To adapt a quote from one of my “heroines” Sophia Petrillo, picture it, Cumbernauld, 1999, Friday morning, but the problem is I can’t because I don’t remember it. The 15th May 1999 was day that changed my life! The whys and wherefores do not matter but all you need to know is someone somewhere decided to switch me off in the most dramatic way. At the time it felt a bit like an uphill struggle to get everything under control but what I now realise is that I was re learning, learning to cope with all sorts of related issues that had probably lain dormant for years. The simple fact is that had it not happened I would probably not be typing this today. Not that I would be dead, far from it, the change is my life made me discover new skills, interests and most importantly friends. Now before I go any further I want to say another thank to my family. Without them I would never have survived those first few days, they took over, kept the wolf from the door and made sure that the medication was ”appropriate”! They are and always will be a huge part of Team G!
In one of the therapy groups that I went to, way back then, I met two women. Both from professional backgrounds who had gone through something every similar to me. Within about two or three sessions we found ourselves sitting next to each other and been shushed constantly by the group leader, I guess we had found one of those connections where you just know that this person knows exactly how I am feeling. We have always kept in touch by email, Christmas card and the odd Skype but when H returned to Scotland from New Zealand we decided that perhaps it would be fun to get together fifteen years on. Plans were made and so last Friday we made our way to a gorgeous house on the outskirts of Glasgow. The moment we saw each other the slight apprehension that we all felt disappeared, there were floods of tears, so many hugs, more tears and sobs then an outbreak of giggles. We were rescued by the first of many glasses of Prosecco and after we all calmed down we decided to start the night the way we used to start the therapy sessions. My name is Geraldine and I am feeling happy tonight! This caused a huge snort from L with the quip ”lucky old Happy”. That was the tone for the rest of the night and well into the next morning. Yes, we did the whole story of the last 15 years thing and there were more tears but the important thing was we all realised that we had survived everything life had chucked at us. When I broke it to the ladies that I was in early stages of menopause they just gave me a huge hug and started to tell me their stories, most of which I cannot repeat as you may be reading this before the watershed.
After sitting out in the garden till the wee small hours, talking, playing silly games, cooking food over an open fire, quaffing many gins and other healing waters, it was time to go home. The hugs were very long and special because I doubt very much if I will ever see these two very special women again. We were in our lives when we needed to be and came together again because we all had to see how far we have come. We needed to realise that the battle had been worth it and the next part is no where near as scary as we think.
I spent the rest of the weekend recovering from my hangover at Mum and Dad’s house, it just seemed the right place to chill. So much has been going in my head especially with relation to coping with menopause that I find it hard to sit on my own for too long, so when I got back to Glasgow on Sunday I went out for a walk. I was on my way back when a song came on my IPod. It was Kenny Rogers version of I just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In and it brought back a memory of something someone said to me. To say that a lightbulb went over my head was an understatement, I think I lit up the whole of the West End. ”Just think of all the things you will be able to do and not have to worry …. as long as you look after yourself you will be fine”. I have been getting myself into state about coping with something that will happen whether I want it to or not. So a bit like 15 years ago, it is time for another big change and coping with this one should be a breeze compared to May 1999.
So good memories of the last fifteen years to the fore and the others … what others?
Time to stop counting, start coping and making lots of new memories!