Perimenopause Can Suck It #12: Is This The New Me?

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Perimenopause CAN Suck It #12

CAVEAT UNO: The following post will contain unladylike words, as The German would say.  This will serve as your only warning.  On the upside, perhaps a new drinking game is afoot with every “Bitch!” I utter.

Perimenopause (#s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11) is a bitch (drink!).  There I said it. She’s been kickin’ my behind every which way these days, leaving me confused and pissed as to who I am anymore, and my childish response is to call her names.

Bitchy (drink!)  Bitch (drink!)  Biotch! (DRINK!!)  Leave me alone!

CAVEAT DOS: While this post will contain humor at my own expense, it doesn’t mean peri won’t cut a bitch (drink!).  That bitch (Drink!  ~anyone else seeing that spinning picture on the wall?~) being me…and you, at some point, if you have a vagina. #trust

Here’s the fun to be had in my journey lately:

#1: Extreme anxiety has invited itself to take up residence in my brain.  This is a weirdo, not fully experienced before, kind of anxiety. Ladies, read that last sentence again.  Think about it in terms of being a mom or having someone in your life that you love and want to protect.  Sure, sure, anxiety comes with loving someone.  It’s normal.  You try not to worry so much.  You tell yourself that things will work out.  You remain proactive in all things necessary to alleviate said anxiety.  You try and remain calm, yet you mom-worry.

Now.  Multiply that worry, the worst worry you have ever felt, the OMGOSH, they’re bleeding out in a ditch worry, then amplify it by a number too large to actually recognize.

Now you’re getting close to an inexplicable wave of anxiety that can submerge you within seconds.  Over the small stuff.

When you finally break the surface and remind yourself to breath, when you’ve had some time to think events through, you will either think you’ve gone mad or you’ll remember you’re in the throes of perimenopause and overpowering baseless anxiety can be a symptom of the unexplored murky pool you’re swimming in now.

Grab a noodle!  Grab a float!  Grab a sense of humor, bitches (drink!)!

It exhausts me to even recall the anxiety I have had in the last month.

Yet, today, I’ve popped above the drowning sea of perimenopausal anxiety and want to share a simple method that can help you feel less like a lunatic that you don’t recognize and more like a woman experiencing a natural life-changing event.  Are you ready?  Wait.  Are you worried?  Cause you look worried.  You look like you might jump up from your seat and run to your phone to call 911 to report SOMETHING’S WRONG SOMEWHERE!

Calm down, girl.  We’ve got this.

Here’s what has helped me beyond measure: talk to someone who is as anxiety-riddled as you are.  Seems counter-intuitive, but trust me on this one.  Talk to your girlfriends who are as confused and pissed as you are, because they don’t recognize themselves any more.  These are your people.  This is your tribe.  Together, you will remember who you once used to be before that bitch (drink!) peri came to hang out with y’all.

For a solid month I’ve been struggling.  For all this time, I somehow forgot I was in the throes of perimenopause and the anxiety was being caused by hormonal changes.  For goodness sakes, I even wrote about brain fog, where you become much more forgetful…and I still forgot!  So for the month, all the little things, the stuff I might normally worry about for an hour or so, became engulfed in a peri-fueled hyper-anxiety brush fire and each worry was compounded to mammoth proportions. WOOLLY MAMMOTH PROPORTIONS!  Yeah, you just thought they were extinct.

Who the hell does this?  That’s what I asked myself a hundred times.

Patti, this doesn’t seem like you.  That’s what I third-person’d all day long (you know how I love me some third-person reference).

Is this it?  Is this the new me?  Poor Garry…was the last thing I asked myself before talking to my girlfriend.  She set me right.  She’s further along in the peri-process and let me know that this anxiety, this horribleness, is temporary.

What an incredible relief.  It’s not the new me; it’s the perimenopausal me.

#2: I want people to leave me the hell alone.  Apart from my online world, I’m a fairly private gal.  REALLY!  Even to a few of my neighbors, whom I have known for years, I’m a mystery, but now, in the throes of all things perimenopause, I’ve taken it to the extreme.  A kind of leave-me-the-hell-alone that’s serious in the moment of please, listen to the words coming out of my mouth and leave me the hell alone. There are some days I go all Michael Douglas in Falling Down.

Bill Foster (Michael’s character): I am not a vigilante…and if everyone will just stay out of my way, nobody will get hurt.

RUDE.

Yes, yes, I know: what a bitch! (drink!)

There are more days than I’d like to say that I just want to be left the hell alone.  Nothing wrong with that, except…it goes against who I naturally am.  I’m a yapper.  I’m a curious monkey and want to know about you and your life.  I’m a poker-of-nose into it.  Yet, this last month, not so much.

When I’m feeling all Bill Foster, I know it’s most likely a temporary moment in time, but there are also days I’m all in.  Don’t screw around with me.  Don’t look at me weird.  Don’t lift your eyebrow in judgement.  Don’t. Even.

