Facing Homelessness

Our hearing is coming up and we are stressed to the max.

The Blog Broad

Well, this has been one hell of a week let me tell you. In the last two weeks, our amicable roommate situation turned sour. We were are getting along just fine. Until the mange chihuahua.

Now, anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE DOGS. I love cats, birds, fish, rabbits, guinea pigs, pygmy goats, you get the picture. I love animals. The issue was that we were already allergic to the existing chihuahua that lives here, Annie. Annie barks incessantly, all day, every day. it’s something we’ve learned to live with simply because she was here before us. I also have a dog. A miniature dachshund named Lucy. Lucy is wire/long hair. I have to cut her hair regularly. She is, for the most part, hypoallergenic.

The roommate sends us a message one day on our shared group chat explaining that she will be adopting this dog. Another barking chihuahua…

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Feeling Powerless

More night terrors. Well, they call them “night”, but I usually have mine early morning. Yell and scream, and curse in my sleep. Another unrestful night. I wake up exhausted and aching everywhere. Even the joints in my fingers hurt as I type this with one finger on my phone.

The anxiety is high, my depression is high. Feeling powerless over everything in my life.

I envy those in control. I have no income, the transcription company changed their metrics, and I got bumped back down to the level of trying to transcribe prison calls and people with mumbling thick accents. It’s a nightmare.

I have no money, no car, no real friends in the city, no family… It’s lonely.

What’s going on at home, being evicted, not knowing where we’re going to live, is a nightmare.

The sleeplessness, the stress, the struggle, feeling sick all the time, being in pain, it’s ALL a nightmare.

Why am I even here?

What’s my purpose?

I feel like a burden. I feel like a loser.

No wonder I’m having the PTSD dreams again.

Going to keep trying for a job. I hate having to work for 4-6 hours, hurting my body, for a measly $15 – $20.

I am so much more than this.

Feeling shattered today.

S.

Move to Halifax They Said.

Welcome to Homelessness

Renting in Halifax, Nova Scotia has become dire. The city is currently sitting at a 1.5% vacancy rate. Making it not only difficult for people to move here for job opportunities, but it’s also pushing the residents of Halifax out of their homes.

Recently a friend of my partner’s was basically “rent evicted” from her apartment. She received a notice that her rent was increasing by $800 a month! Which is not illegal for landlords of rental properties. The landlord simply has to give you 4 months notice at which point you can choose to not accept the new terms. The information can be found here. Click on the guide.

Prior to returning to Halifax, we lived in Saint John, New Brunswick for 3 years. New Brunswick has far better measures in place to protect renters. In Nova Scotia, we have far better measures in place to protect landlords.

Since landing Halifax almost 11 months ago, we have been searching for suitable housing, settling on shared accommodations for now, which is not going well. See my piece about our recent eviction.

When I was younger, students in this city, (Halifax is a University town) would maybe have 3 or 4 students sharing a house. Now you’ve got kids in sleeping blankets on floors, 8-9 in a house just to complete their education.

Another huge problem is the overabundance of Air BnBs. It seems everyone is jumping on the Air BnB bandwagon, including property owners who are buying rental units and turning them strictly into Air BnB. Why rent to tenants when you can make $140/ night? So far, no regulations have been put into place regarding Air BnBs, despite residents demanding it, but I’ll tell you this-

Halifax renters are fucking sick of Air BnBs. Not only are you losing out on rental opportunities, but you have different people coming and going, often causing destruction at neighbouring properties. You never know your neighbour anymore. This is not a new concern for residents in Halifax.

I may have tweeted the Mayor of Halifax today.

We are getting so frustrated trying to find apartments here. Apartments that just a decade ago were $800-$900 are now $1500-$2000 a month! This is Halifax not Las Vegas for fuck sake. And even though my partner, our dog and I lived in a 400 square foot, 1 bedroom apartment in Saint John, think again about sharing a 1 bedroom in Halifax. Most places don’t allow it. Most places don’t allow dogs. Here’s a brief sampling of apartment ads near me from Kijiji.

2 Bedrooms
1 Bedroom
Apartments Wanted

Who can afford 2- $3000 a month on rent? Buy a house if you can pay that. What the hell are you doing throwing your money away like that?

