Thursday, 1 May 2008

The Hormone

Said in the voice of Frankie Howard in Up Pompei – remember when he used to say 'The Prologue!' . . .sigh . . .showing my age I guess!

And so . . The Hormone. A little demon from within. A tiny little inhabitant in our bodies busily proving on a daily basis and throughout our lives that size doesn't matter when you are intent on wreaking havoc..

When we are young our hormones live in apparent dormant calm allowing us to get on with the tricky business of 'growing up'. Although I suspect the tricksy little hormones will be in there somewhere stirring up the terrible two's perhaps . . just practising for the turmoil that they will create later on. Then, just as we are heading into an all important time of our lives – exams – the whole of our future hanging the balance . . .POW . . . zippy little hormones nip in and turn our normal young lives into teenage hell. As if growing up isn't difficult enough nippy zippy hormones decide to bring horrible acute and overpowering awareness of the opposite (whispers) sex into the equation. And they (the opposite s-e-x) are suddenly the most important thing in our lives. Just when we should be thinking about Maths and English and History suddenly Chemistry and Biology become the most important thing on agenda and not the type that you will be examined on either – well not by the school anyway. Ah but not content with turning our lives upside down the hormones also cause our skin to erupt horribly, just at the time when we need to look our best., to be attractive to the opposite . . s*e*x. All hell breaks loose. We develop an unjustified (well mostly unjustified) hate for our long suffering parents, just when we need their support most. Our bodies change and sprout all over the place and our moods go up and down faster than a speed lift. And as if it wasn't enough with the hair and the new body odour and the spots and the turmoil us women get to have periods every month as well. Oh thank you oh higher one for that!

So somehow we stagger through the confusing teenage years, just another phase perhaps, but the hormones are awake now and they aren't going to let go. Oh no for us women every month is a roller coaster ride of emotions over which we have no control. We see-saw from happy and calm and liking ourselves for maybe one day of the month to out and out hatred of our bodies for the rest of it. Overnight we loathe everything about ourselves, we hate the way we look, dress, walk, talk, think, speak, breathe. Our bodies retain water and bloat up, we feel fat and revolting and as if to mock us we are hungry all the time and crave chocolate and just want to eat and eat and eat . . .which makes us bloat and hate ourselves all the more . . .arrgghh. And then the men in our lives don't understand why we are so snappy and vile. Well why the hell should they, we don't understand either and do they bring us the very chocolates we crave and don't want – of course not . . . .And then there is the pain and the mess of periods . . .warning to you men – don't cuddle us when we feel like this – a poke in the eye often offends . . .'but why aren't you cuddling us, don't you find us attractive any more Wailey Wailey. . . If I have to put up with this the least you could do is be supportive . . don't come near me, I know what you want . . . What do you mean you will love me however I look you're just being condescending I know I'm fat and ugly. . . But darling big is beautiful . . . MEN!!!! Honestly you just don't know what you want do you? Snarl! AND the house is a mess WAAAAAH.

So we lurch from month to month to year to year battling each mood change until maybe we find we are pregnant. If we are lucky that is, not everyone who wants to be can be. However the rollercoaster takes on new dips and turns, highs and lows. Morning sickness, bizarre cravings (cheese marmalade and onion toasties) and apathy and new moods we didn't know existed. Tiredness beyond belief, a bladder that develops a mind and size of its own, a body that is no longer yours. We also go through the blooming months and life is good and the backache and constant battle with gravity through to the torture of those last couple of weeks to childbirth and crashing hormones. Postnatal depression for some and a baby to cope with as well. Ghastly, unrepeatable, never again? Obviously not - because many of us do willingly go through it more than once and I, even after two children, confess I can't remember that much about being pregnant. The hormone again – it has mind block powers . . .sneaky little . . .what was I saying?

So we travel through life lurching around the minefield of hormones without a map – even Sat Nav can't help here and we grow older and maybe even wiser and more reasonable and then the menopause creeps in . . . good grief just when you thought you had got it all worked out. Hot flushes – save a fortune on the heating, mood swings, don't even TRY to keep up, black thoughts, feelings of doom – wake up on an indrawn breath of near panic and weight gain again . . . what is it with weight and hormones and bit by bit everything starts to wrinkle and fade and for those of us with daughters it all happens just as they are blooming into gorgeous young women . . .ptoooooey – how UNFAIR is that . . .And we still find young men attractive . . . .eeeeeeek.