Who the hell am I?!

According to my research of all thangs peri, this withdrawal is also a temporary feeling (possibly an instinct to protect others from my bitchiness?!).

What an incredible relief.  It’s not the new me; it’s the perimenopausal me.

I know your mom/sister/auntie/grandmother never told you about these things, about how peri would set the dryer on high heat and shrink your life unexpectedly into short bouts of anger and anxiety, leaving you to wonder if anything will ever be the same again, or who you are, and is this angry caveman you the you you’re gonna be stuck with.  That’s why I’ve been writing this series: to help a bitch out!  (come on now, it’s meant in the most loving of terms.  no need to cut me…)

If you’re like me, standing in the stickers and thorns, needing a hand out of the briar patch, I’m here to assure you that this too shall pass.  Go talk to someone who has been through the thicket and made it out to tell the tale.  It will help.  It will assure you.  It will remind you that your body is a wonderland and what you’re experiencing is normal and that the old you is in there somewhere, waiting until it’s safe to come out.  Waiting for that bitch (drink!) with the pin pulled on her hand grenade to clear the way for the Wonder Years 2.0.

We’ve been through worse, as women.  Hang in, friends.

And as always…perimenopause can suck it.

 

* Disclaimer: All information in this series is based on my personal experience and is not intended to take the place of your doctor’s advice.

 

~If this is the new you, please consider sharing on social media. Smooches!~

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Patti, this series is so helpful. I suffer from anxiety (like that which you describe) all the time on a good, non-perimenopausal day. I wonder if (God, forbid) my anxiety could get even worse during perimenopause. I sincerely hope not. It’s all I can do to tame my normal, everyday, garden variety of super anxiety. 🙂 I did have a very good therapist who helped me with this a few years ago. And I’m still working through it, day by day. It’s just in my chemistry (like my mom and sister). But knowing that perimenopause may ramp it up is helpful to know. If it happens, at least I’ll know (thanks to you) that I’m not going crazy and that it can be a symptom. Thank you for continuing to write on this topic for those who have yet to embark on this perimenopausal journey.

    • Oh, Colleen…thank you. How I wish I had a roadmap before I started this journey. Even my earlier docs were clueless on some symptoms. So much of it can be scary and anxiety-provoking because we simply aren’t aware of the natural process occurring in our bodies. Dear God! This is 2015 and we should already be talking openly about perimenopause and menopause, but I think in a youth-driven society, women don’t want to appear any older than need be. I say screw it! Let’s pry open the doors and share our knowledge and experiences and give women everywhere a heads up about what may be in front of them. Especially since most women start transitioning in their ~gasp~ 30s.

  2. Really? You mean I’m not the only one? The anxiety has gotten so bad lately, I was about to call my doctor. Dear Lord. This is awful. And the evil voice – you know the one inside your head. Pre-menopause, she pretty much just told me I wasn’t good enough. But now? NOW SHE SINGS. As in Taylor Swift voice…in an unending loop…in my head…literally wiping out every reasonable thought, in fact – any thought at all, from my mind. Wait…copying that. There may be a blog post in there. Squirrel –>

  3. Posts like this reminds me how lucky I was that menopause for me was a breeze

  4. Whoo, girl, I didn’t even stress it. they have to take me as I am til I get to the other side, you know? They aren’t the ones suffering. Having said that, blowing off my bitchy steam actually relieved me of a lot of bitchiness. Not all. But some. Anxiety? Check.

  5. Well they say… What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (or blonder in my case), When it comes to you though, I think it makes you funnier! I giggles my way through this post… not because what you’re dealing with is funny, but because you have the strength to find the humor… and cause I played your drinking game 😉 You’re an inspiration girl!

    • LOL! YES! A partner-in-drankin’-crime! Man, you must be sooo drunk right now! Thanks for the fun comment. I do it for you guys. Don’t want this bitch (DRINK!) peri to catch you unaware.

  6. By far this is the absolute best blog I’ve read relating to perimenopause !!! I can’t stop reading :). Your humor and reality of this time of change really hits home and makes my day much easier! I’m just entering this phase, well should I say, the doctor is just starting to address it…. I suffer from high anxiety and panic disorder since my early twenties , now 40, but thought overall I was managing ok until BAM …. It got sooooo out of control . So many symptoms, all undiagnosed causes after many many tests, etc . Anyway , your blog has really made me feel better and actually laugh for a while 😉 thank you !!!

    • Ginger! You’ve made my day. Thank you. The whole reason I started writing this series is because I had a great doc who let me know early on what the heck was happening, but she also told me that the majority of women who are symptomatic with peri symptoms are blown off by the medical community. So, this series is for all those women. It’s not for the weak. Perimenopoause can SUCK it!

    • p.s. that you got a laugh or two from the series made my day extra brighter. THANK YOU!

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