Of Night and Light and the Half-Light

Women are always being blamed for being moody. And yes, sometimes we are but for good reason. For much of our lives our bodies are experiencing the effects of an ever-changing hormonal cocktail of mood uppers and downers. As bad as the younger years can be, just wait until “the change” happens. One day you are channeling Sybil, another day Carrie, and once in a while you get to be a not very nice version of yourself.

Having been there and emerged on the other side, I can say that it will get better. When it began,I thought menopause was something that I could handle because I was/am one of those kind of women. Not! My experience was not one I could handle alone.

Early on,  I became clinicly depressed. I didn’t really recognize it as depression at first but the signs were there. Let’s just say when social person and you shun others, that’s a sign.  When you normally like to be outdoors and now you want to stay inside and sit in a closet because the house is too open, that’s an even bigger sign.  When nothing brings you joy, you are depressed. 

The sadder part is that often the medical community shrugs all this aside. My gynecologist was a younger woman who was more interested in women having babies than older women’s issues. Hormone replacement therapy will do it in their minds but not always. Eventually my male PCP gave me a prescription for an anti-depressant after I described a crying jag I had . (Men can be more sympathetic or fearful when you talk about crying.) The antidepressants helped but with the meds I gained weight.  It seemed that I added ten additional pounds every time I visited the doctor. It wasn’t his scale unfortunately. In the prior 47 years, I had never weighed more than 99 pounds During the change, I topped out at 135.  I never knew your feet got fat too.

As time went along, the hot flashes subsided. My depression lifted. The crazy mood swings eased. I’ve lost about half of the weight gain. I’ll never be a “0” again but that’s okay. I am who I am now. And, i like me.   A newer day is dawning.


If you are experiencing mid-life diffculties, seek help.  There are many ways to cope.  In addition to the traditional pharmacology, consider cognitive behavior therapy, yoga, reflexology, talk to your mid-life friends, even just increasing your physical activity.  The important part is that you know that you are not alone.



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