Ah hah . . . but after years and years of being ruled by the little demon hormones . . . . . .I actually 'get it' now. The physical things I can ride out and the mental things I can grab hold of and contain . . . so you see you little bergers you don't rule supreme anymore . . .ho ho ho little hormones of mine. I know I still have a monthly cycle of sorts, but I 'get' it and it will no longer 'get' me. I WILL allow you your mind block tricks though so that when I look back over my life, which I know in the deep dark recesses of mind that I have lived in turmoil, I will see and remember a life that has been pretty berludy wonderful to date and I shall, every day, look forward to each rising sun . . . . . . . . . . once I have conquered the daily indrawn breath of panic that is!

16 comments:

Dave said...

That's better - the old WW scribbler style is back !!
Thinks - if the saying 'when God created Man she was only joking !!..' is true, then what was she thinking when she gave women such things as hormones, or was is a sick way of getting at men ??? (if so it sure worked )

Milla said...

Of Good God, so much to look forward to! Am I cheered up by this? No! Terrified!

Preseli Mags said...

Oh thnk goodness it's not just me! I'm having a pig of a day today - I feel hugely fat, bloated and grumpy. I know it's all hormonal, but that doesn't make it any better. Today I want to wear a tent and cover all the mirrors. Great blog - you put all so well.

Elizabethd said...

Yes, indeed, being one who has been there done that, I do so agree with alll you say!
And yet, who wants to get older?

Faith said...

Mmmm I like the idea of cheese onion and whatever it was toasties! Great blog!

LittleBrownDog said...

And here am I at "that time" of the month, sitting slumped over my laptop amid a sea of chocolate wrappers feeling bloated and lumpy... Know JUST what you're talking about headmistress... Although I do have a sneaking suspicion that those teenage manifestions (skin, BO, period pains) are just nature's way of keeping us all on the straight and narrow.

Excellent blog.

DJ Kirkby said...

Oh what a fabulous post! This is just the best dialogue I have ever read on the subject. Loved it.

KittyB said...

Oh, nicely put, well said, ha! just don't get me started on hormones - bane of my berludy life...

Exmoorjane said...

Ditto to Kitty, let's NOT talk about hormones....says she quietly stuffing the packet of chocolate coffee beans back in the drawer.

Himalayan Blue said...

Ditto me too! And what is it with the hormone that, at certain times of the month, keeps you awake at night .... why? What is the point of that?! Sighs and goes off to make peace with the hormone demanding chocolate ....

DJ Kirkby said...

Please can you email me the HTML for the Purple Coo widget?

Around My Kitchen Table said...

You really must look at this! It just about says it all about "the time of the month".

www.jokesaboutwomen.net/actual-letter-maxi-pads.html

Inthemud said...

So true!! Excellent blog WW!
Very witty, but tinged with serious reality.

Cait O'Connor said...

I love life now without PMT, I used to get that big time. Mind you I still crave chocolate every day, around 4 pm usually.

CAMILLA said...

Life with PMT years ago was absolutely awful, I became a completely different person, not a nice one at that, ooh, all those hormoney thingys taking over my body.

Mad about choc, usually every evening late into the night, and cookies with it too.

A brilliant post Westerwitch.

Camilla.xx

HER ON THE HILL said...

Gawd - I've got THREE daughters to be depressed by!!

Great post WW - I have a fascination with hormones, actually, and how such tiny, oft overlooked things, can wreak such havoc. Just a few not doing what they're meant to be doing where and when they're meant to be doing it and all hell breaks loose...In another life, I would have been an endicronologist. It's a fascinating and somewhat under-researched area of medicine.

But as Germaine Greer once said, it was a terrific relief to reach the sort of age where she no longer felt she had to be attractive to men. I can really understand that - but a bummer, as you say, when we still find young men attractive!!