In the fledgeling economy of the Maritimes, Nova Scotia is getting slammed by rent hikes, new rules, (all in favour of the landlord), a high unemployment rate, despite statistics showing growth, I know an awful lot of people who are either out of work, can’t find work, or disabled.

Many fear this will increase the homelessness rates in the province. Halifax’s shelters are already at maximum capacity.

Something needs to be done. Renters need to take back the power from the landlords. I suggest writing your MLAs, MPs, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage, Premiere McNeil and any of your local city councillors and raise the concern of housing and Air BnBs.

If we don’t raise our concerns, lower-income people, the elderly and the disabled will end up displaced. They’re already pushing us all to the outskirts of the city. Can’t see the crisis? Then I guess there’s no problem.

How is rent in your city? Are you fed up with Air BnB yet?

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

S.

Further Reading (older, but still relevant)

https://acorncanada.org/metro-news-halifax-tenants-group-calls-return-rent-control-wants-it-become-election-issue

Images

Homeless Woman https://insp.ngo/american-students-provide-homeless/

Other images from Kijiji.ca

Who Do You Think You Are?

Dealing with people for the better part of nearly 45 years has taught me something. People are shit.

People like to prey on the vulnerable, take advantage of the kind, walk all over the meek, and generally assert their dominance over anyone in their path.

Something happened to me over this winter. This winter had me sick and laid up more than any winter to date. I broke bones, I fell a few times, kept getting sick and my arthritis was at a 10 most days.

Now, I don’t know if it’s the menopause, or the amount of time I spend alone thinking, or the many videos and research I’ve done into dealing with narcissistic abuse from family and friends, as well as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), but I feel like I’ve aged in wisdom about 10 years or more.

I grew a backbone.

I’ve learned not a lot of people don’t enjoy my new found confidence, joie de vivre, my way of living, my lack of fucks to dish out.

Tough.

Who do you think you are judging others? Judge not lest ye be judged – Matthew 7:1.

The most effective way to be judged yourself, is to judge someone else. You don’t know what a person has been through, is dealing with, whether they have support or not, whether they’re being abused. So it’s best to keep your judging mouth shut unless you want all of your skeletons pouring out of your proverbial closets.

Who do you think you are to give me medical advice about my conditions? Last time I checked, your were slinging cannabis, not getting your degree in medicine.

Who do you think you are giving out life advice when your own house is a mess. If you’re a mess yourself, why let that influence and affect another person? Keep your mess to yourself thank you, and kindly fuck off.

Who do you think you are that because you have 1/3 interest in this home that you think you’re the boss? How dare you criticize when you’re a bit of a head case yourself? Do you NOT realize what we’ve endured during our tenure as your roomate?

Who do people think they are these days? Self absorbed, entitled, selfish twats.

Have you ever noticed how heartily someone will argue something they know virtually nothing about? Ignorant twat. The Dunning-Kruger Effect is at maximum throttle in our society.

To all the Brendas and Karens out there sporting your let me speak to your manager haircuts, who do you think you are? What are you doing hun? (We’re all huns here) Do you think you are the only women with children? Problems at work? Customer service issues? Wrong order sent to your table? Incorrect change given? Did someone cut you off in traffic, or take the parking spot you were gunning for at Walmart?

I think I need to remind you, you are not a unique snowflake.

What makes you so special above everyone else? I’d really like to know. Maybe write a little comment explaining why you feel you’re more important than anyone else in our world.

Who do I think I am? I think I’m just a busted up ol’ broad, blogging for free therapy, struggling to get through one day at a time. I stay humble. I am not better than anyone. I have issues and I recognize those. I am here merely by the grace of God.

It would serve us more if we could all be a little bit more humble. A little bit more compassionate, just a tiny bit more empathetic to others.

Stop the judging, the gossiping, the putting yourself on that pedestal that no one sees but you. Stop interfering with other people’s lives and focus on your own.

Because, who do you think you are?

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously.

S.

Image Courtesy of

https://churchsermonseriesideas.com/who-do-you-think-you-are/

Article Courtesy of

https://www.verywellmind.com/an-overview-of-the-dunning-kruger-effect-4160740

Don’t Take Shit From People

So I’m laying here tonight trying to relax after the week from hell. (Impending eviction)

Fumbling through my old Facebook photos, you know how that goes. you start nosing in on people you’ve lost touch with over the years to see what they’re up to. Tonight, mine led me to a face that I haven’t seen in over 9 years. My mother.

