Humor, Life, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Music, Universe

September 23rd

I mentioned to my friend last week that I am officially in menopause on September 23rd and she was surprised because she thought I was already in it and I was like, oh no, no, no, noo, that is all the nonsense leading up to it.

The appetizers before the meal.

The preview before the movie.

The calm before the storm but in this case, the calm is actually the storm.

She had no idea what menopause was and she isn’t alone, which is why I am writing this book. I mean, it isn’t the only reason but one of many because when I tell this to women who haven’t yet experienced it, most don’t know what the difference between perimenopause and actual menopause is.

You will after you read my book.

I wrote somewhere about feeling like I needed to have a party on the day I enter menopause, September 23rd.

But then I think I may have deleted it because I was in perimenopause and I probably thought of something better but I forget, because of foggy brain (one of many symptoms).

 

 

Welcome to my menopause, I haven’t been bleeding from my uterus in 365 days, let’s eat some cake.

I can actually hear my mom and dad cringing at that sentence.

Sorry, I am an embarrassment lately. Blame it on the menopause. That might be my new slogan.

 


 

I fell in love with Lana Del Rey this year and this song and because it just fills me with so much menopausal joy, I have been listening to it over and over, like a menopausal teenager which makes no sense at all. Even if you don’t listen to the lyrics or don’t connect with them, just let the music run all over you like melodic waters.

I have loved music my entire life and I have learned that to truly appreciate music it has to have you. Don’t read too much into it but if you can connect with lyrics, man KISMET.

 

 

The lyrics to the song, Norman F*****g Rockwell, specifically pertain to a lover but the more I listened to the song over and over and over (remember, menopausal teenager), they could pertain to menopause too.

Well, at least my perspective of menopause.

Norman Rockwell, for those of you who don’t know, was a painter and illustrator who portrayed the American way of life most notably on the covers of magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post.

 

Rockwell's Civil Rights Paintings- Norman Rockwell Museum
“The Problem We All Live With” 1964 Courtesy/ The Norman Rockwell Museum

 

A large family gathered at a table for a holiday meal as the turkey arrives at the table.
“Freedom from Want” by Norman Rockwell Courtesy/ The National Archives

 

So when I heard the song, Norman F*****g Rockwell, I laughed at the title because it reminded me initially of my blog. It looks like the portrait of something normal when you hold it from afar but once you pull in closer to the details and really read it, you see that it really isn’t normal at all.

I couldn’t think of a better theme song to sum up the past five years of my life.

So listen along to the song over and over as you read along to my menopause post if you’d like; kind of like I have been for the past week while writing it.


 

“goddamn, man child you f*****d me so good that I almost said I love you”

 

I hate winter
February 2015 the beginning of perimenopause (weekly migraines due to estrogen dwindling)

 

“you’re fun and you’re wild”

.

Mike and Kari Lake Forest Illinois
May 2015 (weight loss due to medications for daily migraines due to perimenopause)

 

“but you don’t know half of the shit you put me through”

 

family of three on Shoreline Chicago
July 2015 (feeling good due to migraine medications and weight loss)

 

“your poetry is bad and you blame the news

“but I can’t change that and I can’t change your mood”

 


The change in me at this point is noticeable only to me because only I know what was happening on the inside.

I began perimenopause early, as you will learn in the book.

 

Balls....mmmmm
January 2016 (off first migraine med due to side effects, on a new med, weight gain side effect)

 

Then I noticed I wasn’t sharing pictures of me anymore.

Between January of 2016 to January of 2017, the only pictures of me I could find on my blog are this one:

 

look at that belly
October 2016 (bloat due to perimenopause)

 

Perimenopause is an asshole.

Because it makes you think you are ugly, fat, stupid, mean, horrible, useless, invisible.

It fills you with rage, depression, anxiety on top of anxiety, despair.

It lies to you.

To those of you who will eventually enter it, do not listen to it.

 

 

January 2017 wearing a heart monitor for palpitations (a symptom of perimenopause)

 

“’cause you’re just a man”

“it’s just what you do”

 

March 2017 in Destin (proud to be in the air during anxiety attacks present nearly weekly)

 

“your head in your hands….”

“as you color me blue……”

“yeah, you’re just a man……”

“all through and through…”

 

July 2017 (less than 24 hours before vertigo attacks another symptom of perimenopause)

 

“your head in your hands…”

“as you color me blue…”

“blue, blue, blue…”

 

April 2018 (smiling on the outside, frightened on the inside in the presence of near-constant anxiety attacks)

 


To have my daughters have to witness me going through these changes while at home was the cruelest part of all.

