Jittery

October 31, 2011 § 46 Comments

I have had a hellish day today, all head-achy and jittery, huge stress, here, there and everywhere, go, go, go, and can only apologise I haven’t managed to write a proper post.  Tomorrow is not going to be terribly different – Wednesday looms like a lovely oasis – so you may have to put up with an inadequate blog today and tomorrow, for which mammoth apologies.

It doesn’t usually come to this.  I am even thinking of resorting to valium, but I know I never would.  Throughout the total stress of divorce and beyond – which is stress on an industrial scale – I never once resorted to pills or anything except the odd paracetamol when I got a cracking headache.  But I do sometimes feel my heart racing and my blood pounding through my veins and I wonder if this stress is the kind that could lead to cancer?  There again, I am not a hypochondriac, I never go to the doctor and I am never ill (touch wood!  Never be complacent!), but, I think, watch out, what are you doing to your poor body what with all this adrenalin nonsense, all the stuff associated with an ex-husband, single-motherhood, planktonhood, and the rest?  I suppose the adrenalin and jittery-ness and anxiety and trampoline heart is all part of the territory and I am an arsehole to think it is cancer-sinister, when I am healthy and well, and so many others are not.

It’s called life.

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§ 46 Responses to Jittery

  • Erin says:

    Dear P, sounds like the menopause to me. Hopefully anger won’t weasel its way onto that list – if so, you might want to consider mother’s little helper : )

    • june says:

      If its the menopause HRT is what she needs, not vallium, dont believe any of rubbish they say about it, i had an early menopause so have been on it for years,apart from a short break when i had my hysterectomy. I stay on it mostly as my mum had very bad osteoporious andi have tiny bones too, but id have to be carried kicking and screaming off it, and consider my planktoness would be ,much worse without it. So plankton if you need it take it.

  • Lydia says:

    Poor you. What are you worried about?
    i woudl hvae thought not much to do, loads of socialising, trips to cinema, not very much work, probably some financial support from an ex husband and time to worry about men probably means extremely stress free life compared to most people and then the one thing plankton have at the bottom of the sea is peace and warmth, a sort of womb feeling, lucky they. Warm and dark in there in the murky depths.

    (Stress does not cause cancer so don’t worry about that)

    I would suggest if you’re in your late 40s it is much more likely to be pre menopausal symptoms of which I’ve not yet had any at 49 butw hich are very common and are exactly that. If you think plankton life is hard in your late 40s just wait until you’re 51, the universal age worldwide usually for the menopause. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Lydia, Yes, there is a certain amount of socialising, granted, in the name of pro-activity and to keep me sane, and so as to tap into some adult company occasionally. And trips to the cinema when the children are away is hardly, I would have thought, an unacceptable luxury. I am not writing this comment in the spirit of poor me – you know how much I count my blessings after all – but I am not sure where you get the idea my life is less stressful than others in my boat? I am a single mother with no help and work my arse off in order to earn a crust. But I don’t choose to write about that side of my life, much, as this is not a blog about work. Anyway, thanks for letting me know stress doesn’t cause cancer. I was just saying sometimes it feels like it. Best wishes, Plankton

    • Jane says:

      Do you make a point of being unpleasant Lydia – or is it just something that comes naturally?

      • MissNovember says:

        I agree with you Jane – incidentally, how does Lydia know that Plankton ‘aint seen nothing yet’, if she hasn’t experienced any of the symptoms of the menopause herself? Just asking. Methinks the Lydia doth protest too much

        Keep your chin up Plankton – things will get better. The darkest hour is always before the dawn. Who needs Prozac? Your blog is like virtual sunshine. Love it.

        P.S. Wine works a treat!

      • The Plankton says:

        Virtual sunshine! I love that, thank you, though not sure I deserve it when I’, so prone to such rants and blues! I like that term: Rants and Blues. Title of a future post, and book, hey ho! If ever there is one! Very best, Px

  • I am going to be a busy-body here and tell you that the kind of stress you are feeling can indeed make you sick. I am in the over 40 crowd and went through some major stress and have permanent damage to one eye. Take care of you! Stress is part of life but constant stress can hurt your body. I felt the same way you did. No pills for me. Medicine has come a long way and there are lots of things you can take to help reduce the way you react to all the stress.

    take care,

    I read your blog every post,
    Liz

  • I hope you feel better. The dreaded MEN O Pause caused my stress to go through the roof.. It could be that. Please take care of you..I so enjoy reading you..;)

  • june says:

    Yes plankton, i sometimes feel same way as you, when i feel down about being a plankton. is it doing me harm. I am also a very healthy person, apart from a 4 years ago when i had my hysterectomy , and with it had some problem with my blood platelets, lost loads blood almost died but recovered well and now never take my health for granted. But if you feel down you feel down and dont resort to vallium, my neighbour a fellow plankton, only difference is she has decided no more men required, as her marriage ended so badly, and has accepted it, is taking them, but i think all they do is numb you so you dont feel, after all when you come off them and there is no significant other in your life,everything will still be the same and you will still feel same way, so that road is a nono.

