Listen, people try to make all happy and light about menopause saying shit like “you’re going through the change” or read this book on “how to go through menopause gracefully”. Fuck those lying bitches. Menopause is hell and if you don’t believe me I don’t care, you’ll get there soon enough. So much like Dante gave you circles of hell, I give you the nine circles of menopause. If you’re adverse to the words vagina, fluid, tampons, murder or blood, just stop reading. Actually just stop reading right now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
1. The great flood. It goes something a little like this: You get ready to leave the house, maybe to take your kids to Friendly’s (I’m not saying this is really what may have happened but maybe it did). Friendly’s is 10 minutes from your house. You shove a super plus tampon in as well as provide extra protection from an overnight pad and exit the house. Your kids are so excited about the shit food and extra large sundaes and so are you so you park the car and stand up. Rookie mistake #1. Don’t ever stand up, ever. You feel like a waterfall is coming out of your vagina and you try to squeeze your legs together tight so it goes back up but guess what? You’re too late because you broke the cardinal rule, don’t stand up. So you run to the bathroom leaving your two kids under the age of 11 to get a table and sit down. You sit down and pull with you every piece of paper towel in the place and try desperately to clean up the texas chainsaw massacre situation in your pants. Blood is everywhere and you just don’t even care anymore, you just want it to stop. You unsuccessfully try and get all the blood off of your pants and when you think it’s the best you can do, you throw out your now useless underwear, shove another super plus tampon up there and exit the bathroom as discreetly as you can. Your kids look at you funny and you tell them to order their food and then you get up 8 more times to change your tampon throughout the hour long meal. This circle can last years. YEARS.
2. The heightened libido. You may think this is a good thing. I’m here to tell you it’s not unless you’re Mrs. Robinson. And if you don’t know who Mrs. Robinson is then you’re too young to be reading this. Go back to reading how to be a 20 something or 30 something. Because this is what happens…your body is telling you you’re twenty and you need the sexy time all the time. It’s like it’s saying, uh oh, not many eggs left, you better take every chance you can to have sex because you never know when that egg will be your last egg. And this is great if you really are in your twenties and around men in their twenties who have a similar libido. But you’re not. You’re in your forties and so are the men around you and they don’t have the libido of a twenty year old I assure you. It’s like mother nature’s cruel idea of a joke. Let’s give her a raging libido that she can do nothing with! What a bitch.
3. The weight gain. Remember when you could eat a pizza and wash it down with baskin and Robbins and chase it with Taco Bell at 3am after drinking all the beer? Yeah, good times. Now if you look at bread you gain 10. If you smell pizza it’s a quick 15 and by the time you’re full into menopause you’re the same weight you were in your ninth month of pregnancy without even really trying.
4. The acne. You thought pimples were for teenagers? Silly you. They start to grow like gremlins right before the great flood happens. Chin, nose, forehead, nothing is spared. And these are not little pimples, these are mammoth growths that not even Bobbie brown could cover up. So you pull out all the old tricks, toothpaste, clearasil, paper bag and you go on your way.
5. The insomnia. Just say goodbye to sleep because it is no more. I mean you could try relaxation exercises and acupuncture, and melatonin but that elusive bitch sleep is laughing at you and your hormones. You roll around in bed and count the minutes until you can stop trying because that’s so tiring and guess what? You can’t sleep. You’ll hit your husband and blame it on his snoring; you’ll kick the dog out of bed saying he’s making it too hot; but in reality, you’re just a sleep deprived mess and without some heavy duty help, the bags under your eyes will begin to pack groceries. Don’t be a hero here, no one is holding out for one. Get the good stuff.
6. The Sybil effect. I used to think teenagers were the most moody people on the planet. I was wrong. It’s me. One minute I’m thinking I want to run a marathon and the next I’m curled in the fetal position. I cry at dog commercials one minute and want to get into fights on Facebook posts the next. The wrath is real. Again, don’t be a hero, get some help before you cause bodily harm to someone.
7. The sauna inside you. It comes over you out of nowhere, this feeling that you’re sitting in a 106 degree sauna when you really are fully clothed waking through the halls of the school you work at. Your face is beet red, your pits are sweating, and you are searching frantically for a freezer to stick your face in. Your principal sees you and asks if you have the flu. You throw out all your t shirts because they all have stains in the armpits. You dress in layers so you can strip yourself inappropriately down to the camisole you are wearing at the bottom of the layers. You are constantly saying “is it hot in here or is it me”? You are a hot mess. Literally. My advice? Get the clinical strength deodorant and keep it on you at all times.
8. The phantom period. You have all the signs it’s there: cramps, bloating, emotional carnage, but your period never happens. So you remain in this state for weeks and you think you’re pregnant with a whoops baby even though you know it’s not possible so you buy 40 pregnancy tests and find out no you’re not pregnant, you’re hormones are just confused. Confused? Really? Fuck you hormones. Hard.
9. The dry vagina. I can’t even write about this one because I’m so deathly scared of it. Just google it.