I still curse the sky every day for wasted days and nights to pain and depression and anxiety.

I wrote this book for them.

As an apology but mostly so they know that they aren’t alone; for when they someday reach this point they don’t feel like they are defective.

 

california, la, hollywood, travel
June 2018 (on a low carb diet due to vertigo, anxiety, weight gain, and migraine… all perimenopause symptoms)

 

“‘cause you’re just a man”

“it’s just what you do”

“your head in your hands”

“as you color me blue”

 

September 2019 (weekly migraines, weight gain, and now using marijuana occasionally for the pain in addition to my medication because I was desperate but embarrassed to be using it and absolutely miserable on the inside. I didn’t know it here but this would be my last month getting a period ever)

.

Over the past five years, I have watched my body morph drastically from one extreme to another over and over again. I feel as though my menopause had me rather than the other way around.

I found this quote last week while I was writing this post and we know how I don’t believe in coincidences. I was listening to dreamy Lana Del Rey songs and crying and reminiscing about the past five years. I was mourning my period a little bit because it felt like the right thing to do and I saw this quote:

 

 

 

The timing of this pandemic, the end of my perimenopause, the writing of my book, everything feels so universal even though it really shouldn’t. I mean, the world didn’t stop for me to get rid of my period.

Or did it?

Do I have that kind of power?

I am kidding but I am laughing if you ever thought for a second that I did.

 

April 2020 (on every three-month injectible, seven months from a period, feeling really good, down 30 pounds)

 

My husband has been riding this bumpy journey alongside me this entire time and it hasn’t been easy at all but this is what marriage is all about, isn’t it?

He didn’t have to be here but real men sign up for this when they take those vows. But let’s be clear, he didn’t have to actually do the work, I did and he knows that he got the easier end of this because he witnessed what I went through firsthand.

I don’t know what I would do without him.

I kind of think he feels the same way about me.

 

May 2020 (right before the summer of migraine cycles due to my neurologist dropping the ball on my every three-month injection and insurance paperwork and BEFORE I found my headache specialist in Chicago)

 

Not all of you will go through this.

Some women never experience this or even to this level but marginalizing this experience for the women who do, is insulting.

We need to stop doing that.

 

July 2020 (getting slowly better after finding my supportive headache doctor in Chicago, on two different migraine preventives, an anti-depressant, no more marijuana, and six weeks away from being in full menopause)

 

 

The book will be a guidebook; a gentle loving hug from me to you. It will be a menopause version of What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

Expecting to lose your period, that is.

Because if you are female, it may happen to you and chances are, you haven’t been prepared for all that will happen.

And there is a lot in store for you.

But you aren’t alone.

 

 

 

As a child, I loved rainbows because they were happy and in the 80s rainbows were very popular.

I remember my parents got me a small blow-up rainbow with a white cloud at the end of it at a local amusement park one summer and I was filled with joy because I wanted it so badly.

I remember when I got home that evening showing it to a couple of neighbor friends and how they made me feel guilty for it because they didn’t have one. It tainted the rainbow for me and every time I looked at it, I thought about how I had one and they didn’t and maybe that made me spoiled. It felt different and my joy was gone.

 

I carried this around Target with joy, no guilt whatsoever. Handed over my $8 and felt good within my soul spending it.

 

Rainbows are back again and when I found that up there last week, the minimalist in me couldn’t resist. I am keeping this up all the time as a reminder of the week I finished my period. This time, other people won’t make me feel bad about my rainbow.

This is a huge chapter in my life book. Normally, women keep these things kinds of things secret, quiet, don’t talk about them.

Our periods are the reason you are here.

And you.

AND YOU TOO.

Yes, I am looking at you.

If it weren’t for a period, no one would be here.

Yet, we don’t talk about the end of it.

 

 

 

“yeah you’re just a man”

“all through and through”

“your head in your hands”

“as you color me blue”

“blue, blue, blue”

 

It was through this process that I felt so much more connected to my mom, my grandma, my great-grandma, to ancestors that I had never met. I thought of all that they may have gone through without the comforts we have now. All of the things I am going through now and how they possibly went through them alone, silently. I felt them with me while I was writing this book, looking over my shoulder, telling me to keep going.

