Menopause typically happens to women between the ages of 45-55. But it can also take place due to a range health conditions eg cancer or surgery eg hysterectomy where the ovaries are removed. Lori Ann King shares her experince of a sudden surgical menopause after an unexpected hysterectomy at 43 and dealing with the anger that she felt.
“I want you to be angry,” Maia said. The more I learn about your journey, the angrier I get. Why aren’t you angry?”
That’s one of the things I love about Maia. She cuts right to the chase and says what she feels. She’s also very in tune with her anger. She uses it as a way to fully express her heart. It’s her tool to fight for herself as well as others. Having struggled for years with fibroid tumors, she fought with her doctors to keep all of her reproductive organs. After learning about my experience and the unexpected removal of my uterus, cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, she couldn’t understand why I was so calm.
We were currently on a video chat, discussing topics and questions for an upcoming conversation where she planned to interview me about my first book, Come Back Strong. We both wanted it to be real, raw, and authentic. We wanted to be transparent and vulnerable with our audience, completely unashamed about the topic or our feelings.
The truth was, I had been angry. I can still remember the day my husband, Jim wrecked his car. He had stormed out of the house while he was upset with me and rear-ended another vehicle. Just prior to that, we had screamed at each other for over ten minutes, including profanities that shall not be repeated.
It had been over two years since my surgery and I was still struggling. Physically, I was fine six weeks after my hysterectomy and oophorectomy. On the outside, it looked as if I was living a normal life and fully functioning. But to my inner circle, and especially to my husband, I wasn’t myself. I was no longer calm and peaceful, and I certainly did not exude joy. Externally, I was functioning, but many times it felt like I was going through the motions on autopilot. Internally, I felt out of balance as my emotions continued their roller coaster ride.
At that moment, screaming at my husband, I knew I was angry. I was angry about this sudden condition of sudden surgical menopause that I didn’t sign up for. I was angry about how awful I felt. I was angry at being angry. I whined, criticized, and blamed everyone and everything for my suffering. I blamed the surgery. I blamed my doctor. I blamed Jim. I blamed myself.
My husband’s car accident scared me. Our argument scared me. But underneath it all, it was the anger that scared me the most. I was scared that it would cause me to lose the best thing in my life; the thing I’m most proud of. My love. My marriage. My partnership with the most amazing man.
I was also scared that if I held onto anger, I wouldn’t fully heal. I had to find a way to release this negative emotion. I had to choose to accept my situation and embrace forgiveness.
The days following our argument were the most difficult of our marriage. It was also a turning point. I took a hard look at my life and decided I wanted to live my life with joy and serenity.
My husband and I forgave each other. But the work wasn’t done. I had to forgive me. As long as I was angry, I couldn’t fully heal and I would never be able to be of service to others. If I didn’t choose forgiveness over my situation, everyone involved, and myself, I would stay stuck, emotionally paralyzed.
I believe my life has a purpose. I don’t always know why hard things happen, but I always try to find the lesson in a difficult experience. Resolving my anger was the key to feeling whole again, and ultimately, being able to inspire and help others who were struggling through similar situations.
I process my feelings best in writing, so I began a path to healing. I looked to the past to assess what had happened. I looked to the future to visualize the life I wanted of freedom and peace. Somewhere in the middle between past and future was where I found forgiveness.
Before surgery, I made three major decisions. I:
• Agreed to undergo surgery to have an ovary and fallopian tube removed.
• Trusted my doctor and husband to make the decisions that were in my best interest while I was unconscious.
• Promised to accept whatever outcome I woke up to.
Serenity is the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. With serenity comes freedom. There are things that I cannot change: I no longer have a uterus or ovaries. We can’t stuff them back in or do a transplant. I accept that.
There are things that I can change: my attitude, my feelings, my thoughts, my words, my habits, and my perspective. It takes courage and hard work, but I can change these things.
There is a Hawaiian healing practice called ho’oponopono, where you repeat the mantra “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.” I use this affirmation as part of my self-care practice any time I feel angry or require forgiveness. Over time, my anger was replaced with calmness, serenity, and freedom.
As I released my anger, I began to see the positive things that came from my experience. Surgery led me to a life of service and love as I share my story in hopes of inspiring others. It’s where I learned self-love, forgiveness, and grace. I recognized my priorities. Best of all, it’s where I learned to quiet my mind and listen to my heart. I live, love, and laugh. I am free.
LORI ANN KING is the author of Come Back Strong, Balanced Wellness after Surgical Menopause. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her bike, in the gym, or on her stand up paddleboard. Lori currently resides in the Hudson Valley of New York with her husband, Jim.
You can learn more about her at here