    But if it is the menopause, then as i said HRT is great, i have been on it years, my new doctor when i moved here wanted me to come off it but i said no, and so far have managed to stay on it. I cant imagine planktoness without it to be honest.

    We all feel your pain my dear, god knows i do, sadly those with partners do find it hard to understand, you have to have experienced it to know it, and like many others on here i look forward to your daily blogs.

  • dollymixup says:

    Dear Plankton,

    you are stressed, you feel dreadful, and I would echo DDiva above. Personally I don’t think that stress can have an ultimate catastrophic health affect such as cancer, but hey, what do I know? I regularly convince myself I have cancer, then somehow manage to get a grip (or go to my GP). You are not being an arse. For what it’s worth, I did prozac 10 years ago, whilst not coping with 2 children under 2, it did the trick, but I found it difficult to avoid feeling that somehow i’d let myself down. Like many women, I am hard wired with a default of beating myself up about everything.

    Sorry you feel shite, hope things improve. I love your blog.
    x

    • The Plankton says:

      It’s lovely to her you love my blog. Thanks so much for letting me know. Cheers me up a lot. Best wishes, P

      • EmGee says:

        A kind word can do wonders, for both the giver and receiver. As a giver, it also -even if only for a moment- gets one out of one’s head and the ‘poor me’ feelings. I wouldn’t miss your posts for the world P, even if they are on the skimpy side – makes the big, full blown ones all the more delicious!

        Gave a ride home last night to a very nice man who also seems very simpatico, close to my own age, and well groomed! (had to through that in there, lol) Like Ms P, I haven’t a clue where to take it from there though!

      • The Plankton says:

        Maybe no clue at this stage, but he sounds good. Best of luck! Keep us posted. Px Ps. And thanks for lovely words about my blog. x

  • MissBates says:

    Sorry you’ve been stressed, Plankton. I gather from your post that the source of the stress may come from other areas of your life — career, kids, money, home, etc. — as opposed to your single status. Having said that I know that when I go through periods of ferocious stress at work (I’m a litigator and the anxiety levels CAN be damaging to one’s health) it just makes me feel the plankton-ness more keenly. No rhyme or reason, just the way it is. All I can with any certainty is that it will gradually pass, and you’ll feel better in a day or two. (Not “good,” mind you, or “happy” or less “plankton-y”, but still a little less dire.)

    • The Plankton says:

      Dear Miss Bates, You are right, it does come more from the other areas of my life at the moment. Thank you once again. Much appreciated. Px

    • EmGee says:

      I agree totally MissBates, I never feel so alone as when something has me overwrought, and I remember how nice it was when there was someone else around to rub my shoulders, bring me a decadent chocolate desert from the Cuban bakery, or share a cup of tea…

  • Sorry to read you are so stressed and not enjoying Life at the moment. I ‘m sure it will pass…you come across as very strong . My Wife is in the menopause…second time around for me ,and it isn’t a joke or even remotely funny, and jibes are the lowest form of humour. From a real cynic and macho slob (with beard and short sleeves) pleas accept my heartfelt wishes, and thank you so much for sharing your inner self with us all . Chin(s) UP we are (mostly) with you x

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you. In fact, it is not so much blue, as just so much to do, and head spinning with lists and 143 things a minute. It’s not really not enjoying life, it’s just getting a bit on top of me, that’s all. I know it’ll pass, but your sympathy is much appreciated. Thank you. Best, P

    • Troll says:

      I thought, Barry, that the theme of this blog was the difficulties faced by women in their 45 plusses – the hurdles women in that age group have to jump to find and make a solid relationship with a man?

      Who can deny the menopause must be a dreadful physical experience in many instances (who could be unsympathetic?), and have to go through it on your own, trying to hold down a job with children to manage at the same time must be awful.

      However, in the context set by this blog can I sheepishly put up my hand and ask a question?

      I would like to find a woman. I have no idea how you do just that. I am fishing in the 45-55 pool. How do I deal with the grief that MAY accompany the menopause?

      Three years ago, after a twenty five year marriage and two children my wife and I separated. Probably the best thing for us both.

      I have “seen” three or four women since. One out of four became a relationship. The “relationship” reached the stage at which we spent three weekends out of five together.

