I get knocked down but I get up again…..

I get knocked down but I get up again…..

Firstly, Happy New Year everyone! May 2017 be a happy and healthy year for you all.

Exhaustion has kicked In full force lately. I am so tired yet battling insomnia, I am very stressed and just outright done.

I guess this was a long time coming, the processing of my diagnosis faced with the reality of living my life still. Everything has changed, the shock is quietening down but I am realising that this isn’t a dream, it is my life now.

All I want is a month, a year, a lifetime off to reenergize but it just isn’t going to happen. So, it is now a matter of dealing with this desperate need for change and a restful, peaceful mind, but also trying to incorporate this into my life right now. This is way easier said than done though, believe me.

But although I have been knocked down a lot lately I do indeed get back up again, every time. I have no clue where this inner strength comes from but it’s there and I guess I have to admire that and be thankful. There are times though where I wish to give up, to admit defeat, times where honestly, it is hard to see a way forward.

I cannot begin to describe how off-balance the psychological and physical effects of POF are. If I am not feeling completely exhausted or unable to move I am feeling very low or traumatized from processing what having POF actually entails. For example I have been having heart palpitations recently and I had one so strong whilst out driving that the thought actually crossed my mind that I may die. Call me crazy but I was scared, apparently this can be quite common for women experiencing POF but it is new for me.

I don’t know what is the right thing to do to treat premature menopause, I am on HRT but how do I know this isn’t making me feel worse? I have to rely on medical experts to ‘look after me’ but really I am a vulnerable woman who has lost control of my own choices. This includes choices of going out, making plans, enjoying myself, going to work and more heartbreakingly losing the choice to have children. I will never become a mother to a baby that is produced from my eggs, I may never become a grandmother and so on. Basically you lose choice over your whole life, future plans and purpose. As for the HRT, putting my faith in someone else whether an ‘expert’ or not is hard, what if they are wrong?…….

Just before I go, I do wish to acknowledge a friend of mine called Carla, who set up a justgiving page for me, post me having a breakdown at work after I saw my GP (Who is amazing). She did this as she recognises what I try to do for others and I guess she wanted to try to give a little back. It’s been a really hard few months, I have lost income and to be honest lost aspects of myself I used to love and miss due to endless appointments, sickness, stress, anxiety and I will be honest the processing of heartache. I am truly thankful to know such kind people who have donated to help me and to Carla for setting up the page. Thank you.

Speak soon

Steph x

P.S – Headline pic is of a fertility temple in Mexico i visited in September  🙂








Single, falling in love with a childless future……

Single, falling in love with a childless future……

As it is fertility awareness week starting tomorrow (31st October – 6th November) I felt inspired to write about falling in love with a childless future.

I’m aware that not everybody wants children. And if two people meet who do not want children, then surely that’s great right?

And if two people meet who do want children and go on to have them, then surely that’s great too. But what happens if two people meet, one wants a child and one doesn’t? Or, you both want children but find out you cannot conceive due to one reason or another. And what happens if you are single and know you have a childless future?……

If I am honest, I am not quite sure there is an answer, but I wanted to share some thoughts and feelings with you, as I am sure I am not the only one in this situation…..although it can feel like it at times.

I have always been more than comfortable being single, I love my independence. But since finding out I have early menopause and premature ovarian failure (POF), suddenly the future seems more daunting than usual.

How do you tell someone you may be dating you cannot have children? When should you tell them? When is the right time that you should even embark on a potential relationship after learning you cannot have children?

The answer, is entirely down to you. Only you will know when the right time is to seek or accept a relationship even though it may be an incredibly scary experience. Only you will know when the appropriate time is to tell a potential partner that you cannot have children, although advice from others suggests the earlier we are honest about this the better. I feel that it is important to be honest early on but perhaps keep the emotional, psychological and physical experience private until you know and trust that person, therefore avoid any vulnerable situations you may put yourself in. Some women I have spoken to have had fantastic relationships since diagnosis, I believe this is mostly down to meeting someone who is empathetic and supportive. This is someone I hope to find.

I remember one of the first things I thought when I was told I had POF; ‘How will I ever meet someone now? Who is going to want me? What can I offer a man?’

It was an extremely upsetting time and I did/do worry about my future when it comes to ‘Love’. I know for some women they accept this is their life now and some women may be relieved as they don’t want children anyway.