 

My Universe book has been my saving grace during the past three months. I have been turning randomly to pages every morning for the past month and a week to the day of my menopause, this opened up.

 

I was really careful not to make this book exclusively about pregnancy, or centering around having carried children in this lifetime because not every female wants that to be part of their life experience on Earth or gets to have that experience here on Earth nor has the body parts to have that experience. Going through menopause has nothing to do with that so I don’t want anyone to think that this book is a guide to menopause, but only if you birthed babies.

 

 

 

Which brings me to the topic of women in general and how we need to be nicer to each other. Writing this book, researching, thinking about menopause, about what our bodies do, what we go through in our lifetime, made me quite a feminist in this process.

I am not necessarily a fan of labels but let’s just say I have become a huge fan of our gender in the writing of this book and I am rooting for us a little more than I was before writing it. We really need to do a better job of rooting for each other, now more than ever. Why are we not pulling each other up the mountain? Because this is a mountain, let me tell you and this is no time to be competitive.


 

I love a good quote, as those who know me well have come to realize. Within my home, I have words all over my walls. It’s the first thing you will notice when you enter the front door. Words are all over my walls. I love written words more than anything in this world.

 

 

So in my book, I wanted to sprinkle quotes throughout, having each chapter begin with a quote from a strong female I admire. I also wanted to end the book with a quote that sums up my entire five-year perimenopause experience; kind of like a more dramatic “the end”, but also from a strong female who is perfectly imperfect, as we all are.

 

File:Frida Kahlo, by Guillermo Kahlo.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Frida Kahlo Courtesy/ Commons Wikimedia

 

I ended up choosing Frida Kahlo.

I don’t recall learning about Frida Kahlo as a child or even as a teenager. In fact, I didn’t thoroughly learn about her until I started homeschooling Ella. But it was while homeschooling that I became so intrigued by her after watching a video about her life. Then I found this quote that she had written:

 

 

Al final del dia podemos soportar mas de lo que creemos

 

 

Translated loosely to mean, “at the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can”.

Frida Kahlo’s life was filled with polio and a bus accident that sent a rod through her abdomen and left her barely alive and with chronic pain, yet she still did her artwork. She went through a divorce, a cheating lover, and three miscarriages, in addition to all of the above, and yet, still kept going. This is not to make her a martyr or to put her on a pedestal. I am sure there were mistakes made on her part, things she did wrong. We all make mistakes, do things we regret. We aren’t perfect, we are human at the end of the day. But to say something like, “at the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can”? I almost wanted to say that all of her “this” makes my thisseem trivial but it doesn’t. Everyone has their journey, has their pain to bear and that is the point, isn’t it?

We all have our struggles, don’t we? And it isn’t fair to put them up against each other. It isn’t a competition.

 

 

Which is why I wanted her quote in my book.

My journey was hard and it meant something.

It wasn’t trivial.

And neither is yours.

We are all in this together.

 

The problem with perimenopause and menopause is that every woman is different and because of that, every woman’s perimenopause and menopause are different. So in turn, another female who has a completely different experience, might not know how to offer support because they have no idea or no frame of reference for what you are going through. That is why I said to my gynecologist years ago, “you aren’t doing women any favors by downplaying menopause”. Because inadvertently, they are making the women who are struggling with it feel as though they can’t handle it and to those who aren’t having a hard time, as though they are the champions. Perimenopause is hard and we need to stop lying to women about it because we are afraid of giving them the bad news and in doing so when women are entering into it, we are throwing them into the proverbial fire. They end up feeling completely uninformed, and then, in turn, depressed, embarrassed, and want to turn inward because they don’t want to admit failure. That is completely irresponsible of the medical community. Everyone has their own life path and everyone has their own perspective from where they come. Please stop making people feel bad or shameful for their pain. Stop praising people for handling things quietly, for handling difficult situations without crying, for not showing emotion, for not making a “scene”. Because that is how we got into this menopause mess, to begin with, that is how we never found out how hard menopause was in the first place. I am tired of being misunderstood, aren’t you?

 

-A brief excerpt from my book

 

September 2020- a work in progress…..

