I’m in my 4th week of the Menotox Challenge – and tonight I had a little wine. Don’t panic. You know what’s weird? I feel like it wasn’t even that good. But I worked sooo hard at exercising, getting some errands done, cooking, meal prepping, and seriously cleaned my apartment this weekend, and I really just wanted a glass to relax.
I didn’t even miss it.
I 👏 didn’t 👏 even 👏 need 👏 it!
[I literally never had a moment in my life that called for clapping in between words like everyone else does, until just now]
But ohhh snap, sure enough after a glass and a half, I did feel like blogging.
I’d like to talk about what this challenge has done for me mentally, in just a few short weeks. It has reminded me that I’m capable. Capable to set my mind to something, and realize the positive changes I can make by sticking with it. I was happier going for a walk/jog this morning, than I was having a glass of wine. Usually, I hate being sweaty, it makes me self conscious..and this morning I didn’t let it bother me or make me feel weird. I know that sweating while I’m exercising is just a sign of how hard I’m working to achieve my goals. A year ago I would have thought, oh my God do those people see me sweating when it’s not even that warm? They’re gonna know I’m in menopause and having hot flashes, and then they’re gonna be like HA, you’re too young, c’mon, stop. I just want to go back and hide in my room. I just want to hide under layers of clothes, because if I show too much they’re gonna see something’s wrong.
Mentally, this challenge is really lifting my spirits. Dealing with premature ovarian failure, I’ve realized some days it’s so incredibly hard to find light when your whole world becomes dark. It’s hard to explain the days that I feel so fatigued or down about myself that I don’t even want to get out of bed. Or like I’ve lost my purpose.
My grandmother and I were talking about grief the other day, and she shared something another women told her about the 2nd year after a loss being unbearingly difficult. You go through all the really nasty emotions like anger, resentment, depression. And this diagnosis brought a different kind of loss to me. I lost my ability to have children. I didn’t feel like a woman. I just…I really have no way to explain that feeling. I lost myself. And she was right – the first year for me was a total blur and I still hadn’t let it sink in till the 1st year anniversary of my diagnosis came and went and then wow, year 2 was a bad, bad time for me.
It became real. I officially hadn’t had a period for over a year which meant that yes, it was really and truly menopause, and I was only 31 years old. I gained 25 lbs. My hair was in terrible shape. Not only was I getting menopausal symptoms, but I was getting puberty like symptoms as well. Oh hey there acne, you again….I get medication side effects from hormones like swollen lower legs, easier bruising, anxiety, headaches, indigestion, heightened allergy issues, bloating in my stomach and feet. I was really angry inside about all of this. I bottled a lot of emotions up. I cried all the time. Sometimes I would cry before clocking in at work, and then the minute I clocked out ran to the nearest bathroom to cry again. I cried in the shower often because I was ashamed. I took a lot of terrible moods out on my poor boyfriend. I couldn’t even explain to him that I wasn’t actually upset with him, just upset with myself. I didn’t feel pretty enough. Exciting enough. I didn’t get exercise. I felt like a failure constantly, even for stupid, normal stuff like not cooking chicken perfectly. I cancelled plans with everyone, a LOT. I just didn’t want to do anything. So I could go out and hear about how much everyone was progressing with their lives and not be able to share how my life had menopaused? I was ashamed of what I had going on, and downright scared to tell people just how much it was affecting me. Also because, before my diagnosis I didn’t really know much about menopause, or at least what to expect, aside from classic symptoms. So when I was experiencing things that felt a thousand times worse and different than what I’d heard about, I thought holy shit, everyone’s just gonna think I’m weak, or off the reservation! But it really is difficult to live with, every single day.
The 3rd year is about making the promise to mend and heal myself emotionally and physically (at least the parts that truly can be fixed, because ovarian failure is irreversible) The Menotox Challenge has definitely opened my eyes to the things that affect me by way of diet/sleep pattern/exercise or lack there of. The 3rd year is about reaching out to others through social media, and being completely open to everyone. I can’t know that there could be another woman out there somewhere who feels like she is a compete failure, who feels like she isn’t a woman or has nothing to offer because of this diagnosis. I have a responsibility to help them learn to mend, too.
#menotoxchallenge #mentalhealthawareness #prematureovarianfailure #menopauseandmerlot #selfimprovement
So hey, does anyone want 3/4 a bottle of Cupcake Angel Food wine?