Menopause sucks! Crochet, life and oh, have I mentioned ... menopause SUCKS!
I had started this in audio form however, our home is super crazy right now. We have an extra dog in our midst as my daughter is babysitting Arfur, our son's dog. He is only just over a year and between him and their dog, well let's just say it is a bit loud and crazy.
Although thinking about it, maybe just maybe, this isn't entirely the only reason why I am writing it and not recording it. I have been in a huge funk lately. I am sure you know the kind too. The one where you just don't care. Like you care but you don't care. You get that right? This started about mid-August. So many reasons for this too. Ken was going back to school soon, which meant summer was coming to a close and the pool would then be closed. I would enjoy the cooler weather eventually but this also felt like a betrayal to my feelings towards summer. I had launched a book club and schedule for both blog and podcast, which I haven't kept to, if you can tell but probably didn't even notice, and the book club went, well not as I had envisioned. I had envisioned it going like I do everything else I undertake, with huge amazing success. I mean think about it, if I love it then everyone else will love it. Makes total sense in my mind so therefore it should in yours as well. So then because it didn't go well it meant that no one liked me and I was a piece of shit. Okay, maybe that isn't why it happened but in mind it is. I am sure at least one of you will understand this. Hopefully it is that one and only person who reads anything I write.
Also, can we just take a moment to mention the sponsor of this blog, menopause. Yes, it is that amazing gift that just is the perfect endcap to any woman's life. The whole of a woman's experience just isn't complete without feeling like you are burning from the inside out and ready to cry at the mention of, oh fuck, anything. Now back to our blog.
Now that you have a glimpse into why my husband might be happy to return to work. I say that as I chuckle. I know he misses me deeply when he is at work and the only reason he would rather be at home than work is because I am here. Not because he can work on things around the house or watch soccer. Nope, it is all because he misses me and my chaos of emotions. I mean, he actually told me the other day how much he loves dealing with my crying. Okay, he didn't actually say that. What he may have said is to please give my new therapist a chance because he doesn't necessarily enjoy the crying spurts.
Anyway back to me. Not working or being able to work outside of the home without ending the day in tears from pain is hard for me. I need something I can do from home because as we struggle with money, I feel like a bag of shit for not being able to contribute. This is part of why I try to come up with ideas for ways to work from home by creating the things I do or using my time to try to help others. Do what you know, right? I also seem to come up with ideas that people are just not used to. Like when I was selling vinyl, I loved promoting the crafters who supported me. I loved to showcase their stuff and why they do what they do. If you are in the craft world, you will know that it can be a very 'me' hobby so people didn't think I wasn't trying to scam them when I suggested I promote them. When I hosted markets I used a different approach that the vendors weren't used to there as well. I supported them! In my mind, there would be no need for customers if we didn't have the vendors. The customers are going to come through the doors regardless of if you have a draw for products they can win or not. The vendors are not going to come back if they aren't treated right. I listened to vendors complain about having to provide free products for the events after paying a huge fee. I gave the vendors gifts instead of the customers. I gave the customers things too, so don't worry, I did things to draw them in. I gave the customers free coffee vouchers or $5 shopping vouchers AND I gave the vendors who had these vouchers redeemed the money back. I still made good money for that day but I showed the vendors I appreciated them too. The vendors were always surprised at these acts of kindness. People didn't know how to react to any of these things. So I suppose I am not surprised that my book club didn't go over well either.
This is the first fall that I have not done a market in 3 years and it honestly felt weird. It was nice not to have to deal with certain things but the excitement of the day was missed. I keep having ideas for markets but honestly, I found the outdoor markets the best. The vibe was always better than any of the indoor ones. Being in Canada hinders that, however. You are limited to the number of months you are able to hold outdoor markets. I want to do one this year though. I have mentioned the idea in passing to my husband and he gave me that look. You know the one. The one where it is a cross between I may scream or cry if you do and I haven't decided which yet. I have mentioned it to other people who are excited about the prospect of it but those people aren't the ones answering messages and setting things up.
I have started to crochet lately and I think this is why I want to host another market. I want a space where I know there is traffic coming through and that I don't have to pay the crazy fees involved in the market either. I also want to hold a huge craft day for people -one where you choose 4 different activities/crafts to learn and complete. Lunch would also be provided. It would be a great way to get the community together and showcase local talent. The only thing holding me up is, well okay there are two things really. First is that everyone is very tight on money currently. Our grocery bill has increased so much and we aren't getting anything extra either AND yes I do shop at the cheaper stores. Second, I would have to fork out about $1500 to book the space. If people don't sign up then, well I am out a lot of money I don't have. So please comment below if this is something you would attend.
