50 per cent of the population – assuming we live that long – goes through this. And yet we don’t talk about it much. Amanda Blanch is here to start the conversation…
So it was when I was so rudely awoken at 6.45 am with the mother of all migraines, aching joints and a sudden lack of willingness to participate in this menopause lark any more, that I realised I wanted to put pen to paper (how very old-fashioned of me. Okay, fingers to the keypad), to express my feelings.
Because I know that despite 50 per cent of the population is having to go through, or is in the middle of, or has finally come out the other side; that I am not alone and bloody hell why is there not more written about or said about the MENOPAUSE?!
I am still, after four years, peri-menopausal, and month by month I have no idea what is happening with my body. Will it stay, will it go (oh I do love the Clash). Do I need pads, do I need tissues as I will be crying at a drop of a hat or a picture of a cute kitten, or will I need to warn everyone that I am coming so they can duck or hide?
My husband doesn’t know if he should kiss me or just back away into a corner every morning, a difficult situation I’m sure.
I used to be a vivacious, party loving raver. Now I’m just a fed-up, angry, confused ranter. My confidence has all but disappeared into the abyss and there are days I can’t leave my bedroom. Then there are the days where I want to take on the world and their army. I’ve always been a bit emotional when talking about politics, or women’s rights. But now I am a frightening non-stop aggressor if I am provoked. However, other times I could just cuddle kittens and eat chocolates, watching a weepy film.
“My confidence has all but disappeared into the abyss and there are days I can’t leave my bedroom. Do you see the problem? I am no longer me.”
Do you see the problem? I am no longer me, I have no control over my mind or my body and that, dear friends, is a very difficult place to be. None of us know how the menopause will affect us; my Mum went through a terrible time, and I feel so bloody guilty now that I wasn’t there for her. And of course now it’s too late and she isn’t here for me. But as each of us goes through an entirely individual set of hurdles, we all feel very alone with this sudden new stage of our lives and no one talks about it.
We need more openness, more support, more help, more awareness. Not that long ago women were classed as hysterical and shoved in a lunatic asylum. The word hysteria originates from the Greek word for uterus, hystera. Hysteria was often and still is used as a political tool in the media to impede women’s rights movements and invalidate their arguments and desire for equal rights. The most vehement negative statements associating feminism with hysteria came during the militant suffrage campaign, and they are still being widely used today.
And if I see another bloody article about what I should be wearing in my 50s I swear I will be arrested. No-one will tell me what I should or shouldn’t be doing! At 53, I have a jolly good idea, thank you very much. So although I have very rough days indeed, I have also dyed my hair pink, started wearing mini kilts with my leather jacket and I just don’t give a monkey’s what anyone thinks. That is one of the (very few) up-sides of going through this nightmare.
Come on girls, let’s get talking and doing, ranting not raving. Although frankly both ranting and raving is all good by me… Where are those Clash tracks again? Oh yes – the memory is going too. I’m thinking of starting a blog called ‘Menopausal Mandy’ to get the conversation going… who is with me?
Things we should be taking about…
- Our feelings whilst going through the menopause
- How to get through the day without killing anyone, or at least how not to offend everyone you meet.
- How to stop having a dry ladygarden and what to do to keep the spark lit in your relationships.
- It’s ok to hide away if you can’t face the world.
- Be kind to yourself, it’s the only way to get through this.
- Getting the facts about HRT or complementary medicines.
- Sharing advice of what works and what doesn’t with other women.
Things we shouldn’t be doing…
- Being embarrassed about what is happening to us.
- Being shy about asking for help.
- Forcing ourselves to do things we just can’t face.
- Becoming invisible.
- Anyway, just a few thoughts from me today … I’m off for a lie down in a dark room. Please comment below if you’d like to start a conversation about this!
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