Are you a woman over a “certain" age who suddenly finds yourself feeling a little more angry than usual? I’m really not sure if it’s the sheer stupidity of the people around me lately coupled with the heat (from within and without) or if I’m just a bit more moody than I am normally. Maybe it’s that after a certain age, most of us women simply no longer have the time or energy to give any F*cks about what other people think and care even less what they think about us. We start getting really honest and blunt. I’ve always been that way but maybe it's getting worse. Or maybe it's perimenopausal rage. Oh yeah, it's a thing and it’s real…real annoying for me and everyone around me.
Perimenopause is full of changes and, quite frankly, that can be scary. We have no idea what it's going to be like and how we’re going to come out the other end looking, feeling or being perceived. Let’s be honest, even the strongest of us, feel a little vulnerable about perimenopause and menopause.
We’ve never done this before so, yeah, it’s scary. On top of the normal fear of the unknown, we’ve all heard the horror stories. If you think they thought we were bitches during puberty and the onset of menses, can you imagine what kind of bitch on crack they think we are at the end of our menses?
We are the victim of hormonal shifts which, in turn, cause mood swings. In addition to our hormones running rampant, we’ve got complicated emotions about what we think we know about all the pauses, we’re afraid of the body changes and it's like life unabashedly got in our faces with a bullhorn and started taunting us as being old. Of course we’re filled with trepidation. Mood swings? They’re lucky we’re not homicidal! They’d be irritable too if life as they knew it was suddenly a thing of the past and no one consulted them about it. No one asked me if I was ready to go gently into the good fertility night. Yeah, I’m kind of pissed off about it. I think a little rage in this situation is completely normal.
What is perimenopausal rage?
Perimenopause induced rage is more than just intense anger. It’s excessive anger with a side of hair trigger temper. It is the complete lack of patience and maybe that’s the way it should have been all along. It’s like suddenly, everything you used to be able to calmly push down and get over says “no f*ckin way, we’re staying still today. Let’s go satan it's time to f*ck some shit up.” The good news is that this rage waxes and wanes. You won’t always be this way. Sure, you might have a week where everyone needs to STFU and get out of your way but then you’ll be right back to your “normal” self again. The scary part is that you never know when it’s going to happen or why and while it can be directed toward anyone (perimenopausal rage does not discriminate), it seems to most be directed towards those we are the closest to…our children and our partners. I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve felt resentment for the sound of them breathing verging on straight up hostility. Perimenopausal Divorce, dropping children off at orphanages and dogs at pounds have all been on the table.
How to survive and save your loved ones from perimenopausal rage
We don’t even know when the rage is coming on sometimes, so it’s not like we can just not do it or stop ourselves. But there are some things we can do in anticipation of the rage, to help us not react in such a homicidal way.
Not eating a healthy diet, too much carbs and sugar and alcohol can cause mood swings and depression. Start by decreasing sugar, alcohol, trans fats and add in some Omega-3s (known for reducing symptoms of perimenopause). Also, make sure that you are drinking enough water because dehydration also causes, you guessed it, mood swings. According to the Mayo Clinic, that is about 11.5 cups (around 92 ounces of water per day).
This is one that I live by and have recently even put myself on a 30 day 5K a day challenge to make it a habit. Exercise is absolutely critical to stay mentally and physically healthy. It doesn’t really matter what you’re doing, as long as you’re moving. If you are short on free time like most women, start with 20 minutes of activity and increase as you can. Carving out 30 minutes to an hour a day just for yourself is very important. I know it sounds impossible but it's not. Exercise helps release endorphins and boost serotonin, which will both help reduce the rage.
I know that mindful meditation sounds very new-age and maybe not something you are used to embracing. I had the hardest time figuring it out. I’ve tried it many times over the years but my ADHD/Bipolar brain was just not into it. Then, I tried a guided meditation app and it worked. I think the tone of voice and someone else guiding me, really broke it down into digestible bites for me. It actually got rid of my daily tension headaches. Simply by focusing on your breathing, you become more intune with your body and less distracted by your surroundings. All of this helps you stop and take a moment before flying off the handle in the heat of the moment.
There are prescription drugs, birth control pills and various health supplements that can also help treat the symptoms of perimenopause. If you feel that you need pharmaceutical help, please consult your OB/GYN professional for guidance. Be careful not to self treat and mix natural supplements with over the counter or prescription drugs because there are possibilities of adverse interactions. That will cause rage so don’t do it.
So, if you are a woman of a certain age and at the point of giving no fucks in life, you are my people and, quite frankly, I say go ham on anyone who deserves it but as society frowns on middle-aged women raging on random mouth breathers, I just want to say you are not in this alone. We’re all a little cranky and it’s not without reason. People have been doing stupid shit to us since we got our first period. But as I don’t want to see my sisters in pause end up in jail, let’s try to survive this hormone imbalance era and embrace who we are. Let’s make this our happy and healthy girl era and hope for those pesky periods to fuck right off pretty soon.
Deborah Cruz is a proud Latina, girl mom, wife and storyteller from Chicago. She’s the Gen Z content creator force behind the irreverent parenting blog The TRUTH about Motherhood. Honesty is her genre. No filter is ever needed. She’s written all over the internet during the past decade and written everything from daily news to sex and politics and beyond. She’s not averse to controversy and is always up for doing the right thing or a road trip. Travel is her love language.