The words of a song lately are echoing through my head: “They say I’m crazy, but I don’t give a damn. That’s my prerogative…”
Yes, I’m feeling quite crazy these days. I have moved beyond being peri-menopausal to what I suppose is nearing ‘menopause’ or the ending of menses. This whole thing caught me by surprise. I mean I knew it would come eventually, but until one experiences something one has no idea about it. Now I know why there are so many women taking hormone replacements and other drugs to help them through this change, as I see how challenging it can be to face it. In the book “Power of Now”, Eckhardt Tolle says that each month women can observe the manifestation of the ‘pain body’ as Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), and thus have a creative opportunity to go beyond this reaction. I think he should write a special section about menopause because what I’ve noticed is that pre-menopause is: PMS symptoms 24 hours, 7 days a week and there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight.
I have been trying to find out more about it and what I can do and the only thing I’ve found so far are remedies and pills to treat the symptoms. This I intuitively feel that I don’t want to do, rather I want to relate to the reactions and pain body manifesting, and each time I see this is an opportunity for myself to go beyond ‘my personality’. I don’t want painkillers or anything to suppress the symptoms even though I don’t want these symptoms! The most recent one is ‘hot flashes’. I can’t sleep anymore and around every 20 or 30 minutes all day long, my body temperature is going up rapidly and then I’m sweating. At night this wakes me up around 2 or 3 times a night and then I have to go outside to cool down. Of course after sweating profusely then I am freezing and seeking a blanket, sweater or sunshine. So this has been going on for around 3 weeks. Then I am agitated, restless and my emotional state is quite unstable.
I tried to find out what is the reason for the hot flashes and from what I could find they don’t know. Intuitively what I sense is that the ending of menses is freeing energy that was previously being used to be able to make a baby, and this energy is now being used to clean the body of worn out emotional and personality patterns. I also feel a sense of loss that I won’t have more children and realize that my relationship to men is also changing. As a menopausal woman I also realize that there is hardly any man interested in such a creature. Looking at my own strong reactions in the last few months, I can completely understand this and I do think that the suggestion by some sages, that women take a year off at this time in their life to take a retreat is not a bad idea. I feel that this changing of one’s relation to others from being a mother to being a grand-mother is certainly a big part of the emotional reactions that are being cleansed. That these old emotional behaviors had so much to do with finding and procuring a mate to be able to procreate, and because now they aren’t needed then there is the possibility to do a big housecleaning.
Even so, there is a heavy sense of feeling very alone right now and I don’t see that anyone can lift this from me. There are strong reactions happening and I am trying my best to just observe them and not identify with them, but because they are ones so embedded in my life and have been with me so long, then they are strong and I still am getting sucked into reacting through them. I start to see patterns in them and see more near to what is the root, and just keep meditating to try my best to watch and let them go without keeping them alive and so dramatic with all my identification with them.
I can now understand why menopause is so ‘individual’ for each woman as it is very much related to one’s life experience and the emotional history having been laid down throughout one’s lifetime. I read in other forums, that across women the symptoms are quite variable but most have a transformative experience. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised to find out that this time for me is painful and not at all fun, as this has also been my experience with all the other transformation periods that I have had in my life.
I see that I can only stick with doing my best to relate and not react, hoping that others will tolerate me and forgive me later for acting so crazy during this time period… It has been helpful to keep a creative attitude by reminding myself that this period in my life is a ‘healing process’, and indeed I don’t want to miss it by suppressing or eliminating symptoms. I know that by letting go of the old there is left a space for the new, so this process will result in something different coming into my life. So that gives me hope and courage to go on and face myself, knowing there will be light at the end of the tunnel – that this won’t go on forever… I am quite certain that succumbing to replacement therapies, herbs and other supplements or medications to eliminate or ease ‘these unwanted symptoms’ could possibly rob ourselves of an opportunity to take a step in our personal evolution.
Lastly I was looking for a joke about this and I found a few that might give you an idea…
Signs You Might Be Experiencing Menopause
· Hot Flashes
You sell your home heating system at a yard sale.
· Night Sweats
The person you sleep with complains about snow piling up on the bed.
· Mood Swings
Your husband jokes that instead of buying a wood stove, he is using you to heat the family room this winter. Rather than just saying you are not amused, you shoot him.
· Memory Loss
You write post-it notes with your kid’s names on them.
Your husband chirps, “Hi honey, I’m home,” and your reply is, “Well, if it isn’t Ozzie f**king Nelson.”
The phenobarbital dose that wiped out the Heaven’s Gate Cult gives you four hours of decent rest.
You find Guacamole in your hair after a Mexican dinner.
· Sudden Weight Gain
You need the ‘Jaws Of Life’ to help you out of your car after returning home from an Italian restaurant.
· Female Hormone Deficiency
You take a sudden interest in”Wrestlemania”.
· Hormone Therapy
You’re on so much estrogen that you take your Brownie troop on a field trip to Chippendales.
10 WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE “ESTROGEN ISSUES”
1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
2. You’re adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet
3. Someone has stolen all your pants and replaced them with smaller ones.
4. People around you are suddenly agreeing to everything you say.
5. You’re using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says: “How’s my driving-call 1- 800-”
6. Everyone’s head looks like an invitation to batting practice.
7. Everyone seems to have just landed here from “outer space.”
8. You’re sleeping outside with the mosquitoes.
9. You’re sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.
10. The aspirin bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday.