Hormonal Whiplash: An Unexpected Bump in the Road

Hello lovelies,

I admit I struggled this week when it came to writing a post.

I have a content plan, and I make notes all the time or start writing snippets, but this week, when it was time to put those notes and words all together, I found myself stumbling over them.

And it’s not just the writing I’ve been struggling with. For a few weeks, my mood has been up and down like a yo-yo. 

My mojo seems to have gone AWOL again. It’s like an errant cat that leaves through the cat flap one day, and you start to wonder if it will ever come back, and then a few days later, it re-appears and behaves as if it had never left. You’re so excited about its return that you forget about the pain and anguish it caused by leaving. But when you go to bed that night, there is always that nagging thought, “Will it still be there tomorrow?” 

That’s how I feel about my good mood.

When we had those gale-force winds recently, I decided against going for my morning walk. I spent the day fed up and tired. I realised just how much that hour in the mornings improved my mood and mindset, and I just wanted it back, to feel like myself again. I didn’t feel sad or angry. I’ll just felt flat.

I was also clumsy, banging my head, spilling things, walking into things and generally being a Clutz, which made me cry more out of frustration. Why was I like this? Is it because of where I am in my cycle? Something I had eaten? Or was it just Monday blues?

The following day, I got myself out for a walk, convinced that I would come back feeling better, but the negative feeling was lingering just beneath the surface. I tried to fake a good mood as I was desperately trying to avoid it, but it somehow broke the surface, and it was back to a depressive and sad state. I was wishing another day away in the hope that I would wake up and feel happier tomorrow.

The next day, after another 3 am wake-up, I was again unable to get back to sleep. I’m so frustrated! I wanted to scream, but I cried instead. I have found it much more of a release.

I’ve been working so hard to improve my lifestyle in the hope that this will help. I’ve cut back massively on alcohol, as I’ve found that sometimes, even the littlest bit of alcohol can have a significant adverse effect on my mood. I walk 5k at least four times a week, which I love, and I drink more water than ever before, meaning I don’t drink as much Coke Zero as before.

But the one thing I can’t seem to grasp is my sleep, and I keep reading about how important sleep is to help moods. I am tired for most of the day and have no problems getting off to sleep, but for more than half of the week, I am waking up in the early hours, and it’s game over.

I’m feeling overwhelmed more often, and I want to shut myself away. It was the husband’s birthday, and this month is my birthday, but I only want to get my head down and focus on my business. I don’t know how I can fit everything in! I am mentally exhausted.

I am living a vicious cycle of feeling fine when I wake up, walking, and getting on with the day, then when it comes to 1 pm, I start to go rapidly downhill. I can’t sleep, but my energy levels, like me, are on the floor. 

It’s affecting my concentration, too. The other day, I wasted an entire morning writing a blog post that I’d already written. Then, when my email and website crashed, I burst into tears. I cried four times that day. I am getting increasingly frustrated at being unable to cope with minor inconveniences.

It hasn’t helped that I occasionally feel glimmers of my old self emerging. It’s exciting. It’s like waking up from a bad dream and remembering who I really am. I have missed that person so much, and it makes me realise that I have been merely a shadow of myself for such a long time. It’s also painful because when I get dragged back under, it’s like it’s being snatched away from me again. I can see it, but I can’t touch it. It’s just beyond my reach. 

After doing a lot of reading about how I have been feeling, I am going to speak to my doctor about my HRT dosage. It seems I could need Testosterone, which the NHS does not prescribe, even though we lose this, as well as estrogen and progesterone. I mean, why am I even surprised?

I’m sad and angry because when I look in the mirror, I can see what this version of me has allowed to happen. The old me would never have let it get this far. Although, the old me could live on less sleep quite easily. It feels like someone else has had control over me and my life, and now I have to fix their mess.

What I am most angry at is the fact that women have to go through this. Not only did this take me by complete surprise, because no one tells you this is going to happen, and I should have been listened to when I first raised my concerns about being perimenopausal. 

It isn’t depression. It’s my hormones. I have now lost a chunk of my life, not to mention opportunities and time with friends and loved ones, because I was numb to everything, and all I wanted to do was hide away indoors. I am furious that I was sent away with a packet of sad pills. 

Help should be readily available, not something you have to fight tooth and nail for. Hello, we’re f*cking exhausted! But I can’t allow myself to dwell on this. Holding on to that anger will only hurt me more. I have spent too long putting all of my energy into just surviving.

I can’t change what’s happened to me, but I can help change what happens to others. I want to channel that energy into helping other women, to increase awareness on this, to listen to others and share what I learn. I’m already taking part in the Marie study, which should improve things for women in the future, and I hope to do so much more.

Things are nowhere near as bad as last year, so it’s still an improvement, and this is just an obstacle. I need to keep going. I need to embrace the good days and learn from the bad days. The old me will return, and she will be better than ever!

Get ready for Clare 2.0 💪

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