After speaking to another woman in a similar situation it was brought up whether it was better to find a partner who doesn’t want children, then it’s almost OK to be going through what you’re going through. But let’s face it, every woman who is told they cannot have children naturally thinks about IVF, Adoption and other ways of having a child. So, if this option could one day be a reality, is meeting a man who doesn’t want children actually a bad idea and not a good one?  I guess there are so many questions that unfortunately we won’t find the answers to until the time comes to face them. I am sure that many women, whether in a relationship or not will find this time a very lonely experience.

Fortunately, there is support out there. Unfortunately there isn’t always enough knowledge or awareness of it. This is where I feel it is SO important for fertility issues to be spoken about more, awareness needs to be raised. Women (and men) should not feel alone during some of the darkest days of our lives. If anything, we should all come together, share our experiences and stories to support one another and hope that there will always be a rainbow after rain. Although every experience is individual and personal, our stories can offer advice, guidance and inspiration. Sometimes, it’s even nice just to hear someone else say ‘I know what that’s like and it’s awful’ or ‘I don’t know what to say but I am here’.

One place I have recently found support is the Dovecote community. It is an organisation and community set up around 2 years ago by a very dedicated individual, Kelly. It is a safe haven for individuals to feel supported through their involuntary childlessness, share stories of our own childlessness and encourage one another with our renewed life and purpose.

The organisation also offers everything from workshops, courses and retreats. The community page can be found on social media (links posted below) and is a comfortable place to be able to share our deepest, darkest experiences and inspire others. After a short time of joining the community, I have been in contact with other women who have felt the same or have been through the same experience as I and we have supported each other offering advice and more importantly sympathy and empathy.

Please do take a look, let’s give strength and encouragement to this fantastic organisation and community.

The Dovecote organisation – http://www.thedovecote.org

The Dovecote Facebook community – https://m.facebook.com/thedovecote.org/

Headline pic is thanks to the founder of Dovecote, Kelly.

Much love all

Steph x











What now?……Menopause for life?

What now?……Menopause for life?

Firstly, special thanks to my amazing house mate for making my logo (featured image). It so simple but I love it.

Well, it’s been a crazy few months to say the least. Apologies for being so pathetic at keeping on top of this, the truth is I have struggled to keep on top of myself at times.

I have had some requests to do some facts, questions and answers about menopause which I will crack on with soon. Problem is, there are so many contradicting facts about menopause, that I will have to do a lot of research.

Anyway, update is, I have been discharged from hospital now because I have menopause and that’s that. Even that sentence feels so final. What I really mean is, now they have 100% informed me I have early menopause, my womb is a prolapsed prune and my ovaries have shrivelled into dried out grapes, there is nothing else they can do for me other than prescribe me HRT. The specialist sent me on my way to get on with my life.

HOW SCARY IS THIS? – How am I meant to live my life now? What is my life now? What If something happens but I am discharged? Why doesn’t he want to do another scan in a years time? How will I know if the HRT enlarges my womb like he said?

So many questions with so many uncertain times ahead. Truth is, nothing could happen. I could actually lead a good life, take HRT and be fine. But leaving the specialists care was just so unexpected and felt very final, even though this experience right now and my future will never be final, not for me anyway.

Thankfully, I have recently joined a menopause circle group, which I already feel will be a fantastic experience for me. It is so important to share how you feel and your history with the RIGHT people.

I am certainly learning a lot about myself through this menopause, I have also realised that the psychological symptoms are much harder to process than the physical. The physical symptoms seem to be more comprehendible, but when you start questioning your actions, thoughts and feelings it suddenly becomes a whole different ball game. Some days, I literally hate people, I hate myself, I feel angry, I don’t recognise the person I am and I feel like telling the whole world to F off and literally not care about the consequences. Other days I feel very isolated, lonely and misunderstood. Sometimes I see glimpses of my old self, like a nostalgic feeling. Who knew hormones could have such an effect?! I certainly didn’t.

I plan to use this next year to collate as much information as I can about menopause, whether it’s early, induced medically for example from operations, or whether it comes completely naturally at the ‘average’ age like it ‘should’. Then I shall produce a power point, website or whatever I chose to do, in order to travel around spreading awareness and sharing my knowledge at schools, colleges, universities, well being centres and anywhere really!

I am determined not to allow menopause to take over completely.

This is just the beginning.

Much love

Steph x









Blood, Sweat and Tears……Literally.

Blood, Sweat and Tears……Literally.

Blood, Sweat and Tears…. I have chosen this name for my blog because it really is like this at times, especially this week. Some of the subjects I may cover in this blog may seem a little ‘out there’, but there is no point sugar-coating the truth. At times I feel quite vulnerable and embarrassed about what’s been happening during this menopause. But do you know what? I shouldn’t be. This is real, I am real.


