I got my first period over 30 years ago. I had been told “the facts” and literature handed out in school included lovely positive affirmations like, “You may have heard negative slang terms, like ‘the curse’, but menstruation is a natural part of life and being a woman, and it isn’t anything to be afraid of.” I approached ‘becoming a woman’ with an open mind and solid scientific biological knowledge.

It didn’t take long for me to figure out they’d been lying sacks of shit, and I spent decades looking forward to menopause and the time my body would knock that shit off. I heard about hot flashes, which sounded like hell, especially considering how much I hated being hot, but mostly what I knew had to do with NO MORE PERIODS. Ya-fucking-hoo.

And stupid me, I just sort of assumed that somewhere between having that bitch like clockwork, and never having that bitch again, she’d just fade away, like a friend who has found another friend to spend time with.

So imagine my delight to discover that the time between normal menstruation and menopause – PERIMENOPAUSE (which can last up to 10 years) is just another giant “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little cat too” from that evil witch of a universe. Really, who wouldn’t love symptoms like – I don’t know – MORE FREQUENT PERIODS as a way to ease on down the road to never having them again. It is just what I was always hoping for.

For fun, let’s list some of the other symptoms:

  • Hot flashes – Yeah, I’d heard of this, but it was always portrayed as a wave of elevated body temperature, maybe some sweating. Turns out it can also just be being hot all the time, and not in the good way. Remember how much I hate being too warm? So for old age my body is just going to have me be too warm even when it is 60 degrees in the house? Fuck you, body.
  • Worsening PMS – Wow. That’s just adorable What about those of us who already had PMDD? Awesome.
  • Increased Irritability – Have you met me?  I’ve already got irritability covered. My entire life is an exercise in rage management, and increased irritability does not make this any easier.
  • PERIODS – Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles, more clots, mid-cycle spotting – ARGH! So many options, and of course my body goes ahead with HEAVIER, FLOODING, SHORTER CYCLES and just generally more fucking unpleasantness.  Because you don’t just want to have a regular period to hate, you sometimes want to suddenly find yourself standing in a surprise puddle of blood when you didn’t even get to stab anyone.
  • Crashing fatigue – This is super entertaining for somebody whose entire self-worth is measured by how much shit she can accomplish.
  • Depression – HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
  • Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom, anxiety – My super hero alter ego was already Worst Case Scenario Girl – so perhaps you can extrapolate how fun this is.
  • Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion, disturbing memory lapses – Remember the self-worth measurement? Well at least I can still remember all the ways I am a failure. What I can’t do is remember what I walked into the kitchen to get.
  • Mood swings – I can swing from annoyed, to furious, to annoyed, to depressed in the space of 5 minutes. Sadly all this swinging doesn’t burn as many calories as you might think. Swinging with a dagger would probably be better exercise. Stabercize.
  • Trouble sleeping through the night – I’ve already been battling Insomnia since puberty, but it turns out Insomnia had some weapons in reserve. Because lack of sleep will definitely help my mood. Good times.
  • Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence – In case you don’t know what this word means, it means inability to control your bladder. Because it isn’t enough to have your bladder ruined by having a baby, with constant exercises to improve that bit of stupidity. You finally get to get older and just have everything go to piss because your body hates you, now more than ever.
  • Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons, increased tension in muscles – A total party. It’s not enough that I’ve been suffering from chronic pain since I was 10 years old, now I spread a layer of new pain frosting on top of all that old pain.
  • Headache change: increase or decrease – I’ll give you one guess which option my body chose.
  • Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair – Yep, thin pathetic hair on your head and the ability to grow a full beard. It’s quite an upgrade.
  • Changes in body odor – This is so disturbing. It isn’t even necessarily about it getting worse, just changing, so that the person standing closest to you all the damn time no longer smells familiar.  Gives the creepy sense of there being a stranger in the room when I am sitting all alone. I guess eventually it will just be that ubiquitous “old lady smell”, so at least I have that to look forward to.
  • Alcohol intolerance – Spectacular, so I can’t even drown my increased annoyance in booze because alcohol makes me sick. Yay!


Don’t worry. There are lots more possible symptoms.  Cool shit like heart palpitations.  I just didn’t have time to write about all of them.  Clearly my days are numbered, and I need to spend most of them  looking for my… those metal things that open the door to the car, which I parked somewhere around here, I’m sure.

Don't Worry, Be Stabby

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One Response to “Ragtastic”

  1. Cat says:

    Wow! Another great post! I have been wondering also why I sometimes I feel like I just can’t stand people nor do I want to hear about their lives on the phone at times! I find myself ambling around my apartment talking to myself – telling people off or railing about situations that aren’t there….

    I also have Fibromyalgia w/ Chronic Fatigue and have been wondering why I feel so much more terrible and seem to have less energy than ever. In my early 40’s, I could push through more things. Now I just cannot at times – can barely answer the phone some days. Thank god my dog keeps me walking endlessly, however.

    I notice a distinct increase in body, muscle and joint pain – that’s how I know aunt flow is coming soon – again. Wasn’t she just here 21 days ago?

    And I have started to have anxiety attacks again. I thought I got over those in my 20’s.

    Anyway, it’s an interesting, crazy time. However, I also feel like there are some interesting things going on here on a transformative/alchemical level that goes beyond the body.

    I guess in preparation for my chrone years, I have gradually been thrust into studying Carl Jung and attending a discussion group quite regularly. That is the only thing that feels regular, along with my need mine some gold out this situation – the divine feminine power. Yeah, right.

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