Menopause- The Unfamiliar Room in My Own House

Breaking apart as a mirror

People usually write posts when they have something they need to say or something beautiful to explore (that’s my fav), or maybe when they feel passionate about highlighting a cultural change or injustice that needs exploration. But I am posting today because I don’t have answers on this topic. It feels uncomfortable. In the midst of menopause I feel like I’m standing in a room of my own house, but with a quizzical gaze. I’m in shock that I had no clue this room even existed. How can this be true? How can you live in a house for years and not know about a room? But this is exactly what menopause hormones seem to create. They blindside you with strange, hidden parts of yourself. I’m tempted to close and dead-bolt the door to that room so I can’t find myself in there again, but there’s no doorknob, no dead-bolt, no lock.

This room is filled with remnants- items I’ve used in the past line the walls. I see books and a fully decorated Christmas tree from years gone by. I see stacks of photo albums and used furniture. I hear music and snippets of conversations from my past. It’s all familiar, but yet uncomfortable. I tear up looking around. I don’t recognize the room, but I recognize the items. Strong emotions are ignited.

The season leading up to menopause has introduced parts of myself, (albeit exaggerated), to the “front of the class”.  It’s like jr high school on steroids. This awkward version of me standing up there in the front of the classroom; almost unrecognizable. I know I must make sense of her, love her, cheer her on. I know she’ll get through this, but probably not without battle scars. It is the oddest of things not to recognize yourself. Even more odd to recognize something, like the eyes, but nothing else looks familiar.

The unstable thoughts that hurl so quickly makes me ponder this phenomenon. Where did it even come from? What awfulness has happened to cause this? Paranoia, insecurity and lack of confidence seem magnified into unreal proportions. I keep saying “this isn’t really me”, all the while knowing that I must make friends with this awkward stranger in the mirror. The most unsettling thing is not how I “look”, but how I “feel”.

As a society we seem comfortable laughing at “hot flash jokes” (we gotta laugh so we don’t cry, right?) and have come to terms with a little “menopause crazy” (even I find this crazy a little funny at times). But… paranoia, anxiety and depression? No, we don’t like to talk about that. And I get it. It’s complicated, not so easy to fix and we feel too vulnerable to say those thoughts aloud.  I guess I should say, I feel vulnerable about that. I admire strength and tenacity, perseverance and hope. This feels like the opposite and so I breathe deeply, trying not to admit this force is something I have to deal with. I try to cry silently, rage quietly, pray fervently, desire honorably…but I’ll tell you, it’s been awfully hard.

So today, I’m trying a new and honest approach with menopause as I write about it “out loud”, not because I have answers but because I have questions. Feeling isolated is not a feeling you want to feed. So, I’m attempting to starve that awful feeling and send it shrinking in darkness. I am bringing something to “light” because don’t think I was designed for this (is that a problem? I don’t know) and yet I’m here, doing what I know to do—taking supplements and rubbing cremes, asking forgiveness, praying for patience and crying a bit more than I think a grown woman “should”.

So, there it is. Maybe you’ve felt alone in this hormone abyss. I hope you take some comfort that the mirrors are all lined up along the edge of the room and a there’s a bunch of us standing in shock not recognizing what we see before us. You’re not alone. Maybe writing it out loud will help someone be ready when it happens to them? I hope. People tell me this will pass. They said that phrase in pregnancy too. They were right. They said that about the children growing and going. They were right. They say there is another glorious side to this place. (patience is required). I hope they’re right.

5 thoughts on “Menopause- The Unfamiliar Room in My Own House

  1. I was thrown into surgical menopause in my late 30s. I felt all the things you described, only more violently as it happened overnight. It took me many years to feel like myself again, but it did happen, although a little different version of myself I’m sure, as the Lord uses all these phases of life to mold us. Seems like all these things happen at once!! Empty nest etc😩 I don’t know what it’s like to go into menopause naturally but I’m sure it’s much the same. I was a part of a group then called the Hyster Sisters😂😂. For those experiencing surgical menopause, it did help. :)). Hugs & love to you💞💞💞

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are not alone my friend! It is a very challenging time to say the least. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Six years after it was originally suggested to me, I began seeing a Christian based therapist to help me. She has been very helpful and also introduced me to acupuncture which is helping tremendously. I also have found eft tapping to help as well. A favorite quote that I refer to many times throughout my day is “I relax, release any anxious thought and peacefully rest in the presence of God.” Although this journey can be extremely challenging, it can also provide many blessings. Getting to know ourselves better and an even closer relationship with The Lord and those we love. Surround yourself with joy and know that there is a day coming when we will be on the other side. What a glorious day that will be! 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nicely said – I am there with you but feeling completely ignorant seemingly not able to find solutions even from medical professionals. I tell my “icky” self this too shall pass…and I can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can so relate. It’s the emotional craziness that is so terrifying to me. One day/minute, everything is fine, and the next the world is crashing in all around me. And I forget where the sadness is coming from. At least with PMS we had some sort of warning by looking at a calendar, but now it’s just all over the place. My poor husband doesn’t know what’s hit him – he grew up in a household of men, and now he has a menopausal wife and a hormonal teenage daughter, not to mention a pre-teen son cowering in the corner from all the madness. 🙂 It gets better, right? Because if this is all there is, then we were duped.


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