Thursday, March 3, 2011

Growing Up Girl (an old Facebook note)

Here is the first of my old Facebook notes that I wanted to share on here. This one is from a little over two years ago.

Growing Up Girl (Guys, you don't want to read this, be warned)

by Gretchen Hall on Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at 4:54am
Seriously, if you are male and reading this, there is going to be too much detail for you. You have been warned...twice. Turn back now.

For those of you still reading, be also warned that I am writing, yet again, during one of my insomniac episodes. I take no responsibility for spelling, grammar, punctuation, or content.

As many of my family and friends already know, I have been going through what is apparently early peri-menopause. (I will be going to the doctor soon, to make sure it isn't just thyroid or something else.) Ultimately, this does not bother me; a couple weeks ago when it was so cold (I know, I know, wimpy Californians) I was grateful for the hot flashes that kept me warm as I went about my grocery shopping. We will likely also save money on heat this winter; my kids look good with blue extremities, not to mention it is a good excuse to stay in one's pajamas all day.

What I am finding less than pleasant is the similarity to the last major hormonal change I went through...AKA, puberty. I have not had acne issues like this in nearly 20 years. Keeping track of my monthly cycle (thank goodness for the NFP training so I can keep a close eye on things) is reminiscent of learning what it was all about and getting used to it in the first place, nearly 22 years ago. It makes me feel like the rubber ball on the end of the string attached to a paddle; you get smacked and sent flying and once you reach the extent of your length of rope you are yanked right back and smack into the board. From what I have read, this rebounding can go on for 5-15 YEARS before the string finally breaks and I can stop banging my head on the paddle. (Maybe that is what is causing the pimples on my forehead...)

I am grateful, however, for a few key differences between puberty and it's reversal of fortune. My boyish figure disappeared around the age of nine, nine-and-a-half. This led to an extreme level of embarrassment, even around my female friends. A couple years later when I officially became a young woman it heightened even more. For a few years I was off and on uncomfortable spending the night at some of my friends houses; whether because I was "on the spot" right then, or because that friend might not have started yet, or I just plain moooooody. Of course I couldn't explain this to them, let alone to myself half the time, so I often disguised it by coded messages to my mom when I would call home to see if I could stay. I would whisper near-silently into the phone "Say no, say no!" so that I could in turn tell my friends that my mom said "no". I admit, there was a part of me that felt guilty about this deceit, but it was usually quashed by that other part of me that needed to go sit in my room and sort out the mess in my head. Angst. I *don't* miss it.

Something else that is helpful at this end of the stick, is the general difference in my own knowledge. There are so many things about being a girl that you just can't truly understand unless you yourself are a girl. While I may not have experienced the complete phasing out of this chapter of my life, I have certainly experienced the phasing in (obviously) and can draw on my own experience of how to deal with myself, and hopefully those around me. For example: eating extra chocolate is better that screaming at the kids, screw the carbs; letting the husband know how you are feeling without hurting him is also a good thing, as it will often result in the delivery of more chocolate, and even the occasional chick-flick. Naps are your best friend. Naps are your friends' best friend too, because naps help you to be less cranky. So does my anti-depressant. Comfort foods are essential, just not too soon before you lay down; I have discovered that I can no longer eat like I did as a teenager without heartburn and indigestion.

Prayer is, of course, a must. I kid you not that I pray every day for more patience, especially towards my children. It is a good thing that I do, I would hate to think how I would be without that extra help. I also thank God every day for my wonderful husband...and the fact that he works in the grocery business. Besides the whole 21 years in and the economic job security, it is awfully convenient when I am in need of chocolate.

But one of the most surprising things that seems to help me right now, is Facebook. I have been so grateful for this opportunity to reconnect with long-distance friends and family, surrounding myself with loved ones, whether geographically far or near, is really the most effective cure-all for the emotional roller coaster that comes with erratic hormones. It also gives me a place to sit and write my rambling 4AM thoughts when there is no one to talk to that is not covered in fur. While my cat Whiskers can be a good listener, she tends to get mad at me when I have to push her off of my lap because I can't stand the combination of the flashes and her extra heat.

I think it is finally time for me to try to go back to bed. I hope I have made you chuckle, or at least smile with this note; whether it is with me or at me I don't think matters, as long as I didn't make you fall asleep or cry, I think it is all good.

Good night, my family and friends!

1 comment:

  1. A quick note: We have since discovered that most of the symptoms I was having were related to the Fibromyalgia. The fibro causes hormone issues, which were in turn causing the symptoms mentioned above. Things are in better control now, at least as far as hot flashes and acne go, since I have learned so much more about my illness and it's triggers.