“Dammit … It IS Menopause!” Excerpt: Am I losing it?

In the weeks following the crying jag episode, I exhibited several other traits that were abnormal for me. I misplaced my keys. Except for one time at age 16 when I locked my car keys in the trunk, I am not the key-losing type. On top of that, I left the house without my  purse more than once. This is SO not me, and what’s more, I was on a trip to purchase one of my favorite things—frozen yogurt. I do not think I have ever left home without my purse prior to this time . . . EVER!

Meditation/Prayer for the day: 

Dear God, What is going on with me? Why am I doing all these things that are so out of character for me? Please give me patience and self-compassion as I embrace and explore this new place in my life ... gentle, gentle.

You can find more excerpts from “Dammit … It IS Menopause!” by clicking here.

Sally Bartlett, ©2021

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“Dammit … It IS Menopause!” Excerpt: This Can’t Be Happening to Me

Looking back, my first realization that something unfamiliar was going on with me was when I was about 45 years old. I was crying more than my usual PMS (premenstrual syndrome) amount … sobbing. I called my friend Cordelia, saying, “I don’t know why I keep crying so much today. I don’t feel like myself.”

What was happening to me? 

I was in the midst of choosing which kindergarten to send our son to in seven months. I know that’s big, but the volume of tears that were flooding my ducts just didn’t seem to match the intensity of the circumstance. I felt this strange urge to call my son’s preschool teacher to discuss my options. From the phone I told her, between sobs, I wanted to speak to her, and asked if she was available. I had never cried in front of her, so she probably thought I was dying or something.

She offered to see me right away. When I arrived at her classroom, the floodgates were open. This volume of crying alone was...

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My Story: How I Overcame Disordered Eating & Maintained a 35-lb Weight Loss, Even through Menopause

Around the age of 10, my mother put me on my first diet. She had only the best of intentions. But, looking back, I realized that my weight had made her uncomfortable. I had been fine with it. The body that made her uncomfortable was functioning just as it needed to be in preparation for the onset of puberty. 

Years later, I have made peace with my cherished anorexic mom, knowing that she loved me as much as a mother could love a child, and was merely passing on what was taught to her at my age. I am grateful for having the right mom for me.

Nonetheless, this began my 14-year spiral deep into the world of what I refer to as “diet mentality,” which included endless dieting accompanied by dangerously rapid weight fluctuation and progressive weight gain, perfectionism, compulsive exercising, people-pleasing and negative self-talk in an effort to feel good enough and thin enough to be lovable. You name it, there was not a diet I hadn’t tried between 1969 and 1984....

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About the Book of Meditations: “Dammit … It IS Menopause!”

Dammit … It IS Menopause! I was SO hoping it was just a hangnail or something. This was my first response when the menopause symptoms began at age 45. Apparently book titles are super important. Who knew? This being my first book, I had no idea. Never gave it much thought. Having said that, I’d like to give some backstory of my journey, how and why I wrote “Dammit … It IS Menopause!”, and how the book got its name. 

It Began with PIES—The Secret to Loving My Body at Any Weight

My original book title was “How to Avoid Basketball Stomach.” Why? I have maintained a 35-lb. weight loss without dieting for more than 30 years. That said, when I began my perimenopausal journey in my mid-40s, my biggest fear was gaining a disproportionate amount of weight in my midsection. My thinking was, “I have spent ten years loving living in this body. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna lose it now.”

I consider myself a former...

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