Let me start by saying that “shmirshky” is what I call my vagina. It also means woman. So I both have, and am, a shmirshky! (Click here for more fun terms.) I owe this wonderful term to a dear friend of mine. You can find the full story about the origin of the word “shmirshky” at the beginning of Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness.
The Shmirshky concept began when I hit perimenopause. All of a sudden, my memory was disintegrating, my emotions were uncontrollable, and I couldn’t sleep. I felt like an alien was taking over my body. After three scary years of struggling, I began journaling about my experiences. It was a way to escape from all the loneliness and confusion. That journal grew into what I hoped would be a guide to perimenopause and menopause (I call it PM&M for short!) that my daughter could use when she got older. After researching and interviewing other women, I realized that Shmirshky was something I wanted to share with the world, so that no one else would have to suffer in silence.
That’s when I began turning my journal into a book. With the tremendous support of my family I began writing Shmirshky: think inside the box. At first, it was daunting and overwhelming. My SUMO (that hypercritical inner voice in head) kept trying to discourage me, but my husband, David, and children, Sarah and Jack, kept cheering me on.
I needed to learn many new things. The most challenging part of the journey was accepting the support I received from my family. Previously, I was only comfortable being the wind beneath their wings, but now they were propping me up and encouraging me to fly. On holidays, family dinners, and vacations, the talk would eventually turn to Shmirshky. I still treasure those notes we jotted down on hotel stationary during a family vacation brainstorm by the hotel pool!
Eventually, I realized I needed a super talented book doctor who could edit my book and not lose my sense of humor or conversational style of writing. There was only one person that I wanted for this job and it was my son, Jack. His first response was, “Of course I will always help you, Mom.” He didn’t really understand that I wanted to hire him to edit the book, not as a son, but as a gifted writer and comedic voice. So it began with late nights of dissecting, rearranging, laughing and organizing Shmirshky! Working with Jack is a gift to me.
Together, Jack and I faced the challenge of figuring out how to get the Shmirshky message out. We decided to launched our company, Shmirshky Universal, in the hopes of breaking the stigma and taboo associated PM&M. We wanted to bust open the conversation!
We self-published the book and received a tremendous amount of support from so many wonderful shmirshkies and erlicks who needed help and wanted to be there for the loved ones in their lives. Thanks to all of you, we were fortunate enough to attract the attention of Hyperion/VOICE, and now, the new and improved Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness is available wherever books are sold!
I hope Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness helps you and the ones you love deal with PM&M in a way that is fun and effective. Please let me know what you think, follow Ellen Dolgen on Twitter and Facebook, circle me on Google Plus, check out my Klout score and my boards on Pinterest, my profile on LinkedIn, sign up for our Menopause Mondays Newsletter, view my YouTube channel and share your experiences with the community on our blog.
Remember, reaching out is IN. Suffering in silence is OUT!