I had a few minutes before it was time to wake the Teenagers up. I have a quick look at Facebook, and I smile as I see the ‘Timeline memories.’ I’m impressed with what I see.
That girl looks good in those photos. She is full of life, young and has a great figure. I smile at the pictures, and then the realisation hits me.
It hits me hard.
The woman laughing in the photos had disappeared some time ago. No one is sure exactly when she disappeared. Every now and again you hear reports of a sighting. But the sightings are few and far apart.
It is heartbreaking to see images of this once vibrant go-getter, not knowing if she is going to return. To be taken from us so young is criminal. The thing that took her crept up on her, and she fought it hard. That woman had always been a fighter. But after a few years of denial and five hours of crying one day she conceded.
Like a Harry Potter movie, the thing that should not be named was now a status on Facebook. And there it was for everyone to see. The admittance that Menopause had taken her.
The woman I look at with fondness is me. My insides physically cringe and twist as I accept it. I have the menopause now. The old woman disease. By an old woman, I mean 60 years old not 45 years old.
What is Peri-menopause?
Though according to the Doctor I have been in “peri-menopausal” from the age 40.
What is Peri-menopausal? I remember asking
“The menopause before the menopause.” the Doctor replied.
I laughed thinking it was a joke “Are you kidding me? The menopause before the menopause?”
The Doctor smiled and said, “Yes, that’s it. The menopause before the menopause.”
I refused to accept the menopause.
How could I accept I had it? I was no different to when I was 20 years old or maybe 30 ish. Looking back it’s probably the doctor’s way of easing us old women into the shittiest stage of our lives. Adding the word “Peri.” gives it a little cuteness.
In Persian mythology, Peri means a mythical superhuman being. Originally represented as evil but subsequently as a good or graceful genie or fairy.
Yes, that’s what this perimenopause has done to me. I’m not saying I was graceful, but it is making me evil. And if you add the word peri, you don’t want to kill yourself yet. And you are not at the acceptable stage to kill anyone else.
The day I admitted I am going through the menopause started the same as most of my days. I go to my Daughters room to wake her up. As I turn to leave, I catch a glimpse of someone in her standing mirror.
I don’t recognise the person, but I know her. I feel no connection with the person I see. I even question “Who the hell is that?” I don’t want to look, but I have to be brave and take more than a glimpse at the person in the mirror.
I have to make sure the person in the mirror is acceptable to be in seen in public. Not that I care that much what people think, but I care just enough.
I glance for a second too long, and then everything unravels. The shock of what I am looking at is unbearable. It is the horror movie nobody wants to watch. The one where you cover your eyes with your hands but sneak a look through space in between your fingers.
What Happened to me?
“What the heck is that looking back at me? Is that me? What the bloody hell happened to me?” I am grateful there is no bright light in the room, as I am sure I would break down crying. The teenagers are still in the house so breaking down is not an option now. I repeat “it is not an option.” You do not want the question the look of disapproval at your tears.
Oops never mind the tears are rolling down my face now. I turn my back to the thing in the mirror and try to ignore what I’ve seen. The person I saw in the mirror was a stranger to me.
I quickly block it out as I have to put the smile on my face and step into my Mrs Doubtfire role for the Children to leave the house happy for the day.
The tears were pouring out of my eyes, and I didn’t give a shit anymore. There was a swimming pool of self-pity. I was drowning in it.
- I can’t talk to anyone because I am pathetic.
- I can’t tell anyone because that’s moaning.
- I don’t even know why I am crying.
- I have no reasoning for it.
Oh yes, the menopause. Remember I am not accepting that reason yet.
I try some self-talk. “Get a grip, do something that will make you feel better.” I find myself not moving and glued to my chair. Maybe that is because my ass is huge now and I can’t lift it? Careful now, here comes the voice that tells me how crap I am. I start to question why I am so miserable lately? At what point did I become this miserable Heffalump?
I am still pathetically crying. With my ass still stuck to the chair, I realise I have to accept what the doctors have been saying. But it can’t be right. I am too young.
The internal dialogue starts. One voice in my head points out “The best way to overcome something is to admit you have the problem in the first place.”
The other voice pops in “But if I admit it, people will view me differently.”
The tears keep on coming. I am adding age to a face that needs no help to look old. I look over the photos that came up on the timeline. That is a big mistake. A person who is young, active and full of life.
Those photos were taken a year or two before. One year is all it took to turn me into a miserable old hag. I can’t even say I turned into my Mum because she looks fantastic and I do not.
My Mum says it is because she drinks “a lot of water” and walks everywhere. Good for her but I am not prepared to go down that path yet.
I cry, even more, I want me back, the person in the photo. Where is she? I miss her?”
I did not choose to have this. And there is nothing I can do.
I now have Mr Blobbys weight. I suppose that is my fault as I used to complain I was too skinny. I don’t know any women that admit to going through the menopause because it is accepting your old, your past it. You’re a granny, even though you may not have grandkids.
It’s how I feel about the menopause.
It slowly started to strip me of the vibrant person I was and replace me with some old hag.
It is the same as Voldemort and Harry Potter. Harry fought the miserable old Voldemort. And Voldermort kept sneaking up to take Harry’s happiness and replace it with dark and hate.
I had to take some control back. So I put it on Facebook for everyone to see and ignore. I expected the odd joke from family members, but that did not happen.
I received messages from women telling me of their experiences with the menopause. Women I have always seen as beautiful and women I admire.
One woman who I see as stunning and inspirational told me of her “Rage.” She also feels she is too young for the menopause.
Another explained she had been going through the menopause for “4 years so far.” “The last 18 months had been the worst.”
Hold on a second, did I read that correctly?
She’s been going through the menopause for 4 years. And it is not over.
So how long does it last?
Oh no no no no. I am not having that. The menopause can jog on.
What did women do that is so wrong to deserve this? I don’t want to grow old gracefully.
I can handle the physical side. I will copy my mums’ actions. A little bit of willpower is all I need.
I do not want to be a miserable hag. It is not who I am. So it is time to fight the evil, as Harry Potter did. All I need is an army to help me fight the menopause. The issue there s I don’t like that many people. So it is down to me.
So the cloud that is above my head and follows me around. The cloud that seeps into my system better be prepared.
Because I am a woman and I can fight and scream and kick your ass.
In the meantime, can everyone I know who wants to help me not breathe around me.
For some reason when I hear you breathe, I turn into a fireball of rage.
Thank you for your consideration.