During my worst menopause years, I was in a very unhappy relationship. It was okay at first, but after about four years, we both knew we wouldn’t make it, and the tension just grew.
We ended up sleeping in separate bedrooms, which was great! It also meant that my growing embarrassment about being menopausal wouldn’t be exacerbated by him constantly asking me if I was ‘hot’. I felt bad enough about the fact that my flushes were occurring about ten times an hour without him highlighting the fact.
I was embarrassed, yes, almost ashamed, that I wasn’t sailing through my menopause like I had everything else in my life up to that point. I had the totally wrong – and very unhelpful – attitude towards it. I fought and fought, which only made it worse.
Then I felt something else, apart from other changes I’d noticed. Each time I rose from bed in the morning, I was starting to feel a sharp pain in my left hip. “Here we go,” I thought, “hip replacement. What’s next?”
That immediate thought demonstrated my new negative attitude. From me, the most positive person ever!
My eldest sister at the time was waiting for her hip replacement, which convinced me that I was definitely heading in the same direction. Then I spoke to my younger older sister who said casually, “Just go to the chiropractor.” So I did. And he fixed it.
Just like that.
I’d only mentioned my pain to my sister in passing, and the solution was easy. But in my head, I’d forecast that I was going to be hospitalised and on a stick for weeks, while slowly growing into an old lady.
Attitude, mindset, the power of positive thinking. Action with all of these helped me to change my life from that deeply unhappy menopausal woman to who I am now, knowing that to change my world, I have to change my thoughts.
Wiser people than me have uttered these words through millennia. I just needed to understand that other possibilities existed.
Instead of deciding that menopause and all its accompanying challenges is the ‘end’, we can change our thoughts to it being the ‘beginning’ of a new and exciting chapter of our lives. One without periods, period pains, the risk of getting pregnant, the mood fluctuations, and, to some extent, immaturity.
Entering our wisdom years is to be embraced, with pride, knowing that we’ve achieved so much and got this far, and now, with all our learning, we can help many more just like us.
And it’s not an age thing. Life changes can happen at any time. It’s knowing how to focus on the positive that will make rocks in the road an opportunity for learning, not tripping and falling.
Congratulations. You’re amazing!
I’m not a qualified clinician, dietician, or psychologist, or anything! I write based only on my own experiences, personal views, and research into menopause. Please always seek the advice of a professional. Jacky Wood