One of the most influential books I read this year is also one that has the most…controversial title, but if you’re willing to overlook what might be a rather unusual name, you might find a book you want to read, too!
This year I made a goal of reading 52 books. I’m not sure I’ll meet my goals, but I can definitely say that I’ve read some very good books, including this nonfiction book that talks about women, biology, hormones, and a whole host of other things that really gets down to the nitty-gritty of why we experience certain things and when we can expect them. The book I’m talking about today is called Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Crazy by Julie Holland.
Julie Holland is a psychiatrist with a practice in New York, and in her spare time between treating patients, she wrote this book that tackles some extremely important topics for women of all ages. I read this book out of curiosity because I wondered what might be covered, and as I got into it, I started taking notes…copious notes. I filled a notebook with quotes and ran out of space. I shared quotes and ideas from the book with my mom and several friends. I was absolutely fascinated by the things Holland shares. Eventually I talked about it so much to my husband he bought me a Kindle copy so I wouldn’t have to try and stretch my library reading time any longer.
I think one of the best things about this book is that you can read it at any age.
If you’re a woman who struggles with things related to your body, hormones, or moods, this really is an insightful book. Holland dishes on things like supplements that help PMS, why having sex weekly actually helps your fertility, how our internal cannabis system works (yes, we have one!), at what point in your relationship an affair becomes more likely, and how and when certain hormone levels start dropping in perimenopause.
I could probably quote bits and pieces of this book and talk your ears off about what I learned, but I’ll share a few of the more interesting things I learned that have actually already helped me see myself and my marriage a bit differently.
For example, when my children were first born, I experienced what many, many young mothers experience: the sensation of being touched out. I would finally get a break from nursing or cuddling the baby and put him down for a time to nap only to find my husband coming to get his own bit of affection, and my instincts screamed at me to back off. Reading Holland’s book gave me such a better perspective on why this happens and how to talk to my husband about it.
Holland writes, “You have so much physical intimacy with your kids that when you finally climb into bed with your partner, you’re sick of it. It may be that you’ve filled your quota. Your experience with your children is so sensual and emotional, and there is a euphoric melding of mother and child much like that seen between lovers. So it may not be that you have nothing left to give at the end of your day, but rather that there is nothing more you need. Your children end up being the primary source of your physical and emotional gratification.”
She continues this theme with a lot more information about how this can translate to your spouse or partner feeling left out and why this is. It really gave me a lot to think about and reflect on when I recalled those first few years of being a mother and the struggles I had with my own emotions and my husband’s needs.
As another example, Holland covers why “the majority of divorces in America, 60%, are initiated by women in their 40s to 60s.” That’s kind of an important thing for me to recognize as time passes since I know I want to understand the hormonal changes that will be coming my way in the future and how those can affect my views of my husband and my marriage. Holland explains that as estrogen levels plummet, we lose our “whatever you want, dear” responses and move to more of a “do it yourself” response that can seem like a switch has flipped inside.
These are just a couple examples in this book that has been such a good and informative read. Holland discusses lowering inflammation levels, how different medications (like birth control, antidepressants, and others) affect the body, and even some controversial topics like testosterone supplementation during menopause and the benefits it can have on dropping hormone levels.
It’s definitely a book I’ll go back to over and over for great insights into things regarding my physical, emotional, and mental health, and I’m so glad I took the time to read it. If you’re looking for something to read that might give you insight into your own life, check out Moody Bitches by Julie Holland.