Archives for posts with tag: hormones

Damn. Still struggling with my bullshit today. There’s no obvious driver. For some folks, the weather would be enough; it is gray and chilly and the rain falls pretty steadily. A wet autumn day, with a twilight quality in early afternoon. I’m fortunate that I’m generally not affected by S.A.D. Doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally feel blue on a gray day, but it’s usually not the season… it’s something else. Right now? It’s a lot of small things piling up and becoming “a thing” – my anxiety, my struggle with it, and my stress about the state of the world. It looms large in my awareness, and lurks in my very dreams, most of which, right now, are nightmares.

I’m just feeling a bit low is all. It happens. It’ll pass. Feels even a bit “hormonal”, although I cling to the thinking that menopause should have put an end to that mess. Maybe it doesn’t entirely? Considering the state of medical science regarding women’s bodies and health, I can’t be surprised that we don’t know more even in 2022.

…So, this is where I am today. I feel bleak, a bit blue, not quite overcome by anhedonia. I feel beat down. Silenced. I’m not actually any of those things in any practical or real way. These are just feelings. Perceptions. They have only whatever life I give them, myself. So I keep fighting it. Self-care steps of various sorts – you’re looking at one of those right now. 🙂

I get an irritating email from the VA just as the sun breaks through the clouds for a minute. My aggravation brushes aside the blues and the stabbing pain of a flash of sunshine through an uncovered window straight into my eye are at least enough to distract me from my shitty mood momentarily. So. Here I am. Beginning again. Again.

An emotional storm of unexpected magnitude blew in from deep within the darkest recesses of lingering chaos and damage. Maybe it’s my “fault” – it nearly always feels like it must be. I am, after all, the broken one in many interactions. It is, at least, how I often see myself. It feels, in such moments, as if “it” (meaning my experience of self in the context of my own life) is inescapable. An ugly tantrum. Hurt feelings all around. Yelling. My explosion of emotion. My tears. My apologies.

…This shit again??…

I can’t seem to hold on to the slippery recollection of how rare this really is these days, post-menopause. I’m reluctant to point to “hormones” as a root cause (can’t I do better than be a slave to biology?), but in acknowledging a recent rare use of HRT, I find myself wondering.

It’s frustrating. Small issues blow up and become seemingly larger than life. A moment of frustration develops into a cesspool of futility and despair. I end up weighed down by baggage I thought I’d set down a long time ago. Fucking hell.

Breathe

Another coffee. Another moment. A break to stand in what remains of the morning’s sunshine, watching the storm on the horizon approach as if to mock me. Nah… It’s not that bad. I’m okay right now. I’m fortunate to be in a partnership with someone who loves me even beyond moments of tears or madness. It’s fucking hard, though. Having to apologize, again, while sweeping up shards of emotion, and mopping up tears… it’s not on my list of favorite experiences. I could do without it. I don’t mean the act of apology or experience of remorse and contrition – I mean having put myself in a position that earnestly requires it. That sucks. It’s very human. I still don’t like it.

My Traveling Partner doesn’t bullshit me when he’s angry, or hurt, or cross. We’re pretty real with each other. We find our way to a more comfortable place, emotionally, pretty quickly. He understands the trauma history, and the lasting damage. He has his own. We’re in this together, more than many people understand to be. It’s enough, generally, and fairly often it’s far more than enough. Doesn’t make a difficult moment less difficult in the moment, sometimes, although we do both try.

My tears dry. The ringing in my ears left over from my … whatever that shit was… will likely last the day. I mean, the tinnitus is always there, it’s just a bit worse right now. That’ll pass. So will this gray fog of ennui and anhedonia. I remind myself not to confuse these states as having any sort of permanence, and to allow them to pass as if clouds on the horizon. I remind myself they are only the chemical aftermath of strong emotions, and not to be taken personally.

…We begin again.

Yesterday was difficult. My black mood continued through the day without diminishing in spite of exceptional self-care. There wasn’t anything “wrong”, it was a day, and I was in a shitty mood. I often am after a migraine, and I knew to take care of myself, and treat myself (and the world) with great care. Still. It sort of sucked. (Only sort of, because as I said, there wasn’t anything wrong besides my mood.)

Hanging on, waiting for some other moment? Impermanence is a real thing; this too shall pass.

Hanging on, waiting for some other moment? Impermanence is a real thing; this too shall pass.

