In case you do not know who Marina Abramović is, she is a very well known performance artist. And what, you ask, does a performance artist have to do with your crazy hormones?
Well, directly, she has nothing to do with my hormones. She’s not doing a show based on my erratic endocrine system and I have not donated my supply of feminine products to her. She’s 67 so I’m thinking she’s way past needing them anyway.
It was really the documentary I watched this weekend on Abramović that sparked the connection between how I’ve been feeling and what I wanted to write today.
A couple of months ago I wrote about feeling less than creative as an artist in my post:Menopausal crisis of creativity.
Today I feel differently.
About four weeks ago my normal disposition, whatever that might be, shifted dramatically with the exiting of my estrogen. I know my estrogen level dropped because I am very in touch with my body and there was more than one physcial change that indicated this is the case.
My mood also shifted dramatically, and not for the better I might add. (I’m usually quite happy actually.) It’s difficult to explain how I felt for the ensuing three weeks. I started out cranky and then settled into something other than happy. I wasn’t depressed. I didn’t want to sleep more than normal and I wasn’t moody as if I had PMS. It was more a feeling of mental malaise. (Dictionary definition: Malaise is a generalized feeling of discomfort, illness, or lack of well-being.) Notice I say mental malaise. Physically, I felt better than ever. Well, except for those few days I ate so badly I felt like crap. But that righted itself as soon as I cleaned up my diet. My mood, however, did not improve.
I started to research the link between mood and estrogen loss and found quite a lot of information. Mostly what I came up with was the link between estrogen loss and serotonin. Serotonin is known as the happiness hormone.
From the site 34 Menopause Symptoms (Of which I’m sure I’ve had all of them and then some…)
Estrogen and serotonin
Estrogen hormones have a significant effect on the brain chemical known as “serotonin”, which causes feelings of happiness and helps maintain a stable mood. Estrogen helps to stimulate the production and transmission of serotonin, and prevents it from being broken down. When not enough estrogen is present during menopause, serotonin levels will drop, which can cause depression.
So then how do you bring your serotonin level back up you ask? Omega 3. Yep, Omega 3 rears its head once again. And this is the one supplement as a vegetarian I need to take and the one I fail to take most often. I don’t know why I get so lazy about it, but every time I’ve had a long stretch of moody I can correlate it to a long stretch of Omega 3 laziness.
So now about a month after the shift in mood, my mood has shifted back to normal again. The combination of Omega 3’s, more running, some yoga, a little meditation, and a healthier diet probably all helped.
So where then does Marina Abramović fit into this discussion? Well, Saturday night I watched the documentary on her and her art called The Artist is Present and felt a major shift, as if air came into a long closed room made stale by.
Have I finally turned some corner? Is it possible that the