For the past couple of years, I’ve missed her. I’ve missed having a mom I could call up and ask for advice from. I’ve missed having a mom that would be there for me when I needed her. Most recently, I’ve needed my mother to deal with this illness. whatever it is is. Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, something neurological. I really don’t know what the fuck is going on inside my body. I know I’m in early onset menopause, I know I have pretty severe osteoarthritis as it’s throughout my body and leaves me pretty crippled in the damp and humid weather. I know I have something seriously wrong with my spine and am waiting to see a specialist about it. I know I have PTSD.

I’ve also needed my mom to deal with my father. His in and out presence in my life. His oblivion to my pain. His inability to recognize how seriously he has damaged me.

Then I browsed through some more photos. Saw her and my stepfather got another dog. Got a new motorhome I see. It baffles me how my parents were unable to attend my wedding years ago (I’m divorced now, thankfully and am with the right person, finally) but are apparently able to travel in a camper. You couldn’t even send me a card when I got married.

I remembered how my mother was never there for me. When I called she couldn’t be bothered to take the time to talk to me on the phone. Her TV shows were more important. No matter if I was in a jam and needed help, or just really needed to hear her voice when I was down or needed life advice.

I had no one to go to for life advice.

I look at my stepfather’s smug face in his profile picture and remember how he always looked at me with contempt. Like I was gross. Some kind of fucking slimy garden slug. A garden slug with a bad smell. Yeah, that’s how I would describe it. Oddly enough, it’s the same way my stepmother always looked at me.

I feel like I’ve gone through tremendous mental growth over the past few years. I’ve terminated friendships that were not healthy, balanced or kind. I don’t need that. I’ve ended associations with people because I don’t share their views or ideas. I have different values, I have strong morals. something that seems to be lacking in this world.

Funny thing is, I didn’t get these morals or values from anyone in my family. Not my mother, not my father, and most certainly, not my step parents. I have absolutely nothing in common with my stepbrothers. For the most part, they’re egotistical, selfish, immature, and well… they’re kind of jerks. Who needs that? Nope.

I developed my own code as I grew up. As I made mistakes or failed, I learned lessons the hard way, on my own. Some values I received from my grandmothers. My paternal grandmother was a woman of faith who taught me about Jesus and the Bible at a very young age. I loved it. I found the time we spent reading the Bible together, I read it out loud to her because the printing was too small for her eyes, to be peaceful and reassuring. My maternal grandmother taught me about strength and perseverance. She taught me how to cook. Both grandmothers taught me to stand up for myself and, in their words, “don’t take shit from people.” They were sassy ladies. I probably get my sassiness from them as well.

No. Looking at my mother tonight brought me to a conclusion. A closure even. I don’t know this person, and she doesn’t know me. She’s never been that kind of mom you could call when you needed her. She’s never been that kind of mom that puts her (only) child(ren) first. She’s always been more concerned about her own needs, her own wants. It was proposed to me that perhaps my stepfather is too controlling. Well, yeah. he is controlling, sometimes an outright asshole but, I also know this. What my mother wants, my mother gets. My stepfather has always been a “Yes Dear” man. He’s not entirely to blame. My mother had a choice, and she chose to pretend I don’t exist. In the photo of my mother’s most recent lap dog, she’s a better dog mom than actual mom, I zoomed in on the shelf behind her. There were pictures of stepbrother one and his woman, next to it was a photo of stepbrother two and his wife. There were no other photos on that shelf. No, I’m sorry, their past dead dogs’ photos were there. But that was it. I didn’t make the shelf display cut. I simply don’t exist.

Last year, this would have sent me spiralling down the depression hole quicker than a squirrel up a tree with a cat after it. But tonight something in me clicked. I’m done grieving my father and my mother. It took some time, but I think I’m done. They’ve sucked up enough of my time and energy. No more.

I cut these ties.

I am just going to focus on building what I have with the love of my life. I’m going to enjoy some happiness for a change. As my paternal grandmother would have said, “Fuck ’em.” So sassy.

I feel remarkably stronger and lighter. My love is intact, my faith is stronger than ever. That’s all I need. We have overcome worse things in our lives, we’ll overcome this too.

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

S.

ARGH.

Stressed out womanWe were served one week ago with an eviction notice. For one week I have been unable to sleep more than three or four hours at a time. Unable to eat more than one small meal a day. I’ve had migraines. I’ve vomited, and I’m in a flare up. I’m having some pretty bad PTSD nightmares. My speech is slurred and I can’t stay out of the loo.

Thanks so much for this.

The vacancy rate in Halifax is 1.5%. There was just a piece published in the Chronicle Herald yesterday about how young people aren’t able to come to Halifax anymore because the rents are not only ridiculously high, but you’re lucky if you can even find housing.

So you tell me in what world two decent tenants are facing homelessness by the word of one person?

How can one person have the power to throw our lives into such upheaval? We had been nothing but kind and considerate since we moved in. If this individual didn’t like us, she had three months while we sublet, to change her mind about signing a lease with us. Yet she chose to.  She had ample opportunities to tell us if she had a problem with us, but she didn’t.

Every time I asked, (and I asked multiple times because I am not an asshole, and certainly didn’t want to disrupt anyone else) whether or not we disturbed her, or bothered her, we were told, “No, I never hear you guys.”

Any time she was rude to us, which was frequently, we took it on the chin and just went upstairs. Throughout ten months of incessant barking, we said nothing. Her girlfriend practically lived here, contributed nothing, but again, we said nothing. Why? Because we honestly liked these two people, we thought we were friends. But now I see we were just being taken advantage of.

Even though we did ALL the cleaning inside and outside (except lawn, that was the roommate’s only job), we said nothing because we wanted to live in a clean home whether she pitched an effort or not. We are not dirtbags.

The backyard is piled up with items that don’t belong to us. A bio composter of some kind, prior tenant. A wooden flower bed, prior tenant. Coffee table, roommate, stool, prior tenant, wagon, roommate. Pallets, roommate.  You get the drift.

We have spent the better part of 10 months living in a room together. The couple of times we attempted to use the living room (after we cleaned downstairs for hours) we were kicked out and ended up retreating to our bedroom.

We have felt disrespected THE ENTIRE time we have lived here. It’s not a good feeling. Again, we never involved the landlord because this was not a long term solution for us, and you DON’T INVOLVE LANDLORDS IN ROOMMATE DISPUTES in Halifax.

I’m going to have to schedule an appointment with my doctor because I’m having difficulty coping with all the stress this has brought on. I’m in menopause and I suffer from PTSD and Fibromyalgia, so that means I go from angry to crying in a flash. A hot flash. yuk yuk.

One thing I do to cope is clean, but this place is sparkling and I have run out of things to clean now.  I have begun packing, in case we are tossed out on to the street after our hearing.

Who needs this shit? Honestly.

I feel like I’ve been bullied my entire life, but none more than being a grown, disabled woman.  From constantly having to prove my disabilities, to narcissistic abuse from family and a few friends. I have taken so much shit from so many people over the years, that I have finally reached full. The shit runneth over.

I just want to lie on a beach with a book and forget all this ever happened. Including moving to Halifax.

To address our need for immediate housing, we have started a Go Fund Me to assist with moving costs, utility hookups, damage deposit etc. If you are able to donate, it would be greatly appreciated, if not, a simple share or prayer helps. Thank you so much for your kindness. I really appreciate my online friends and the blogging community.

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

S.

 

Image Credit

http://www.clker.com/clipart-634242.html

Facing Homelessness

Well, this has been one hell of a week let me tell you. In the last two weeks, our amicable roommate situation turned sour. We were are getting along just fine. Until the mange chihuahua.

Now, anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE DOGS. I love cats, birds, fish, rabbits, guinea pigs, pygmy goats, you get the picture. I love animals. The issue was that we were already allergic to the existing chihuahua that lives here, Annie. Annie barks incessantly, all day, every day. it’s something we’ve learned to live with simply because she was here before us. I also have a dog. A miniature dachshund named Lucy. Lucy is wire/long hair. I have to cut her hair regularly. She is, for the most part, hypoallergenic.

