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Despite the “cool” trend of having kids in one’s twenties, I waited until the very last second to have my daughter. I was frightened out of my mind to have a kid, to have to think about anyone else but myself and to worry about shaping and guiding a human being that my husband and I willingly brought into the world.

Silly me.

Once I had my daughter, I knew it was all good. Sure, it’s challenging, but I have this really fantastic kid. Flash forward seven years later. All is still good, except for one thing. A little while back, I started to feel strange, like hot, like really hot.

At night, I would open all the windows and still be sweating. Sweat lodge sweating. I mean, hey I am in my mid-forties—what’s the deal? I’m still young! Night after night sweating episodes and still no sleeping; no, I’m not that young.

When I hang out with the parents from my daughter’s second grade class, it is very clear that I am one of the “older” ones. As a classic narcissist, I still do think of myself as an eternally young Generation X’er. However, these days I am really starting to understand what being an older parent really means. The fairly noticeable part is that at the ripe old age of 46, I have entered the stage of menopause. And let me tell you, it stinks.

One day, I was out shopping with my daughter and we were trying on clothes in the dressing room. All of the sudden this extreme heat and inability to breathe hit me like a clap of thunder. I honestly thought I was going to pass out. After we left the dressing room, the attendant took the items out of my hands inspecting them to ensure there was no sweat damage to them. Good times.

I always thought I was prepared for this passage in life. But as I have often done, I am deluding myself. Already prone to anxiety and PMS, menopause has brought a “special” component to these experiences, with an “are you out of your bat shit mind” and “please stop crying” aspect to them; like you know you are out of your mind, but the train has already left the station and if you try to stop it, the train will flatten you.

Now mind you, I take full responsibility for my actions. There are no excuses for acting like a complete lunatic and not taking ownership of it. I’m lucky my husband has forgiven me for my outbursts and I don’t excuse them.

All menopausal experiences are different, so don’t let me scare you. This is just my experience.

The one thing I do know is that I need help, prescription-based, or otherwise, and a willingness to seek help is always the first sign of sanity. I started my research, even looking at the Suzanne Somers’ Healthy and Clean living website. How is that for humbling? I have a tendency to think things will pass quickly and I can weather the storm and somehow control it. Sadly, I cannot control menopause.

I don’t want my daughter to remember this as the time when her mother went nuts, freaking her out in any some way. My age has given me the wisdom to know that my experience in this may need some extra care and attention and with that I have faith that my “normal” self will reemerge in the relatively near future. Help is out there, and I know that there is a huge comfort in that.

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