I love being a Gen Xer. A rather small generation sandwiched between larger generations of Boomers and Millennials. Generation Xers are born in that sliver of time between 1965 and 1980. There are roughly 65 million of us. The forgotten, often ignored generation has been dismissed from day one, and what’s more, we don’t really care.
Most of us are nearing or well into our 50s, and the looming reality for most Generation X women is menopause. If we’re not already in the throes of it, it’s on the horizon. Unfortunately, it’s still a subject that is considered taboo and is not often discussed – our mothers and grandmothers whispered about “the changes” and generally swept all that was happening to them aside. That was then, this is now. Gen X women are now on the front lines and we’re not remaining quiet about these gnarly “changes” our bodies and minds are about to go through. We’re the generation normalizing menopause, and it’s about fucking time.
According to my doctor, I am still in perimenopause, the purgatory of menopause. But I soon will level up to the fresh hell of menopause (or is that level down? Hmmm). In perimenopause, you experience some of the highlights of menopause, which if I had it my way, I would just like to rip off the hormonal band-aid and skip to the rage-filled battle. But no, why would it be that easy for women?
So, I am here to give it to you straight, my fellow Gen X comrades, and those that follow in our footsteps. I am here to scream from the rooftops just how much menopause…meh, whatever, let’s just talk about it.
FLASHOLES (aka hot flashes)
I am a person who always runs cold. If I am hot, it’s because I just worked out or I am sick. Now, these flashole moments happen out of no where. It’s that initial first hot flash when you begin to ask yourself ‘what fresh hell is this?’. Sometimes at the very beginning of a hot flash, when your face is prickly and the sweat is just starting and the lights in your living room seem to suddenly strobe, you convince yourself that it’s 1987 and you are back at the Nassau Collesuim, singing along to Bon Jovi, moving, grooving, wishing you were the mic JBJ was holding so tight. But I digress, it’s not that fucking magical.
Remember in your 30s-early 40s when you were able to run all your errands, food prep for the week, and go out with friends for a boozy dinner? Well, when menopause hits, that multi-tasking scenario turns into a multiple-choice question and there’s no ‘all of the above’. Your lack of energy has you selecting one of those activities and if you’re lucky, you won’t need a nap afterward. Menopause trashes your energy level and strips the fun right out of your Sunday Funday.
I remember my mother saying how hard it was to lose weight during menopause. But what I didn’t realize is how much your body changes. My hourglass figure seemed to break up with me overnight and now I am left with lumps and humps that never existed. But here’s the real fuckery, whether you eat clean and/or exercise, it’s not easy shedding the fatty deposits that now hold residency on the body. It’s not enough that we bled for the first 40 something years of our life, but when the bleeding stops, the pounds increase. What a cruel fucking world.
PISSING YOUR PANTS
Yes, you read right. Jumping, laughing, coughing, sneezing or any sudden movement are all something that will result in a change of panties. We, Gen Xers, thought we were done shopping in the sanitary section of CVS, but menopause pulls us right back in, but this time we’re shopping for fucking Depends.
Who doesn’t crave a full night’s sleep? Menopause, that’s who. This fucker decides to test that already taxed energy level of yours for old times sake. It’s those irritating 3 am eye-opening wake-up calls that leave us ruminating over third-world problems. By the time 6 am rolls around your overtired, menopausal, cranky bitch-ass has got to adult like a champ. Eat shit, menopause. E.A.T. S.H.I.T
D.M.S (Dirty Mouth Syndrome)
Because of all the fuckery that I explained above, your level of patience is always tested and your vocabulary becomes enhanced. As you can tell from this blog, the word “fuck” is an important resource when going through menopause. You find yourself getting really creative. Or in my case, using the word “fuck” like a comma because there is no other word that truly encompasses that of menopause.
M.A.D.D (Menopausal Attention Deficit Disorder)
I swear, it’s a real thing. I can walk out into the kitchen to grab something and three steps into the room, I have no clue what I went in there for. I can be in the middle of a sentence and have no clue what I was talking about. Menopause brings out the dingbat in us all. 😏
Ahh, good times, right?
In total transparency, these days I find myself teetering between “wow, this is really happening” and “oh hell no, it isn’t”. There are some days where the Gen X pragmatism kicks in, and I feel menopause has nothing on me, and other days I find myself taking a weepy walk down memory lane when I was a mentally sharp, curvaceous, bladder controlling teen and the only thing keeping me awake at night was concocting a plan to make Jon Bon Jovi fall in love with me. Sigh.