Here are some of the things I have noticed have been changes for me, in no particular order:
My memory sucks!!
Hot flashes suck!!
I get tired and lethargic.
I am moody.
I am more girlie now (more on this below).
My memory sucks!! (Wait did I already say that?)
I cry for no reason.
I cry a lot when there is reason.
I get sidetracked by shiny objects.
I take a lot of things very personally.
I have less of a germ problem than I used to.
I feel different about myself and how I look, how I feel.
I have a little bit of a lower self image than before.
My appetite is completely different.
I am lonelier than I used to be, I need more love and affection that I used to.
I do not miss periods, and I do not miss the pain.
I am more honest and blunt than I used to be. (which is a big thing because I have always been blunt)
I am needier in my relationships than I used to be (see I am more girlie now!)
Really my two biggest issues are my memory and the slight change in my personality (see I am more girlie now!)
Here is the fact of the matter, if I am asked to do something, go some where, attend something, etc and I do not write it down, it does not happen. I have triple booked myself for evenings and have to make a choice as to what I am going to do or where I am going to go. I am lucky that one of my friends did not break up with me because for a stretch there I did not write anything down that we planned. I was that person ... the one I used to roll my eyes at and wonder how they put their pants on in the morning. Now I am pretty good about writing things in my calendar. I say pretty good, because honestly I still forget. (Note to you: if we make plans you may want to just say casually "So Steph, did you put that in your calendar?")
The harder struggle for me is being needy, lonely, feeling unloved though I know I am very loved, and taking things personally when there is no real reason. I have a lot of emotions that I am not really used to. I do not think I will be able to effectively express how different my emotional status is from 6 short months ago. 6 months ago if I had a friend cancel plans with me I would have shrugged it off. Today I take it as personally as if a boyfriend were to break up with me. (interesting, I know, that my other issue is memory lapses where I have stood friends up. The irony is not lost on me!) I crave emotional and physical connections now more than I did. Also very interesting since I have always been physically affectionate with those I love. The crying is what gets me. I have a dear friend who is not now, nor ever has been, afraid to cry in public. I said just the other day "I am the new Carrie!" The crying is all new, I was not much of a crier before though I am not one who made fun of criers. Post surgery I missed my godson's birthday party because I woke up crying for no reason, and could not stop. (They increased my hormones after that one!) Now I am a little more regulated emotionally, but still even a little thing sets me off. One day I was sitting in my new office and I was feeling overwhelmed. I got a text from a friend just to say hi or something innocent like that and I burst into tears because someone loved me. Old Stephanie figuratively stood next to me and shook her head "tsk tsk, it is not logical for you to be crying New Stephanie." New Stephanie flipped her off and told her to shut up because it is ok to feel things! The issue is that I need more physical affection and, for the single lady, it is problematic some days! So when I get stood up or cancelled on by a friend my new-non-rational-hormonal-gonna-rip-someone's-head-off brain breaks down a little because that is one more day without someone to love on. I find I am not as exuberantly happy as I used to be (friends ask me all the time if I am alright because I just do not seem happy), I am more pensive which I attribute to not having to overcompensate for the pain I used to feel, someone asked me the other day if I was depressed because I was not smiling, and I get lonely. I have been a single lady for 36 years and have come to terms with being single; and it is not even really about not having a man to love me that makes me lonely. There is a sense of finite emptiness that sometimes fills my heart. (Note to you: if we make plans and you want to see me cry, cancel on me ... of course then you would not be seeing me ...)
The point of the post, if there is a point, is that I am trying to make the best of finding out who the New Stephanie really is. Who is the new me? How do I come to terms with the changes I am feeling because my body is compensating for menopause? When will I ever stop crying?! I find things are not logical, and it is ok. I find that germs are not as scary as they used to be (Shout out K, God made dirt and dirt don't hurt!) Perfectly organized life is not a possibility, and I just have to role with the punches. That being said, there are many aspects I do not yet understand about how or why I feel or act like I do right now. Towanda! The new me. Thanks for being patient until I figure her out. Thanks for the extra loves and kisses when I need them. Thanks for not cancelling on me or being understanding when I cry when you do. Mostly thanks for the love. I need a whole hell of a lot more than I used to! (Sorry mom, I swore ...)