'The Change' interfering with WS/gardening *sigh*

irisheyes66(6A)June 7, 2010

I apologize if this is too personal a topic for this forum...but I was hoping to get some feedback from any of you ladies who may be/have been in the same situation. I know I'm not exactly the most active member on GW, but I lurk here several times a day and feel there is so much wisdom in this group of gals.

I am a relative newbie to WS...but I have the fever, bad-bad-bad :-) I never thought I could find a pursuit (gardening in general, but especially WS) that fills me with such joy and peace. I've had a few rough years health-wise, so this has definitely been a welcome respite. I started menopause 2 years ago (I am 43), and it's been a bumpy ride for sure!

I thought the worst of it was behind me...the symptoms had become manageable, for the most part...but lately they have re-appeared, worse than ever (I've researched hormone replacement therapy, but due to other health issues, that is not an option for me). I look outside at my WS babies, languishing in their jugs, and I feel such a lack of interest and motivation *sigh* Of course, "the change" (lol, that's what my Grandma used to call it) affects other areas of my life...but not being able to enjoy WS as I used to is really getting me down. To make matters worse, my (21 y.o.) daughter and I are in the midst of a horrible falling out, so that is clouding my vision at the moment.

So...how do those of you "of a certain age" (arrrgh, when my doctor said that to me I wanted to slap him!) cope with the loss of energy and enthusiasm for hobbies and activities you love? I am fighting the "blahs" with all my might--I even caved and started taking an anti-anxiety med--but fear I may be losing the battle.

One thing I will say...reading the posts here always makes me feel better *smile*

Thanks for listening,

Susan in Kansas

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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi Susan, sounds like you are going through a difficult spell. As with most things in life, why should anything be simple? :-) It's never easy to separate what is effecting us when there is usually more than one thing going on at a time. I have three grown children and understand how heart wrenching a problem with any of them is. You have my sympathy! Nothing upsets my apple cart more than an issue with the kids.

If there is anything that you can do to resolve the issue with your daughter, that would be where I would focus my energy. I know that is not completely in your control, but however you got where you are at, there is always something positive you can do from your end of things. Even if it is only coming to terms with the situation for yourself. Finding a way to let your child know that you love them no matter what and will always be there for them.

If I could reassure you at all, and I know that it is hard to look beyond the present situation, but my children are older than yours and there is life on the other side of 21. The late teens and early twenties are very intense and emotional. So many life decisions being made, some good, some not so good. It can be a painful, worrying time for a parent.

Regardless of what has happened or why it has happened, whether it is partly your fault or your child's fault, it doesn't matter. You can go forward from here, from this very minute, without guilt or anxiety or fear, by simply looking at your self and thinking through what you can DO about it. There is always something positive you can do. Once you figure out what that is, and you do it, then you can get through it. You've done all you can do, you see what more you can do over time and you commit yourself to doing that and that's all you can do. I think trying to go at it from that point, gets you moving again. Even if it ends up you don't know what to do, that in itself is a starting point. A spouse, a good friend, a relative, someone who knows your situation and might be able to offer some ideas for you to consider.

Gardening is what has supported me through many ups and downs. I get involved in a project out there, I plant something and I want to head out every morning and see how it is doing, has it grown, does it need water, is it blooming yet? Once I get out there, one thing leads to another and I get lost and forget my problems for awhile. It's a relief, it's good exercise, it's a great distraction.

As far as hormones, and medications and anxiety and depression go, there is very little that will help you feel better faster, in addition to figuring out what to do about your problems, than physical exercise. It's a great time of year to have as many options as possible to exercise and you will feel better the more you push yourself to keep it up.

I did not go the hormone replacement route, so I have no experience to share about that. I am vaguely aware that there may be some 'natural' alternatives and if I were thinking of taking something, I would probably start there. If you have a naturopath that you know, or someone you know sees, maybe they could help you find a way to have a positive effect on your hormonal balance without some of the side effects or risks of hormone replacement?

Susan, this too shall pass. Hang in there! :-)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 11:26AM
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Susan, if you feel that the meds are not working like you want them to and are not making you feel like yourself, then speak to your doctor and let him know that they are not working for you, and you would like to try something else for your anxiety. There are lots of different meds out there and they affect each person differently......a change of meds may make all the difference.

As far as the symptoms of menopause, if you don't want to go the chemical route, then often a change of diet can help with the hot flashes etc. I found that certain foods affected me and definitely made them worse...like sugar and meat and white bread.
I chose to cut out white flour, meat, dairy, sugar and salt from my diet. sounds bland but it is surprising how you learn to adapt and really enjoy eating the foods that you can. I ate a lot of raw vegetables....salads were my main food....not flimsy salads but raw baby spinach with lots of broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, carrots, etc....a really jam packed salad with a salad dressing of lemon juice, evoo, and seasonings (not salt!! :)) I also cut out a lot of pre-packaged food with all the additives etc.....made my own soups with no preservative/chemical laden soup bases, just homemade stock with fresh vegetables.
Sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't if you make it your lifestyle. I know it was really worth it for me. I never felt better! Hot flashes....gone, headaches..gone, insomnia...gone. After a couple of years I began to incorporate fish and chicken into my diet and now I do eat a lot more things than I used to. If I eat a lot of the 'wrong' things (for me) then I pay for it, so I do try to eat as healthy as possible (again, for me)
Something else that is key, is trying to keep as stress free as possible....nowadays that is difficult for a lot of us. Life is busy busy busy! :) Take time for you to look after yourself. It is SO important. Stress can make you VERY sick. I have grown kids and 7 grandchildren (two, ages 9 and 14, live with me)so trust me I do know how stressful life can get.

