By Kendra Holliday | August 12, 2017
In February, I got blindsided by a mental breakdown.
In June, I almost killed myself.
What happened between Feb and June?
The meltdown in February made me think I was going insane. My mom has a long history of severe mental illness, and my daughter struggles with it, too, so I figured it was finally my time to succumb to it.
But why was it happening? What changed in my brain to set off this explosion of uncontrollable behavior?
I started keeping track of my severe symptoms.
I noticed it happened about once a month. Feb was acute. March was intense. April was mild. May was madness. June was the worst.
About once a month, I would freak the fuck out. I would explode like a volcano. I raged. I paced. I begged. I screamed. I spoke in tongues. It felt like going into labor.
I remember when my water broke with my daughter 17 years ago, I felt the same feeling of fight or flight. The birthing process was water rage – this was fire rage.
I saw stars. My psyche cracked open. I sobbed. The pain and beauty was too much.
All my life, I’ve been cold. I hated ice water, air conditioning. I’d bring sweaters or blankets to grocery stores, movie theaters, offices.
Now, I was SO FUCKING HOT. I was guzzling ice water. I was a wild animal.
The heat would boil up in my chest and erupt out of my crown.
My entire body felt electrified, throbbing, pulsing, crackling.
I had four psychotic episodes leading up to my planned suicide. I needed to get away from this. I needed it to end.
through the fog and confusion, I realized I was dealing with hormones.
Like most people, I had an intense puberty experience as a teenager. Pregnancy was a big fucking deal. And now I was entering menopause, which is like puberty all over again, but turned inside out.
HORMONES ARE REAL.
Now to be clear, my experience is unusual. Some people have no issues, some have a few hot flashes and irritability.
Due to my hysterectomy, sensitivity, and genetic makeup, I was experiencing severe symptoms.
Similar to this woman.
Mood swings, suicidal thoughts, irritability, insomnia, depression, anxiety, fatigue, bloating, weight gain, hot flashes that last for days, night sweats, chest pains and palpitations, brain fog… GRIEF.
The day after my near death experience, I went right to my doctor and DEMANDED bloodwork.
I wanted to know my hormone levels. I wanted to try medicine before death.
I couldn’t drive, so I had a friend take me. He also took me to the park, so I could lie under the trees.
In my mad state, all trees were beings to me, not objects. I felt connected to them. They pulsed and whispered to me.
Now I understand why women back in the day were treated for hysteria, or condemned as witches.
I could barely function.
That night, I hosted a whore hangout, and I had to lie on the floor for it. I begged a friend to bring a chilled bottle of champagne to pour over my naked body in the bathtub, which she did, much to my bright delight.
Which brings me to the next tricky piece of this puzzle…