Tag Archives: estrogen

Of Groundhogs and Loathing

I just finished watching the last 30 minutes of Groundhog Day with Bill Murray, and, well, this is a weird one, but I think it’s one of my favourite romantic comedies.

Right now, I long for a little kissing and lighthearted fun. That’d be nice. Not to be had, but it’d be nice.

Something about Groundhog Day hits the spot today. I’d realized earlier this week that I’d sunk about as low as I’ve ever sunk. I’m not accustomed to being cruel or mean or angry, and I’ve been feeling that way too much of late. I really, really hate feeling negative things, but acting on them, why, that’s just as low as it gets.

I’m not above fallibility. Wish I was, but I come with the full range of human emotions, from dishonesty through to loyalty, they’re all nestled within me. Normally, my moral compass overrides the bad shit ‘cos I’m typically a very good person. Lately, it’s felt like night and day, depending on my mood.

I seem to be starting to stabilize more. I’ve made the choice that I’m getting off birth control after a couple friends have suggested that this week, which, for some reason, just totally escaped my consciousness as a choice. Throughout ALL the shit that has come down, I’ve been on the pill, and while I consider myself one of the toughest, most resilient people I know, I’ve been anything but that of late. I want to have something to blame, and maybe the pill’s a good thing to use in that capacity. Maybe, though, it really is to blame.

(And while I’m being all hard on myself, don’t think for a minute I’m not impressed with my ability to get through certain things that came my way since June… I’m quite proud of myself in some regards, but I’m disappointed that, in the end, I did start to sink beneath myself.)

I’m supposed to resume the pill tonight, but I’m not going to. Instead, I’ll take a break and let it flush out of my system. Once fall passes and winter dawns, I might decide to resume the pill.*

At the moment, I’m not sexually active, but I still consider going off the pill to be a major pain in the ass because I typically get first-day-of-period cramps that leave me fetally balled on my couch, wincing in agony as my body proceeds to fully explore the potential of cramps. I get the world’s worst first-day cramps. I was once in enough pain that I thought of going to the hospital to get a sedative. I’d really rather not return to those cramps…

…but if the alternative is beginning to hate myself, then I know the choice I need to make. It’s been a week since I’ve had a pill, and since then, I’ve slowly started to climb out of the depressive cesspool that has been home for the last three months — which is coincidentally the length of my last cycle, thanks to the brilliance of trying to suppress my period.

Today’s to be a cycling day peppered by a four-hour stint of work. I have a project to do, and when I’m done, I’m gone, even if that’s less than four hours. I don’t care. Right now, I’ll do what it takes to enjoy myself, because that’s where I find the self-love. If I can have a good time on my own, I can enjoy myself anywhere, any time, and hopefully with anyone. It’s that simple.

Groundhog Day‘s great because Bill Murray also hits self-loathing bottom in that movie. He does everything destructive he can, and then, when that’s through, he seeks to improve himself. Me, I’ve been pretty destructive this past month. One ANGRY woman, man. I’m glad I’ve done nothing drastic because there were moments I was a little nervous for myself. The further I get from it (and I’m not that removed from it yet), the more dark I realize things had been for a while there. I too now wish to improve myself. Steps are being taken and I suspect positive results are already beginning to show in small, inconsequential ways.

I’m sure there are people out there who are forever on an even keel, and I hate them because I’m jealous of them, because I’m not one of them and likely never will be. I tend to be a little more even than this, but there’s often a potential air of volatility to me. That’s a negative, but I often overcome my negatives with my positives — of which I like to think there are many. I’m starting to embrace this difficult time instead of loathing it, because I think I’m heading down the right path — setting up counselling, lowering my expectations, focusing on the little things that need doing so the big things don’t loom so large.

Right now, everything’s worth doing if only it means I stop seeing shadows, you know? Whatever you do, don’t call me Punxsatawney Steff.

*Don’t ever just stop in the middle of a pill cycle or you could fuck yourself over worse than the pills have done to you. Always consult a doctor. I finished my cycle; I’m just choosing not to resume. Despite knowing that I can indeed do this, I’m still seeing my doctor Monday to clue him in and touch base on the evil shit that’s come down in the last few weeks.

For Christ’s Sake, Stop the Bleeding!

As you may or may not know, I’ve been trying to change / suppress my menstrual cycle through the use of prolonged exposure to the Pill. Unfortunately, it’s not going as well as I would have hoped.