It was at the end of the day that things finally “cleared up” with regard to my mood. I woke feeling splendidly this morning.

I'll begin again...

I’ll begin again…

This morning is a lovely one. The apartment is quickly cooling off,  the dawn breeze pushing the cool air across the meadow, and into the open windows. My appointment yesterday, as it turned out, is actually my appointment today… and it’s “date night”! A good cup of coffee gets the morning going, after enjoying unmeasured time meditating. (One of the hardest things about yesterday was the challenge I was having finding stillness; I seemed unable to meditate.)

This morning there is an easy smile on my face, as if lingering from very pleasant dreams. I have music playing, and yesterday’s sound sensitivity is no part of this fine morning, here, now. It’s a pleasant beginning to the day.

Once upon a time, a day like yesterday would likely have been a week of it, and burdened further by feeling obligated to “preserve appearances” or otherwise re-craft my apparent experience by way of behaviors intended to “fake happy”. Not only does that not actually work [for me], it limits my ability to actually take care of myself by turning my attention away from my own needs in order to create the illusion that there is nothing out of the ordinary – making my misery both ordinary, and hidden. Yuck. It was not an effective approach.  You know what else didn’t work for me? Lashing out at the world like an enraged toddler out of frustration and speechless rage. Learning to use my words, and to “speak gently”, while also learning to listen deeply and develop authentic compassion has been the win… I’ve a long way to go on both of those. More practice seems wise. 🙂

Incremental change over time? It seems so. If nothing else, today is a good day to practice the practices that matter so much for me, and work so well: keeping a committed meditation practice, speaking gently, listening deeply, maintaining emotional self-sufficiency, and living authentically. It’s a good start on an extraordinary journey – and today is a good day to begin again. 🙂

 

It was bound to happen, right? Hormones. [insert utterly offensive string of favorite swear words here] Yay! [detect sarcasm] I get to practice mindfulness – with hormones! 😦  So far, so… good? Not good, exactly, but not exactly bad, either. I’m less wrapped in misery, but I feel some of this more, or… something.  I ache. I feel irritable – which comes and goes erratically and does not seem at all correlated to events in my experience or the household emotional environment, and that’s pretty typical of my PMS experiences in the past.  Voices distract and annoy me – and then I feel irritated with myself because these are voices of people I love. [more swearing fits nicely here] Did I mention that I ache? I’m also sentimental and emotional about weird things… like…I drove past a huge construction site – a factory being built – and started weeping because I really wanted to check it out in person, on foot, really see it…and was moved to tears to feel pretty sure I wouldn’t be allowed to do that if I walked over there. lol. I just don’t understand how to share that in a way that gives you a real window into my visceral experience, and it feels so alienating to know that I lack that ability. Freakin’ hormones…the worst bit is the lies that hormones trick my brain into reading into my experience; I have generally made very different assumptions about people, their motives, and intentions, when I’m PMS-y, and it sucks to be chronically concerned that I’m ‘not being rational’.

The mindfulness practices, though, put me in a very ‘it is what it is’ sort of place.   It feels easier to understand that ‘it may not be what it seems’ when I take a moment to relax, breathe, and treat myself compassionately.  It’s still pretty suck-y to feel ‘off’; fatigued, vaguely unwell, sort of ‘disturbed’ and generally aggravated – but they are just feelings and like any other feelings, they are transitory. I’ve been making different choices today with the mindfulness doing its thing; choosing to enjoy an activity that takes me away from home for a little while, then wrapping up some tasks on my To Do list that both need doing, and occupy my attention with productive things that result in a sense of satisfaction and achievement. I find myself really relaxed in spite of the hormones and feeling like the day is not only not ‘wasted’ with distress and internal torment, but quite enjoyable so far. It’s nice.

How well can I treat myself today? If pampering myself and meeting some personal needs results in me feeling balanced and nurtured and serene, will my partners also feel they are ‘being treated well’?  That doesn’t sound like it would be a definite outcome, when I see it in text, so I will take some time to consider whether there is a ‘missing link’ that I also need to understand more clearly. It’s a quiet Sunday. It’ll be Shepard’s Pie for dinner tonight, maybe with some biscuits, or perhaps maple-walnut bars for dessert, and most of the tasks I committed to for the weekend are already behind me. It’s a lovely day for a walk, some  yoga, a leisurely bath, some reading…a nice way to wrap up a weekend.

This all feels very much like progress and improvement. 😀