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Balancing your hormones can be a matter of life or death. While in peri-menopause, I jumped out of a moving car because I was frustrated with the parenting advice my husband was giving me. Kinda fearless, badass right?

 Not even close. More like ridiculously stupid considering I did this in the presence of my 5 year old daughter. But full disclosure (as if that wasn’t TMI), I have this thing with jumping out of moving cars. When my husband and I were young and fiercely in love and I was PMSing (read: temporarily insane), I “attempted” to jump out of the car on the freeway because I was jealous he had been looking at other women’s asses. Thank god we had a tiny car because he was able to reach over and hold the door shut as he continued to drive.

 The “ass incident” happened at a catering gig that we were both working. I was stationed at a food booth while my hot new husband was tending bar. I could barely concentrate on work because he was only a few feet away from a stage full of Brazilian dancers jiggling their asses in front of him as he tried to mix drinks. The whole perfect ass thing was already a major sore spot for me because I HAD TRIED VERY HARD TO ACHIEVE AN ASS LIKE THAT!  My commitment to that ass led me to pineapple diets while waitressing at an Italian restaurant, taping a magazine clipping of a “perfect” ass on my refrigerator door, running the bleachers at the local high school, but I had never achieved an ass anywhere near those Brazilian bitches.

 I was a jealous young woman goaded on by our culture’s unholy worship of beauty. I fully believed that in order to be beautiful I had to tick every box of some freakish Orwellian checklist. If you add severe PMS to that shit, a trip to the ER and the Psyche Ward may well be in order. Years earlier I walked into a sliding glass door because I thought I saw my boyfriend talking to his ex… and those were just my PMS days! So in my early 40s, when I began my peri-menopausal phase (aka Satan’s hell) and actually jumped out of the car, I knew I had to do something. If I didn’t, my amazing husband was going to take the daughter we had worked so hard to get, and walk right out of my life.

 I went to an OB/GYN and she cut me off mid sentence “—You should be dead by now! Your body is in decline, preparing for death,” she barked as she wrote out prescriptions. “Take these and these—oh and these are heaven. When you feel like you’ve reached your limit that’s what this is for.” I went to another doctor and she said, “I have a special, new drug for your severe PMS. I tried to interject, “B-but it’s not PMS, I’m like this all the time–.” It was like she was suddenly hard of hearing. I believed her and took the pill because she had a Chinese baby like me. But she was Chinese! Turns out the “special new drug” was Xanax in a different shaped pill. Now I was a sleepy, angry crone jumping out of moving cars with less accountability. Listen I’m not knocking antidepressants here, if they work for you that’s great. But for me, you see I wasn’t depressed; I was depleted, like a car needing oil but getting transmission fluid instead.

 After years of grinding metal on metal, I finally found a nurse practitioner who said I had blown out my hormones after too many rounds of IVF. The IVF had produced no baby and no hormones…like Estrogen. Estrogen is your body’s ability to be calm and happy. My body produces zero. Progesterone is your energy, your life force, your ability to think and make rational decisions and my body stopped making it. Makes me kind of cranky just thinking about it, but that’s ok because it’s time for my bio-identical hormone spray…ahhhh. It’s like having a little legal heroin with your morning coffee.

 Now that I’m on Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy I’m very balanced (still married) and happy (for an actress). But full disclosure: do your research, ask your doctor and consult your life coach because this stuff isn’t for everyone. I actually ran out the other day and my symptoms returned. I quickly decided that I want to stay put in my element (my Honda Element), so I went right back on them. I’m a great mother and a great wife. So what if it happens to come in a spray?clara

 And now for the 10 signs that you need to adjust your hormones:

10) Friends tell you to go a therapist, but you already go to one.

9) Standing up seems as hard as running a marathon.

8) You think Facebook is your friend.

7) You text while driving.

6) You tweet while driving.

5) You get pop up ads for bipolar meds on Facebook.

4) While showering you forget if you’ve already shaved.

3) You feel ignored at home so you make inappropriate “shares” at work.

2) Your hot flashes are so bad that you “sleep shower” in the middle of the night.

AND THE NUMBER ONE SIGN THAT YOU NEED TO ADJUST YOUR HORMONES is………..(wait for it):

1) Your teenager is more sensible than you.

 For more info on BHRT check out this link: http://www.everydayhealth.com/menopause/bio-identical-hormone-treatment.aspx

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@ClaraCarlaYork

www.facebook.com/claracarlayork

Clara York has appeared in numerous episodic television, film and most recently as Eric Wareheim’s wife on Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories. An original member of Write Club LA, she has written and performed over 30 comedic pieces at IO West, Comedy Central, Bang, Fanatic Salon and The Celebration Theater. Clara also wrote and performed the critically acclaimed comedic solo play Apocalypse Not Now at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, the Fanatic Salon, and the legendary Ice House Comedy Club. Her latest writing/performing venture was a comedic rock ‘n roll review of her life with stories and songs called Between A Hard Place And The Rock.

When asked what motivates her to write and perform, she said, “I often feel isolated as a mother, writer, performer and human in Los Angeles. Everyday we go through the trials of trying to provide our kids with the best childhood ever; our colleagues with our most evolved selves; our mates with our love and commitment but things are incredibly complicated. We grapple with feeding our family radioactive fish, GMO corn, force-fed cattle using the addled brain of an older parent. Writing and performing help me to share my flaws in a universally comedic way.” Clara has a 13 year old daughter that she adopted from China at 11 months old. She met her husband in acting class and they have been married for 28 years.

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