The roommate sends us a message one day on our shared group chat explaining that she will be adopting this dog. Another barking chihuahua with mange mind you, not housebroken or vaccinated from the Dominican Republic (because apparently, Halifax dogs aren’t good enough). We said no. She kept picking at us, demanding we “chat about it”, which was basically her railroading us into accepting this dog. And if we didn’t accept this dog, we were told that her girlfriend would gladly take over our lease if that helps. HOW WOULD THAT HELP? We are in a lease until November. Housing in the city of Halifax is absolutely DIRE because of rent hikes and the increase of Air BnB’s swallowing up all the good rental opportunities.

She wouldn’t listen to us. She kept pushing. we kept saying no. So the roommate thought it would be a fantastic idea to contact the landlord, tell them we were fighting with her, threatening her (???). The landlords’ response: EVICTION for ALL of us.

We have a hearing scheduled for July 20th, although the landlords want us out by June 28th, which they cannot do because they themselves have applied for a hearing. I have verified this with the appropriate authorities.

In what world can two good tenants, (we pay our rent on time, we keep the home and property immaculate), get evicted because of a lie told by one person? This person has been caught lying so frequently, that I’m thinking she must have some kind of disorder. All the times we asked if we bothered her, disturbed her, we were told: “No, I never hear you guys.” But then tells the landlord we were disruptive. Again.. ????? The only thing disruptive in this house is Annie, the chihuahua mix.

So now we’re caught up in a legal battle as well as trying to find housing. Did I mention how FEW apartments in Halifax allow dogs?

My wife has been under immense pressure at work and literally feels like she’s being pushed out of a job, now we’re being pushed out of our home because our Adult Baby of a roommate pitched a fit for not getting her way.

I cannot express the amount of stress this has placed on us. We don’t have the money to move, can’t find an apartment, we can’t eat, can’t sleep. I have fibromyalgia, (ME/CFS) severe osteoarthritis, and PTSD. This is pushing me over the edge with stress. Unnecessary stress. We need prayers.

In the meantime, I have started up a Go Fund Me to help with moving costs and a new place to live. If you are able to donate, it would be greatly appreciated. I don’t know what else to do at the moment.

https://www.gofundme.com/ckrtcr-immediate-housing-needed

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Be Kind to One Another.

S.

Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day. This day brings up a whole host of emotions.

My parents and I have no relationship. They never took the time to get to know me as a person, after they divorced when I was 12.

My father doesn’t believe I am ill. Instead, he believes I am merely lazy. Anyone who knows me, knows I am not lazy, but I do have physical limitations, that for whatever reason, my father chooses to ignore.

This post is for the man I call my “father”. The man that has bailed on me each and everytime I have needed him.

The man that belittled me so much as a teenager, I tried to take my own life at 18, and have suffered a lifetime of low self esteem, no self worth.

The man that upon walking into his workplace of 10 years for the first time, his co workers didn’t even know he had a daughter. They knew he had a (step) son, but no daughter.

The man that referred to me as “It” growing up.

The man that refused to spend ANY time with me, but took my stepbrother fishing the first opportunity he had, despite me begging my father to take me fishing for a decade.

The man that made me drive myself to the hospital during an asthma attack because he was too busy. Drinking.

The man that made me go for 3 days over Christmas one year unable to breath, eat dinner, didn’t care to open presents. I was told the hospital was closed, and he kept drinking.

The man who has forgotten my birthday on numerous occasions.

The man that treated me more like a burden than family.

The man that used to like to kick me in my butt and genitals when he was mad, after punching holes in my bedroom door.

The man that when I was being physically abused by an ex boyfriend, told me to call the police and wouldn’t come to get me out of there. I was almost choked to death that night.

The man who has sat back and watched me struggle and literally starve while he shops for motorcycles.

The man that upon telling him I had cervical cancer, simply changed the subject to talk about motorcycles.

The man that never grew up, and despite all the help he received from his own parents, never thought to pay that forward to his only biological child.

The man that laughed at me when I told him I wanted to go to University.

The man that has literally hurt me more than anyone on this earth.

The man that for whatever reason, I still adored, despite everything he has said and done to me.

The man who’s last words to me were, “I don’t want to hear about your illness, or see your face.” Because I was unable to keep up on payments on a decade old line of credit he co signed for me. Literally one of the ONLY things he’s ever done for me. The man’s stuff and his motorcycles have always been more important than me.

Today, going through my newsfeed, I see all these awesome dads, and the many good wishes bestowed upon them, and it makes me sad.

