Little did I know the terror that awaited me! Nobody told me all the gory details of the symptoms, changes, and mental illness that would ensue. I have coined the term, as far as I can tell, “Menopausal Psychosis.” This is a real condition! No doctor ever let on, or at least my male doctor didn't feel it necessary to warn me. I feel this is a horrific infraction. I could have been saved from wondering what the hell was going on with me! A little heads up would have been helpful.
Nobody warned me that as my body started into “the change,” I basically had the sex drive of a 16 year old boy. No well mannered lady talks about this, so here I go. It was as if my reproductive organs sensed their impending doom and ramped up into overdrive in anticipation. My husband, who you would think would be thrilled, literally hid from me for the better part of 2 years. He would walk past me in the hall and say…”I can’t do it again today!” I would say “what?! I didn’t say anything!” “Its that look,” he would mutter under his breath. Too much of a good thing can be exhausting apparently. In his defense he was very accommodating but, I was out of control. I thought to myself many times, “what is going on with me?” The beast was unleashed.
Then as those symptoms faded, new much less enjoyable ones began. I did get those hot flashes, but not as badly as some. Yes, you feel like your in a sauna and it creeps up all of the sudden. Sometimes followed by the feeling that you're going to faint and that’s always a thrill. Oh and I had the heart palpitations to accompany the heat! One night my husband and I were in bed talking and the flash hit, and hit hard! I jumped out of bed (which never happens at the speed at which I managed it this particular night) and in 2.2 seconds I was standing there in my birthday suit. Carlos looked shocked and intrigued all at the same time. I saw where this was going, so I informed him that we were now in a different stage of the change and the beast was gone.
But the worst symptoms are anxiety and depression. Where do you ever get educated on that? I never knew that that would be part of the experience. I just thought my life was over and I was literally going crazy. Then, as the storm started to get better I saw an article about how anxiety and depression was the number one symptom of menopause. And I had it in abundance. When I read this new tidbit I threw the iPad (gently) and yelled, “Why didn’t anybody tell me this???!!!!” I proceeded to go on a rant that was one for the books. “So I’m not crazy?????” The few that heard me say this disagreed quietly. If I would have known this, life would have at least made sense if not been easier.
There were many days that I could not drive to the grocery store. I didn’t want to leave the house. All I wanted to do was watch Netflix and eat, and I did. I would get in a mood that was so unbearable that my children would send me to my room! They would sweetly say, “Ok Mom, why don’t you go up to your room and rest for awhile.” I had no patience for anyone. The dirty looks I gave people on the daily were frightening. I swore like a sailor when driving and feared no one and nothing….in a bad way. Once I told one of my kid’s friends that I hated him when I first met him. He choked on the snack he had just grabbed from my pantry and my girl’s jaws dropped simultaneously. I was an embarrassment continually, that’s what I was told anyway.
I gained weight at a startling rate. Becoming heavier than I’d ever been. The chub that grew in my stomach area which I affectionately call “the apron” is the bane of my existence. I remember the first time I became aware of it. I bent over to get something and thought I had left a small pillow in my lap. I would catch a glimpse of myself in a window or mirror and wonder who the fatty was. How did I get these “Lunch Lady” arms? Suddenly wearing a short sleeve shirt was horrifying. Even my calves got fat! I know this for sure because I asked the young man in the shoe store and he confirmed it. I couldn’t believe that even my calves were affected! Oh and don’t get me started on the boob area! These puppies take serious weaponry to keep them contained! Even with the best bra money can buy, it’s still questionable whether they are actually contained or not.
I was a mess. Feeling more insecure and hopeless than I’d ever experienced. I started to dream of taking off for a year after I saw Eat Pray Love. My husband wishes I’d never seen that movie. Whenever my husband would get on my nerves (which was all the time) I would threaten to “Eat Pray Love.” It took him awhile before he figured out what I was talking about and would just laugh at me. The closest I’ve come, is driving down to the gas station in a huff, and drinking a Pepsi alone in my car. I seriously thought about how I would do it….. sometimes I still do. I vow that I will go on a pilgrimage sometime in the future! The problem is didn’t she have to take a vow of silence for like a week? That may prove difficult!
Yes, my poor uninformed friends. Menopause is a bitch! (Excuse my language.) I wish I would have consulted a FEMALE doctor and prepared myself. I know there are things that can help, but how would I know, I white knuckled it. I am throwing out that tidbit for all you poor dears that are approaching it or in the thick of it. Get help! If not for you, for the sake of your family and friends!