Not having kids myself, I’m sure there are a number of mums out there who will say, “she has no idea what unbalanced hormones are like.” Also being under a certain age, I bet there are quite a few women who will testify that I have no idea what hormonal hell is until I’ve been through the menopause (oh joy something to look forward to).
But I’m also sure that there are probably a ton of childless thirty something year old women, who, like me, are at this very moment thinking… dear god please tell me there is an end to this?!
Ladies, I salute you.
If you’ve read my blog from last year ‘Beauty Is Skin Deep’ you’ll know my problems started in 2016 with perioral dermatitis. I discovered the best way to kick that in the butt was to come off the contraceptive pill.
So at Christmas, that’s what I did.
And so began a new era of problems.
I’m starting to think that maybe I should have written this blog in January, as more of a warning to everyone. Now we’re approaching August, I guess it seems like more of an apology instead.
My moods have been, well… moody! For the first few months I turned into a right cry baby. And I literally mean at anything. I even had to stop watching cute animal things on YouTube because it had me blubbering! My usual amount of flapping has escalated so that my wings of panic and worry now create gale force winds and I’ve worked myself into an unnecessary tizzy on more than one occasion with the whole adjusting-to-life-in-France thing.
I no longer have ‘a time of the month’ Instead I just have occasional good days and not the foggiest clue when Aunt Flo is going to show up. Slightly annoying and inconvenient. But one is always prepared with emergency ‘things’ in ones handbag these days. Dizzy spells are something I’ve come to expect at least once a month as is hugging my belly and shutting the world out with Netflix.
If I get a good night sleep I count myself lucky. If I don’t get a good nights sleep I count those I interact with the following morning unlucky.
Appearance wise I’ve lost hair, lost weight and lost confidence. My hair, which I had desperately been trying to grow since last summer, started falling out – lots. So I got that chopped off into a short bob. Mermaid hair will have to be a 2019 goal instead now.
My skin. Ugh! Don’t even go there. Dry, red, bumpy, sensitive, congested. Breakouts a regular occurrence. Dark marks not even faded before new blemishes appear. Ziltch luck with any skin care product I attempt to use. Lukewarm water seeming the only safe option.
In an attempt to clean up my face I’ve tried to clean up my diet. No refined sugar or dairy products are allowed in the house. Unfortunately the same willpower doesn’t always hold out on a hot day when I walk past an ice-cream parlour! I drink decaf coffee, avoid alcohol and even try to get a cup of green tea down me once a day. I’m taking a good multivitamin and probiotic and have started going to bed earlier in attempts to get a good night’s sleep. Not sure if any of the above is actually working but at this stage, I really would try anything. If someone told me to stand in a bucket of baked beans, naked, under a full moon to rid myself of these symptoms – I’d do it!
From everything I’ve read on this topic, apparently it takes 12-18 months for your hormones to balance out. I’m 7 months in. Sigh.
I may write with a lighthearted quip, but there is an element of seriousness behind my words. Hormonal issues are something quite often brushed aside as ‘women’s problems’. The monthly cramps and crankiness are a right of passage and something to be expected by women and avoided by men.
But not every woman is the same and if one lady is lucky enough to breeze through her adult life with just a slight twinge in her abdomen like clock work every month, she might think that her colleague at work who needs to take a sick day to deal with her debilitating period pain is being a drama queen. We’re all made differently, we all react to remedies differently and we all deal with things differently. Which is why there is never a one antidote cures all. (If only!)
The best anyone can hope for is just unconditional love and support through whatever it is they are going through and I’m incredibly lucky that I have both those things. When I’m at my crankiest, weepiest, spottiest and irrationalist my parents and boyfriend take the brunt of it all and still love me, even when I’m at my worst.
I’ve read lots of blogs by women who have gone through this very same situation and they always send out positive messages to their readers saying – “Stick with it. Don’t give up, it does eventually pass.”
So next year (fingers crossed that it does pass) I intend on being one of those women. I feel so grateful for the support I receive, that I hope I am able to write something that will help other women who might not be so fortunate enough to have the same.