Menopause and Self-doubt

Standard

Since first grade, I’ve loved to write.  I began with stories for my dolls, moved to a column in my high school paper, and then published books for kids and adults.

In 2006, I began studying for an MFA in Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts.  I relished the work I did for this degree, from the critical essays to the picture books to the novel I completed as my final creative thesis.  I graduated on a cold January afternoon (Vermont knows cold!), warmed up and ready to take on the world with my newly honed skills.

Then WHAM!

I couldn’t write.  I didn’t write.  My mind spun with negative thoughts about my talent and my future as an author.  I hit a wall of self-doubt and discouragement.  For a year, I barely composed anything but emails and shopping lists.

Like the sky opening up after a morning of  gloom, my despondence lifted a year later.  Soon I was at the keyboard again, pounding away, working on a new novel.  That’s when I put it all together and figured out my year of self-doubt was brought on by the hormonal roller coaster of menopause.

I tell this story not for sympathy.  As I said, I’m now pounding the keys (not sure how great the words are, but I’m cranking them out).

I tell the story because  self-doubt is one of the symptoms of menopausal moodiness, and I wish I had known.  I don’t know how much that would have changed things, but knowledge, sometimes, can be a chunk of the menopausal battle.

So spread the word!

Photo:  Thanks go to Facebook  for the upbeat graphic.

Comments please!   Leave a thought, no matter how brief, below by clicking “comments.”

26 responses »

  1. I didn’t know that self-doubt was part of menopause. I have often gone through periods of self-doubt and wonder if it is always hormonal.

    • For me it was like clockwork. Began quickly and ended sort of the same way and tied in with other mood stuff, so I feel certain it was.

  2. I have been REALLY struggling with this for nearly a year. I moved back to my home state of Texas after living all across the country due my husbands career. He took early retirement and we moved to be near the kids and grandkids. Before I moved I worked at a job I enjoyed. I took lthe summer to settle in to the new home. It was my plan to find work in the fall. I have been frozen in doubt ever since and have not seriously put myself out there. I have always been a good worker and never have had a hard time finding work. Maybe realizing that all this could be menopausal will help me to give myself a break. I feel better just sharing this with you all.

    • Leslie – I moved away from Texas 28 years ago and have always wanted to go back. Are you happy with your move and glad that you are back there?

      • Yes we are thrilled to be back. We lived In the Dallas area for many years raised our kids here and it feels like we are coming home again. We moved to a community closer to our sons and their families so it’s new to us but somewhat familiar at the same time if that makes sense. If I could just get over this little self doubt hiccup!

    • Of course it’s always so hard to know what’s hormones and what’s not, but mine was just so odd (and going on at the same times as other symptoms were clicking in). And it was a kind of constant recording in my head, which always feels so hormonal.

      Good luck with finding something you enjoy or enjoying not working, if that’s an option.

      • Thanks Barb, I’m pretty sure it a mix of hormones and just a bit of lacking confidence. Working through it slowly.

  3. I know how much that MFA program meant to you. Besides the menopausal self doubt, I wonder if some of your stagnation was really “stewing”? You had all the MFA ingredients but they needed to stew together to meld. At any rate, you’ve come roaring back now! It’s wonderful how things work out!

    • Love the expression “stewing.” You don’t hear that as much anymore. Love the “roaring.” My agent is going to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair next week. We’re all crossing our fingers!

  4. The many faces of menopause. Will he ever get it figured out? It’s like walking through a minefield. Congrats on the MFA!

  5. This makes so much sense! I am deep in the throes of the pause, especially between 4 and 6 am! For the last year I feel like I have been standing still and only recently have suddenly started moving in a forward motion, and that feels great!

  6. I have had a really rough…and really long struggle with the hormonal imbalance of menopause. I had some major life changes that coincided with it and altogether I have been radically altered…vacilating between relief that I changed my life ( a divorce after 20 years, and a couple of re locations, and a new relationship ) and sheer night terror at times and profound anxiety. I have taken an excellent program for the anxiety/depression called “Attacking Anxiety & Depression”, which has truly saved me. I highly recommend it to anyone with either condition. So now I seem to be struggling with the self doubt mostly in the area of work, and social situations. The varied symptoms and issues with menopause are diverse and seem to be unending ~ it certainly has brought me to my knees…..

    • Thanks for your comment. My self-doubt sure came out of left-field. I was silly not to suspect the hormones of the Great Pause. Thanks for the program recommendation.

  7. I had Premature Ovarian Failure atvage 39
    Was a physical, emotional and psychological mess Losing weight, am already slender, food made me want to throw up Night sweats that would leavee soaking.Crying continuously
    Had a good teaching job but lacked my former creativity and sense of humour
    Went to a lovely young Egyptian Gyno.He prescribed HRT after all tests showed I was post menopausal
    After two weeks felt great No history of breast cancer in my family Am now 63 and still on same HRT
    Health is excellent skin smooth Bone density great Annual mammograms perfect
    Intend to stay on HRT forever!
    I live in Amman Jordan Middle East Excellent Gynos who donot see a problem withHRT
    All the best
    Elizabeth

Comment on this post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s