Menopause, or Kate on pause?

Quite possibly both. I never really wished to hear about how dire and painful menopause was when I was younger. It seemed like it was a life time away for me. I still don’t quite know what happens, other than sweats, hot flushes and erratic periods. Nor do I want to know.

I can tell you, however that it has begun for me. Been in the perimenopause stage for a good two years now. My periods are not reliable, range in length and severity and my crying episodes are like I have been invaded by some Indonesian woman in love. I have never cried as much in my entire life as I have the last two years. I certainly seem to have no control over my emotions any more.

As usual, I am deeply ashamed to be like this. I am acutely aware of how I come across to the late teen and 20-something males at work. Part of me wants to scream, ‘Hey! I am really not like this. Honest!’. But I know it will fall on deaf ears and blind eyes.

Physically, I am blitzing this. I keep training, to ward off the aches and pains that come if I stop training. I have the odd white hair on my chin. I have fully embraced the grey hair. I love being hot and sweaty, so I don’t mind the sudden body heat rise.

It is the emotional rollercoaster I was not prepared for. Having always come across as a flat liner, boringly solid person, my new moody personality is a shock to my system. Anger rises quickly, I cry a lot and I seem to have a dark cloud around me constantly.

Time to inject Dede… Ciao.

 

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People’s closets

There is something fascinating with what people hide in their closets. I am in admiration for those who hide nothing, yet there is that mystery in discovering what precious sadnesses peoole stash away. I am talking metaphoric, spiritual, soulful closets. While ancient sheds are fun to poke around in, modern closets filled with sex objects, dirt and taboo secrets are scary.

The quiet person in the corner of a party, hiding from the glare of shining social butterflies, usually hold inner treasures I want to be a part of. Mind you, said butterflies also have their closets filled to the brim, and they can be interesting to look at, but I want to compare notes with the dark moth. I find things I am open about are the sorts of things butterflies quickly stuff into their closets. I get impatient with such folk. I also don’t want to be looked down upon for being open about what is shameful for them.

I guard my dark dungeon of a closet with an iron lock that would keep anyone away. Plus, I have a pet spider keeping watch. Anyone who can pat my spider calmly and fish for a master gets to look inside. Not that anyone has wanted to. I am not even keen to look into my own contents. One day I might be inclined to do so; with the same light hearted feel I get in the aforementioned ancient shed.

But other people hold items I seek to look upon and marvel at. Some write, some sing, some collect dead beetles, others have an ear wax sculpture and a few just stare at clouds. There are deeply sadistic, masochistic type contents too, but a bit of resassurance helps to have these things dusted off for view. In doing this, I learn that my closet isn’t so horrid or shame worthy after all. Probably more boring, I suppose.

Everyone has their public veneer. Only some are gaseous balls that shine with nuclear power. There is way too much fool’s gold shimmering with faux brassiness. The dimmed light bulb makes enough pretense to give some indication of their dark to light ratio. And subdued lighting suits me best.

Hello Depression, my old friend!

Like so many people who rarely admit it, I live in a cloud of depression. My mind is wired to naturally be what is understood to be ‘depressed’. It is a state of being that is medicated, urged away, escaped and to be rid of; forever, hopefully. Our culture does not deem it normal to live with one’s depression. At best, it must be managed, as it is a pliable thing one can shape.

The last 4 years have made me understand that I simply must try to find ways to integrate my depression into my life and my soul so that it is honoured and made to be productive. I am quite tired of trying to rid myself of this depression. It is like a dark skinned Sri Lankan trying to will away his/her dark skin. The solution is so simple – see dark skin as human and beautiful. Why can’t depression have a place alongside horsey, over the top Instagram happiness?

There are glorious aspects to depression. It causes me to be careful of my health, my soul and my work. Taking care is a good quality, right?!

I get to see inside fellow depressives and their fragile souls. A person’s vulnerability is their most precious gift. It requires trust and an interchange of tenderness. Not every one is that privileged.