 

44 thoughts on “September 23rd”

  1. I’m sorry to read that perimenopause was so difficult for you, and congratulations on coming out on the other side of it! I think we should be celebrating or at least acknowledging these times more officially – a girl’s first period and a woman’s entry into menopause. (Except how to do that when it happens via surgery, like for me?🤔 I never had a naturally occurring last period.)
    But that is not the world we live in. Thanks for that too, patriarchy!🤬
    Puberty was hell on me (I actually thought I was losing my mind) and I expected perimenopause to be the same as the women in my family really suffer. I guess because I had expectations of it being SO BAD that I felt I got off relatively lightly but it was still difficult.
    I’m glad that you are writing about it – it will help a lot of women who are feeling the same way and are getting no or little support.
    🤗,

    Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such an interesting take that I never even thought of! How your entrance into puberty relates to your exit out of your period.

      I thought I was losing my mind this entire time and in fact, still feel a bit that way now. So you saying that makes me feel a bit validated. Thank you for seeing me a little tiny bit. 😘

      That is the sole reason for writing it.

      If you have the chance, look for my post titled Understood. Within that post you will see a link for an essay titled Pause by Mary Ruefle. It changed my life. Particularly the paragraph about the women who were put in asylums. That is what inspired me to write the book.

      I’m so glad I found you and your blog via Ally. I was even talking about your girls trip blog post to my husband this weekend while on a hike and told him about you hugging the guy who looked like Hulk Hogan and equating it to having unprotected sex and we both got a good laugh out of it. Ah, Covid humor. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First, I cannot wait for this book.
    Second, I can wait for menopause but I am now glad someone is finally being honest about it. You’re right, no one is talking about it and that’s absolutely ridiculous. It is the reason we are all here, periods that is. In this post you just made me feel so much more powerful by simply having a period. That is power.
    You better be close to being done with this book because I can’t wait to read it.
    Also, I am sorry for what you went through. I don’t mean it in a pity way but in an understanding way. I am truly sorry. ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was just a snippet AND it wasn’t editor-approved lol. My friend’s eye is probably twitching at all the grammatical errors.

      I wrote this post before RBG passed away and it felt timely. But man, the power of the period. ♥️

      My deadline is Saturday and I’m adding chapters and ripping others apart. I’m told that’s how good authors do it. Working up until the deadline.

      Thank you. It’s been hell. One day at a time. One day at a time. Ending it in a pandemic has not been fun. That’s all I will say. 😂

      Like

  3. I’m so excited about your book and your take on perimenopause has been so enlightening for me. I believe I’ve been on the ‘luckier’ side of issues while going through this which really suprised me because my actual period has been a nightmare since I started it. We’ve discussed this before.
    My end date (or is the beginning?) is January 3, 2021. But, this could all be a trick too…you know, the old ‘peek a boo’ game.
    You’ve had quite the journey and I enjoyed reading about where you were/what was happening during your five-year rollercoaster. YOU have persevered though; and you will continue to do so. I PRAY that the worst part is done for you; the migraines, the anxiety. You do have such a good man beside you, every step of the way, and those daughters too; they are learning so much about life through the eyes of their Mama and her strength.
    That song? Haunting and enjoyable at the same time. I listened to it twice while reading your post today.
    XO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Then you actually haven’t been lucky if you had problems with your period because my period never was a huge problem. We all have our struggles as I mentioned at the end of the post. ♥️

      I hate that peekaboo game! And by the way, such a good name for it. I think most women have no idea about that and a lot of doctors don’t want to tell women about that process because it is the most frustrating part of the whole ordeal. 🙄

      I love that song. That whole album is good too.
      We have good guys in our corners and good girls too.

      They are learning strength from us. It’s a hard lesson but maybe the best way to learn it is from their moms? 😊

      Like

  4. Wow. I did not know the difference between premenopausal and menopause. Interesting. I love the photo recap. I think including quotes in the book is a great idea. I hope the Chicago headache specialist continues to help. Such a difficult journey. The book excerpt is outstanding. Excited for you and for the inevitable success of this project.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You aren’t alone, my friend. You don’t know how many times I have heard women say this over the past five years. Over and over and over.

      That doctor was a Godsend and better support to me in the three months I’ve known him than my neurologist ever was. I’m so glad I found him.

      Thank you so much, friend. ❤️

      Like

  5. Thanks Kari… such a wonderful blog! The struggles were so real for me too. I remember someone telling me years ago that if your Mom had a bad “change”, aka. menopausal time frame, that I could count on mine being terrible. My Mom’s lasted 10 years. Yes, 10 years. While I was thankful that mine was more like 5, it was a bitch. Being in menopause is no treat either but just thankful for no-more-bleeding 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So my mom didn’t have as a hard time as I did but my gynecologist said that my dad’s mom’s menopause could also be a factor, which I had never heard before; I had always assumed it was genetically tied to the maternal side only. She died at the age of 41, most likely before her menopause began so we never knew her history.

