Why sometimes it’s just harder being a woman over 45

As if life isn’t difficult enough when suffering depression, women over the age of 45 (and sometimes younger) find that their bodies and minds begin to betray them in other ways also.


Not only does their skin begin losing elasticity but hormones begin to run rampant as women the world over begin to experience something called “peri-menopause”. This horrid affliction acts without respect for race, religion or sexuality. Apparently in order to prepare a woman’s body for the big M. Seriously? As if we want to actually ‘prepare’ for that!!
I keep coming back to the fact that the word starts with ‘men’. Tell me that there is nothing sinister about that!! 😛

So as we begin to reach that wonderful age of 50, our bodies decide that we are becoming too old to be mothers of babies and the begin taking steps to move us into old age. Many of us go kicking and screaming – all whilst experience hot flushes (or flashes if you live in the U.S), memory loss and the insanity caused by hormones on a rampage.
Don’t get me wrong. I look forward to aging.
I have no argument with wrinkles.
I rejoice in the splash of white that is on the left side of my head (like someone has hit me with a paintbrush in one spot).
I look forward to my twilight years.
What I don’t enjoy is the torture I have been enduring for too many of the past years (and apparently the ‘best’ is still to come).

Flicking through my journal this morning I found an entry dated June 2010 where I am questioning myself and my sanity. As I said before, some of this most certainly is depression based but I know that it wasn’t the root cause of all this. In my journal, I questioned my ability to find happiness and contentment and expressed feelings of being overwhelmed. I berated myself for being too emotional and not achieving perfection. I was emotional at not getting a good night’s sleep because I was waking every hour and then laying staring at the insides of my eyelids attempting to get back to sleep. I ended the entry by saying that I felt like I was only giving 75% of myself to everyone because when I was at work, I was thinking of home and vice versa. I wasn’t being fair on anyone.

The very next entry begins “What a difference a day makes. I feel right now as if my hormones have taken a holiday finally and allowed my normal self back. It’s debilitating wanting to cry, yell or scream all the time and not having a good reason why. I feel like I am losing my mind at times when my hormones are raging… finally tonight, I feel my sanity returning.”

As I said yesterday that if what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I should look like Arnold S. before he hit the big screen (I am not going to attempt to spell his surname and you all know who I mean anyway). Maybe if I was a male things would be a little easier though? I guess that one is open to debate and I’m sure there are a few of you out there who will no doubt set me straight on this assumption but I’m going with the idea that some days I wish I was a man.
In the meantime, I suffer the lows of depression and combine this with that big ‘M’ word that is a curse on the lips of womankind.
I sweat during the chill of winter.
I cry rivers for no apparent reason.
I scratch myself silly because my skin crawls.
I can’t keep my legs still or get them comfortable at night.
I wake up to look at the clock and then reflect on the backs of my eye lids.
I forget why I walked into a room.
I cringe when someone says “Can you remind me….”
I fill my desk with post-it notes so I don’t forget the important stuff the boss wants done.
I write lists.
I forget where I parked the car.
I go shopping for a particular item and come home with everything but what I went out for.

I am a woman nearing 50 (and I have depression).
Welcome to my world.

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62 thoughts on “Why sometimes it’s just harder being a woman over 45

  1. Oh my- quite a list there Sue. I can empathize, though- I went through medical menopause @age 42(a hysterectomy) & could not start hormone therapy until 6 months later. The heat waves were unbearable. These days sleep does not come easy, the world is quiet at 2, 3 4 am. Add Osteoporosis to the list, and the joys of Rosacea- common in women over 50- yay- like having acne all over again! But it’s all good- just bumps in the road- I just noticed today when looking at myself in my rear view mirror(daylight’s a bitch I might add) my eye wrinkles have grown deeper & more pronounced too. I’ll chalk it up to still having laughter in my life & that’s a good thing. 🙂

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    1. Oh! I forgot about the pimples on my face. The ones that I always tend to scratch and then end up with scabs! ugh
      I agree that they are all bumps in the road but it is funny when I go to my doctor and she asks “Do you have a temperature” and I reply “Well I don’t know if it’s a temperature of normal for this stage of my life” lol

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  2. May I join your menoP party? Just reading what you wrote in your 2010 journal brought me comfort. Thank you, Suz!
    I turn 47 in a couple of weeks (there, I said it!) and never before have I felt that my mind and body were not my own. Some days it feels like a crazy person knocks on the door of my brain and camps there all danged day. That crazy person is a horrible house guest in that she eats all my food, pops the buttons on my jeans and cries if the icemaker doesn’t work right. Just when I’m ready to pack up and head to the nearest mental clinic, the sun shines and my heart is full of joy. Seriously? I like roller coasters, but some days I’d be happy just to hang out and play in the sandbox 🙂

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    1. It really is a vicious cycle some days isn’t it? We wonder whether we are going to rip someone’s head off or burst into tears over a soapie. lol
      And don’t get me started on the sugar cravings!! lol
      Hang in there dear. The good days make it all worth it.

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  3. I feel you girl. I have night sweats and mood swings. I’m so angry I want to crawl out of my own skin. The hardest part is knowing I have absolutely no control over how I’m feeling. It’s so frustrating. I feel for you ♥️

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  4. At 50 I’m still waiting for most of it to hit. I’ve felt the hot flashes a few times… Or maybe I’ve just forgotten that it’s happened… 😉
    Hang in there, Sue. I feel for you.

