Hot Flashes, Addiction & Solitude


zafer 13 martian
Every night I’ve been tearing off the covers, sweating, getting cold again and falling back asleep. Happens a few times in the night.  What is that?  People tend not to talk too much about menopause.  I suppose it’s a scary hormonal emotional, possibly physical ailment that all women go through.

Or is it?

We know that fevers are good for the body.  They burn away the virus to make us well again.  I trust our bodies over western medicine’s strategy of hide the symptom.  Do anything you can with pharmacy to mask whatever is really going on.  So, I started wondering about the benefits of hot flashes.  If you google hot flashes/menopause, it sounds kind of like apocalypse for the middle age woman.

I polled my sweet yoga class and the wise women had a very different take on menopause.  Tracey said hot flashes occurred for her when there was some stress or emotion coming her way.  I agreed.  Watching a movie the other night, during the tense moments I would break into a sweat.

I picked up Menopausal Years, The Wise Woman Way by Susun Weed that a dear friend gave me years ago.  It made me SO HAPPY.  Yes, “hot flashes and wild heartbeats are honoured and menopause is considered woman’s greatest transformation.”

“Wise Woman stories say that menopause is an initiation that begins with a period of isolation.  The grandmothers say that menopausal women need to draw inward and away from outside responsibilities.  From the Wise Woman view hot flashes, fatigue, headaches, irritability, sleeplessness, and emotional outbursts are allies of wholeness, not problems; they urge me to be alone, to focus on myself and my CHANGE,

to listen to what I want and to ask for what I need “

I have had an intense urge to clear my typically very busy, full house out this winter and the beautiful souls that are there now, will find their way.  I’m going to hibernate, paint, read, write, dance around the house naked, scream, cry, laugh and be a weirdo weirdo as my children would say.

I’m going to dive into the dark night of the soul all winter and my intention is to emerge in the spring as a more whole person.  A more healthy person.  Instead of being scared of loneliness, I’m going to embrace it with all I have.  I’m going to listen and learn from myself and the ancestors of course.

Arlo and I are headed to D.C. to participate in the Shatterproof 5K race that raises money to advocate and raise awareness around addiction.  The founder’s son died from drugs like Zafer did.  My amazing step-daughter Jessalyn has been a supporter of this organization for years and has organized Team Z this weekend.  In her brilliance, she wants to create new memories with her brother and she is gathering the family and friends to run and to celebrate our boy Z.  We’ll be running for Z, for the darkness that causes addiction and for our own resilience.  We’ll get just a little bit better in our journey of grief.
jess and tami copy

I’m so proud of this family and while it’s very messy and our healing is hard, we are all doing the very best we can.  And we’ll create many new memories with Zafer right in the middle orchestrating it all.

Here’s to healing, finding our way, and always love.  Always love.

peter pan copy


About tamischwerin

I run a non-profit (Abundance NC) that builds community resilience including health of the earth, our bodies and our spirits. I also am active in creating an Eco-Industrial Park community in Pittsboro NC.

2 responses »

  1. I love this! Hibernate. Send everyone away. Solitude is where you find your soul. Second helpings and hot dish water give me hot flashes.

    Coincidentally, Rose sent me a link to a NYT opinion piece today titled “The Gift of Menopause.” I think you’ll enjoy it, too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s