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Because life doesn't pause during menopause.

The B*tch is Back

The B*tch is Back
“If she’s freaking out, kiss her forehead, hug her, and call her beautiful. If she growls, throw chocolate at her from a safe place.”

Yup, bitchy comes back to me quite often these days, beckoning at my door, just like that Elton John song in the 70s.

Yesterday, I was on the Internet doing research for this article and noticed a video of a Bitchy Betty doll. You pull the cord (or click on it in this case) and it says “What are you looking at?” “Go away?” “I need chocolate.” “Men are pigs.” “I am so bloated.” “Stop pulling on the chord.” “Cut it out.” “I’m moody, I’m bloated, and I have a chord sticking out of my back.” Then Betty needs a pill and when she doesn’t get it, her head explodes.

Maybe it’s my warped sense of humor, but I was amused. It’s meant to be for women with PMS but it might as well be Menopausal Mary, right?

Okay, let’s move on the second menopausal dwarf on the list of itchy, bitchy, sweaty, bloaty, sleepy, forgetful, and psycho. Yup, time to discuss the one symptom that we all like to deny exists when we’re in the throes of it – bitchy.

As I mentioned before, now that I’m an insomniac (which, of course, greatly contributes to this bitchy syndrome) and need things to entertain me in the wee hours of the morning, I’ve become a Pinterest addict. To repeat a quote I saw, “if I’m not on Pinterest for more than two days, call the police.” Of course, that’s just a joke, but really, call the police. Anyhow, I saw a couple of menopause cartoons last night that made me laugh:

“If she’s freaking out, kiss her forehead, hug her, and call her beautiful. If she growls, throw chocolate at her from a safe place.”

Or “If you’re looking for stability in your life, befriend a woman in menopause. Suddenly everything else in your life will seem rock-solid stable.”

Funny, right? Well, that depends if your hormones have put you into a cantankerous, irrational state when anything I say will make you want to rip my head off. In that case, I can empathize, but still, I’m glad you’re there and I’m here.

True, menopause symptoms are different for everyone, and maybe you’re miraculously escaping this dwarf and haven’t become the stereotypical mad, bad, dangerous menopausal woman. God bless you. Me – not so much. If practice makes perfect, then I must confess that by now I’ve probably perfected bitchiness.

Hormonal imbalances and mood swings often rule the day during this fun roller coaster ride, ladies, and it’s not pretty. I’d like to say otherwise, but menopause has often turned me into some kind of screaming, irritable, bawling version of myself I don’t even recognize. The sweet, logical, calm Julie I knew and loved pretty much disappeared. Suddenly I can’t trust my own thoughts and feelings. My mind is messing with me.

My husband innocently asks me if I’m feeling okay and I burst into tears and am angry for the next five days. In fact, suddenly I’m so enraged about everything he’s ever said that ticked me off during our 35 year marriage that I’m threatening to do something that will end up on the news. Let’s just say, I’m not always my charming self.

My poor, patient husband isn’t my only target, of course. It might be that random woman standing behind me in the grocery checkout line that’s breathing way too loudly. Or that skinny salesgirl I swear had a smirk on her face when I took a size 8 bathing suit into the dressing room. Or my little dog who is wagging his tail too much.

Of course, it’s not our fault we’re cranky. Our bodies are turning against us; the evil dwarfs are keeping us up all night, causing us to sweat profusely, making our minds fuzzy, and bloating us up like balloons. Who wouldn’t be bitchy? Unfortunately, declining estrogen levels can put a woman in a constant state of PMS.

So what can we do? Experts recommend the following lifestyle changes:

  • Exercise and eat healthy.
  • Learn ways to relax and reduce stress, for example, through rhythmic breathing or meditation.
  • Engage in creative outlets that foster a sense of achievement.
  • Stay connected with family, close friends, and your community.

If you take these steps, and are still feeling increasingly unable to cope, see your doctor.  He or she might recommend antidepressant drug therapy and/or psychotherapy.

Some of the above recommended lifestyle changes have helped me. Exercising, getting enough rest, writing, taking deep breathes calms me a lot of the time. But not always, so it’s important to realize that sometimes angry feelings are just an illusion. Sometimes hormones make issues seem bigger than they are in reality. I’ve discovered that it’s better to deal with whatever’s bugging me once my sanity returns – which it always does eventually.

When all else fails, I ride the wild emotional rollercoaster, knowing this too shall pass.

Baby boomers who want to learn more about finding their bliss, can visit Julie’s blog at www.babyboomerbliss.net.    

About Julie Gorges

Julie Gorges enjoys writing as a creative way to express her feelings, share her warped sense of humor, bare her soul, and hopefully inspire and educate her readers on important subjects like menopause mania. She's the author of three books, has had hundreds of articles published in magazines and newspapers, and won three journalism awards while working as a newspaper reporter. You can enjoy Julie's own blog at www.babyboomerbliss.net.

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