Perimenopause – could I have done more?

Simple answer?  Yes! 

Not-so-simple answer?  Well, maybe.

It’s all down to how conscious and educated we are about our body, and how it’s affected by every little thing we do, where we live, who we spend time with; you know, lifestyle choices.

I didn’t have a clue.  At the very, very beginning, I was 43, and I realised that I’d been waking every day with a feeling of what I can only describe as butterflies.  It was so slight, but unmistakable.  I couldn’t understand why this had started to happen.  I’d been so extremely lucky through life with few and minor physical problems and this was a mystery.

So I put it down to the fact that I’d just emerged from a relationship that had a difficult ending and thought the butterflies would wear off once I’d rebalanced my emotions.

But that didn’t happen, it got worse.  And to be honest, hasn’t really gone away, but now I know why I get it and it really doesn’t bother me at all, particularly as it’s only slight again now.

So I’d thought it was stress that had caught up with me.  I used to say, “I don’t do stress,” but I think it was finally doing me. 

So just how much ‘stress’ was causing the anxious feeling, and how many of my previous life actions, decisions and experiences had contributed to it, and its increasing intensity?

Then there were feelings of guilt around the end of the long relationship, that I’d let him down.  Would my thoughts about that make me feel anxious?

We now know that fluctuating hormones can cause apprehensive feelings, as if something is about to happen.  But I didn’t know that then or what I could do to alleviate it.  If I had, I may have begun to take much better care of myself sooner.

There may be many bad or unhealthy habits engaged in over the decades and when we arrive at perimenopause, we can’t know if they’ve added to the severity of our experience or not. 

If I could turn the clock back, would I live any differently?  I’ll never know, but I am aware of more people becoming conscious of their bodies and how their choices affect their future health, which is great news. This definitely needs to happen.

There are some simple practices that are worth trying, at least, and may possibly be the very steps you’ll need towards a much smoother journey. 

No matter what age, it’s worth taking care of you.  Have fun but have moderation too.

Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s an act of self-love and this is what will sustain you all your life.  And when you’re strong, you can be strong for others.

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, and the fact that I want to help women. Please always seek the advice of a professional. Jacky Wood

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