I am a little sad today because I realized — full blown — that I am not the same woman I was before menopause. Did I think I would be? Yeah…a little. I read about the changes, but for some reason I didn’t think it would happen to me. Or, maybe, I hoped it wouldn’t happen to me.
My husband’s sisters were at the campground. They are a loud and opinionated group. I was a different person this time. I didn’t keep my mouth shut. I stated my opinion and why I felt the way I did. I think all four sisters saw a side of me they never have. By the end of the day I was tired, pissy and had had enough.
As I have said before, I try to keep my menopausal symptoms to myself and under wraps. I try not to be angry or pissy or let my patience run out, but sometimes I can’t do it. Last night was one of those nights. I was pissy and short tempered — a person I am usually not.
Before perimenopause I was always happy. Nothing really bothered me. It took me a long time to get mad at people. I didn’t have a temper. I helped people whenever I could. It didn’t matter if they did anything for me in return because I was happy to help. I liked to be needed. Sometimes I let people take advantage of my generosity. I was quiet. I didn’t voice my opinion for fear of making people mad. I didn’t like conflict. I didn’t want to be in the spotlight or let my light shine. I basically stayed in the corner.
After perimenopause and into menopause I am very opinionated. I have a voice and I share freely how I feel. I don’t care if I voice my opinion and make people mad. My temper is set off by someone breathing wrong. It’s not funny, but sometimes it’s true. If I’m pissed at you you will know. I am not quiet. I refuse to stand in the corner and be quiet. I need to let my light shine. I need to tell my story. I’m not afraid to ask for what I want. I’ve let go of friendships that I haven given and given and given to and didn’t get anything I return. I refuse to come last in someone’s life. My relationships need to have give and take in them — not just take. I deserve to have good people and good things in my life. I really don’t care if people like me or not.
My husband jokes around and tells people he fears for his life when he is home. Maybe sometimes he is serious — depending on my mood. He makes me laugh. He’s the reason I have made it through this menopause stuff this far. I feel very lucky that I can talk to him about my symptoms, how I feel and what I need to do. He does stupid stuff and makes me laugh when I am crabby. He makes me feel better.
Later on last night when we were alone I told him why I was pissy. We talked about it. I voiced my opinion and he voiced his. We are on track and think the same way about a lot of things and this is one of them. He listens to me and I feel loved.
I was sad this morning because I think my relationship with people may change or have changed because I am not the same person I was and I can’t go back to being that person. This is who I am right now and people are just going to have to deal with it. Call me a bitch or whatever you will, but I can’t go back. I don’t want to go back. I like this new me. It’s almost like I am free. I broke out of the chains and I can live the way I want to. I feel this is the person I am meant to be.
I think on some level I am sad to let the old me go. I was that person for over 45 years. It was safe and I felt safe. Some days I don’t know how to navigate these waters of menopause. Some days I feel like a fish out of water and other days I feel I am swimming upstream barely making any progress. I have been swimming in this river for the last two years and it hasn’t been fun.
It occurred to me today how much I have changed in the last two years. I think camping this weekend in his family’s dynamic is the reason my sadness came to the surface. It’s not a bad thing. It just is. I don’t feel I fit into the same places that I used to and it makes me question my place in the world.
This is what menopause does. It turns your life upside down and you have to pick up the pieces and put it back together.
I am a different women and I like who I am becoming. If other people don’t like the new me so be it. That’s the way it is. I’m not going back.