I always said that those poor people who got all upset over a birthday were just in an unhappy place in their lives. Nearly 30 and unmarried or childless or unemployed or whatever, nearly 40 and unhappily married or underemployed or filing for bankruptcy or whatever. Whatever it is that they think they should have by that age and they don't so they freak out and get resentful and unhappy about having a birthday.
But holy shit, here I am about to turn 47 and for the first time in my life my period was really, really weird and I think it may possibly be the very early beginnings of menopause and I tell you what, I am FREAKING OUT.
I have a confession to make: I kind of love having my period. I don't love the pain (or the menstrual migraines, obviously) but I like how it makes me feel very introspective, and creative, and it kind of forces me to slow down and maybe take a day off work if I need to, and evaluate. If there is any bullshit going on in my life it becomes very clear during my period.
Back in my late 20s I went through a hippie phase, for real, and I made my own menstrual pads out of unbleached cotton, and washed them and used the water on my plants.
Well, I did that for a couple of months, before I realized how kind of stupid that is, because it's just stinky and doesn't actually help the plants. Even if you disregard the idea that soaking used cotton homemade menstrual pads in water is kind of gross, which it sort of is, but I was all about the loving my body and being natural and yadda yadda. Even still, it did not seem to bring any benefit to the plants and was definitely unpleasant, so screw it.
I do not still make or use cotton menstrual pads, but I do try to find products that are not unhealthy to me or the environment, and I love my Instead softcups, which are kind of like a disposable Diva cup.
I pay attention to my body, or at least I try to. I like my body, give or take a few aesthetic changes I might desire, and I like to know what's going on. This month it seemed like I ovulated for way longer than normal, but signs of ovulation can be misinterpreted, so who knows. But then my period was a little more than a week late, and it was a week of unprecedented hormonal distress. I felt violently angry, extremely tired, emotional to the point of tears for no reason whatsoever, and just generally really unhappy every minute of every day. The weirdest part was that I didn't feel like myself. You know, plus a lot of crampy pain.
If that is what menopause is going to actually be like, just kill me now. I am pretty sure my husband, who tried so hard to be nice to me, would agree.
My period finally started on Monday, and I am just now starting to feel a little bit back to myself again. I hope. I really have no idea if that was in any way menopause-related or if I was just panicking, but I have to admit, it was kind of terrifying.