The Truth About Friendships

The Truth About Friendships

Why is love and acceptance so hard? Why do we all struggle so much to love ourselves and accept that we are who we are? Why do we allow others to dictate how we feel and behave?

I have found that by accepting I have the menopause, I feel better about it. Although the symptoms are still coming in thick and fast, I know that they are not forever. I also accept that this is not the worst thing that could ever happen to me. However, that being said, living with constant “well at least you don’t have this or that….” is not acceptable. Although others may use this to try and help you and enable you to feel/think differently, it too is important to sit with the thoughts that this is the worse thing that could happen to you. By allowing yourself to do this, you are able to put things into perspective. I have often sat and felt that what is happening to me is the worst thing in the world, I have also said and done this in the past too, particularly with bereavements. If I did not do this, then I would not have gained the perspective and acceptance I have today. By allowing myself to spiral through all of the emotions in my life, I have been able to become a wiser person, gain more self-awareness and use my experiences to understand and help others. On the other hand I am aware that some individuals will sit with that ‘woe me’ feeling for too long and may use this to their advantage. These people will suck the life out of you if you aren’t careful, I am sure we all know a few like this. Thing is, these people usually are not going through what you may have gone through or may be going through now, this can cause real resentment from you and maybe rightly so.

Another thing I find incredibly disappointing is competition. Now I am not talking about healthy competition, I am talking about those who either feel they know better or feel that others cannot be at the centre of attention, when they may just deserve to be for once! Also, these people will lie in order to take that limelight. Sometimes people share information that is sensitive to them, so to then have someone else ‘override’ that with their own issue, to gain attention is just rude! Here are some totally over exaggerated examples of this;

You – “I feel really sad my dog died”

Them – “Yeah, well my dog died in 1990 and we have had 10 die since then”

You – “I feel so proud I have lost a stone in weight”

Them – “I lost two stone, then I lost another 5, in fact I have lost 5 pound just talking to you”

You – “I have been quite sad lately, I have been dealing with a bereavement, one of my parents died”

Them – “Imagine what it’s like for me, my mum and dad live miles away and i never see them….”

Jealous, spiteful and envious individuals are not my kind of people!

I have some great friendships at the moment, although some of which I feel need reviewing. That may sound awful but not everyone who says they will do anything for you are being honest. I am not saying do not trust people, I am just expressing that friends should love you for who you are, not just certain aspects of you.

“Players only love you when they are playing” It is what it is. Unfortunately some friends only want to know the happier, more content you, this side of you usually requires less effort from others, therefore they do not have to try and empathise with you or use their energy to support you. There are also some friends that only enjoy the sad and needy side of you, in a very mixed up way this can make them feel better about themselves and enable them to kick you when you are down. Some friends will ‘diagnose’ you. “You have depression…..” this can be tricky as some friends may be genuinely honest when making a statement like this, however some friends get pleasure from telling you something that actually is quite psychologically damaging, what is that all about!

Then, we have the friends that cannot be happy for you no matter what. The envious friends, the ones who will watch you work your ass off to make a better life for yourself and they will hate you for doing so. The reason they do this? Who knows! But an explanation could be, that they are unwilling to make a change for themselves, they are lazy, they blame everything, anything and anyone for their mistakes and failures. Therefore, they simply cannot handle the fact that you are able to do something for yourself. You may have taken a huge step in a decision lately, if this then gets dismissed by those you love this can really hurt. If you, like me, have done something to help your psychological well being, shouldn’t people feel proud of you? Not envious that you have done something so important for yourself. Do not let others make you believe your decisions and life’s path is not a big deal.

Drop in centre friends, are those who will drop by when there is something wrong or they need something. So, although you may have been going through a terrible time and not heard from them at all during this period, they still feel it is acceptable to ‘drop by’ with a trivial issue such as “I don’t know who to date, Chas or Dave?……”

Some friends we have may struggle with their emotions and thoughts. For example if a friend feels worthless they may seek attention and abuse it. If you then as their friend, are going through a tough time, but use it to your advantage, help others and get the positive recognition you deserve, does that then give them the right to put you down and feel jealous of you? NO. If you are someone who achieves your goals and works hard to do this, can someone then be mad at you for doing so well, when they struggle to achieve anything due to putting little effort in? NO. This brings me onto jealousy and compassion, sometimes these can get confused. I am not sure how.

Jealousy – “Oh look at her, of course she has the menopause, now she has loads of attention from doing a blog and everyone loves her because she is so great, she is so fantastic, she is so wonderful, she has loads of new friends, she is better than me, why can’t I be like that, she has now completed college too…..But at least she is still ugly and over weight….”

