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Because life doesn't pause during menopause.

My Menopause Pal, Psycho

My Menopause Pal, Psycho
Pity the world. I’m Mother Theresa one moment and for no fathomable reason I can think of, I’m Attila the Hun the next.

I admit that hormones – and the lack thereof – affect all women differently. As I mentioned in my first blog, Meandering through Menopausal Madness, my mother seemed to breeze through menopause with nary a hormonal care. Other women friends also seem to be managing the symptoms admirably.

Just so we’re clear, that’s not me. Maybe it’s payback for all those PMS-free years, but menopause has worn me down, beat me up, and stomped my formerly kind, considerate, good-humored self into oblivion.

Of course, doctors offered me hormonal treatment that may or may not harm my health in the long run. Call me an optimistic hippy. I was determined to go through natural menopause just like I went through natural childbirth. Which is kind of funny because natural childbirth didn’t go all that well for me, but then I’m a slow learner.

As I talked about in my former blogs, I survived itchy, perfected bitchy, endured sweaty, tolerated bloaty, suffered from sleepy, and put up with forgetful. Then came psycho. I put a frozen bag of veggies on my head, turned on the fan, laid down, and wailed, while raising a white flag when this last of the seven menopausal dwarfs arrived.

Pity the world. I’m Mother Theresa one moment and for no fathomable reason I can think of, I’m Attila the Hun the next.

Psycho, as the term implies, means that although I used to be nice, now I’m willing to destroy anyone who has the audacity to look at me sideways. Or sometimes they don’t even have to look my way. Like those young girls at the gym effortlessly exercising on the elliptical with the Juicy label plastered across their firm butts that never jiggle and skin tight tops stretched across perky boobs aimed at the sky. Oh, I watch with evil thoughts strumming in my head while I huff and puff as my body parts attempt the downward dog without me bending over.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde have nothing on me.

In fact, if you’re just starting down the road of menopausal madness, I have to warn you. Just like a tornado, sometimes we just have to accept there will be casualties and collateral damage. Unfortunately, my two sisters and I are now a triple threat. I’m at the end of menopause, one of my sisters is in perimenopause and my youngest sister just had a full hysterectomy which put her in instant menopause. Yes, family members are running for their lives.

Psycho also means that although I’ve never had an anxiety attack in my life, now there are times when I can’t breathe and my heart races for no logical reason whatsoever. Instead of Wonder Woman, I’m now like that cartoon I saw: Anxiety Woman – able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound!

Where did I happen to be when my first ever panic attack hit? Oh, I just happened to be in the middle of a lake trying to get certified for scuba diving. No kidding. Ignoring every rule so diligently learned, I popped to the surface and became insanely determined to swim to shore with 20 pound tanks on my back without inflating my BCD vest. Of course, I sank like the Titanic until my instructor towed me in and deposited me on shore like a beached whale in front of the spectators who had gathered to see the show. Did I mention that menopause can be humiliating at times?

So what helps tame the menopausal dwarf psycho? The experts suggest balancing your hormones, addressing possible adrenal fatigue or thyroid issues, eating a diet balanced with protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates, along with moderate daily exercise. Stress management and relaxation techniques can also help. In worst case scenarios, some women need professional help and medication.

Me, I’m stubborn. Still going the au naturel route while reminding myself that menopause is not forever. What else helps?

A sense of humor, of course. Learn to laugh at yourself. You’re psycho self is funnier than you think!

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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