      Contemporaneously, this woman’s periods became irregular and she had tantrums over nothing. I think they are nothing – she makes mountains out of molehills. After a three or four day sulk is back to a “normal” person.

      On one occasion she kicked me.

      Top draw. Top job, could make me laugh like a drain, bright as a button. Looks and figure to boot. Age 47.

      I am 100% rock solid certain that her behaviour was down to the “change” or whatever euphemism you want to write on the label.

      So, Mr Barry with a beard, I patronise you. I think you have the right attitude to women/relationships. But what advice would you give men in these circumstances? Twenty five years married on my own and a bit at sea. Do I need to be kicked by a woman whose hormones have been derailed? In my own kitchen?

      I guess this counts as a jibe despite the fact I am trying to make a point about women in that age group and their problems vis a vis hooking a hubby.

      If I am now lower than the low please forgive me for saying that in life there are worse things. Like genocide.

      • EmGee says:

        Oh Troll, I am sorry to hear about the terrible experience you had. I know women who suffer all of their lives with hormonal imbalances and the emotional ups and downs that come with it. I wonder sometimes though whether hormones are often wrongly attributed to angry outbursts, or if there are other factors at work. Needless to say, people who appear to have lost their coping skills need to find medical help, regardless of the cause.

        I was married for 13 years when my 58 yr old husband had his ‘mid life’ crisis, left me, spent all of our savings, and when there was nothing left, spent himself. If you think it is hard being a middle aged divorcé, try being a suicide’s widow at 49. You either go on, or you get mired in the past.

      • Lydia says:

        Come on you know the traditional advice. Man in his 40s or 30s marries girl in her 20s. Then you avoid tolerating another female menopause. Fair enough to endure one for the sake of the mother of your children who has given her life for you and worked hard. Not such a good deal to take on plankons in their late 40s knowing you are getting all the bad bits but not the good. You haven’t had them nubile and 20 something for years . Instead you get them often getting fat, very fed up, ill and getting older. If I carry on like this then I will lose my optimism reputation.

        That’s one side of it.

        The other side is some men in their 50s don’t want to have a second family with someone who is 20 something or 30 something so the price they pay for that is either to pick someone older than they are 60+ beyond the menopause or if they dont’ want that then they need to live with the risk they end up with a moaner with bad menopause symptoms.

      • Troll says:

        Morning, EmGee, morning Lydia,

        Am I misunderstanding the rationale behind the comment “….wonder sometimes though whether hormones are often wrongly attributed to angry outbursts……” ?

        If you relate the kicking story to a bloke “hormones” are immediately the villains. If you tell a woman I get the blame: it must have been something you said/did. Both are true. I made an innocuous suggestion about friends, she lost the plot.

        I am the only bloke I know who is in my position. I cannot draw on Lydia’s extensive experience of what men do or don’t do although I must say that when I read 99.9% of her comments I can smell something funny and start looking round for the bull. Sorry to be rude. Keep it coming. I now know for a fact that women are completely irrational. I have known it forever but I now read it every day. Makes me feel better about my situation.

        I don’t want to bare my backside in public and so I illustrated my point with one example but not the worst.

        My observation was simple: on this hand I loved the woman to bits. On the other life with her was going to be a roller coaster at least for a while and at a time when I had lots of other problems.

        So the answer was “goodbye”. We were both upset and I have had to pay a price. I think about her every hour of every day. It was still the right decision.

        The decision would have been different if my wife had had the same mood swings and our marriage had been solid. This was a girlfriend and I did not need the upset.

        My point was equally simple. There must be some already bruised men looking for a woman in the age group 45-55 must draw back in similar circumstances. My tolerance level is pretty low. I have friends who should be beatified. We are all different.

        Now. the other points. My 25 year marriage was to a woman 12 years younger. I am now looking for the right woman – age is irrelevant. I see the future. I will be on my own.

        Lydia: all this older men/younger women business is tosh. Look at the age/marriage stats at the number of younger men/older women licenses.

        And if you trawl some of the rather more – what shall I say – downmarket dating sites you will be amazed at the number of middle aged women advertising for younger men.

        And I know the horror of widowhood by suicide – I know a woman in that position. I feel for you.

      • Troll says:

        Oh, and to justify my Troll status let me troll.

        One of my favourite newspaper headlines is “Father of thirteen shot, mistaken for a rabbit”.

        Another is “PMT drove woman to kill”.

      • Lydia says:

        Was it being suggested I was widowed and he’d killed himself? I chose to be divorced which is probably why I am happy and those whose husbands leave them aren’t. I feel lucky every day not to have him with me.