Compassion – “I think what you are doing is lovely, it must be so hard for you at the moment. You should feel really proud that you are handling this so well and have so many people to support you. I am here to support you.”

I am aware this blog has raised some issues about the negative friendships and relationships we may have with others. I have to express, that this does not reflect my state of mind but I am sharing with you all my own experiences of support and what I have learnt from them. I am aware of the types of people I will welcome into my life and how to prioritise those friends that are genuine and compassionate. Recently, a friend who I have known for about two years (seems a lot longer) had an event to raise some money so I can support myself financially over the next month, as I have lost some earnings recently due to ill health. No one asked her to do this, she took it upon herself to help a friend in need and words have failed me when I think that this was done for me. My wonderful housemate has allowed me to owe her some rent money, again she did not have to do this, but because she is a compassionate, empathic person she offered her support. Another friend gave me some free Reiki healing last week, to help me feel better. This is her time and energy she was willing to give up, to help someone else. How lovely is that? I do not like to discuss my family on my blogs, as somethings I do wish to keep private but i have had support from some of them too, I just had to mention that.

The truth is, there are some amazing people in this world, I am lucky enough to be friends with some of them. I guess what I am trying to encourage is for people to stop, look around and see the wonderful people you have in your life and make sure that you treat them well. Accept that sometimes their lives will be better than yours, accept that sometimes they may need extra support and nurturing. Accept yourself and the way you behave, accept your actions and the consequences. If you are unhappy with yourself, only you can change that. Only you can change the way you think and feel. Accept when you are wrong and admit it. Accept when you are right and embrace it.

Just accept yourself. The only person you will hurt if you don’t is you.

Acceptance = Happiness. Let yourself be happy, be happy for others and let them be happy for you.

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Well,

I’m not quite sure how I feel today to be honest. I have just finished the last of my college work so I am relieved about that. For those who aren’t aware but may be interested, I am training to be a counsellor.

The reason I have named this blog the good, the bad and the ugly is because I feel the menopause is just that.

THE GOOD

This week I have been staying at my sisters which is in a lovely little village near the Cotswolds. I have mostly relaxed and allowed myself to at least try and process some of what is happening. I have heard from lots of lovely people and had some gifts from a friend at work which was very thoughtful. I have been able to help some women who have contacted me going through the same thing which is great! Please, if you would like any information about menopause or just to chat to someone about health, feel free to contact me.

Another positive is that I spoke with some friends about a possible job opportunity (as bank staff) working with families who need support caring for their children. This would definitely interest me and I do feel I could make a difference.

The natural medicines I have been taking seem to be making me feel better too, which is much needed.

THE BAD

Generally, I have been ok this week. But that still doesn’t take away the fact that my hormones are all over the place. Mentally I feel quite strong most of the time, I do have ‘wobbly’ moments but they tend to be when I am on my own. Why do we do that? Why do we as people have a tendency to reflect upon everything and get upset about it when we are on our own? Because I usually find that this is when a hug would be much appreciated, yet when you are in a room full of people ‘everything is ok’…….

Still no news from the specialist. Like I have said before I do not like to complain about the NHS because we would be in trouble without it. (Although I am aware we are in a lot of trouble because we have it too)

Ever since I have been told that I cannot naturally have children, baby adverts are EVERYWHERE. I love a good YouTube session, but when every advert starts with “Guess what I’m pregnant” it can get a little too much sometimes. I am not even sure I want children, but to have the option taken away is rough. And I really empathise with those who are going through this and desperately want/wanted children but haven’t been able to.

THE UGLY

Monday was quite a warm day. Then in the evening it felt quite ‘clammy’. After a 12 hour shift I went along to a choir group I joined a few months ago. Arriving a little later because of work I ‘plonked’ my bag down and joined the group who were mid song.

As we are singing I can feel my heart beating a little faster. I thought “Well, this is because I have rushed here.”

Then my fingers start tingling, this is quite common for women to experience with the menopause. Then, suddenly, my face becomes really hot and my skin feels quite sensitive to the air. Skin….sensitive to the air, I mean what is that all about?! But it’s true.

And finally, tiny beads of sweat start to appear. Mostly on my forehead, top lip and chin. An intense heat smacks me in the face and it is simply unbearable. It is at this point that anxiety and stress kicks in. “Oh shit here we go, I am going to melt, my make up is going to run, my fringe is going to become soaked and I haven’t got a hairbrush. What will people think? How can that woman be wearing a jumper and a coat and I am in a T-shirt dripping? If only I knew, maybe I should tell them if they look at me. How embarrassing. Shit. Shit. Shit.”

