The Big M: Becoming Ms. Hyde

Woman’s Day

August 12, 2010

by Christina Boufis

“Are you irritable all the time?” my acupuncturist asked me. Well, let’s see. I put the cat outside for meowing too much, I snapped at my son for not eating his food, I yelled at the driver in front of me who turned on her directional at the last minute, and when my spouse asked how my day was, I gave him a laundry list of complaints, my voice rising exponentially in shrillness, until even I felt like covering my ears. Yes. I’m so damn irritable that I’m surprised to find I’m still married.

My acupuncturist, also going through perimenopause, is no longer married. Or she’s getting a divorce, she told me, which will soon be finalized. She shrugged. I, on the other hand, would like to divorce myself. Or that Ms. Hyde part of myself that has taken over. What is perimenopause like? ask my mostly younger women friends. Well it’s like PMS on steroids. Times infinity. At least for me. You do the math, because I no longer can. Other women I know get weepy at dog food commercials. Or cry for no reason when they’re stopped at traffic lights. I, on the other hand, get enraged.

And I thought I was doing so well. Just the other day, I was thinking, “I could be happy anywhere. Just give me a good book and my progesterone cream, and I’m content.” Seriously. I thought that. Must have been the hormones talking. I’ve been working on being more positive, thinking good thoughts, seeing the world in a glass-half-full-kind-of-a way. Not so today.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.