I, like a lot of folks, can be my own worse enemy. I am filled with self-doubt and uncertainty as I maneuver through my self-proclaimed mid-life crisis. It is negative energy that has a bio-chemical component to it. I notice it more when my body is preparing for my period. It is not every month but when it hits it hits hard. I am fortunate to know myself well enough to not give in totally to the wave of negative thoughts but it does not make the struggle less agonizing.
Last Thursday morning I felt its ugly trigger. It came in as it usually does picking a fear that I keep hidden within myself. This day it was my fear of being forever alone. I was looking through a friends Instagram who recently came back from a wonderful trip to Brazil with her significant other. She looked so happy as did he and I immediately felt that defeating feeling I would never have that again. The feeling that happiness would never be mine.
I.will.never.meet.anyone.like.that. I.will.never.be.pretty.enough.for.someone.to.love.me.like.that. I.will.never.be.happy.like.that…..
These thoughts swim in my head all day and by the evening I am in full mode depression.
I fight it. I try very hard but the clouds get darker. I tell myself I won’t let a tear drop from my eyes because if I do it means I accept the negative thoughts as my prophecy. I look at my period calendar, I do this to assure myself that it is a premenstrual affect. I feel some relief because these feelings, this sadness is a biochemical reaction… my brain is not producing enough serotonin or are the receptors blocked? I am in a bad hormonal swing. Cogently I know this.
Amongst all the dark noises I try to speak to myself logically but I sink deeper into this abyss of sadness. I can’t stop myself. My mind shifts to my other fear. Fear of writing. you.will.never.be.a.legitmate.writer. there.are.millions.of.writers.how.do.you.think.you.compete. save.yourself.the.heartache. give.up.now.
Friday afternoon my father sends me flowers and chocolate covered strawberries with a note “You are the best daughter. Happy Mother’s Day!” Oh my God I love him. I am not out of this cave but I’m reminded of being loved for me no matter what. He is my biggest cheerleader and it helps. I keep fighting the negative words and thoughts. I feel them in my gut now.
Saturday I barely get off the couch. I can’t move, I don’t want to move. I fake the funk and function as best as I can. I speak to my mom on the phone. I cook. I smile. I play Operation with my little guy and kiss his little face most of the day but inside…inside I want to lie down and not wake up. I force myself not to give into tears.
I feel tired beyond normal energy loss but I fight it.
When my daughter was eleven and began her period I told her she would have days like this. Usually only a few days. I told her to pop in a good movie like Imitation of Life and cry it out.You just have to know it will pass. I wish I had added that if she ever got so afraid of that dark place to let me know because not every bad day passes.
I kept telling myself this will pass.
Sunday I sleep most of the day again but when I wake up at six I can feel the flip side of this starting to turn over. I grab my pen. It feels good to have it in my hand. I write a plan of the things I want to get done this week. Planning helps me focus as I have said many times. I’m still dealing with the inner doubt and I can hear the whispers in the back of my mind but my shouting fighting voice is getting stronger. It is passing.
I’ve spoken on my issues with depression here. I have always had this hormonal side-effect of depression and now I think age may be a factor. This is my struggle however there are
“an awful lot of people in what ought to be the golden years of life dealing with dreadful sad and nervous moods and/or having sleep and energy difficulties, losing desire or pleasure in even basic things such as eating and being with others, dealing with increased aches and pains, and having awful thoughts about life and themselves(Psychology Today).”
If my symptoms were more than once a month and longer than three or four days I would be asking my PCP for something to control those crippling thoughts of unhappiness. Right now I can handle it.
As I get closer to a menopausal stage I wonder how these midlife changes will effect my thoughts and moods. I am being proactive and keeping my doctor in the loop as well. Biochemical changes and external life changes can alter my perceptions before I realize it so I make sure to ‘watch’ myself.
Stay well and seek happiness. You still have power.