Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tears, and ...... Timers?

Nobody told me about this part.

I fully realize at this point that every woman's peri-menopause experience is unique.  As women, we listen to older women warning us about "the change" in ominous tones of voice.  The focus of the warnings are usually on hot flashes and weight gain.  My mother had hot flashes for years, but her emotions never seemed to get off-keel.  I had night sweats for about a year, followed by off the charts hot flashes for about 9 months.

Then, I launched into crazy world.

I view 2014 as the lost year.  Lost because when I wasn't insane from hot flashes, I was just plain insane.  I feel like it was a non-stop series of crisises that blurred together.  Absolutely everything felt like the end of the world to me.  I was in reactionary mode every minute of every day.   Looking back on that time, I think that the worst part of it was that I knew how I was acting and sounding, but I was like some sort of addict who just could not stop the bad behavior even though I desperately wanted to.   When I wasn't acting crazy, I was profoundly sad and depressed because I felt so out of control.   I finally gave in and asked for hormone therapy.  Hallelujah!  I started to regain my real life.  I still sometimes feel twinges of insanity, but I think (hope.... pray...) that the crazy anger is gone.

STOP!  Not so fast.  That was NOT the end.  I'm now dealing with a new issue which, I'm sure, will be seen as a welcome relief comparatively, but it is, nonetheless, baffling and sometimes downright embarrassing.

Tears.   As children, we received the message loud and clear.  Grownups don't cry.  I think I saw my Mom cry once - and it was not even when my Dad died.  So what happens when you suddenly develop this feeling that you are on the verge of bursting into tears, and you feel this way pretty much all the time.  It started with me about two months ago.  See, I should have known that the "feeling normal" stuff was too good to be true.

They talk about hair loss.  Receding gums.  Nobody talks about tears.  I don't know - is this the opposite of what I was experiencing last year?

Don't get me wrong - I am so beyond relieved to have gotten a grip on my anger insanity. Comparatively speaking, this is nothing.   But, it can definitely be embarrassing, which is why it took me two months to even write about it.  I was hoping that it would go away.  Not yet, I'm afraid.

By now, you're probably wondering where the timer comes in.   I had a particular exercise in my piano book that was giving me fits.  I finally thought I'd mastered it.  I was really anxious to play it at my lesson (for about fifth and hopefully final time, I hoped!) and was proud of myself for not giving up on it.  Well, one of the pitfalls of taking lessons with your best friend as the instructor is that you occasionally start talking and end up talking the lesson away.   I think we have both gotten used to it as just an unavoidable fact of life,  and I often told her that having me as a student was never going to make her rich.  On this particular day, as I said, I really wanted to play this pesky exercise, but ... alas .... it turned out to be one of those days somehow ....  and when I heard her timer go off signifying the end of our lesson time .......  well.... you guessed it.   I remember staring straight ahead at the music and taking very deep breaths.  I was afraid to even look at her.    Somehow I regained my composure, but I drove home with tears rolling down my face.  Now really... what a stupid thing to cry about!!  I mean, really????  Really???  That may be the point at which I realized that this was the next "phase" of "the change" for me.

As I said, I am not complaining, because overall, I feel so much better than I did 8 or 10 or 12 months ago.  I guess I am just sort of bewildered by it and, yes, afraid of embarrassing myself.   Who knows how long THIS phase will last?   I guess I'd better avoid K-Mart like the plague.  There's no telling what the blue light specials could do to me.

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