As this is happening, the choir are singing and swaying away and I try to think of every reason to leave, say I need to go home, I don’t feel well. This may seem like a ‘vanity’ issue and some of you may be right to think that. But to me it is much much more. It is my self-esteem, my confidence, my reality and it is ruining all the things I love to do.

I have read that hot flushes can last from six months to five years, I am definitely starting to think that I have been going through the menopause for many more years than one, as I have put up with this for a long time. The contraceptive pill I was taking (Cerazette) did a good job in masking all of the other symptoms.

Truth is, it really upsets me and gets me down. It affects what clothes I wear, It ruins any plans I have, the things that I really enjoy doing and my confidence has been shot at. I am starting to have one now because I feel quite upset writing about it. Someone open a window……

Seriously, I have battled with self-esteem issues for years anyway, so to now have to put up with this it feels impossible. I hate that reflection in the mirror, I feel ugly. You know when people say “I have tried everything to lose weight” I really do feel that I have tried it all. I used to buy ‘slimming’ pills from eBay when I was in my teens. You know they are full of crap, probably just grass. When a diet is going well something usually happens. I have a bereavement, a break up and now the menopause. I have no energy. So most of the diets I have tried in the last 12 months I have failed at, because my energy levels are already so low. There needs to be a ‘menopause diet’, maybe there is…….

I also read that in order to prevent hot flushes I need to not get upset, not get stressed and avoid hot rooms. I would love to know how anyone can avoid all of those things let alone just me. Hot flashes also do not just happen in the day, actually they are more common at night and can disturb your sleep without even waking you up. So it is no wonder that I feel ‘shattered’ most of the time.

Somehow, there is still that fighter I used to know inside of me. I do not feel like the bouncy young confident person I used to be and I honestly pray that this is just temporary, because to tell you the truth, I miss her.

Thanks for reading. Suggestions and stories always welcome.

Much love

Steph

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ‘Change’

The ‘Change’

Hey everybody,

So, it’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote a blog so I thought I better get on with it and give you all an update.

I still haven’t heard anything from my GP or specialist regarding the next stages. To be honest I could really do with starting some sort of hormone therapy, as some days I am completely wiped and have no energy at all, other days it is like nothing has happened. This can be quite difficult to live with actually because it is unpredictable. I have though started taking some natural remedies such as evening primrose oil, starflower oil and ‘menopace’ original which is full of vitamins. These were recommended by a lovely lady I got to college with and they work! Well, for me they do anyway and I definitely recommend trying them.

I just want to say thank you to you all. I have had some lovely messages and conversations with people about the Facebook page (justovaryacting) and just generally about what I am going through. Yesterday I received a message from a 22 year old who is going through the same thing. She was grateful to have come across my page to restore some of that positivity, that when told something like this can become very negative. And this is the reason I do what I do. Also, thank you for all the continued support and likes, please do keep sharing the page and raising awareness.

This week I have been signed off from work. My GP has been trying to persuade me to take some time off for ages but as usual I carried on and soldiered through. However, this week I felt differently about it, I felt that I had to take some time off, some time away just to process things and rest. Rest….. I don’t even know what that is, I do not rest easy.

So, it is near the end of the week and I have decided to go back to work earlier than planned as I simply cannot afford the time off. This is a disappointing reality for most people who are employed, because statutory sick pay is comical! How can anyone who genuinely unwell and in need of time off afford to live on £80 per week? It’s such a shame.

Anyway, I have handed in my notice where I currently work because I quite frankly want to live my life. I have decided to work around my life, rather than live around work. So all of the activities I enjoy doing weekly that I have half heartedly committed to due to working hours, I am going to be enjoying every week. These are the things that make me happy so why have I denied myself all this time? I am also only going to seek jobs that give me job satisfaction. And now I am going to live my life putting myself first and to be honest continue to be brave yet humble.

I have done some brave things in my life. Sought medical help for embarrassing issues, shared my story of early menopause to the world, told someone how I felt about them knowing full well nothing could be done about it, deal with bereavements, moved to New York on my own and just generally fight life challenges that get thrown my way. If you too are a fighter, then good on you. Be proud, I know I am.

Finally, it is fair to say that I am making changes and this is thanks to ‘the change’. It may be hard to understand but whatever life throws at you, how ever big or small, however good or bad, embrace it! Use it to turn your life around. In fact just do it anyway. Stop wasting time, stop worrying, stop believing in what if’s and start to believe in yourself.

You only get what you settle for……

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations……

Much love

Steph x