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.
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.