We don’t always remember with accuracy, but I think that menopause crept up on me. I was particularly aware of symptoms, actually conscious of something different happening to me, when I was 43 and going through a very acrimonious relationship breakup.
At first, I thought feeling so anxious was because of how unsafe I felt, but then I realised that sweating every single night wasn’t normal. I realised that feeling spontaneously stressed wasn’t normal behaviour for me either.
I thought 43 was a bit early to be starting menopause. I didn’t know anything specific about it really, but I did know that there was a lead-up time and that it could last years. So I reluctantly accepted that these symptoms/conditions could be an indication of things to come.
Without doubt, I believe the awful and relentless conflict that lasted for 18 months between me and my then partner exacerbated my experience. I found that being stressed caused hot sweats, and hot sweats caused me stress. To make matters worse, at the time of this split, he’d phone me most nights, mostly drunk (I was living with a friend by now) and threatened to do something horrible if I hung up on him, so I spent many nights with the phone by my ear just listening to his slurred monotonous voice. I can’t even remember what he said now but I do know it was disturbing and interrupted my sleep for months. Yet I felt so incredibly guilty about everything, like I’d deserted him. Another story.
Our menopause journey is unique to us, our lifestyle, our attitude, our experiences in life, our family history, current circumstances, our health, etc. etc., all contribute to our individual experience.
Perhaps, if what I experienced at age 43 had not been as emotionally charged, threatening and unsettling, then maybe my perimenopause would have come later. Who knows?
There followed many years of ignorance around my changes and it wasn’t until I’d turned 50 that I’d had enough. I had to learn and self-help, and, thank goodness, I no longer felt alone.
I can’t emphasise enough how vital it is to get help and support, and to research to get good information. I highly recommend https://www.menopausedoctor.co.uk/ as a starting point. It’s important you learn about your body, to give it your best, so it can sustain you for many, many years.
You’re so very worth taking care of ❤️
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