I have this quote in my journal and I love it:
"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may be, for I have also learned from experience that the greater part or our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances." -Martha Washington-

I really hope that you feel better very soon. It is tough to be on the outs with one of our children---I have two and am usually making one or the other mad-LOL

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 10:08PM
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I went through menopause pretty easily, so that's my caveat here - my suggestions might come in the "easy for you to say" category, because I haven't had the same troubles as you. So I will say first that I am sorry to hear of your difficulties, as I'm sure they cannot be fun.

Short of getting on one kind of medication or another - hormone replacement, anti-depressant (to get rid of that non-motivated feeling), you may just want to try making one foot go out in front of the other even when you don't want to. I find there are certain things - gardening sometimes - that, when I look at them, are overwhelming amounts of work, which makes me want to not even get started. I literally have to tell myself repeatedly I'm not going to get it all done in a day (week/year/lifetime) - and what would I do if I did? Is that possibly part of what's keeping you from your garden? I've just moved to a new place, we are in the 85-95 degree heat now - I've convinced myself planting one thing, trimming one bush (small - or part of a large one), pulling one handful of weeds every day is enough.

Another thing might be to get up very early in the morning, before any family members, and garden then. Besides beating the heat (can't garden after 10 a.m. here until very late in the day), it's a very peaceful time.

Another possibility would be to create a special garden - for me, it's a memorial garden for those I've loved and lost - to motivate you. How about one for that daughter? What flowers remind you of her, both good and bad? When she was little? Now that she is full grown? I agree with Prairiemoon, regardless of what has happened in the past, do try to mend fences if you can - I have known people who cannot and suffer terribly.

This is not at all too personal a topic - it's why we have a "Conversations" section. All the best to you, Susan, and do let us know how it all works out.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 9:39PM
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There's not much that I can add to the wonderful things that have already been said. I haven't gotten to the hot flash/mood swings stage yet, but I DO have experience with depression (I live with a panic disorder) and have developed a strategy for that unmotivated feeling; baby steps.
It probably feels very overwhelming to look at all of those WS seedlings that need planting out, which could only increase a lack of desire to get it done. So perhaps you could approach it with the specific intention of just getting ONE done. One isn't really that big a deal, you should be back in the house and resting in a matter of minutes, right? And when that's finished, maybe a couple of minutes to throw a second one in the ground, maybe not, you're free to stop at any time YOU choose.
Even if you stop at just ONE, you've accomplished more than you would otherwise have; and if you end up doing more than you had planned for that day, you definitely deserve a reward of cookies or ice cream.

This method drives a lot of those around me absolutely crazy. The prevailing sentiment is, "Why not just do it and get it over with?" But it works for ME, which ultimately is all that matters. If I had to deal with the "get it all done NOW" mentality, I wouldn't get anything done at all.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 2:20PM
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glad2garden(5, Chicopee, Mass)

I'm 57 and I think I'm just about done with menopause, but I still get hot flashes when I get upset, and that happens a lot! All I have to do is THINK about something sad or upsetting and here comes the red cheeks and ears, and steam rising!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 1:23PM
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ontheteam(5a-6 (S.Eastern, MA))

Hey 36 here on Zoloft and an estrogen patch. Never to young eh?

I had to fight like hell to find a doc that could appreicate that I just DID NOT want to feel that way.. unmotivated,tired irritable and HOT. night sweats...and then FREEZING cold when the sweat was gone.

Soo Keep trying. maybe a new doc can help. the patch estrogen is a very small dose and worn on the abdomen. it greatly reduces the risks. Adding SEA salt and reducing processed salt helps.. as does keeping the white flour to a minimum. ... YMMV.
But you are not alone you have my deep sympathy.

I am down and unmotivated most days.. since my grand dad died in late may. I am on the one bucket of weeds 1/4th the plants watered 1/8 the laundry folded ..has to be good enough ..its all I can do.
So you are not alone and i think you can find away that gets you past this hump.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 10:51AM
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Hi, just read this thread and had to jump in!
First of all, Susan in Kansas, I hope all is going well with you; I had a relatively easy "change", but am still dealing with the "kids" issue, in one form or another.
Secondly I've been a member of wintersowing forum for about a year now, and never opened the conversations link-DUH!
And last, I feel like printing this whole thread out, and posting it beside the computer-it was very beautiful, and VERY self affirming for me. I sometimes feel like I'm surrounded by people whose main goal in life is to force me to abide by their negativity, self pity and horrendous envy. Hey, tough luck for them, because for me, there is always a way, always some hope,and always a sense of "give it a while, it always gets better!! This thread said all of that to me. Thanks!!! Shirley!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 7:34PM
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I didn't start the change until age 51, so many start younger now.

It sounds like you need anti-anxiety/anti-depressant meds. Those are tricky finding a combo that will work for you. I resisted hormones, and a few years later, they were taking women off of them.

I had female problems concurrently with the change. That's what made it rougher for me. The hot flashes didn't happen too many times a day. If you've suffered through anxiety attacks or panic attacks, hot flashes are nothing, just uncomfortable. IMO

If you get stabilized, the relationship with your daughter may repair itself through renewed communication and your mood. Hard to advise on that when I don't know the dynamics of your previous relationship with her, and if you don't feel like going there here, don't. We don't have to know.

Just know that my heart goes out to you and will be happy for you to come out on the other side of this.

There was a thread in the regular ws forum about this last winter.

Here is a link that might be useful: Too glum to WS

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 5:55PM
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