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  5. You always throw a little humor into your most serious of posts. The paintbrush comment got anice giggle out of me. Up until a few months ago, I will pulling those hairs out every time one of them decided to grace my head. Now I just let them be. Sue, seeing as how I deal with enough emotions (or more accurately – run from them), this whole M word has got me a little scared. I agree about being a man. I wish that some days too. No labor pains, no monthly visits, no hot flashes, no M – they sure do make life look easy.

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    1. You think I’m joking? It seriously looks like someone has slapped a paintbrush on my head in one spot!! rofl
      Don’t sweat the M. It will happen in its own time and as the survivor that you are, you will cope well.

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  6. I feel you there Sue. I’m 71, and at times really didn’t think I would make it. Here in the US we call them power surges, as if that will make it better. And unfortunately, having MS at the same time, which doesn’t go well with heat, made it even worse, including the depression. Just made up my mind to find a reason to laugh at something every day, even when I had to make faces at myself in the mirror, and come home from work looking like I had been in a hot tub all day could be funny in retrospect, so now that I’m confined to a power chair I can still find humor, like getting the chair hung on bins of vegetables and dragging them down the aisle of the grocery. My very own sit-up comedy show. Still looking for some of the gold in the golden years though.

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    1. I think you can call them what you like but they still turn your life upside down.
      You poor thing dealing with the MS and the flushes. It must have been such a trial for you.
      You made me laugh with your comment about the dragging the bins of vegetables. That would have looked so funny. 🙂

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      1. My first clue that I was dragging them was when I saw people laughing and pointing. I’m getting used to my daily train wrecks now. I’ve destroyed my shelving unit by backing into it, knocking all the stuff off it. I’ve just learned to enjoy life as it is and laugh at it all.

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  7. Oh I feel for you all, I went through this “MEN” thing at the age of 30 due to a complete hysterectomy. I found though that after 40 life and the hormones leveled out. Unfortunately now in the winter of my years 60+ I feel I am going through it again…not possible… IDK but everything I went through in my thirties and you described here I am going through now. UGHHHHH!

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  8. I think I was so crazy through the peri state that I wasn’t aware of any physical symptoms. I can really relate to what you’re experiencing. I think it’s wonderful that you can go back and read your thoughts.

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  9. I’m 43 and if it weren’t for Miss Clairol I would be totally gray headed. Night sweats are just a hoot too. Sometimes I dream I’m swimming only to wake up in a pool of sweat. Gettin’ old aint for Sissys.

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    1. I know right? It really is the pits. And I’ve found that it strikes at any age in life.
      I started my peri symptoms in my early 40’s – so I’ve had too many years with them so far and I haven’t hit the the big M yet apparently.

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  10. I relate to all the symptoms except (so far) if I’m getting those night sweats I’m sleeping through them and as to insomnia I’m up anyway through the night with a dog that has never slept through the night and enjoys a play for a while around 2 – 3am 🙂 I did find though there was about a year when al my ‘normal crazy ways’ magnified a million fold so I cried more (if that was possible I’ve always been a crier at the slightest injustice or romantic notion) and my anxiety escalated out of control. But, it seems after that year of 51 all went back good – well back to the crazy I call normal lol. Oh and I probably am all great under the layers of hair colouring that has been happening since I was 14 🙂 . God lucky for a speedy travel through this bit of your life

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    1. Thanks Kerry Anne.
      So far (fingers crossed) I have only had one or two instances of night sweats however I am still in peri (apparently).
      Still loads of time to look forward to that little joy!! 😛

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  11. I didn’t have any troubles prior to the menopause, through it or afterwards. I had a good herbalist friend who recommended wild yam cream which I used regularly and sailed through. The best bit was saying goodbye forever to period pains. I do know if you give some thought to using wild yam cream that you need to be choosy and get a good one as the cheap ones just don’t have enough of the essential ingredient to make a difference.

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  12. I went through medical menopause at 35 and I’m so glad the hot flashes and mood swings are over (of course if you ask my family about my mood swings you may get a different story 😉 ). That said I refuse to turn 50, this year I will be turning 40 ten, next year I’ll be 40 eleven, and so on, and so on, and so on. 😀

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  13. Oh my. My mother had a terrible time, and I am planning to be like my grandmother, who said she just woke up one day and realized she hadn’t had a period in quite some time, and she couldn’t remember when she last had to shave. Of course, I have no idea what it will really be like for me: I am forty now. It can’t be a super time, because it’s reverse puberty, and puberty was never fun.
    I hate to be hot, so let’s all hope that I’m like my grandmother!

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    1. Yes, we wish your grandmother’s genes upon you.
      I forgot about the hair. I can go weeks between doing my legs but I still need to do them.
      However under my arms seem to be on growth hormones right now!! rofl

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  14. Sue – thank you for sharing where you are … and letting so many women join in with where they are too. Its definitely a time of major ups and downs and questioning our sanity! So glad its behind me. There is light at the other end 🙂

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    1. I think that is the main reason it causes so much trouble. Think about all the trials of women… menses or menstruation (period), menopause, mental illness…. it all begins with men!!

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  15. I am pleased to report that Canada is a world leader in menopause research. Too many igloos were being inadvertently melted by hot flashes in the middle of the night, giving hubby hypothermia.

    Thanks to this research, we now know that menopause is that special time in a man’s life when he should pause, reflect, and ensure that he has a good hobby. And maybe up the igloo insurance.

    Oh, Dr. Nav recommends you talk to your doctor about Restless Leg Syndrome: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restless_legs_syndrome. You might need a sleep study. Maybe it’s not all due to your husband’s recent hobby. };-)>

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