        On the menopause issue what I said is what was then endorsed – if you’ve loved someone and been married to them for years you will tolerate her menopause just as she might tolerate someone’s beer gut or middle aged crisis or illness. If you met them last week you probably don’t. In the same way I avoid men with depression or illness. That doesn’t mean if I were married I’d bail out as soon as he had his leg removed or was put on prozac but if I have a choice now then I just avoid men in that position.

        What it means is that those of us in our 40s adn 50s without those problems are even better regarded. It means the non planktons of us are even more like gold dust,… laughing as I type at my ability even to see this as a positive thing. if 80% of them are moaning whingers who shout and are nasty as they are having a difficult menopause. That means the 20% of us left are more precious than rubies and spoiled for choice.

      • Jane says:

        No it doesn’t mean that – if you are going to join in at least make the effort to keep up. – there was a post earlier form a woman who was widowed through suicide!

      • Today Troll is T Lover says:

        Dear Lydia,

        “Was it being suggested I was widowed and he’d killed himself? ”

        No, I replied to you and to EmGee.

        Your last paragraph: have you been eating funny mushrooms?

        BTW. I would miss you with a passion if you threw in the blog towel. My – would I.

    • T Lover says:

      Hell’s bells – eureka.

      I’m off to do it now. I shall place a dating advert: “Wanted: one woman. Potentially difficult menopauses need not apply.”

      That should get me the girl of my dreams – my feminine side will shine like a beacon.

      • EmGee says:

        Troll, don’t forget; “Basil growers need not apply” 😉

        And thanks for clearing up the marital status thing. Yes, I am the widow.

        When I first told my ex bf about it, his reaction was that we nearly all have something hard in our past to deal with. When he broke it off a few months later, he said it was because I wasn’t ready for a relationship so soon. No one else in my circle of friends has ever even hinted that that might be the case. In fact many have said they admire how I have handled it and carried on with life in spite of the trauma and difficulties. So I expect it was just a convenient excuse on his part.

      • T Lover says:

        I know nothing of the historical circumstances and therefore I may have completely misunderstood. Advance apologies.

        A chap I knew quite well through business lost his job and with it his social life. He was middle aged and lived with his Mother.

        His Mother then died. He had nothing left..

        He took his savings, re-mortgaged the house (it was a family home and he had a brother and a sister who lost their inheritance as a consequence) blew the lot and then killed himself.

        It was obviously planned as he had cleared his clothes, the larder and given tips to eg the milkman.

        In the case of the woman I know, she cannot get over the feeling of guilt, how could she have not seen it coming? What had she done to make her husband do it?

        That is not, of course the end. One of her two boys is showing slight signs of depressive symptoms. Will it be him next?

        Just dreadful. How do you cope?

        Anyway I am in danger of having far too much to say for myself (if I have not reached that point already) so I had better stop before the Blogger’s patience runs out – and before Lydia turns on me for pulling her leg.

        By the way, as far as the Basil is concerned – my truth is that if I find the girl … who cares about the Basil Brush

  • Chris says:

    Keep going Planks. It is worth going through the ‘ Jittery ‘ blogs to get to the feisty sharp stuff you sometimes produce. Don’t get hitched yet, I’d miss this stuff !!

  • Nutkin says:

    Dear P, it will pass, pressures come and go, in fact life is a constant stream of comings and goings. I enjoy your blog and I don’t mind the short entries. Your wry humour, witty remarks and keen observation skills are a pleasure to read.

    With regard to stress though, I don’t think this should be taken lightly. When it gets out of hand it can be damaging and I am convinced it is a contributing factor to illness. I am a lazy person by nature but force myself to do things that don’t come naturally, ie swimming, cycling, a walk here and there and it always makes me feel better andd somehow equips me to face the world and its challenges. I’d rather be galloping flat out on a horse across a beach or swooping along on a zip wire but these things aren’t readily available to me or indeed advisable, having small children and being of a certain age.

    Anyway, on to HRT. Avoid it like the plague. I have a close friend who has worked with cancer patients for the past 7 years. She has noticed that the majority of women she has presenting with breast cancer have taken HRT. There are alternative ways of dealing with the menopause rather than popping pills.

    Onwards and upwards. Love your work!

    N

  • plumgrape says:

    Be well soon, Plankton. I love your blogs too. Stress is indeed just part of life. Keep spinning. Here is a link to some Chinese women acrobat plate spinners to cheer you up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDKfC_Z4kd4

  • Elle says:

    Plankton, get your thyroid levels checked. You’re probably ok but it’s best to do it as a matter of routine when you get to a certain age anyway. Your symptoms might be just a bad day but if they are related to anything it’s more likely to be a thyroid problem than cancer. Luckily that’s easily treatable and you can do everything as normal once it’s sorted.

