So far this menopause thing – if that’s indeed what this is – feels a lot like adolescence did. Unreasonably emotional. Angsty. Itchy. And my clothes fit better than my own skin does.
I’m not at all sure if the words I hear myself speak belong to me or that other woman I live with. Yesterday, I couldn’t remember how to spell the word narrative. I second guess myself at least twice, endlessly reviewing decisions I’ve made or conversations I’ve had to see if I did or said what I meant to. I’m tired almost all the time which is probably due to the fact that I wake up several times during the night, often sweaty, sometimes anxious, and once in awhile – both. My skin is blotchy, my eyes are almost perpetually bloodshot, and at times, you can find me somewhere at the end of a trail of tears.
Adolescence wasn’t my best time, and so I’m a little afraid of these new symptoms which make me feel just as awkward as I did at 13. At least this time around, I have life experience enough to understand what’s probably happening. But although this knowledge gives me a wee bit of an intellectual edge, it truly does nothing for the emotional side of me or my body which seems to be powered only by some sort of inconsistent hormonal surge.
The view from yesterday doesn’t sound especially hopeful, I know. But thankfully, it isn’t yesterday or the day before that, and today feels a little more like I belong in my own body. Today’s clarity enables me to look back at this week that was with a better understanding of who I am – at the moment – and what I need.
I feel humbled a bit by what I’ve been living through and in several short days, may have learned to be gentle with myself. Forgiving. Kind. And Patient. Compassions given to the rest of the world but mercies I somehow neglect to grant myself.
I feel like I’m growing up all over again, and it’s a little scary because it wasn’t all that easy the first time around. Life tends to bump and bruise our self-image a few times along the way and menopause, I’m learning, won’t be any different.
But like the New England weather I live with, I know now that if I wait a minute – or a day or two – the weather will change and life will feel sunny again. There’s hope in that forecast. There’s hope in accepting exactly who I am today, right now, this minute.
Because the view from yesterday won’t be the view I see every day.