The Peripatetic Carrot

I first realised that I might be menopausal when I found myself yelling at the telly.

Normally, that wouldn’t be too unusual, but on this occasion I wasn’t even in the same room. I was cooking dinner in the kitchen and heard the poisoned troll-like tones of a journalist I have a particular distaste for, and screamed something like “Get that ugly wee shite’s face oot ma livin’ room!” at enough volume to make my husband calmly reduce the volume of the machine and turn over to an altogether more calm Mr George Negus. So, reiterating that first point;

Menopause brings anger. It’s a liberating and invigorating thing. I used to feel guilt over being angry, but this hormone-fuelled state leaves you with glowing cheeks, bright eyes and the facial expression of a 1950s athlete who’s just grabbed the Olympic torch.

Menopause also brings strange hunger patterns.

Not being hungry in the morning is a pain in the ass because if I don’t hit the small window available for breakfast I just need to grab something and take it to work for later. This week those items have included hommous, oatcakes and a peripatetic carrot that has accompanied the other contents of my handbag for a few days. I did manage to take it out of my handbag and it sits next to my computer, staring at me accusingly for not putting it back in the fridge. Don’t know if I can now – after all it is possibly a used carrot and I can’t put a used carrot back with the unused ones. However I haven’t eaten it, so it’s unused in that respect. It is merely a well travelled carrot, I suppose. As for the hommous and oatcakes, it must have been a beige food thing, and if I didn’t know me I’d say I was turning Presbyterian.

Menopause brings hot flushes

A title which does not in any way go towards describing the chemical fission that’s actually happening. Basically, throughout the Australian winter I’ve had a small thermo-nuclear power station situated at my core that has provided welcome heat to myself and those in my immediate vicinity. Now that spring has sprung and we head towards summer in the driest state of the driest continent in the world, I get a feeling that I’ll give Red Dwarf stars a run for their money in the heat stakes. Planning has begun now to wear only natural fibres, as man-made ones will merely melt in the corona of my heatwaves, and dripping nylon is not a good look.

Menopause brings weight gain

Or rather the absolute inability to shed any. In the past few months I’ve tried just about every way to slow the rot, but like King Canute commanding the waves to retreat I find myself about to drown in a rising tide of blubber. I’ve eaten less, I’ve eaten better, I’ve cut out wheat, I’ve cut out gluten, I’ve cut out meat, I’ve cut out processed foods, I’ve gone back to meat but only organic. Nothing freaking works! I’ve joined a gym and  after going for two solid months with no weight loss I then busted my shoulder. Now the gym’s gone into receivership. Even being in the area of my menopause has spelled death and destruction for businesses.

They say there are seven stages of grieving: 1. Shock and denial, 2. Pain and guilt, 3. Anger and bargaining, 4. Depression, reflection and loneliness, 5. The upward turn, 6. reconstruction and working through, 7. Acceptance and hope.

Menopause brings much the same process, except after stage four the rest are replaced with an ‘Ah fuck it’ attitude and copious large glasses of  very good red wine.


Published by Maggie

Writer, traveller, observer.

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