I’m glad there are great dads out there, I know they exist, I’ve seen them in action. This just hasn’t been my experience.

I bet if you asked my father about me, he wouldn’t know where to start because he doesn’t know me as a human.

The man I have completely cut ties with to stop the lifelong mental, physical and emotional abuse.

If you are blessed with a great father, hug him extra hard today for me.

Be kind to your children.

Happy Father’s Day.

S.

Stock photo courtesy of 123RF

Waiting

Pain changes who you are. It breaks you down into individual little scarred shards of who you once were.

At one time you were active. You have memories of running. You can still hear the sound in your mind of feet hitting the ground. Intense, fast paced, everything’s a blur around you because you’re in that zone of Zen. All that matters is your breathing as you cut the wind in front of you with your face. Ultimate freedom.

You remember these things, both fondly and sadly. You’re not that person anymore. You lie in a limbo of wait.

Waiting for symptoms to subside, waiting for medical treatment, waiting for a moment of normalcy. You wait for people who were once your friends to return a text, much less a phone call. Who has time for that anymore? Waiting for any type of job opportunity that you may be able to physically perform, and then waiting for the recovery after completing any opportunity you have been able to physically perform and complete.

You wait for family to maybe understand that you’re facing a lot of challenges and you need them, but sometimes they simply don’t listen. They don’t ask how you are, if you need help, or food, hell, sometimes they just cut you out completely.

Some people basically go through life without any love or support from family. Lord knows I’ve spent a good chunk of my life waiting for love from my family. It’s grandparents that often step in and show you that unconditional love. God bless the grandparents of this world. The sad part is that we don’t get enough time with them.

So much of your life is spent waiting it becomes the new normal. Waiting to eat because you can’t quite get up and prepare something yet because balance, mobility and dexterity is an issue. Waiting to perform a household chore because pain is a little too intense at the moment. People often confuse waiting with laziness. Huge misconception. Personally, I need breathers in between tasks, that’s just the way it is.

The next element of waiting comes in the form of coming to terms with life with chronic illness and pain. There’s a grieving period for every step. You grieve not being able to do the things you once could. You grieve your old life, job, loss of paychecks, loss of each individual person that you get close to that leaves your life because you’re ill, and let’s face it, not worth the bother.

Not worth a decent job opportunity where you don’t get fired every time you’re in a flare up. That makes you grieve some more .

Pain eventually makes you distance yourself from others. You don’t want to be a bother, a burden, and let’s be honest, most people have their own problems to be bothered dealing with yours. It’s a lonely life.

It’s funny the things you take for granted. A good support system, a good social circle, working, even paying bills. You take for granted having a car, mobility, independence, being able to just get up and go somewhere.

I’ve actually had people say things like, “you’re statuses and blogs are pathetic.” Or “you’re just pity seeking”, like it’s some kind of mortal sin to talk about it. So in addition to pain and loneliness, we’re not even supposed to talk about it, to seek understanding. That’s what we want. Just get it and stop telling me what I can and cannot say because frankly, my voice is all I’ve got left. My voice and some semblance of writing to maybe make it easier for someone else. Someone else who may feel that constant waiting, that grief, that loss, that pain, that loneliness.

This piece is for you.
There are others like us. An entire community of supportive strangers. People who do get it and understand.

Find some groups on Facebook, make some Twitter friends. It helps. If you’re a person of faith, lean into it. Pray often, read your scripture. If you have a different faith, immerse yourself in it. Stay supported. To build a bridge to mental and physical health we need supports. All bridges need support.

I hope today finds you well. Living life with passion, and feeling strong. And if not, that’s ok too. Nobody is 100% strong 100% of the time. I hope you live your life with gratitude for every lovely moment, for every bit of help and support you receive.

It’s hard to not get depressed from time to time living with chronic pain and illness, but just wait a bit more. Wait for that next thing to be grateful for.

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

S.

Photo credit:

https://imgnooz.com/wallpaper-326255 Visit imhnooz.com for more great images.