For those who haven’t been exposed to what “period suppression” entails, it’s basically the choice to use birth control pills for 12 weeks, then you take a week off. There’s a new one coming out called Seasonale, but I don’t know how that differs from just staying on any old pill, and I doubt the additional hype is really necessary, since I suspect they’re just playing on the ignorance of the public… as most marketers like to do. One can simply take their pill of choice uninterrupted for 12 weeks and achieve the same end. (Now, don’t be a moron and do this shit without medical supervision, all right? Get approval from your doctor, talk to them about what to look for, then go bravely forth, young bleeder. Now your shit before you act; don’t listen to me or some other person who has no medical training and knows fuck all about the big picture.)

I’ve been on the pill, now, for 9.5 out of my new “12-week” cycle. I’ve already had a full-blown, long period that began 2 weeks ago and lasted 8 days, and today I’ve gotten it again. In between, I was still spotting. So, maybe I’m the odd the one out. Maybe I’m the freak who can’t adjust to the hormonal change. I don’t know. All I do know is, this really blows.

I did, however, ask the Good Doctor about it and he said it’s just my endometirum rebelling. Yeah, well, I wanna get fucking medieval on its ass and quash its little rebellion.

I mean, if I was in a sexually active relationship, this would be really fucking annoying. Fortunately, it’s just me and Fingie these days, so we have an understanding and things are going smoothly, no feelings are hurt, but still. Biology blows, man. I thought so in high school and I still think so now. This fucking ranks up there with dissecting frogs, for god’s sake.

I wanted to cycle to work today, but now I feel like shit, so yet another day is passing without exercise. In retrospect, 2.5 cups of coffee was a bad plan, since coffee really fucks with cramping, but at least I’m awake.

I took my first anti-depressant pill last night, and that was weird. It’s supposed to double as a sleep-aid, so you take it before bed.I had only a half a pill as you’re supposed to start slow to minimize the onset of side effects. Still, it conked me right out. I vaguely remember getting out of bed to go to the washroom, as I’m one of those people, and I staggered there with my head bent down, and slammed into the door jamb. My first reaction was, “Not another fucking concussion,” (I’ve had three) as I stumbled backwards, my head smarting, leaving me feeling like I’d suffered a cartoon injury, with the pain lines radiating out into the darkness.

Naturally, I woke up this morning in a fog. I really hope this isn’t an indicator of what’s to come, because now that I’m on these pills, I’m supposed to remain on them for the next year. That’s just the rule of thumb. (Where in the hell did the saying “rule of thumb” come from, anyhow? Ever wonder? I mean, having opposable thumbs is one of the highlights of my life, to be sure, but I don’t expect my thumb to be the sovereign entity of my life, so I don’t really see it ruling, but perhaps my ignorance is impeding my ability to comprehend this. Hmm.)

On the State of the Steff

It’s official. I’m depressed. Next Thursday, I’m seeing the doc to go back on meds for the first time in a few years.

I started the birth control pill again last October, and it has been fucking with my equilibrium since. (I’ve changed several brands, but the first one sent me spiralling into a deep depression I had to claw out of, but never really emerged from.) I was beginning to get a grasp on it the old-fashioned “I’m too tough for depression to beat me!” trouper kind of way, but then life reared up and got ugly, and I’m losing my grasp.

Depression’s a terribly stigmatic thing to admit to suffering. Just admitting it makes you look like an incapable pussy who’s running from a scary monster. There’s too much ignorance about depression as a disease, and there’s too much misunderstanding of what it can (and does) do to its sufferers.

Me, I hate admitting I can’t cope. I hate admitting that, right now, I’m weak and having a real, real hard time just fighting the good fight. The realization hit me yesterday that, if something else were to befall me in the “happenstance” category these days, I just don’t think I could wage that war. I’m too burnt out. The energy levels, gone.

So, then, what do I do? Pretend? Put on a smilie face and hope it all looks better than it feels? Oh, that’ll work. Or do I give into the agoraphobia and lock the door? Yeah, that’ll work. Maybe I try to find balance? Hey, there’s an idea, but what is balance anyhow? Who says, “Yep, that’s balanced!” Is there a dinging bell I’ll hear when I finally have it right?

And that’s the thing. There’s no tried and true method for beating depression. It still confuses medicine and practitioners. It’s not like the weight loss secret of, “Eat a little less, exercise a little more.” Its roots come from a dark place that’s physically impossible to shine a light on.

Depression is perceived as a systematic sign of weakness and this society has little, if any, patience for it.