    You’re bound to feel some adverse effects if you’ve been through stress, and being single can make it worse. If you have nobody to give you a hug or hold your hand at the end of a hard day it makes things even tougher.

    I can’t understand why certain women can’t be kind to other women at a certain age. Then again maybe they never did get on with other women. You know the type – they’re so insecure they won’t be seen talking to another woman when they’re out in case it might scupper their chances of scoring. They avoid the company of women in general because they can’t empathise and share sorrows. They validate themselves entirely on how men rate them. That is a very sad and pitiable way to be.

    So don’t let people like that bother you. Get your health checked out. It mightn’t be related to the menopause at all.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you,Elle. I have to say I don’t THINK it’s the menopause, but I may be wrong. I think it’s very straight-forward: just plain ol’ stress. Am still a bit jittery today, but a bit less so. Might break a habit of a life time and go and see my doctor. If I can be bothered! Thanks, anyway, for your insights. Best, Px

    • fi says:

      If you mean Lydia by other women, then I think she is being kind. She’s not joining in the WhineFest but she’s certainly giving plenty of advice, and as she seems to be successful at it, her advice is probably worth taking on board. I don’t understand women who just want to get together and moan – if I have a problem I seek to resolve it. And usually I ask other people who have been there or whose opinion I respect for advice. Then I act on it. I don’t sit around whingeing about how unfair life is – who said life was fair anyway? – I work within the limitations that I have to do something about it. The reason Lydia is probably getting a bit blunter is that she’s probably getting frustrated with the incessant moaning on here. We are all planktons but we don’t all whine and whinge and complain. And if something isn’t working, stop doing it rather than continuing and moaning that the outcome isn’t different from last time. I thought this blog was for all single middle aged women. Apparently not. The only ones who seem welcome are those who demonstrate the worst characteristics of spinsterhood. Proper independent women who sort their own problems and create their own lives, instead of hanging around complaining about men not wanting them/developing strategies for capturing them, aren’t appreciated here.

    • fi says:

      If you mean Lydia by other women, then I think she is being kind. She’s not joining in the WhineFest but she’s certainly giving plenty of advice, and as she seems to be successful at it, her advice is probably worth taking on board. I don’t understand women who just want to get together and moan – if I have a problem I seek to resolve it. And usually I ask other people who have been there or whose opinion I respect for advice. Then I act on it. I don’t sit around whingeing about how unfair life is – who said life was fair anyway? – I work within the limitations that I have to do something about it. The reason Lydia is probably getting a bit blunter is that she’s probably getting frustrated (as I am) with the incessant moaning on here. We are all planktons but we don’t all whine and whinge and complain. And if something isn’t working, stop doing it rather than continuing and moaning that the outcome isn’t different from last time. I thought this blog was for all single middle aged women. Apparently not. The only ones who seem welcome are those who demonstrate the worst characteristics of spinsterhood. Proper independent women who sort their own problems and create their own lives, instead of hanging around complaining about men not wanting them while planning strategies for capturing them, aren’t appreciated here.

  • Elle says:

    Shall we call Fi and Lydia “Phyllida”? I thought this blog was for single middle-aged women who find it difficult to adapt to feeling invisible, among other things. From what I have read here both Fi and Lydia seem to have no problems attracting people, are not invisible (nor inaudible) so might not be planktons in every sense of the word despite being in the right age bracket.

  • plumgrape says:

    Interesting, I think we need more TRUE and forthcoming biographical details about Plankton contributors. I myself am 58 years old. I am a British scientist and trained mathematics teacher. I do not smoke or drink although I would probably be healthier if I ate less sweets, drank less milk and was a few pounds lighter.
    I am currently in Hong Kong trying to earn a living and some money in this present stark and somewhat desolate economic environment, not I might add an easy task. I am not yet retired and do not have the good fortune to be provided for by an employee pension scheme nor sadly by an alimony arrangement. I do not have children of my own and welcome knowing anyone with a family and youngsters even better. I am interested and I generally like people.
    I live alone on a roof in a nice bright airy room on the 9th floor of a walk up. I work hard to try to keep fit climbing stairs currently and try to have fun. I try not to be lonely. I would watch rugby.
    I have just begun a new UK Open University course. I am very much a plankton (is that with a capital P?) and I am glad of friends. I return to Britain 4-5 times a year, usually on all holidays, when I tend to live with my mother in Brighton. I am thinking about trying to miss the Olympics this year unless someone has a better idea? All comments on this site much enjoyed and welcome reading. A fashion show at school tonight. Anyone want to come?

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