My ode to Menopause Day 2018
According to the British Menopause Society, three quarters of women say the menopause caused them to change their life and over half say it had a negative impact on their lives. In fact, so much is written negatively about this ‘state’ we can assume every woman goes through a traumatic period often continuing for months and even years. Maybe I’m lucky, but I’d like to challenge all this negativity and talk about freedom, renewal and understanding yourself.
Change Yourself! Only you can do it.
Menopause is taken from the Latin: ‘Month-Pause’ and was once translated as “change of life”. Indeed I remember my mother calling it: “The change.” During our lives we go through many traumatic changes, probably starting with the day we start school, (if not the day we were born!) When we hit puberty all kinds of trauma hits us and the resulting emotional turmoil is not dissimilar to a ‘menopausal woman’s mood swings’. Leaving home and beginning a career throws more stress our way and when we reach our 20s and 30s these decades are often filled with career disappointment, the failure of relationships, divorce, having babies and the loss of the freedom of youth.
Remember: Every decade brings its joy and its pain.
By the time you reach your mid 40s, early 50s, it’s very likely you’ve already endured many painful experiences that have sent you into downward spirals, if only for short periods. It takes inner strength and focus not to fall. It’s likely you may have lost a parent or loved one, maybe you’ve got divorced, your children have grown up and if they haven’t actually left home, no longer need your constant support, friends have moved away, younger people are overtaking you on the career ladder, you may be thinking of ‘downsizing’…..and on top of this, you begin to feel you’re getting ‘old’, losing your looks, putting on weight and generally becoming invisible, oh and not to mention suffering from mood swings and being overly hot. Well don’t!
Take control. Become ‘you’ again.
I went through all those things in a matter of months: moving to the other side of the country, leaving my friends, seeing my daughter evolve into a beautiful adult, watching my mother’s health deteriorate, feeling ‘frumpy’ and unappreciated, and generally getting myself in a black place. I was grumpy! One thing I quickly learnt though, was only I could make it better. I couldn’t change all these things, but I could accept them, and when it came to myself, I could take control. I began exercising, I worked harder, I ate better, I found my life again and to be honest, I ignored all the physical things I hear other women complaining about. (Personally I found if I kept what I was going through inside me, they didn’t bother me so much.) Yes I found myself flinging off the duvet at 3am and longing for a night when I could sleep through without waking up several times, yes I occasionally sat in the office and had a momentary flash of heat flip through me and yes I did (for a few months,) let myself put on weight. But I didn’t let it get me down! I stopped snacking and ate ‘consciously,’ watched my alcoholic intake and soon lost the weight. I’ve always been fashion-focused, but moving to the depths of Cornwall had briefly made me think I’d have to walk around in a fleece forever. Once I got over that, I became me again.
Accept the physical changes! – Who wants a period every month anyway? Turn down the thermostat, (and help the environment,) get moving, take a long look at yourself and make sure your hair and makeup flatter you. (Get some expert advice, but don’t kid yourself what worked for you 20 years ago will work now.) Think and act positively and surround yourself with women who can both support you and get you up on your feet, and, (metaphorically at least,) dancing. Life’s too short to bemoan your situation.
You’re not alone, every woman has to endure the experience, so make sure you come out the other side feeling free and fabulous.
#Menopause / #lifechange / #mylife / #feelfabulous / #freedom