It doesn’t matter that I could make you laugh within five minutes of meeting you, or make you feel like you’ve known me for years. It doesn’t matter that I’ll understand most problems you bring to me and be able to give you worthy advice on it. It doesn’t matter that I’ve been through more in my 32 years than most have. It doesn’t matter that I’m about as resourceful as any person you’ll ever meet.

I’m still suffering from depression. I’ve been fighting, and I was winning, and now the tide has turned.

So, I’m swallowing my pride, telling you where I stand, and promising to keep a light ongoing record (I’m toying with a depress-o-meter passage at the end of postings after I get back on the meds, to kind of keep a record of the small but steady changes in mood, primarily for those who are having a hard time deciding if they need help out of their own private hells or not).

I’m not the kind of person you think about when you think “depressive,” but the truth is, I’ve dealt with that demon off and on since my late teens. Most of the time, I’m pretty good. I know what to look for and know how to fight it — me time, indulging myself, exercise, healthy outlets, punk rock music, heh — and so forth, so this is why I’ve suddenly decided to change strategies in my fight, and why you may hear more of it.

Anyhow, great concert last night, but I fear I’m too tired for my party tonight, so I’ll be taking a “me” night in. Since I’ll soon be on meds and won’t be able to enjoy a bottle of wine solo anymore (shouldn’t really drink on meds), I plan to instead cook a mighty meal fit for a king and drink incredibly good wine to celebrate my lowering of my defenses and accepting my humanity. My fight has changed this week in that I’m kicking my ass physically with cycling and working on a healthier diet. I just know I won’t get the results I want soon enough, and who really wants to live in the dark any longer than necessary, huh?

Happy Friday, kids. My week’s looking up.

The Ugly Cry

Oprah has coined a phrase I had to throw out yesterday, The Ugly Cry.

Almost every man who has been in any relationship of any consequence with any woman has, tragically, witnessed the Ugly Cry firsthand.

It ain’t pretty, man. That’s why it’s called ugly.

You know the cry I  (/Oprah) mean (/s). Just plain ol’ u-g-l-y. Tears streaming, lips quivering, slobber potential in between monster gasps of woe. You might as well just scream, “I have estrogen! Hear my whine!”

Oh, we hate the Ugly Cry. You guys have no idea. Oh, my GOD. The times we turn around later and go, “What the fuck is wrong with me?’ I’m three sobs away from needing an industrial hanky, but zero sobs away from a complete loss of pride? How wrong is this? Where in the hell is my brain? Is there no override button for this shit? My god, someone get me a penis!

Almost every chick’s done this thing. It comes up at the stupidest times. Every time we try to get a grasp, we realize again, “Oh, I’m such a loser! Ugly-crying!” and on with the waterworks and gulpfest. Afterwards, it’s just a humiliating realization that, “yes, I really, really am that weak.”

Oh, sure, let’s call it some euphemistic maxim, like, “in touch with my emotions.” Sure, that almost makes me feel like something less of a fraud, but no, not quite. Normally, I try to repress my emotions. I don’t want to be in touch with them, and shit, man I turn down every collect call they throw at me. I’m more the type where I just shuffle around and grunt a little, in between resentfully scouring dishes or meaninglessly shifting things around into less offensive patterns on the counter. I think about things, develop great reasoning for my emotions, what have you, and then, I open my fucking mouth.

“But what I felt…” [honk] [sob] [wheeze] [sob] “was that what you were saying…” [sob] [whine] [sniff] [snuffle] [snort]

Yada-fucking-yada. Like any of it matters.

By the end of it, we’re so ashamed with our all-out girliness in this crazy-ass world of men that we soften or completely bristle, and either way, things don’t progress as they should. You can almost start to understand why those old sexist commercials of the ‘50s had the men doing all the negotiating for big purchases.

“Now, honey, you just let me take care of the big, bad negotiator. You just rest your pretty head.”

And what’s really lame is this ability for absolute stoicism through much of life’s challenges, but then the lips part for some person with whom I wanna talk on a deeper level, where I’m just being honest, and whomp! There it is.

The Ugly Cry.

I know that my “Ugly Cry” tends to come out most often when I’m upset about something with someone I genuinely care about, someone with whom I’ve got an issue but with whom also I feel a pretty solid connection with. It doesn’t make it any easier, it still is something that’s been hurting enough to produce that reaction, or it’s one of those moments where we feel safe enough to really let ALL of our shit go.

