Where was I? (A common question for the hormonally-challenged)
Now that I am officially ‘on the other side’, one of the most frequent questions I get from my younger friends is do things calm down once you’re on the other side? Hence the subject of today’s blog.
It’s almost five years since I made the transition from Mother to Crone, aka hit menopause square in the face. That almost sounds like a one-time event. The reality is more like riding a rollercoaster you didn’t know you’d boarded! Highly unlikely in real life, but here we are nonetheless, having survived the ups, downs, stomach-churning inversions, steaming full ahead, free-falling backwards, and all the other possible directions in between.
It’s enough to make the most cast-iron stomach reel with nausea and disorientation. I’ll never know how humans can pilot fighter-planes and rocket ships. Whoever coined the old adage about it being all to do with the journey and not the destination, clearly hadn’t experienced gravity-defying transport or the menopause rollercoaster.
Back then, I was terrified of my body, the changes and perceived lack of future. What I mean by that is, the physical changes were so extreme I was convinced I was dying of some horrible disease, leach of which changed from one day to the next, one week to the next, one month to the next. The fact that I’m still here, wittering on in my blog, should tell you that I survived in spite of my worst predictions. No ghost-writers here!
Where am I now? (Another common question – similar to the ‘where did I leave my …’ question)
Fast-forward to today, I’m pleased to report that while health anxiety still creeps around, perches on my shoulder like a wee gremlin and whispers the occasional doom-laden word or two, I’m better prepared for it. Goodness knows it tried its hardest to derail me last year, what with COVID and my mother’s death. Yet here I am, in Lockdown 3.0 (England), coping well on most days, and learning to be kind to myself on the days when that blooming gremlin has delusions of grandeur.
I’m thankful that I decided to have EMDR during the worst of the perimenopause days, and that I followed up with cognitive analytic therapy. These two combined created some strong mental foundations to rely on when days are tough. On the physical front, I still get the occasional power-surge, handy on snow days, night-sweats (no electric blankets needed) and palpitations. But that’s just me. Some women continue to experience these things well into their later life. And some lucky ladies sail through without the slightest issue.
They are a minor inconvenience and can be breathed through with some clever yoga breathing techniques. So to answer the question about how things are on the other side, I’d say they’re definitely more calm, more manageable that pre-menopause. At least it seems that way to me. You may have to consult Mr D and the Cost Centres (aka kidults) for a more independent assessment.
What’s next? (Nope – no smart comment here!)
In short, no idea. Hormone-wise, I guess more of the same. Some days will be fine and others may test my mettle. In the grander scheme, once we humans can mix freely without fear of catching COVID, I feel an adventure coming on… to discover somewhere completely new to Mr D and me. Oh, and I will change my employment status to foot-loose and fancy free. I’ve already started the countdown… 25 months to go!
Stay safe and well my friends.