According to WebMD, “Irritability and feelings of sadness are the most common emotional symptoms of menopause.” And to be completely truthful, it so totally pisses me off that some asshole at WebMD thinks they have a flipping clue what might be going on with me that I may cry.
Writing this at all is evidence of the intensity of the aaarrrggghh-ness. It may be that I courageously face alone, in admirable fashion, any less than happy and pleasant (read: in control) feeling. Or it could be that I am completely incapable of emotional honesty. I haven’t figured out which. All I know is that I don’t readily admit to depression, sadness, or pissy-ness. And even if I do admit to them, I insist on using my Aries ram-like approach to barreling through.
But, all of that — the avoidance, the denial, the forging ahead — it’s just not working.
Sometimes I feel deeply, deeply sad. There might be a reason — a reason that in prior days would have made me slightly sad, but nothing I couldn’t handle — or there might not be a reason at all — that particular pink of the sunset, or the way Buddy nuzzles my neck and reminds me of past nuzzles, or just driving down the damn road. Let me be clear about this one thing: this is not depression. Are there elements of depression at play? Perchance. But, this is something different, a specific shade of sadness that introduced itself to me in the past year or so.
And let’s talk irritability. If you don’t like colorful language, you might want to stop reading now.
EXAMPLE 1: People in Tennessee are usually polite drivers. They will stop to let someone turn into the flow of traffic. I have to turn left out of my apartment complex, and often some guy, usually in a pickup truck, possibly because 1 in 3 people in Gallatin, TN, seem to drive said vehicle, will be directly across from me waiting to turn right. He has the right of way. More times than not, however, he (always a different he, but we’ll make him an EveryHe for now) will motion for me to go on ahead. It is possible that, once or twice, I have rather forcefully motioned him to go first and expressed something like this out loud (though thankfully I am my only audience): “Motherfucker! Just drive, you fucking moron! Jesus! If you’d just follow the fucking rules of the road, everything would flow just fine. You know what happens when you break the fucking rules? Accidents fucking happen. Fucker.” (Please note that this is what happens when someone is being nice to me.)
EXAMPLE 2: Another car example. Lots of emotion gets expressed in the car, probably because I don’t have anyone else around to witness what an unbearable ass I’m being. This example most often happens when in the left turn lane waiting for the green arrow. The guy at the front (or any person in front of me) does not proceed with appropriate haste when the light turns, possibly creating a situation where not all cars will make it before it turns back to red. Appropriate haste would mean zip-zip. If you are not the first person in line, then appropriate haste means staying within 5-10 feet of the back bumper of the car ahead of you. When appropriate haste is not displayed, my juicy monologue goes thusly: “NOBODY in the world but you, buddy. NOBODY in the world but YOU. Fucker.” (The last word is like the “amen” to my prayer.)
EXAMPLE 3: Could happen anywhere. Ordering food through the drive-thru. Engaging in seemingly benign conversation at work. Walking past a stranger on the sidewalk. Nothing happens. I just open my mouth and absolutely anything I say sounds like the bitchiest thing any human has ever uttered. I can hear it. In my head I’m saying silently, “Stop talking. Just stop talking. Close your mouth now. Say nothing. Fucker.”
I’ve heard the entire playlist of the Pandora Deva Premal station 762 times at least. I light incense and candles. I snuggle my puppy. Sure, I could do some more exercise (which makes me precisely like every other human I know), but I’m not a total slug.
I’ve rammed through until my head hurts. So now I flip on the klieg lights and say, “Here it is.”
I have no answers. This essay/rant/diary entry has no ending. It just has an approach I’ve never tried before: admitting emotional imperfection (gasp). So, sometimes I’m deeply sad. Sometimes I’m a real snippy bitch.
I’m 52 years old, and I’m in menopause. Fuckers.