So You’re Crying A Lot, Feel Like You’re Losing Your Shit & Sweating Like a Construction Worker? Oh Snap. It’s Menopause.

menopause_illustration_libertyantoniasadler_metro
Illustration by Liberty Antonia Sadler

I’m in menopause. Full blown menopause. I’m 44 so it’s early onset from a prior medical incident following emergency surgery for Endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disease that not a lot of people know about or understand but lemme tell you, it affects A LOT of women. Roughly 10-20% of women in North America suffer from Endometriosis which affects everything menstrual cycles, mood swings, pain. So much pain. You see get these cysts that develop from hormone levels; environmental things like the foods we eat, or the chemicals we are exposed to as fetuses and young developing women. These cysts over time multiply and multiply. They sometimes rupture which, depending on the size and location of the cyst can result in not only toxic material flowing in to your body which can cause sepsis. It can result in many emergency room visits, and Ladies, don’t you dare think this isn’t ambulance worthy- it is. It will be the most excruciating thing you will ever experience next to childbirth. Truth, and I don’t have children, but fuck me- that looks mighty painful. These cysts then go on to form colonies of cysts that can fuse your organs together. My ENTIRE endocrine system is fused in these cysts. That means my ovaries, well I only had one partially working one anyway, my bladder, bowel and uterus are fused. I was unable to carry children. I got pregnant once and I had miscarriage. After an emergency surgery, as my body was in sepsis I was placed on a drug called Lupron which medically induced menopause. After that, I was prescribed Depo Provera for 6 months before getting the Mirena IUD which completely stopped my periods for 7 years. I started experiencing the premenopausal symptoms around age 39 then full blown Menopause this year. It’s been well over a year and a half since my last period.

I don’t have anyone to talk about this with. I mean, you don’t talk about menopause, it’s something old ladies get. Right? So we often suffer in silence with all these symptoms because, it’s embarassing. Why? I’m not sure. I don’t have a mom or a step mom to talk to, and I seem to be the first one of my friends going through this, that I know of anyway. While I am recovering from pneumonia (I’m so hopped up on meds and this relentless cough) I decided to write a blog post about this.

First thing you need to understand ladies: You’re NOT GOING CRAZY. It’s a fact of life and the end of a natural cycle in a woman’s life. Some of us will have it sooner than later, some of us will have it harder than others. It’s not gross. Periods were gross. I won’t get in to the gory details, men can’t handle this talk, and it’s my hope a few men will read this so they can understand their partners a little better.

Your hormones are battling it out for sheer dominance at every given moment of the day. Your emotions will become hijacked, your mind will race with thoughts of anger, frustration, sadness, hunger, remorse, guilt, fatigue. This can take place over the course of an hour. It’s kind of like developing Borderline Personality Disorder.

My food tastes have changed dramatically. I don’t crave the sugar and the salt like I once did. Because of other health issues, immune system disorders, CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) Fibromyalgia & Osteoarthritis) I eat a fairly clean diet. I reduced my animal proteins and increased plant proteins, I avoid gluten and dairy as much as I can. I eat as organic as I can, I don’t consume alcohol* so this combined with fairly regular low impact exercise I have kept my weight down but it’s not uncommon that women gain weight during this time.

The Crying. Oh God, the crying. Unless you’re a stern, or staunch woman, you will experience bouts of tears that appear out of nowhere. You will cry from anything ranging to past memories, to things you are grateful for. My friend bought me a book that I wanted – BOOM- crying. Someone letting you cut in a line when you’re in a hurry- BOOM- crying. An elderly person wins the big prize on The Price is Right- BOOM-crying. So help you God if they win BOTH showcases! It’s an emotional roller coaster. I recommend maybe a COSTCO membership just to save on Kleenex and chocolate.

WHY AM I ON FIRE? Is this what spontaneous human combustion feels like? I think this is what spontaneous human combustion feels like. I NEED TO GET THIS BLOODY SHIRT OFF!!!! All that needed to be bolded because this is how it will go through your mind when a hot flash kicks in. BUY HANDHELD FANS IN BULK. Those bitches break. Mine just broke this past week and I tell you what.. scream .. I need that fucking thing and they are APPARENTLY fucking seasonal so you can’t find one goddamn hand held and/or power fan in this Godless city. Sorry for the cursing. THAT’S gonna happen a lot more too. Thanks to the rage of a hundred angry, hungry, fighting dogs that has now set up pit in your head, frequent shows, all access, anyone can view for free! Be sure to include children because Lord are they little shits now. It’s not their fault. I blame the internet and handheld devices. It’s commercialism’s fault. They’ve fried your brain a bit as a parent and as developing youth because…. what’s on Facebook/Pinterest/ Twitter/YouTube/Netflix……?” It’s not your fault, society has changed us for the worse. We’re all just slightly bigger dicks for it.

