Patch-ing Up After Loss

I woke up today, looked in the mirror and found my estrogen patch had migrated from my ass to my elbow. Sometime in the night my helping hormone swatch decided to relocate.

Seriously you guys, my estrogen patch is so well meaning; I’ve been scattered and angsty and I think it’s trying to help me manage my emotions. For those of you who haven’t been following along with my life lately—and honestly, why would you—I lost both of my parents in six months, ended my long-term relationship, my nest emptied out, my book has been in revision for ages and lastly, I bought a house before selling my old house, one day before my mom died.

I thought I was doing fine, JUST FINE, I tell you! But yesterday I realized I double-booked two big speaking commitments. AND the (miraculous!) buyers for my house backed out. AND the weather in Wisconsin got really cold, then wet, then hot, then cold again and now all I want to do is cuddle with my dog and watch Hamilton YouTube videos.

Then, I called my friend and got to talking about the national news, my moving misadventures and how I want her to kill me—but in a good way—if I end up in the nursing home. I think that’s when I think that’s when my estrogen patch decided to get involved and worked its way up north. I’m sorry to say I thwarted her efforts because, you know, I am single and I think potential romantic interests might be put off by a patch, of any kind, on my face.

My friend said, “You’re still grieving Ann. Everything in your life has changed in the last year and you aren’t paying attention. You think you can just white-knuckle it with the same can-do attitude as always. The universe and your body is like, “Naw dude. Not this time.”

I blinked. Thought about this. Then I rejected her advice entirely and sold everything in my garage on Facebook Marketplace, repainted my wainscoting and wondered if I could chop down the big dead oak in my back yard with my Christmas tree saw. Now I have $120 and an overwhelming desire to watch more Hamilton videos.

Grief, man. Grief is a mo-fo.

I think if I want my estrogen patch to stay put I have to just shut up and pay attention to what I’ve learned about handling change:

  1. First, I’m really sorry to all the people who lost someone important to them and I didn’t do enough. Seriously. I am sorry I wasn’t there for you.
  2. Next, if you (meaning me) don’t take a break and feel all the feels you will have to feel those feels a lot longer.
  3. Take a break. The world doesn’t need you quite as much as you think it does. And, it would rather have you fully than have you partially, and limping along in grief.
  4. Talk to everyone and tell them you lost your people, or stuff, or regular life, or whatever it is you lost. Somehow it feels pretty good to do this.
  5. Read books. Go on a journey in your head, one that doesn’t include your own quagmire—your ghetto of worry and angst.


You can do what I did and then estrogen will have to get involved. But, maybe it’s not a patch that butts into your life. Maybe it’s your family doing an intervention, or your dog picks up on your angst and starts eating the insides of your slippers, or you lose your turkey (read where it went here).  Not sure what exactly will come your way but if you don’t do something when you’re sad, it will come for you.

**This has been a public service announcement from Ann Garvin’s estrogen patch. If you’d like to buy her book I would sleep better at night.

See more cheerful grief advice here:

Six Things I Learned About Grief


Photo cred:  Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash