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.
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.
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.
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.