Peri-WTF?! (or, having the courage to be free)

perimenopause4

So I’m slowly but surely coming to the concept that I’m actually in perimenopause and have been for a number of years. I mean, hell, minus the hot flashes everything else seems to match pretty perfectly, from my fucked up ovaries to my mood swings to my space-out moments. Fact is, in just over two months I’ll be 44. When the fuck did that happen, I tell ya. But as exhilarating as it might sound to have a new word to add to shitty descriptors of the events over the past few years (“infertile”, “miscarriage”, “vitrectomy”, “herniated disc”, “extra in the middle thanks to IVF”), I think my favorite discoveries are some of the things that websites recommend, stuff my fellow sisters-in-failed-IVF will share in the “eye roll, sigh and pshaw” reaction I had, such as:

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  1. Take birth control pills! It was offensive enough to be on the pill for 20+ years before being diagnosed infertile, and a kick in the gut to be taking it to prep for 6 cycles of DEIVF, so sorry if I give you the middle finger if you recommend I get back on the pill to help with this phase in my life that involves neither pregnancy nor attempts to be.
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  2. Take estrogen and/or progesterone supplements. Because I would LOVE to start putting that shit in my body again after spending thousands and thousands on two inch needles full of that stuff that made me fucking insane, over and over again, throughout 6 DEIVF and 2 ERA cycles. Middle fingers UP.
    olivia-pope-wine-gif
  3. Avoid alcohol. So, beyond my love-fest with red wine while in France after the first failed DEIVF, I drank little if anything for several years because of infertility. There is no fucking way I’m not going to finally enjoy my wine. And after my first marriage to a raging narcissistic alcoholic who treated me shit? If I want my wine, I get my fucking wine.
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  4. Avoid caffeine. Yeah, after infertility this technically would be easy because one cup of coffee makes my heart go ballistic. While never a “must have coffee to function” gal, I have worked my ass off after fertility treatments ended and post-op restrictions were lifted to stomach one cappuccino a week, and I am not quitting that, baby.
    no-more-pills
  5. Try antidepressants. Did anyone not hear my “no more pills” diatribe at the start of this? Yeah so I’m not going to be popping pills to deal with something that happens to all women eventually. Not dissing those who need to take them, it’s just not where I’m at.

So what next, then?

“And so, I walk. I choose to walk down this new path – the path of the Perimenopausal woman. Motherhood was never my path to walk, at least not in a traditional sense. Instead, as I enter perimenopause, I choose to walk a new path, to empower other women as I empower myself. I realize what I am leaving behind, and I do so with love and gratitude in my heart.”
~ Mary Pritchard, On Infertility, Closure, and Letting Go: The Lessons of Perimenopause

Hopefully we’ll be selected by a birth mother but we’re no longer building our lives around that particular hope. It’s time to refocus the lens on ourselves, on us, on our life going forward. As this reality sets in, I will be choosing good diet, exercise, meditation, fresh air, exploration of the world, and a good therapist – not more “weapons” to “fight” perimenopause. Because you know what? It’s not a battle I’ll win, y’all. If there’s anything I’ve learned over these years is that change is fucking inevitable. People and situations will come into your life for a “reason, season or lifetime” and you just gotta do what’s best for you. Period.

“The menopausal transition is actually a profound developmental stage in which unfinished business from the past comes up once again for resolution and healing, so that we can free ourselves from the outmoded beliefs and behaviors of our past. All the issues that weren’t resolved during puberty and early adulthood—such as body image, relationships, vocation, fear of aging, and self-esteem issues—now arise once more to be healed and completed.”
~ Dr.  Christiane Northrup, MD

Now that’s something to contemplate.

  One thought on “Peri-WTF?! (or, having the courage to be free)

  1. November 8, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Wow. That last quote blew my mind. It explains a lot. Lately I’ve been processing experiences from my single days. My daydreams just head in that direction and all of a sudden my TV boyfriend is pulling the same nonsense that an ex from my 20s did. I guess it’s easier to reframe past experiences now that they’re long over.

    I’ve long suspected that some perimenopausal mood swings aren’t caused by hormones – we’ve just run out of patience for all the BS women have to put up with.

    Liked by 2 people

    • November 8, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      That’s so funny as I’ve been going in the vault recently and thinking about stuff from way back, processing who I was and where I am now. Hindsight is definitely 20/20. But more importantly, who is your TV boyfriend?? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. November 9, 2017 at 3:24 am

    I am going through the menopause right now. I’m 31. I had radiotherapy for cervical cancer. No children. It’s a big, fat bummer. The HRT patches have helped calm down the hot flushes but otherwise I think I’m overly emotional compared with a couple of months ago. Thank you for blogging about your struggles. While our roots are different, I feel less alone every time I read your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 9, 2017 at 6:25 am

      Thank you that’s really sweet of you. Coincidentally my husband confided in his new boss about our long struggle with infertility and it turns out his boss’s wife is also dealing with cervical cancer, so even though neither of them are big on words I know they have each other.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. November 9, 2017 at 4:07 am

    That last quote, though.

    I think I’m in perimenopause too. As annoying as it is, I’m with you. I’m not fighting aging, it’s a battle I’m destined to lose. Besides, as a recovering addict who really should not have survived some of what I’ve lived through, aging is a privilege and I’m damned proud of it.

    Like

  4. November 10, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Try acupuncture. It has really helped me. I go once a month and I rarely have any hot flashed or night sweats. It evens out my mood — well sometimes. The only thing it didn’t help was the weight gain, but I figured if I was killing anyone I was good. I wrote blog post about acupuncture. Please check it out Good luck with your journey.

    Like

    • November 10, 2017 at 7:41 am

      Thanks however while I like acupuncture only thing it’s ever done is make me fall asleep. When the hot flashes come however I’ll probably give it another try, but right now it just reminds me of the weekly sessions I had for the last two years of fertility treatments. thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  5. November 10, 2017 at 7:23 am

    The serious peri symptoms started for me when I turned 44. Something horrendous happened just this year (I’m 45) – I just stopped metabolising alcohol properly, or something. I have two glasses of wine and I feel like absolute shit: headachey, headspinny, angry, hot, exhausted, poisoned. I have to stick to one for my own good. I’d heard rumours about that, and then it happened… Also, the love of my life: coffee. More than one cup has started to give me migraines. I know its the PeriM doing this because everything feels hormonal. I basically have a headache every day now (never got them before). But I also abide by the rules you’ve set out here. When this all started a few years ago I went to the doc to say I felt like killing myself for three weeks of the month but felt fine for week 1 of the cycle. She threw anti-depressants at me and they zombified me, couldn’t complete a sentence on them. I decided that having the knowledge was enough: I knew what I was dealing with and I would cope with it. It actually helps loads to say to yourself, when you are homicidal with rage and ready to burst into tears for the nth time that day: ‘this is just hormones’. I dunno, it helps me anyway. Great post, EcoFem, it’s good to talk about this

    Like

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