In my forties, life took a twist. I was happy enough in a responsible corporate job, and in my personal relationship, with enough money to enjoy life to the full, albeit modestly.
But over time, the relationship broke down, I got bored at work and my confidence started to ebb. I was no longer floating through each day.
Things got worse on all fronts. I’d moved away and found myself living alone in an area in which I didn’t feel safe, I looked for and found a completely new career path, which I loved, but anxiety had started to show itself, just starting as a niggle, then gradually became part of my everyday routine. That was a new and uncomfortable experience for me.
Life changes, I know that, but I wasn’t ready for was the onset of my perimenopause. I had NO IDEA why over the months, I had come to feel so awful. I had NO knowledge about it and didn’t know where to turn. I had never felt so low. It was only when I looked back that I realised that my new symptoms were the result of being in perimenopause and not just life’s circumstances making me feel so different and incapable.
I wrote a short book at the time, called ‘What Happened, Where Did I Go?’ because I felt so lost and confused. A very naïve read now. But those years were, in fact, the best education of my life. The discovery of new levels of low, the painful emotions that struck me at a moment’s notice, the fear of another day ahead. I was changed forever.
Twenty years later, I am still not the woman I was before perimenopause, I’m different and I’m stronger, and I can genuinely empathise with women who are just beginning their ‘change’. I had made so many mistakes back then; a poor diet, very little exercise, too much alcohol, repeatedly doing things that made me unhappy. I had become the exact opposite to the woman I’d been up to that point. I couldn’t have been a worse example of what NOT to do.
But education, realisation and ultimately acceptance, all came along. I gradually found my way back to health and happiness, to feeling like I deserved better in my life, instead of thinking that it was all some kind of punishment for not being a model person.
Being kind to myself was a huge lesson to learn. Loving who I am, another. Maintaining those beliefs, yet another.
Never forget that menopause is a natural process that may or may not affect you; each of us has a different journey. But whenever and whatever occurs, remember that it’s your time to learn how to be kinder to you, to love yourself more. Find ways to reach the place where you’re at peace – in all areas of your life.
If you need a chat, I’m here. It’s all about you my lovely.