Hysteria: A disorder particular to women and caused by a wandering womb.
Yes, a “wandering womb.” I love that image, for which we can thank some revered men of ancient Greece, notably Hippocrates, but also Plato, who, being a man, and a mathematician, and also a philosopher, apparently considered himself an expert:
In the middle of the flanks of women lies the womb, a female viscus, closely resembling an animal; for it is moved of itself hither and thither in the flanks, also upwards in a direct line to below the cartilage of the thorax, and also obliquely to the right or to the left, either to the liver or the spleen, and it likewise is subject to prolapsus downwards, and in a word, it is altogether erratic…”
“Moving hither and thither in [my] flanks”? How do you know if you’re suffering from a wandering womb as opposed to gas?
I’m not really interested in the idea of a wandering womb, unless it is headed somewhere exciting, and gas is certainly something Plato could have written about with more credibility, but I am interested in how my life is currently being torn asunder (or so it seems) by hormonal storms over which I have no control. And though my womb is apparently content with staying put, it’s my ovaries which are going on holiday.
Surprisingly, I’m not going to turn to Plato or even Hippocrates for ancient wisdom regarding menopause. I’m turning to my sister and all sisters around the world. And the sister I found at approximately 3:15 AM this morning is Sarah O’Leary, specifically, her blog: Holistic Hot Sauce, from which I copied onto a desktop sticky some words from a recent post on balance. I’m signing off with a slightly edited version of one of my favorite parts (thank you, Sarah!):
Self is coming to call when those hormones light up at perimenopause. Self is starting to wave a flag, jump up and down, getting a little hoarse from yelling for our attention.
And still some of us ignore. We know this path of ignoring our own little twinges and needs And we know the old pathways of soothing that discomfort – maybe it’s shopping, maybe it’s comfort food…
But damn, those little soothers used to work so much better…to silence that shouting voice.
Now – not so much. Now something has changed. And that something is you.
They don’t call this shit THE CHANGE for nothing.