      The fact that the conversation never really happens or ends after we have our periods is an injustice to all of us.

      I feel so bad for women who struggle for a decade, like your mom did, with all of these symptoms. Can you imagine a man having to do that for ten years of their life? We would have books upon books on this, yet I have had so many women say to me “I had no idea that perimenopause and menopause are two separate things”.

      I do hope you start to feel better soon and get relief but I do believe that the more we talk about it, the more resources there will be. 🙂

      Like

  6. I had a hysterectomy in my late 40’s but the surgeon left one ovary. So it ended my periods, but the ovary left me with some hormones. If there’s one thing I can tell all women (I’m shouting it from the rooftops now) – do your damn kegels! I always blew it off, thought “yeah, yeah, whatever.” Well, guess what? It’s not whatever. I now have a prolapsed bladder from weak pelvic floor muscles!! The biggest risk factors are lack of estrogen due to menopause, having vaginal births, and having had a hysterectomy. I hit the trifecta. I’ve been going through months of pelvic floor physical therapy (I never even knew there was such a thing!) and last week was fitted with a pessary (never heard of this until now) which didn’t work. It was so painful. Had to go back the next day and have it removed. The physician’s assistant thinks it was because I need estrogen. So now I’m on an estrogen cream and have to go back next month to be re-fitted. In the meantime, I not only have to do all these PT exercises every single day, but I’m also uncomfortable 99% of the time because I feel like I have a fucking golf ball in my vagina.

    Even though I’m past what you’re going through, I can’t wait to read your book because YOU wrote it. I support you through and through. You are a mighty warrior woman.

    xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Friend, I know your struggle from what you’ve told me over the past couple of months and I am so sorry. Whether you went through natural menopause or had a hysterectomy, your story matters and is important. You are a female and had the same hormones running through your body that I did all those years and so you can share in the same journey I am going through. Your struggle isn’t any less difficult because you didn’t go through menopause.

      Like my friend Suz’ said, she didn’t have difficult menopause, but her struggle was her actual periods. Whether you had easy periods (which mine primarily were) or easier labors, easier pregnancies, never had miscarriages, or no menopause, somewhere down the line, you will have something that will be your struggle. I had no problem with any of those but menopause was my struggle, so there you go. Or maybe none of those apply but the point of my book is that if that is the case, we can just be compassionate to each other as females because we know how hard those things are because we were built to do all of them. You are right, Mel. We ARE mighty warrior women. All of us. 🙂

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      1. This book will be wonderful for all women regardless of their experience. And oh, I did go through menopause because of having an ovary intact. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You got the whole experience! Remind me to tell you about this article I found about Alzheimer’s and links to ovary removal. We need to grab coffee soon. I don’t have Messenger anymore so I need to get you my phone number. I’ll message you on Instagram.

        Like

  7. Kari this is just the beginning of the ride, I went into menopause early at around 45, foggy brain don’t remember. After my period stopped it came back after one year for a little bit and then it was the end of that. However there was so much more going on after that and I felt like I was in such a fog that I couldn’t see it. It was a very trying time for me for year I had depression. But now I am feeling back to my new normal and stronger than ever! Where was this book when I needed it. But seriously, thank you because I can pass it down to my daughters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, friend, I am so sorry for your experience. I hope it gives you some comfort to know that you aren’t at all alone by reading my story and the stories of the women in the comments here. Sending you so much love.

      I hate that you didn’t have a book either. I hate that our grandma’s and mom’s and so on didn’t have one either.
      Speaking of, I need to finish mine this week. 🙂

      Like

  8. You are a voice! This post!

    Sounds like you are close to finishing your book. I am thrilled for you! Can’t wait to read. Pretty sure all my knowledge of peri comes from an episode of Oprah with Dr. Christine North…mumble…rupthronson. Eh, fork it. Apologies to her but blanking about that last name, can’t google now and that is a perfect mirror of my knowledge of peri. Did I mention I can’t wait for yer book?

    Second – *whispers in awe filled voice* – you found a doctor who listens and can fix migraines? Am in tears. (Not just from migraine.) I may boke (ok that’s the migraine). So so happy for you. Tres heureux pour vous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your comments so much.