Another moment for our sponsor Menopause. If you have ever wondered why women look as though they are ready to kill at a moment's notice or like they are always mad? It is the free gift you get with Menopause. It is called resting Meno Face. The tears and non-stop crying come during the next non-purchased level of Menopause. People who have had Menopause do not report any joyful signs of having it, however recommend not having it.
Wow, our sponsor sounds so fun. I can attest personally to not enjoying it.
I mentioned that my husband wants me to give my new therapist a try. I am not excited about this. If you have ever had a therapist you have clicked with and feel really comfortable with, you will know that is a lot of time and work to even get there. This is not something I have chosen, however looking at the situation now, there is something that I think everyone should have, and that is a backup therapist. I am not saying to see two at one time as that would be confusing. What I am saying is to have your therapist recommend a second one for emergencies. Meet them, get to know them. It allows for time so if for some reason you don't click with them, you can then 'interview/meet' other ones.
Some may wonder why I am suggesting this or if getting a new one was my choice. Did she wear her old one out already? NO, I did NOT! She is having a baby and I am super excited for her and her partner! I love the way my therapist is so easy to talk with and I even listen to her when she tells me things I need to work on. Even when I don't want to. She challenges me while still caring for me. AND best of all, she never seems to be looking at a clock or wall when we meet. This month was to be my transition month. The last session with her for about 6 months while she is on maternity leave and the first time I will get to meet the new therapist. I received an email from my therapist saying she was being put on emergency maternity leave as if that day. My new therapist would be in touch with me.
Nope, I do not accept this. Not the having to go off part but the change without the opportunity to stress about it first. We all know stressing about something makes it so that something is better. (Said no one ever) I will be just fine until she comes back. It is perfect really. Now I don't have to pretend to be comfortable with the new one and can just not go anymore. BURST of that bubble and in comes hubby and friends. Nope, that may not be the best idea you have ever had. Ken's favorite is 'Let's play this out then if you don't meet the new one.' Fine, I will meet the new one. Fuck again, why is menopause such a shitty free thing.
Let me do a quick walk-through of how things went from the day I received my therapist's message though because that day went from shit-tastic to well, worse.
Receive a letter from the hospital about an appointment change. Now keep in mind, I was supposed to have this appointment 4.5 months ago, which would have been about 6 weeks after my last first spinal. They made it for 6 months after the first one. The letter stated they were moving it to another month away, making it 7 months since the first one. Also, keep in mind that when I had the first one 6 months ago I had a hip injection a week later and it was the dream combination of injections. I had 2 weeks of very little pain. The first time in about 10 years I have had that little pain. So when I got word it was scheduled 6 months out I cried and I cried hard. I felt defeated and hopeless. Back to the present I have a dextrose hip injection on the 21st and a spinal on the 28th. The dream combination. Now they want to move it. When I say ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELVES! I mean it! I called and got an actual person and not recording. I told them about my pain and my mental state and she informed me she would see what she could do. They called the next morning and everything was back on.
Still stressed about the letter and not knowing what will be happening, I got the email from my therapist. (This is where if I had a backup therapist I wouldn't be as stressed. It would be a natural transition.)
Why does change suck so fucking bad???? I mean it truly sucks.
The hospital calls and says the appointment is still on for the 28th. Woohoo!
Arfur arrives while we are babysitting the 11-month-old. It was a long night.
Also very long and stressful
The day I was to meet my new therapist. No email or phone call from them yet. In my head, they could have called during the meeting time but didn't because they don't care about me.
That evening my husband notices I am off but accepts the response of I am tired but I don't think he believes it. We are also having an open dialogue about everything happening as well, so he knows I am bullshitting him hard.
Stressing hard. Feel like the world hates me. Nothing I do is good enough for anyone. I can't do anything. The new therapist must have read my file and hates me already. Wants nothing to do with me. Do I email her and introduce myself? I don't know. Then I speak to someone and it doesn't go well and BAM! The tears start and don't stop. I mean they just go and go.
New therapist called and is nice and we have a date set.