I had an Ugly Cry like that last week, and ALL the shit I’d been feeling all rolled into one bad session of expressing how I felt. Man, it got heavy ‘cos I just couldn’t shake the Ugly Cry. There it loomed, on my shoulder, the entire fucking night. I felt like such a loser. I couldn’t get it together, and then I’d feel more frustrated about my lack of control, and off I’d go again.

You know, I think the Ugly Cry sometimes is actually that negative-but-positive sign about the relationship’s strengths sometimes. As chicks, we get so overwhelmed by grumpy guys in our presence and we think (like you) that it’s our job to fix it somehow, by being cute or nice or sweet, and sure enough, it backfires. What we either forget or just fail to realize is that guys being grumpy with us is a sign of how comfortable they feel around us, a sign of trust. It just really doesn’t feel that way when it’s going down. Usually tends to be a 20/20 hindsight reckoning, if anything.

And the Ugly Cry is sort of the same. A chick won’t go Ugly in front of someone she doesn’t trust, really.

Next time you boys are sitting there face-to-face with an Ugly Cry, just keep it together and remember, it’s a sign that she trusts you.

Just like a seagull shitting on you means luck, it’s all good, boys.

Say Something, Dammit

The sky is blue. This I know.

I can be told once in my life that the sky is blue, and I need not be reminded. I may have had three concussions and had bleeding on my brain, but I’m sufficiently clued in enough to be able to recall the blueness of that great big yonder up there. It’s there, it’s bigger than life, and it’s unavoidable.

What I’m not smart enough to remember, however, is just how spiffy I am.

You see, I have these alien invaders in my body that will never, ever go away. They’re from planet Estrogen, and, man, as far as aliens go, they’re a right bitch sometimes.

Unfortunately, there is an entire world filled with people of my ilk who have been invaded by these cosmic cunts, and we’re known as Women. These “Estrogenies” do things to us that we’re not that crazy about. They make us insecure, make us moody, and make us sometimes a little inconsistent. Fortunately, they also make our boobs swell once a month. It’s a give-and-take thing, really.

Guys are pretty low-key. We like that about you. We like the fact that we know we can make you a sandwich, kiss your neck, give you a beer, and you feel like you’re the king of the jungle. Easy-peasy.

We, however, communicate more than you. You, obviously, communicate less. And you’re deceptive. You like to think you’re simple. “I am man. I grunt, therefore I am.” But you’re complicated. You get moody, you get silent, and you internalize. It’s what men do. We understand this.

What we can’t process, though, is the price it sometimes comes at. Men close themselves off, and then by so doing, they also forget to communicate with us about the little things that help to keep relationships moving nice and happy-like.

“You look nice today.”
“Have I told you lately how much you rock?”

We wish we didn’t need to be told that everything’s well and good and we’re still cared about and we still do all the things to you that we did way back when, but we do need to hear these things. And frankly, you need to hear them from us, too. Everyone does.

Compliments and expressions of affection are like yogurt. They have a shelf-life, and while they keep a little longer than you might think, but when they go, man, they go. And then the weird comes down. Insecurities rise, distance ensues, and things get complicated. Relationship mold. Ew.

It’s lame, but it happens. It doesn’t take much to get out of your head sometimes and just remember to say good things about your partner. Keep them secure about how they’re valued, even when you’ve got things going on otherwise. We all get a little too internal, and it’s just not fair to our lovers if we’re all self-involved and failing to acknowledge their worth to us from time to time.

It’s really easy to forget to be communicative about these things when your sex life is going, but at least then you have a physical expression of that affection, and sometimes things can be left unsaid. If you’re not getting physical often, then it’s really important to at least have the communication working, right? Pretty obvious there. 2 + 2 = 4, yeah?

It’d be wonderful if we only had to be told once in our lives that we’re loved, but it doesn’t work that way. The more it happens, the more real it becomes to us. Fleeting suggestions of affection really don’t leave deep imprints on us, and frankly, they often don’t even make a dent. Even worse is, if we’re told how great we are over a period of time, and then time lapses where it ceases to happen much at all anymore, then there’s even greater reason to become insecure.

Put your money where your mouth is, people, and tell ‘em that you dig ‘em. Tell ‘em often, tell ‘em good. If you don’t, you never know, you might just lose what you have, and that’d be a crying shame. Especially if the feelings existed, but your communication simply lacked. The price we pay for these oversights is far too high.

(And, hey, watch out for the Estrogenies, eh?)