I'll have to admit that I have felt a little proud of the fact that menopause has not turned me into a monster.
Yes, I gained weight, but over the past few months I've managed to lose 15 pounds so feel fairly healthy.
I have a hot flash every time I drink wine, so I rarely drink any more.
One bullet I thought I had dodged were the mood swings. Since I run four days a week, lift weights three days a week and walk with friends on other days, I credited exercise with helping me avoid screeching at my family and friends.
Yesterday, I ran five miles. Then I walked five miles with my friend Sheila. Then I walked two more miles with my husband as we went to vote and then get coffee. By 11 a.m., I'd gone 12 miles.
In spite of all the exercise, in the past few days though, my moods have taken a turn.
Yesterday, a friend texted to remind me that another friend had a birthday. I felt irritated. I complained to Grace that the friend who texted me has a girl crush on our birthday friend. She follows her outside when she smokes. She switches tables to sit with her.
Was I jealous? Grace asked. Feeling left out?
I don't want that attention myself, but the keenness she lavishes bugs me. I think I'd rather avoid both of them. I might not go to the coffee house for writing group today so I can skip the celebration.
With all of these annoyances building up, you'd think I would have recognized the moodiness, but I still remained blissfully unaware, until a recent email.
Earlier this semester, a student sent a complaint about me. The lead teacher forwarded the email and I responded. The student had come into class late so I didn't let him take the quiz. He became angry and left the room, hitting his backpack against the wall. He said it wasn't anger, but an accident. This student complained about my "caustic rules" and the fact that I didn't let him take the quiz.
I should have left it at that, but I responded. I said that the English department had always had my back with rules about not accepting late work and I wanted to know what she had said to the student. She replied again that she just listened to the student.
Immediately, I wanted to protest. Did she commiserate with the student about mean old teachers and their stupid rules? She must have said something.
I considered responding. Talking to the chair of the department.
That's when I realized that moodiness had overtaken me.
I'd been juicing today, which meant no coffee, but lemon and ginger water for breakfast. Then I made a beet, sweet potato, apple and grape juice that I drank during my morning classes. By 10 a.m., I knew that I would need to get some coffee.
I stopped by the book store between classes and ordered a white mocha -- with caffeine. I've been un-addicted to caffeine for years now, since I had surgery on my broken nose.
But caffeine might be a necessary step to avoid snapping at people.
And I might see my weight creep back up as I try to stay calm.
Any advice? Is caffeine and sugar my only hope?
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