This is a scary post to write. I’m about to admit to the sorts of things people don’t discuss in polite company, and I’m nothing if not polite. It’s how I mask, but that’s not what I want to write about today. Today I want to tell you about my experience with menopause. Don’t worry, I won’t get into physical symptoms. We all have a pretty good idea what those are. I want to tell you about the mental effects of my plummeting hormones. I am losing my grip on reality. As much as I like to think I’m in control of my thoughts and emotions, the sad fact is that I’m nothing more than a sum of my chemistry. And my chemistry isn’t right.
Time is no longer a linear constant in my life. It has two speeds – fast and really fast. I know time appears to speed up as we age, and I’ve experienced this, but what’s happening to me now is a completely different thing. If you were to ask me how many hours there are in a day, I’d say there were eighteen, or maybe twenty at a push. Even on the nights I don’t sleep (and there are many), time passes incredibly quickly.
I chew through weeks as if they were days, and I’m finding it difficult to anchor myself. The only consistent point of reference I have is brushing my teeth, which I do twice a day, usually at the same time. There are many instances where I feel like it’s only been a couple of hours since I last brushed my teeth, despite knowing that I last brushed them in the morning and now it’s clearly night. I can’t even mark time because there isn’t any to mark. I have days where I feel I’m brushing my teeth and nothing else.
My second issue is two-pronged. I’m having a lot of difficulty processing information and it’s making me feel isolated. I’m finding I need to watch films and TV shows twice to have even a basic understanding of what’s going on, and when I speak with strangers out in public, I often have no idea what they’re saying to me. I can hear the words and I understand the language, but my brain can’t make sense of how it all fits together so I end up smiling, nodding, and clueless. It’s frightening and embarrassing, and it makes me not to want to go out. So I stay at home and watch TV on repeat.
All of this has taken quite a toll on my mental health. There are times I feel that the universe is off kilter and I’m living in some sort of alternate reality that’s very close to the one I know, but just different enough to be unsettling. I *know* this isn’t the case and that the issues lie with me and my declining hormones, but it really does feel like the world isn’t right. It’s been getting worse over time and I’m unsure if that will continue. It’s terrifying to think I might lose my grip altogether.
I’m on my second attempt to start HRT. When I tried four years ago, I was definitely in perimenopause, but my GP seemed to equate my asking for HRT to asking for heroin. I’ve seen a different GP this time, and after chasing blood work results (normal), I’ve been advised to read a website and justify my desire for the hormones that will give me some relief from my weirdly altered state. It’s mad to me that a 55 year old woman would need to beg for HRT, but perhaps that’s just part of the crazy altered reality I live in now. Nothing makes sense.
4 replies on “On Losing My Damn Mind”
I’m so sorry you are having to beg for HRT! I hope you are able to get them soon, they are a game-changer.
Thank you! I’m going back at the end of this month – and will hopefully return with a prescription.
I’m so sorry you’re having these awful problems. I’m wondering if you’ve had covid and if so, that could be part of the problem (long covid)?I hope and pray you find relief soon.Sending love,Janet
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I was sick just after Christmas, but tested negative for covid several times while I was ill. Hope you are well! xx