Depression has been the creative force behind a great many artists and their works. J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series, Kurt Cobain spoke for almost an entire generation and Virginia Woolfe got us wanting a room of our own.

As I am in no way classically talented, or able to generate a market for the fruits of my depression, I need to find my own ways to weave my depression into who I am. I have wasted so much time, money and energy trying to eradicate my depression. It has been worse than futile; it has near destroyed me.

How does one do that? In my case, by taking inspiration from other cultures and finding out how depression gets legitimate air time in sanctioned ways. Russian men drink their depression into vodka sessions, Singaporeans go for comfort heritage foods, Malays cook their blues, Indonesians devote themselves to prayer and the British find solace in wry satire. Hindus have a pantheon of human like gods who get angry, feel joy and stuff up. Buddhists see any state of the soul as merely steps to enlightenment! It is all part of the journey.

So, why do we have this industry devoted to pulling us out of depression, keeping depression away and making us permanent residents of the state of happiness? I suppose this unnatural goal is much like the skin whitening, religious purity, diet and beauty industries. Constant reaching for an ideal that is imagined and largely unachievable for most of the population. It is a money spinner for many.

I have tried everything to numb, escape, deny, and kill my depression. In effect, I have really just done those things to a large part of myself. If I did these things to another human, I’d be up on charges. Many of them. To atone for my crimes against myself, I have decided to do self service; you know, like community service. When I am not at work, I am doing whatever I can to be self kind, self nurturing and allowing my depression to talk to me.

My depresssion loves to talk to me. It has so much to say. I guess it will talk for a while, because it had been voiceless for so long. It will get tired and need to rest. If it needs to sing, I’ll let it choose the music. If it needs to cry, I provide the sad movies. It takes so much less energy to let it be, when I can.

If I am fortunate, I might find a productive use for the depression. To put it to work would be fabulous.

I love more than others love back.

Some feel that autistic folk do not show emotion, cannot feel deeply or are unable to express love. I disagree. I know that when I love someone, or something, my whole being goes into that feeling. Sadly, what others see and experience does not match what is commonly expected as ‘love’. My kind of love ends up being wrong, incomplete, obsessive, unwanted or laughed at. I get told no one asked for my love, so I should just stop giving it, or accept it will be dropped like rubbish.

 

Kind mental health professionals tell me to divert my love to where it will be appreciated. I am running out of options here! After a life time of my love not wanted, I am no longer sure of where it might be safe to express it.

I have been willing to do pretty much anything for those I love. All I really wish for is an appreciative person, group etc, to welcome my brand of love. I can assure you it might be quirky and lop sided love, but it is wholesome, plentiful and well intentioned.

I love my work place SO much more than it loves me. I am keen to upskill, practice, work for lower wages, develop myself, use all my energy to make it a more progressive, successful business. It isn’t wanted or valued. At all.

I love Singapore and Asia with every cell in my body, but I have never found a way to make these places home. I had to leave Singapore and Indonesia because their governments had rules I could not match.

Unless someone or some group has a need for someone, they are generally not wanted. I may be wrong in that line of thinking, but I am certain most people work from this logic. That means I am not welcomed, no matter how big my love and my determination to apply myself out of that love.

I’d gladly do community and civic work in Singapore, contribute to its rich culture, take on customs and ethos in line with what is required of a Singaporean, but that means nothing without $2.5 million US to invest, OR being cheap labour to benefit a local company and accept revolting working conditions.

I have stopped loving for now, for I have no place to allow my love to flourish. I do live in hope, that one single day, someone might just say, ‘Hey, that love is AWESOME! Can I share it with you?’.

Goals for 2018/2019

* I must spend more time writing. It is the only viable outlet I have.

* Cut down on perfume. Hmm. We’ll see how that pans out.

* Keep a slightly tighter reign on my gluten free and dairy free food intake. I am sure it is contributing to hay fever attacks.

* Get to 2x my body weight deadlifts, do 5 full form pull ups in a row, bench 65kg for 5 reps, squat 100kg for 5 reps at parallel.

* Find more like minded souls.