      So today is the day. I had a migraine all day yesterday and just felt like the wind was taken out of my sails. But then I woke up today and I’ve been writing ever since 6:30 this morning and that feels like what my menopause day should be like. I ordered Chipotle from UberEats for myself and Ella and we had a good talk. Then back to writing and then off to my parents with Starbucks in hand to keep celebrating social distance style on their deck.

      That is so funny that you said that about Dr. Christiane Northrup because that is literally the only menopause person who gives information out there. I make a comment in my book about when you Google “menopause” you get Maxine hallmark cards, Erma Bombeck, and all these hot flash jokes. It’s insulting.

      Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago. Look it up. People from all across the country AND the world go there and I believe they can treat you virtually. Best thing I ever did for myself. Dr. Rhyne is my guy. He is a gem. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you thank you thank you for name of headache clinic & your guy! Was going to ask but didn’t want to be a nosey parker. So I thought the question, prayed and used Sparkly Eye Technique* (*virtual form). Plus and also you are world’s kindest blogger.

    Dr. Northrop! Yes! (The internet est merde and it can restez avec mon chapeau sur le table. Nothing burns like HS level French insults baby.)

    Glad today was a good day. Hope tomorrow is even better!

    P.S. I watched the social media doc you recommended. Gaaaaah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course! I’m always happy to share that information. I want everyone to be pain-free. 😘

      Lmao. I know some swear words in French. I need to brush up on them.

      Gah is right. I got an email today from Facebook about a settlement. Apparently they owe a bunch of people from my state a lot of money from 2011. I am laughing SO HARD. So now I’ll be richer and facebook-free. Ahhh the Universe works in mysterious ways.

      Like

  10. This post stirs up a lot of things for me. Man, the ways in which my life has been shaped by my reproductive system. And doctors, good and bad (but mostly bad–or not bad, but indifferent).

    So much in this post resonates, but especially how we need to share this kind of information with each other and support each other. I remember thinking PMS was not really a thing and looking down on women who claimed they had it–until I had to take Clomid to stimulate ovulation and felt like I was going batshit crazy. It took me several cycles to connect the dots, and then I realized it was the hormones making me feel the way I was. And then, even though I KNEW it was the hormones and that my feelings were not based in reality (except for the parts that were because I was married to a gaslighting narcissist, which I had yet to realize and which made the whole thing even more difficult–but I digress), it made NO difference to my suffering. And it was suffering, and then I realized I’d had no business judging women who suffered from PMS.

    I am so happy for you to have reached this milestone. I hope it brings increasing relief.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Then you may like my book. I hope you do but maybe only because I wrote it. 🙂

      I think the biggest takeaway from the book (and this post) is that all these years I was so self-involved in my own periods, ovarian cysts, female problems, that I never stepped outside of myself to think, “man, this is something we all go through at one point or another and we are so strong”. When I stopped to think of the generations of women who have been doing this before us without the interventions we have now, it made me go down this rabbit hole that wasn’t always pretty. Why are we so ugly to each other? Maybe it was because of all we go through and not in spite of it. Men also have a role to play in that and I think we both know that NOW more than ever. Not our men but societal men, the whole toxic masculinity that we speak of, which I touch on in the book. My friend (and editor) make scrap that part in the editing process and it may never see the light of day. If it doesn’t, I will send it to you because the particular story I relay is a huge part of my anxiety to this day and is something I really want to be told.

      Am I happy now that I am officially in menopause? I am happy-ish. This week I had two really bad migraines, so my story is far from over. Just because I hit official menopause doesn’t really mean anything other than I am no longer bleeding. The scars are still there. The healing is still happening. But a hurdle was reached and that feels good. Onward, as I say. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I could probably write about book about why we are so ugly to each other. I think a big part of it is seeing each other through the male gaze. As that is the dominant societal perspective (which may be changing, but it sure was when we were young–go watch some movies from the 80s if you need convincing) it is impossible for us not to internalize it. And also: pain makes us less than our best selves, and our bodies endure a lot of pain that we don’t have remedies for because (as you pointed out) men don’t have to experience it.

        I’m glad you are happy-ish. That’s about the best I can ever say about anything right now.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. BINGO.
        I think my pain stems from a lot more than just menopause. I wish we could sit and talk over coffee or tea. I had a huge light bulb moment with Anna a few weeks ago. HUGE. Life-changing. If I were still on Messenger, I would immediately message you to tell you, it’s that big. I don’t even know that I can write about it in my book about anxiety. I may have to message you on Instagram.

