What normal feels like

Today was a good day:

  • I didn’t cry
  • I didn’t get angry
  • I stayed focused at work
  • I sounded smart when I spoke in meetings
  • I felt smart when I spoke in meetings
  • I didn’t panic when the subway didn’t move for a few minutes
  • I wanted to exercise when I got home and actually did
  • I was nice to Tom
  • I didn’t compulsively shop
  • I didn’t feel paranoid
  • I felt generally calm and happy

I was me again. For the first time since my perimenopause symptoms started in earnest, I felt normal. I remember this person! I like this person and I WANT HER BACK!

My first instinct, as soon as I realized a whole day went by without feeling crazy, was to catalogue everything I did in the past 48 hours to see if some little thing could be the magic cure. Yes, yesterday was an exceptional day spent wandering the property, gathering dandelions and self-heal for medicinal oils, and I did discover a crazy dark blue beetle in the yard called the American Oil Beetle that I researched and then dragged Tom outside to teach about. Maybe the freedom to wander and learn new things was the thing that made today, today. Or maybe it was the angle of light when I took Rabito for a walk this morning. Or maybe it was a convergence of energy. Who knows and who can know? If I put my hopes in something as a cure, I will only be disappointed when it doesn’t work. Perimenopause doesn’t seem to be anything curable, only endurable. And perhaps treatable.

To have a day like today gives me hope that I will not disappear during this hormonal potato sack race. I am still me, I’m still in there. I can get through this!

Note: I wrote this on Tuesday. Today is Thursday and I am so pleased to report that I continue to feel strong and positive and calm. Three days without crying or rage or paranoia! Hurrah, huzzah.

Two steps back

I found this in my drafts folder from last October. So much has changed since I wrote this, I am posting as a reminder that heavy days are temporary, but the mood swings caused by sugar are forever.

Life is funny. I’ve moved forward, thinking I got through some rough times and emerged on the other side to happier, lighter days, but then, inexplicably, I’m right smack dab back in the mire. Why is that? I am exercising, which creates good endorphins. And I haven’t quit, which makes me proud. I am working, though not at what I want to be doing, but working nonetheless. We’re still in the running for the house in the Catskills, overcoming obstacle after obstacle with a fair amount of grace. Tom and I are doing alright. It’s a rough patch, but we’re muddling through.

I have been feeling so left out of life lately because I am not a mom. Last night, we went to a birthday party for one of Tom’s friends and I felt so odd. The women there were either new moms or newly married and planning already for their kids. It’s difficult not to be defensive when I explain why we don’t have kids. And when someone asks, I definitely feel like I have to explain. Maybe women don’t give it another thought. Maybe they aren’t judging me at all. Maybe it’s all in my head because I feel less than great about our decision. I think I will always feel less than great about it. It is rough to be excluded from the mommy club, especially when there aren’t many people asking to spend time with us and New York isn’t a city I particularly want to go out in. Will it be different upstate? I hope so.

My malaise could also be a product of the massive amount of sugar I’ve been consuming. I drop down to nothing and feel vulnerable at the core after I eat candy, but I eat it anyway. Halloween is filled with so many memories and I want to keep making more, but it is a hard one when you are too old to go party and not able to enjoy as a parent. There must be another option. Tomorrow we are going on a hike, which I hope will shake out the cobwebs and negative feelings and flush the sugar swings. A bit of nature will help things out. It always does.