This Is Us

Holding the Phases: On Moons, Moods, and (Peri)Menopause

Maybe menopause is our body’s way of remembering who we used to be

Lynn Shattuck
Human Parts
Published in
6 min readMar 8, 2021

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Photo: Sean Payne/Flickr

Waning gibbous: the moon phase between full moon and third-quarter moon. A diminishment of light.

The worst part of perimenopause is the rage.

It starts as a slight edge, a bite that creeps into my voice. An irritated tone, a generalized impatience with my kids. I check the app on my phone with the little pink flower on it. Sure enough, it’s somewhere between 10 and 12 days until my next period is due.

I trade jokey texts with friends about my desire to build a PMS pod. A modern-day version of the red tent — where hormonal women can huddle to await menstruation, removed from society, free from the pestering of children and men. A soothing oasis, stocked with Netflix, sweet and salty snacks, and the softest of sweatpants.

After the rage comes a few days of gray-tinted depression. Weeping and lethargy ensue.

I joke, but it’s not very funny. Some months, the rage roars for days, snowballing and ceaseless, until I can barely stand myself. Those months, I beg for the blood, for the release, for the slow slide back to whoever I am beneath the jolting hormones.

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Lynn Shattuck
Human Parts

Writer on sibling loss, grief, parenting, wellness and mental health. Voracious reader. https://linktr.ee/LynnShattuck