        Happy-ish. That is the best we can all hope for, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wait a second! You people have more answers?!?
        Jumping in to request an entire book on why (some) women are so horrible to each other. I’d also like a 2nd book answering why (sometimes) everyone is so horrible to everyone.

        I understand this may be a big ask.
        I can wait. Female troubles have taught me patience. 😉
        Seriously though…. this topic grabs me intensely. If you book, I will read.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh friend, the books we could write.
        I thought I finished my book last night and after I sat and stared at the words in front of me on the screen, wondered if someone could use the words I wrote. Or was it only cathartic to me? I hope that it helped more than just me to get through one of the hardest summers of my life.

        I personally think people are horrible to other people because they don’t truly like themselves or they aren’t happy. That’s been my experience.
        And right now, we are at an all-time level of people being unhappy, so it is a tough time.

        I hope it’s a “if I book it, they will come” scenario. 🙏🏻

        Like

  11. At one year sans period you’re considered menopausal? Around here in this state you have to be two years without a period to be considered menopausal. Don’t ask how I know that, but at one year they still have you peeing in a cup to make sure you’re not preggers before they do awful medical things to you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have never heard of that.
        My gynecologist said one year no period is officially menopause. And everywhere from webMD to Mayo clinic to Harvard says that as well, so I don’t know where they are coming up with that information?

        Oh well. The way I look at it is it’s just another test that you can pass. 👊🏻

        Question, is your gynecologist a man or a woman? I’m taking an informal poll.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Cannot wait to read the book! I was fortunate enough to have a mother who gave me a book on perimenopause when I was in my early 40s only a couple years before she passed. She probably was trying to prepare me for what was to come. She had a hysterectomy in her late 30s back in the mid-70s when that was what male doctors would recommend to women having female issues. Looking back on that time, knowing she had three teenagers and a preschooler in the house at the time, it must have been horrible for her. For me the experience was not terrible even if it did last forever or so it felt. Can we call eight years forever? 😹 The biggest issue really was the “lack of hormone“ rage or assholery I think you called it. The most interesting part was how different my experience was to those of my friends who had children. Clearly the hormonal changes that happen with pregnancy play a big part in all this. By the time the end came it was almost anticlimactic. Lol. Anyway, I am so looking forward to reading this book and all the others you have yet to write! No pressure or anything. I just know you have many great things still to say.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, how thoughtful of your mom to give that to you. She was definitely preparing you. That made me choke up a little reading that.

      Eight years IS forever, friend. FIve years has felt like forever, so eight must have felt eternal.

      I was discussing this with my friend this morning on a walk and we both agreed that there just isn’t enough talk about this subject still. I think we have a long way to go and a lot of it is because of hormone replacement and how for so many years women weren’t feeling TRUE menopause because they were given a hormone pill and the truly real part of their menopause was the loss of their period. It is because of the side effects of those synthetic hormone replacements that women today are now going through it and feeling what going without estrogen in our bodies truly feels like and realizing how hard it truly is.

      I hope just knowing they aren’t alone, helps. I feel like that in itself is half the battle.

      Sending you a hug, my friend. 🙂

      Like

  13. Fuuuuuck. That excerpt. I am sooooo excited to read your book. So gosh darn excited. Also this post is amazing. Your writing is legit getting better with every post I read, and it was so fucking good when I started reading it. Gah, I want to give you one of those hugs where I lift you off the ground a little bit. Which is probably impossible because I am 5’2″…also COVID. Stupid COVID. Kari, I adore you. Please keep spreading this amazing message and being a badass feminist. And fuck those neighbors that made you feel bad about your rainbow. I wish I could punch them all in their stupid faces.

    Please excuse the sweariness of this comment 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG, you are making me so happy with your comments.
      I literally ripped apart my preface of the book. Which by the way was a “foreward” until three weeks ago when I learned a “foreward” is a big NO-NO because that is when someone writes something TO YOU in your book. Sigh, still not a professional as hard as I am trying. 🙂

      I am only like, 5’5 and shrinking so I think you could do it. If I keep eating your Mallomars though, probs not.

      I LOVE THE SWEARY COMMENTS. KEEP THEM COMING.
      Maybe you should write a sweary foreward for the book?

      Liked by 1 person

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