I am almost 98% certain that the reason I am pouty and saddened while typing this is not that I got disappointing news at the dentist, but because of my menopausal mood swings.
Yep! That’s right. I’m in menopause. At 46yo.
Which is just shocking.
Almost more shocking than having a 19yo son who is living out from under my daily care, driving, functioning, working, getting an education and just being a responsible person. Like for real. It happened so fast.
But, the shock I’m experiencing is because I was sure there was more time between empty nesting and menopausing; like years.
So, I’m here. And still shocked, but learning so much about my new normal.
For example, bone density is important so I need to increase my calcium intake. (An aside, I asked my doctor if Vitamin C and calcium were the same things. She said no. Which was a sad thing because I’m already taking sugar Vitamin C every single day and wanted to be able to cross something menopause-y off of my list.) I need to exercise more – which let me just tell you, I absolutely not so inwardly rolled my eyes as this one because I am just learning how to drink the right amount of water every day. It’s like my doctor is trying to stress me out or something. It will also be important for me to find a way to get estrogen in my body because well, there are many reasons, but the ones I can share here are to help with mood swings and hot flashes.
Y’all. I am having hot flashes.
Lots of them. And the jokes about “personal summers” and being my own walking furnace – they are not funny anymore. They are what’s called real life. It’s so real, that if one more person complains about having to “adult” they may get touched by a little bit of heat.
I kid. Kinda…
Seriously, I’m contemplating how impressed I am by all of the wonderful women I’ve come to interact with, look up to and learn from over the years who were quietly charging the mountains, overcoming the obstacles and doing amazing work while having to learn how to dress, deodorize and keep it together all at the same time, every single day. Thank you mom. I’m proud of how you’ve managed this and stayed out of jail. Truly.
Back to my dentist appointment this morning…
Mister reassured me that everything would be alright. That we will take the steps to get my mouth in its proper working condition and in good health – for a 46yo woman in menopause – and that it will be okay. And I trust that he will help me walk through it all.
The crying is likely 2/3 mood swings and 1/3 disappointment.
I’m not “old” by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, in areas where I’ve previously been ill and unhealthy, I’m in the best health that I’ve experienced as an adult. My eyes require corrective lenses and my facial hair needs attention (just keepin’ it real friends). And even though I know that so much of this comes with aging, the news about my teeth – things that happen with age and bone-related issues related to age- it has still been somewhat of a shock. I went to the dentist thinking that I would be able to get my teeth cleaned, get some quick x-rays and then jump on over to the orthodontist for an Invisalign consultation.
None of that happened at the dentist today. And I was disappointed.
It’s come so quickly. I’ve lived so much of my life subjugating myself to people who were in positions of authority, but who did not consider me as a person. I’ve lived a life trying to climb and be successful in an education career, allowing myself to be taken advantage of. I’ve lived a life trying to earn what was already mine, subjecting me to emotional abuse and making me prone to insecurity, depression and suicidal thoughts.
I guess the tears of disappointment come from realizing that in my past, I’ve spent time worrying about the wrong things. Concerned for things that no longer matter – things that probably never really mattered at all. I allowed them to take up time and space in my heart, to change how I thought about myself and showed up in a room.
I was wasteful.
It’s clear to me, that things like a dentist appointment could help me see this for myself. To see that while I am better about tending to my soul, and better at taking care of myself and time to myself, that I still have some growing to do. And that the season of menopause – with symptoms – is an opportunity for me to do that.
Oh! I should mention that the last time I saw the dentist was September of 2015. Yep, you read that right. Do with it what you want, but I am going with the “menopause fog” my doctor mentioned to me on Tuesday. So.there’s.that.
It doesn’t look my teeth in their current state are going to kill me, but that they do need to become more of a priority than what they’ve been. So while I’m not excited about the mouth pain that is sure to come, I’m grateful for what I’ve learned and the permission I’ve learned to give myself to take care of me.
And because of that, I’m clinging to hope that everything will be okay, even if it’s a bumpy road to get there.