See how quickly that spiralled though. My brain is so good at telling me shit that is not true but yet because I am tired and in pain ALL.THE.FUCKING.TIME. I have zero trouble allowing myself to go there. These are the periods that I honestly feel for Ken. I know it can't be easy living with someone who for so long couldn't allow herself to melt and now is in a situation that is good and safe and can allow herself to melt. I CAN melt and not bottle everything up like before and whether I want to or not, I think my subconscious knows this and forces the issue.
Long and short of the above - I am safe and therapy is always a good choice. ALWAYS!
Crocheting though, well, a little like when I ran, there is a love-hate relationship there. I love the process of creating and the release it gives me however the tangled yarn can, well it can fuck right off. I never liked crocheting anything that wasn't rows and straight. I hated anything in the round. It was something I tried and could never get the hang of. I probably never found the right video or I wasn't focused on it enough. Now though, I LOVE working in the round. Working with a magic ring is my favorite way to start a project that has to work in the round. Since I am also enjoying the quicker projects I can work on while I watch my 2 hours of television at night, Amigurumi is my newest obsession. You should see my Pinterest board for crochet. It is everything Amigurumi. What I love as much as this is taking a pattern and adjusting it. Making it bigger or smaller and not just with the size of yarn or hook. I have always enjoyed that though. Dissecting things to make them better or different. I have always loved taking patterns for paper crafts and adjusting them to the size or style I want. If you want to learn how to do this, let me know.
The thing about Amigurumi is that you also have a reward quickly. You start something and in a couple of hours or less, depending on the type of yarn used, you have a finished project. The thing I don't enjoy with it, however, is the sewing on of parts. This is where if I can take a pattern that has a lot of sewing and remake it to little sewing I will. I also love to challenge myself. Even when it doesn't work, I still love it, I will frog it or leave it as it turned out, but I will still love it. Now if I could just get confident enough to think it is perfect enough to sell and find people to buy it, then it would be even better. Otherwise, my grandkids love them and love playing with the creations with their Fisher Price toys.
I think the long and short of this blog is to say this: life sucks sometimes, menopause is horrible however, every single day is new. It allows for a new start and a new look at things. While you are in the shit of the moment try to chunk things up. Not chop but chunk! SO let's say that you have the whole shitty day ahead of you. You know full well it is going to be shitty and you don't want to do it. None of it but you have to. Find a period of time you think is tolerable, say 5 minutes and do something for that amount of time. Then when that 5 minutes is up, do something for another 5 minutes. When I used to run on the treadmill at 4.30 in the mornings before work, (yes that early! When you are a single mother and also have a bladder that only allows you to bounce on empty, you do what you need to in order to get shit done.) I would chunk my 10 km run into 1 km chunks. When that was too long I would do 500 meters and even lower if I just wasn't having it. By the end of it, I didn't remember the start or I did but it was done and I had to get kids up and ready. So let's go back to my Tuesday where the tears came and didn't stop. I just kept moving. I got doing little things and moving. Not allowing myself time to sit and stew about things until Ken got home and knew someone safe was there to take over. If there isn't anyone around you like this, go somewhere and just sit. Have a coffee and watch Instagram reels or something small but effortless.
For those reading this who don't experience any of these things BUT do know someone who does, let me give you a few helpful tips on what NOT to say when someone is feeling really down.
Don't tell them to think of how so and so would feel if you weren't around. This adds guilt when we already are feeling guilty of failing. Something else to feel like you are failing at.
Don't ask why. Gawd please don't ask this or what is causing it. If we knew we could stop or it at least try to. We have NO FUCKING clue why. Especially when menopause is in play.
Don't make whatever project they are working on seem meaningless. By this I mean, unless it makes them feel amazing - SHUT THE FUCK UP! I say that with, nope I just say that. When you joke in a meaningless way in your mind, it means everything to them. They will take it personally and feel horrible. An example of this would be, if painting is something that calms and distracts them but they aren't that good, don't joke about it. Say something that is positive, like you are working really hard on that and it shows.
What can I do?
Just be there!
Listen! Without talking or looking at your phone. That means when they finally start talking put your FUCKING PHONE down. You don't have to look at them and honestly, we would prefer you didn't. Just be there and be present.
Be safe! Ask them (not when they are in the middle of it) how you can best help them and then LISTEN to what they suggest. Even if it makes you feel it is criticism, they don't mean it that way. They say it to help you be the safe place they need you to be.
So it has taken me over a month to finish this. Thanks, emotions and menopause! I just wanted to say though, I met with my new therapist and holy fucking hell, she was great! I think it will work! To say my family was relieved at that is an understatement.