This last several years have been quite a ride, I must say (cue the Circus Music).
I think I always suspected I was housing a Hormonal Hijacker (herein called The HH), as evidenced by the monthly characteristic moodiness for several days, and emotional instability prior to the monthly period.
In the emotional life that I think of as my Airplane , the HH has always traditionally been housed safely in the cargo bay where he is kept under control, tied up and duly contained, except for the odd escape into the back of Economy Class. At these times, he just caused the usual monthly bollix around period time, wherein I would be expectedly moody or over-sensitive, irritated, well up at the least provocation, all very palatable really.This was primarily my experience from my twenties through til about 40. I could always manage to get him contained again in cargo.
With the advent of Perimenopause (I can hardly bear to say that), it appeared that my HH had been escaping the cargo bay much more frequently, and occasionally getting so close to the cockpit that I began to fear losing total control, and worry earnestly for myself and anyone in a 500 mile radius that might be going down with me in a blaze.
One key to managing, I have found, is learning how the HH operates:
Cargo Bay – easy to manage when he is locked up. He’s always there, mind, but emotions are manageable. Generally annoyances can be laughed off, and there is no overreacting to irritations in daily life.
I will use the following example of how this works in real life:
- We have a Blue Jay that inhabits our backyard trees every spring. When the HH is contained, and that Blue Jay starts cawing loudly as he does, one can acknowledge this annoyance with a sense of humor, and levity as Spring is here, and isn’t life grand in our garden with all this lovely wildlife? See? No problem.
Economy – if he gets out and starts wandering about in Economy, things become a bit heightened..a bit more irritated in general, but still able to function nicely at work and at home; The odd F-Bomb may make an appearance, however, usually with good reason and accompanying apologies.
- Using the same example of the Blue Jay, while I can still appreciate his vibrance of color, and his heralding of Spring and new life, I am now annoyed by his constant cawing…over and over and over..as it starts to bore a hole in my brain..I cannot complete a sentence as his incessant cawing is so distracting…I may tell him to piss off. I will likely stomp into my house and close all the windows to drown out the damn bird.
Business Class – if he stumbles into Business Class, then Houston we have a problem. Now we have moodiness, irritability with every human being we come in contact with, easily angered, the patience of a gnat, heightened anxiety, the Black Helmet of Doom comes down (The Helmet convinces us there is nothing good in this world, and we generally want to crawl in a hole); there is a sense of urgency to imbibe copious amounts of wine (which of course does nothing to quell the HH but does taste lovely going down). Profanity at inopportune times is bound to be an unsavory side effect of his roaming about this close to the cockpit.
- To continue the analogy of the Blue Jay, I now fantasize about picking him off with a bb gun. I am likely to yell at him to F-Off out of my yard and find another bloody tree, perhaps throw something at the cocky thing to jar him out of the branches. I now have zero patience for this stupid noisy bird.
The Cockpit – this is the control hub, the centre of all things spiritually balanced, mentally organized, hopeful, uncluttered, witty and happy. This is where Contentment usually resides (or did until the dreaded peri came upon me several years ago). There have been definite times in the last several years where the plane has crashed; Not to the point of permanent damage, but definitely thrown the Contentment out, replaced with mental clutter, brain fog, sodding Hot Flashes, heart palpatations, very real panic attacks, no sleep to speak of, and the utter misery of either nothing for months or a bi-weekly hemorrhage that feels like a transfusion might be in order.
Understanding how the Hormonal Hijacker operates is just the first step, but definitely a positive step in getting the help needed to manage him.
I welcome your stories and wonder how you have handled your own Hormonal Hijacker?