I have had some tough times in my life and I always think once I come out on the other side I wonder what was the point? Sure I learned something a huge growth opportunity but is that it?
Yesterday I had the opportunity to use my experience to help a friend. My depression mixed with instant menopause took me to places emotionally I had never been before. Walking around day after day not wanting to be alive is hard to explain to the average person.
Usually you can trace the sadness and suicidal thoughts back to a specific thought. I am familiar with grief we are old friends but what I felt was more like I don't want to be in my body. In the mirror was a total stranger nothing familiar and the physical pain that went along with it is was unbelievable. No trace of the person I was before.
I spent the day with a friend who is going through the same thing. She said she was staying away from other people because she couldn't put on a brave face. She said her body ached so bad she has started taking pain pills. I told her at one point I hurt so bad I thought I had bone cancer. Every night I had heart palpitations and I finally decided to get my heart checked. Nothing showed up on the test.
This is the part of menopause that no one really tells you about. Sure you hear all the stories on women doing crazy things or being angry all the time but no ones says that there is sometimes a lot of physical pain. Joints ache to be specific. It feels like you coming down with the flu.
The pain I experienced was mostly at night no matter how I layed on the bed it hurt. This along with the bazaar thoughts not wanting to be alive really makes you unsure of everything you thought you knew about yourself. You will do just about anything to escape how bad that feels.
My friend said she went to the doctor and he told her to up her anti-depressants. I told her to go get her hormones tested. I would have done this if I had known but I was lost in what I thought was grief and that was partially true. Even though it wasn't the grief I was familiar with but I am hard headed and didn't want to ask for help.
I didn't want to tell her my pain lasted three years and hers won't because I am making her go to a hormone doctor. When my mind started to clear I realized that sometimes that the bad thoughts coincided with a wave of heat in my body. This was helpful because I knew the thought was not real and not to take it seriously.
Since this started in my mid forties no one thought it could really be "the change" and thought it was the break up. Hind sight is always 20/20.
I do think that this is a time in a woman's life for evaluation. You have no desire to play by the rules even if you are the one that created them. Your emotions are right on the surface and survival is the only thing on your mind.
My neighbor said his wife up and left him practically overnight. She came back a few years later and apologized and wanted him back. It was too late and he had moved on.
I say all this to help anyone out there that feels they might truly be losing it or they know someone close to them that seems like a stranger now. It tested everything I thought I knew about myself. I felt like I didn't belong anywhere and there was no escaping those feelings.
The contractor that told me that I seemed like a totally different person than I was six months ago, was right. I am not the same person.
Being able to pass on my experience and help someone else does make me feel a little better.