If ever I needed to hear a mother's wise voice it's now. For many women, we don't have the option of calling mom to ask midlife questions. We end up spinning out here, losing our minds, not understanding that there's a logical explanation for what's going on.
I have laughed at older women and thought they were making too much of hot flashes and such but here I sit at the beginning of what can only be described at hell and I am not laughing. Who knew that perimenopause and menopause would make me feel crazy?
I may not have a mother I can call but there are two older women willing to sit me down to have the "menopause talk". Thank goodness because I really thought I'd lost my mind and control of my body. Without information I was at my emotional end. I was just spinning, losing it. Now that I get it. I feel as though I have something to fight. I'm not throwing punches into thin air. I'm not fighting the wind. I'm not fighting a losing battle.
I first confided in my female doctor and said, something isn't right. I'm not right. She told me its hormones. I wanted to ask many questions but there wasn't time. What I found out that day was priceless though. I found out that I am the character Evelyn from the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. If you've seen the movie then you know the woman was losing it. She couldn't control her eating, she was angry and she needed an older woman to tell her to get herself some hormones. I'm Evelyn! Like Evelyn, I need someone who has been through this to say, "You're going to be okay." That confidence isn't there. I need to hear it from someone who has been through it.
As I get older I realize just how important it is to have an older woman to talk to. Not only do I need a close girlfriend, a peer to compare notes with, I need an older female mentor to teach me how to grow. I need answers to questions about me, not just generalized information about conditions but information about me. I need reassurance from someone who has been there, done it and burned the T-shirt!
What was I told as it directly relates to me? I was told that the roller coaster feelings, the tearfulness, the fits of high and low in a short span are related to my hormones changing. I was told that not everyone has a drop in sexual urges, some have a spike. I'm not losing my mind, I'm hormonal. I'm not crazy, I'm hormonal. Hot flashes are the easy part. Feeling deeply depressed with no identifiable reason is related to my perimenopausal state. Just like my mood swings, the depression will pass. Some of my sleep disturbances may have to do with this hormonal flux.
In addition to being told that I'm not crazy, I was given information I can use to help with these symptoms. The information given was through my medical provider and directly relates to my physical health, mental health and my preferred way of handling medical situations. The holistic means of managing symptoms feels like something I can do, as a matter of fact I've started and can feel a difference.
My perimenopause holistic arsenal
- Prayer for renewed courage to face mounting life difficulties
- Black Cohosh root
- Dong Quai root
- Green tea
- Lemon Balm
- Turmeric and Black Pepper
Notice there is no information on how, how much or duration of use for these supplements and teas. It is very important that you speak to your doctor, pharmacist or someone who knows your conditions before taking supplements and herbal remedies because these are medications and you can hurt yourself if you don't do it correctly. However, when used with guidance, these have shown promise with women going through the life change. And boy is it a change!
I am pleased to have older women in my life who can pass along valuable information to help calm a desperate heart. My mother isn't here for me but there are others willing to step to the plate.