The Power in Perimenopause – Part 2


This isn’t over. Me and this… menopause… perimenopause… just o’ pause.

I just went to the grocery store and, while standing over the pre-baked lemon-herbed chickens, I had this overwhelming urge to rip my Rock & Republic jeans off. Like right in the front of the chubby-cheeked children still in their church clothes begging their mom’s for peanut M&Ms. I didn’t care who would see my junk. My knees were sweating. My moles were sweating. My right toenail was sweating.

Before I got naked, I quickly traversed to the Ben n Jerry’s section and stuck my head in the cooler pretending to search for a tub of Chunky Monkey. Not sure I fooled anyone, no one takes sixteen minutes to search for ice cream do they?

And… just like that… it was over. I went about my shopping, loaded the groceries into my car, strapped the Kr8z into his puppy car seat, and hit the road. At the second stoplight I felt the flames fanning again. I pulled over and stripped down to my tank top and turned on the A/C despite the 30 degree temps outside.

I haven’t slept straight through the night for almost three weeks.

How many years does this last? For the love of God…

I want to thank everyone, beyond oodles, for all the amazing advice and sage wisdom they gave me on my last post.

I have to say though that I feel as if there’s something bigger going on here with this spontaneous combustion; something deeper.

Last week on Facebook someone told me that they consider their hot flashes to be “power surges.” I thought it was an interesting take, but didn’t delve further into it at the time. The next day I was talking with my dear friend Lissa about my work and how I feel as if I’m coming into my power.

And then it hit me.

While I am indeed feeling as if I’m coming into a power I’ve never really known, I’m not fully stepping into it yet. Rather I’m skirting around the edges of it. It’s sort of like cleaning the toilet right after you get out of the shower. I don’t know about you, but I clean the toilet with a lot less abandon when I’m freshly clean. Perhaps therein lies the problem – comparing my power to a dirty shitter. I dunno.

But that got me to thinking. Do I really need medication at all? Maybe Suzanne Somers can keep her yams. Maybe the flaxseed can sit on the shelf like all the other health food I’ve purchased over the years and never consumed. Maybe I don’t have to undress at the grocery store, or in my car, or at the fancy restaurant over homemade Blue Cheese chips. Maybe, just maybe, the key lies in owning the power that’s trying to surge through me.

But what does that mean, really? Owning your power? I’m definitely saying “no” more. I’m saying “no” to utter asshattery that I used to say yes to just to be congenial. I’m saying “no” to not trusting. I’m definitely saying “no” to Jersey Shore.

Seriously though, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what it really means to own your power, to step into it. What if hot flashes are just that – denial of the power trying to surge through us? It’s interesting to ponder, no? We’re traipsing into an unknown world as we reach this stage of life, there’s an erupting volcano within us, literally. How do we navigate, and what are the underlying emotions that come with this new journey? There’s fear there too, I know, I’ve even had to stop watching Backdraft.

5 replies
  1. Kim
    Kim says:

    Melanie. I haven’t reached the public hot flashes yet, but I must admit I can walk around in a tank top even though the temps are in the 60′s and people ask me. “Arn’t you cold?” HECK NO!!!

    I am not sure how to own this perimenopause power! My hormones are everywhere and I surely don’t know how to handle my own self when I start wailing at my teens for leaving a wrapper of some sorts on the floor.

    They think I’m crazy!

    am i?


    • Melanie Bates
      Melanie Bates says:


      That’s my issue I think, not sure what the power is or how to own it. But… yeah, no sweaters for me this year 🙂


  2. Janet
    Janet says:

    Peri-menopause at 40, menopause at 47, with every symptom in the book. Now 54, on bio-identical hormones coz sleep deprivation will kill you eventually, if not make you totally insane instead.

    Saliva test revealed fatigued adrenals/cortisol imbalance plus other hormones whacky. I’m also a highly sensitive/empath, so my earlier years of saying yes to everyone is to blame for wearing my body out like this (gotta blame som’n!). sucks

    good luck with getting it under control. And, yes, more personal power for sure, sticking up for myself and saying no no and hell no lots more often to things that have no life in them.

  3. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    The only way I can relate to this is – contractions during natural labor.
    They feel like a solid mass of heat and power.
    All I can do is breath and allow them to push through and against me.
    I have attended a few births. I’ve seen women who can surrender to this power and those who fight against it.
    The ones who fight suffer and end up needing drugs.
    The ones who labor naturally go deep inside themselves.
    That’s the confusing part about respecting power.
    When I am truly surrendered to it – there is no hope for the outcome. everything is immediate. no conscious thought. no words. no energy for anything but breath….breath…breath.
    Only on the other side, when the purpose of the force is in my arms, can I come out of the trance. There is absolutely nothing better than this feeling. Nothing. When it’s over, I know exactly what I am, and exactly what is important. I know that doubt is unnecessary and fear is a tool. And I love Andrew so much my chest swells to envelope him.
    I hope this is not inappropriate…to write about this in such a context. Birth is not the only time I have had this experience. Birth is a metaphor for many things. I felt it when I got married. When I got sober. When I got divorced. When I graduated from college.
    It is not exclusive to baby-making. 😉
    I hope to hear the other side of this story. I want to know what is on the other side of all the heat.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.