Colleen 10/31/14 – Brain Dead

I-miss-my-pre-perimenopause-brain31 October 2014

Dear Colleen,

You’re having another one of those days where you can’t grasp a straight thought, but you try to push through it, just to see if you can craft something coherent with this pudding-for-a-brain. Isn’t perimenopause lovely?

For a week now you’ve thrashed while trying to sleep and then thrown in the towel long before dawn. Your inner thermostat is whack, so you run about in a tank top when it’s cool and windy outside. You have a constant low-grade headache and you verge on crying for no reason at all. That stuff isn’t so bad, but the concentration thing really irritates you. You remember having this issue back in your early 20s; it went away after a while. Unfortunately it’s returned.

How to describe it? You sit still, very still. Your head buzzes a bit. Thoughts whiz by at warp speed, whirling and swirling along the tissues of your brain. You imagine yourself trying to reach out and grab one—just one! One meaningful thought to focus on today. But you miss, or it slithers between your imaginary fingertips and vaporizes into the abyss of lost great ideas. By late afternoon, you’re wondering when it’s seemly to uncork the wine. You’ve watched TV for a couple of hours, made a cursory swipe at cleaning the house. All those precious opportunities to accomplish something brilliant have gone up in smoke. You poke idly at Facebook as the sun plunges below the horizon. Twelve hours of consciousness have flitted away.

Imagine several days like this, where you’re losing significant portions of time. To a person used to never-ending creative output, this mode creates frustration on a maddening scale. Let’s face it: perimenopause is a stupid, pointless, wasteful phase in women’s lives. Almost no one has an easy time of it, and half the planet eventually endures the experience. You wouldn’t mind if there was a switch you could flip or a pill you could take that would end the process once and for all. Why oh why must it take years for the body to sort itself out? Be decisive! Be done!

Perhaps some women grow thoughtful and introspective about the end to their childbearing years or some perceived loss of womanhood, but you don’t know any. Everyone suffers, though the delicate ones prefer not to talk about it. You and your friends agree if men had to deal with menopause they’d find a way to prevent it. It’s a joke, guys! Chill!

Really, women have no choice but to laugh about these things. A bitter laugh, but a laugh nonetheless. Eleven years ago you were five months pregnant; today you can’t imagine subjecting yourself to pregnancy again. You’re too old, and maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. You’ve got a growing daughter to raise and a whole new career mapped out for yourself. For the first time in thirty years you have a choice about where life will take you. Things are looking up.

Now, if only you could grasp a few brilliant thoughts. If only you could make better use of your days. If only those stupid hormones didn’t make you so stupid. Ah, but this too shall pass.



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1 Response to Colleen 10/31/14 – Brain Dead

  1. Anna Dobritt says:

    Been there and hated that. Excellent letter 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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