hours of 3 A.M. and 10 A.M. preferably if I have something pressing that needs to get done during those hours. The rest of the time, I will doze fitfully and flop around or just be up and unable to close my eyes. I am feeling rather stabby, but trying hard not to inflict it onto others. My hormones are raging, so I am either in high sexuality mode or isolative. Rarely am I that polarized. I am spacey and forgetful, not feeling plugged in at all. My days just sort of drift by, colliding into one another like clothes in a dryer. I often have to ask people what day it is. My give-a-shit is completely broken and no matter what anyone tells me, I take a long drag off of the straw in my iced tea and stare them over the rim of the glass. That is almost the only expression I have these days. Just staring with that “what do you want me to do about it?” look and more iced tea.
I crave chocolate unbelievably, so I try not to have it in the house since I would have to go to the trouble to drive down the mountain to get it. Last week, it was bad enough that I asked Eric, my Sweet Boo, to bring one perfect Cadbury caramel egg up the mountain for me on his way home from work. He brought me a five pack AND a five pack of Cadbury creme eggs, which are almost as good. Mind you, I ate a Cadbury caramel egg around two days before that and loved it. Seeing his sweetness (and theirs), I could only presume that the precious Baby Jesus in the Manger wanted me to have those eggs. Oh yes. Yes, my loves. I ate all ten of those little bastards and they were FABULOUS. I did not stop at ten because I wanted to. I stopped because I ran out and because I did not want to drive myself down the mountain to get more and I did not want to ask him to go to the trouble of getting more, although I strongly suspect that at this point, he would (or should) consider just flinging a few packages of them in the door before he comes in after work. I would likely scurry forward and grab them eagerly, then scurry back into my corner and eat them without even removing the foil, making all sorts of threatening primal sounds while I did.
Each month, I can count on a wonderful build up, then downward flow of raw, female energy. There’s a reason we have menstrual “cycles,” because it cycles our energy through us. That is why (much needed Katrina info) tampons do not work well for me. It plugs up my energy. Down and release, down and release. Now, I am in this weird transitional phase where my body is trying to get its bearings and so the energy comes strong, but then has nowhere to go. If I do not work aggressively to get it out, I get headaches, I can’t sleep, and I feel all energy congested inside. My “flow” is impeded.
I do not fear this new phase of my life. I embrace it eagerly. I have no grief for the loss of my physical fertility. Lord knows I put it to abundant use over the years. I love my life and I love who I am at fifty-two. I adore each and every year of me. I would, however, appreciate a bit more balance. I have no interest in curbing the symptoms necessarily with fake hormonal therapy. I love and trust my body completely, even if it is a little confused at the moment.
I try to use my creativity as an energy release. It works sometimes. Mostly, I just sit around and watch my feel swell.
As my mother so often said about things like life and kidney stones and misfortune, “This too shall pass.”