Hot flashes will begin in your chest area and sweep up your neck and face until, unless you have a fan, you will literally pour water from your body. You’ll sweat more. It’s gross. I can’t often wear make up because of it. What’s the point without a fan your make up is no match for a hot flash. Oooh! Cosmetic companies: Create makeup for hot flash women. Wait, it would probably include some carcinogen and cause cancer. Fuck. Scrap that. Wear light layers and go with my bulk handheld fan recommendation. Get a small power fan and keep one next to where you sit in the daytime, in the evening time, and next to your bed. Drink LOTS of water. If you don’t you’ll get A LOT of headaches. It’s because of the hot flashes and all the sweating. A good way to tell if you’re dehydrated is the color of your pee. The darker it is, the more water you should pound. It should increasingly get lighter then clear. If it doesn’t, you may have an infection. (bladder, urinary tract, kidney) Go see a doctor for God sake what’s wrong with you?

There are some natural things out there you can take in supplement form you can find at any pharmacy or nutrition store. Black Cohosh, flax seed, Calcium, Vitamin D, Wild Yam, Ginseng, DHEA, Dong Quai, Soy (if you’re not allergic of course) Currently I have no access to these right now so I’m going on nothing.

You’ll want to keep a towel nearby to cover up the sopping wet mess you will constantly leave on your sheets and pillow cases. Trust me, lay that towel down on the wet spot and go to sleep because Girl, you’re tired and you a’int got time to wash sheets in the middle of the damn night what are you doing?? You’re just gonna be in the same boat tomorrow. But you will need to frequent up your sheet changing regime. Keep a change of clothes nearby and change them if you are wet, I think this could be why I got pneumonia.

It’s like going through puberty all over again I’ve noticed my anxiety has kicked up several notches. You’ll probably experience bouts of insomnia simply because you can’t shut your brain off. I also went through some adult acne. I think my voice is even deeper than it was. Keep to a healthy diet and exercise the way you want to, it can help and it’s just common sense. You may get some unexpected unflattering hair growth as well. Tweezers and good depilatory creams will become a must.

Your chances of having a child, or another child is done now. You may need to process this. Cry it out, that is how you process things. You have to allow yourself to feel things in order to move past it. This is true with any traumatic event we encounter. Think about it, cry about it, pray about it, have some inner dialogue about it, eat some dairy free ice cream and you’ll probably move on and feel better.

Your sex drive will probably decrease Our bodies use sex to procreate mainly so once the need to procreate ends you will probably feel the urge a little less. You may have to put in a little more effort with your partner during this time. That effort would include finding things to stimulate your desires, discussing things with them so they don’t think it’s them, which can leave them feeling a little neglected. We should always show love to our partners- when they deserve it. Those assholes.

You should experience some emotional growth as well as some confidence during this time With maturity comes an understanding that shit just is what it is. You can’t control or change everything. You are not Superwoman. You are not a unique snowflake. You don’t have to have the body of a 25 year old because, Surprise Bitch! You’re NOT 25. I for example, am just a broad. Just a broad getting through day by day through the Grace of God.

It’s not all bad. It can be pretty freeing to not give a fuck anymore.

I really hope this post has prepared you a little bit. Maybe you’ll learn what to expect and can prepare. Share this with your lady friends, share this with partners. Because Menopause is a family event. It will affect your loved ones, your friends, your work, your energy levels and it IS a big deal because of all these things.. I often wonder, if men experienced menopause would there be paid leaves and loads of information out there for them. Possibly a national holiday in honor of it. National Men’s Awareness Month. They can have March, no one likes March. Look how much research has gone into extending erections.

Why can’t we just talk about it?

*update: (June 2019) I have begun drinking again. Because fuck menopause, and a little alcohol seems to help with the hot flashes.

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

And take care of yourself.

Sam

The Blog Broad
This ol’ Broad..

Images

Menopause Your Personal Sauna https://metro.co.uk/2015/08/25/21-things-you-never-knew-about-the-menopause-5341203/

Profile picture taken by me.