I want to mention the trial of undergoing the menopause. I had thought that the HRT I’ve been on for 7 years had eliminated all symptoms, but I’m discovering that it only reduced the hot flushes. Now most of the women around me are reporting a plethora of symptoms, and I’m thinking, ‘I’ve got that, and that and that’….
The ones I still have are a constant low level continuous nearly, anxiety, reduced confidence, lower happy level, exhaustion fatigue to the bone at times, and nearly a complete motivation crash, temperature fluctuations and sensitivity, poor memory and concentration issues.
I had thought that there was something needing fixed with me, something wrong with me, dysfunctional childhood coming back to haunt me, am I depressed, all kinds of wondering what was going on. I used to have so so much energy and optimism. I didn’t understand what it was, it’s menopause. However instead of moaning I’m giving myself a pat on the back here.
I am still
- Managing to successfully run a business that supports me and our team. This I’ve altered to reduce my stress level. But still requires me to take responsibility which is the last thing I feel like at times. Paying suppliers, managing projects and client expectations, designing gardens which is hard when creativity has all but dried up, dealing with suppliers, cad technicians, design revisions, writing specifications and costing projects, renewals of various Insurance, going to see new clients….etc etc
- Managing to get though this therapy diploma course and in my final year
- Managing to give psychotherapy every Wednesday to 3 clients and have the privilege of seeing them improve even if I’m feeling low level anxiety
- To look after my dog which requires attention and love (and gives tons too) and 2 walks a day even if I don’t feel like it. Thankful for her forcing the exercise on me, even if it’s just short walks at times.
- Managing household bills, repairs and keeping the house in order
- And more I don’t have the energy to write about!
I know some of these things sound like next to no effort, and at one time they weren’t for me, but now, well…..it is sometimes an effort to get off the sofa and make tea!
And then there are the women out there who don’t have the privilege like I have of lying down and resting when I want.
Those women going through the menopause who are juggling 9-5 jobs, children, maybe looking after elderly parents. You warrior women deserve gold medals for perseverance, bravery and resilience.
What it has done for me in a positive sense, is eliminate the unnecessary
- The majority of worry thoughts – by learning mindfulness, you get tools to change your relationship with thoughts. You see that many are not true and gently let them go.
- People who no longer work for you, as I don’t have the energy to sustain outworn friendships no matter how old they are
- Work. I used to work 3 times as hard. I don’t now and my income has not reduced. I am no longer as fear driven, don’t have the energy for that either!
- Guilt. Bye to that
- Self criticism. I’ve bored my inner critic away to a large extent with a lack of attention to its criticisms “thanks inner critic for you input, I hear you, not now”
- Alcohol. I thought you were a friend who helped me relax. You did the opposite actually. I am loving not having you around in my life now. And I’ve lost weight due to your departure.
And spend more time
- In nature, feeling at one with the natural world and allowing its beauty to penetrate
- Doing whatever I want, mostly reading psychology, and lots of relaxing, quite a bit of Netflix.
- Making sure I’m getting daily vitamins, magnesium, multivitamins and pharmaceutical omega 3 are the ones I take
- Eating less. I’ve lost a lot of weight and that has helped how I feel. It’s so pleasant to be lighter on my feet, less weight to carry around, don’t have the energy. I like how I look more too.
- Wearing the comfiest of clothes. Even wear my bras over a t-shirt now and I can’t feel them on my body, love that.
- Going out my way to look for opportunities to brighten another’s day, acknowledging the checkout guy, telling a stranger I like their outfit, listening to a dog walker’s woes on a park bench, seeing the beauty as I pass people.
- Reminding myself what there is to be thankful for, remembering appreciation and gratitude by writing regular gratitude lists
- Breathing from the stomach, ‘diaphragmic’ breathing. This is an important discovery for me. The tendency is to breath shallow, from the upper chest. When we breath deeply we relax our nervous system.
So all you going thought the menopause, sending love and support. And to all just going through a mid life crisis, the symptoms are similar for men and women. Here’s a chart to sheer you up if your in your 50s.