Hello, I know it has been a long time since I’ve updated the site. You probably thought I had my hysterectomy and went off on an 8-month vacation to celebrate no longer having fibroids. In fact, I have been struggling and continue to struggle to adjust to being in menopause. (I had my ovaries removed during the hysterectomy)
Remember when I was going through the worst of the fibroid situation I wrote how I would welcome menopause? Well, menopause is a lot harder than I anticipated. But I won’t pretend I’d rather have the fibroids back. I don’t regret that I went ahead and got the surgery after so many years resisting out of fear. I don’t even regret the decision to go ahead and take everything out (ovaries specifically). But I would have to admit that the decision to go into instant menopause is life changing.
The hot flashes
I suffered terribly with hot flashes for many months after surgery. They were constant and they were bad. I spent most of my days naked in bed, which might sound sexy except that it’s not sexy at all. It’s horrible. But I am starting to get a little bit of relief now that I’ve started taking some supplements. I still get hot flashes but nothing to complain about by comparison to what I went through for seven months.
I have been struggling with depression since the surgery. It has been affecting all aspects of my life. I’ve been trying to battle it by keeping up with my health and fitness regimen and by trying to stay on top of my work. But it has been difficult. By choice I don’t take medication for depression, so I’ve had to be toughing it out. But toughing it out and fighting it are not the same thing. And I’ve not been fighting it necessarily. It’s been difficult to find the energy to do the extra stuff that’s necessary to battle depression on your own.
But the fact that I have actually written this post is a good sign. Because I have tried to write this post so many times in the last few months, but I just could not find enough desire to take this first step towards getting back on my feet.
That is not to say I’ve just been lying around wallowing in depression. I’ve tried to stay active. But I have not been as focused and determined as I need to be, and that is entirely because I am finding it very hard to figure out this new stage of life.
Where to go from here?
I honestly don’t know what lies ahead for me. I will be turning 46 in a couple of weeks. 46 is not an age where you’re just beginning life. It’s an age where you’re supposed to have already figured everything out. You’re supposed to have already accomplished your goals and dreams. But here I am, nothing really figured out and nothing really accomplished. At this stage in my life, with the changes that the surgery has brought about, it feels more urgent that it’s now or never to figure things out. It almost feels like it’s too late to expect to accomplish anything, but the mind is resistant to the idea of accepting that it’s time to quit trying to ‘make something of myself’ and just focus on making the most of what I have. Maybe if I had anything at all that would be something worthwhile to consider; but it feels like I lost years of my life to one thing or another. And I never had a chance to become what I could have become. But what could I have become? Maybe my sister was right all along to accuse me of having delusions of grandeur. Maybe where I am is where I was going to be no matter what path I took. Maybe what little I have is all I would have had no matter how much harder I might have worked. Maybe the only power I have is the power to program my mind to accept and believe that this is enough. And if I can accept and believe that this is enough then I can be grateful for it and stop torturing myself by thinking there should be more.
I don’t know. Part of me feels like I need to treat this like a second chance. And by ‘this’ I mean the surgery. Because I’m still struck by disbelief sometimes. I never thought I would ever get rid of the fibroids. I hoped they might shrink after menopause in a few years, but even then, from what I’d been reading, they don’t go away and they don’t completely shrink. So I could only have hoped for some shrinkage. Instead I got them completely removed. After nearly a decade living with my body altered by large fibroids, and not believing I would ever have my real body back, I have my real body back. And I want to make the most of it while I still have time. Some will say I’m already out of time. But I prefer to take my inspiration from people who don’t put limits on themselves based on age.
So I am planning to (or I should say hoping to) create a new character for me to play in this next phase of my life. In the story of my life I have played many roles. And all the roles I have played have seen me dealing depression, low self esteem, no confidence in myself, no courage to be myself, shame over one thing or another. I think for a change I would like to play a character who has high self esteem, is full of self confidence, who has the courage to try things and who feels no shame over anything.
Maybe it will prove to be impossible for me to change my life at this point. I don’t know. What I do know is that I would rather try (again) and fail (again), than not bother to try just because I’ve tried and failed so many times before. So stay tuned…