HRT, I cannot begin to describe the rollercoaster this has been over the last month and a half. During the first week I had never quite felt pain like it. The discomfort in and around my womb at times seemed ridiculous. It can only be described as the devil playing ping-pong between my ovaries and in between them my womb is trying to push its way out of me in fear. It bloody hurt! I took a trip to the pharmacy where the pharmacist had never heard of the HRT I am on (helpful..) and recommended ‘Feminax extra strength’. So £5 later I leave with what I am hoping to be my saviour, they worked briefly and then just completely wore off. Hopefully they work better for others.

Other side effects I have had are extremely sore and swollen breasts. I am sure a lot of women would love to have swollen bigger boobs, but when they are so tender it makes simple things like wearing a bra and lying down quite difficult trust me it becomes a real burden. The one side effect I possibly hate the most is the water retention. This makes my whole body feel bloated, my legs in particular, they feel heavy, like I have weights strapped to them all of the time. My appetite too has changed a lot, I do not look forward to food and I don’t feel like eating all those foods that usually I love so much, like nachos! To be honest, this may benefit me in the long run regarding my weight (hopefully) however, I have also been informed that oestrogen is stored in the fat in your body, so If the body isn’t producing it naturally it may store whatever it can, thus making it difficult to lose fat. At least I have had many answers now, for all of those unanswered questions I had regarding my weight etc. But, studies also show that HRT can make you put on weight. FML.

You have got to be kidding me?

Guess what happened to be on Tuesday. I started my period. I finished work at 6 having put up with pains all day, came home to get ready for rounders and boom there it was. WTF. I was a little shocked to say the least because obviously menopause usually means that periods stop, mine actually did. The HRT I am taking is manipulating my body into having periods, it does suggest this may happen in the information booklet that comes with the HRT, but I don’t want it. I know there are other types of HRT that do not give you periods so I will soon be requesting that, which is a shame because the rest of my symptoms are much better.

So, what is so bad about having a period? Don’t all women have them? If I did not have menopause and premature ovarian insufficiency, then I would still have them anyway right? So what’s the problem?

The problem is this, for me personally seeing the blood from my period has sent me into this downward spiral of emotions. It’s fact that the uterus lining gets prepared for a fertilised egg ready for when a woman becomes pregnant. If the egg does not get fertilised then the blood gets released, therefore women have a period. I am not producing any eggs, my ovaries aren’t working and I am infertile. In fact during my last examination I was told that for some reason my left ovary wasn’t visible and my right ovary is extremely small measuring around 12mm, 12mm! The average size of an ovary is 3.5cm. Also, the average size of a woman’s womb is similar to the size of a pear. Mine is the size of a prune, which the specialist explained is not normal and is no way a suitable environment to conceive anyway. It appears to be shrinking so I am still awaiting tests and results to find out more.

Anyway, the reason that I don’t want this period is because it reminds me of all of this. It is a visual of all of the internal problems that are happening. It’s my body saying “Hey you, you know you can’t have kids right? You know that you have all these symptoms going on right? Well it is your lucky day because on top of everything, we are going to give you a period, along with really painful cramps and guess what, it doesn’t mean anything, the function of your period means nothing, but have a good day”

I hadn’t really processed the never being able to have children part of all this, mainly because I have not settled down and in that stage of my life yet. But the option is gone and when this period came it was like a kick in the teeth. My body is faking a preparation for something that can never happen and it is sad. Who would ever chose to have periods anyway? They can represent so much for women I know, but they are also a burden and I have always said that if there was one good thing to come from all of this, it is that I don’t have to have a period ever again, hence my shock when I discovered otherwise. Isn’t it interesting though that some women long for their periods to end whilst others may pray for their periods to continue, due to fear of the ‘change’ and all that comes with it.

I am still trying to seek answers as to why this has happened to me, both medically and logically. Maybe I will never know. All I do know is that somehow I still have to try to embrace this journey in my life. And if I can raise awareness or even just support one other person who may be going through this or similar, then that is enough for me.

On the plus side the hot flushes have significantly reduced, hooray! And I haven’t long returned from a fabulous holiday that was much-needed!

Please keep in touch, let me know what you all think of the blogs, if they help, if they don’t, if they make an interesting read or not etc. If there’s anything at all you want to know more about or would like more info about HRT or the menopause please ask.

And of course, all advice and words of encouragement are welcome!

Until next time.

Steph X























Apologies for what seems like the longest delay ever in writing this next blog.

Life. Gets. Busy.

Quick update; I have been through what seems like a never-ending rollercoaster lately, I feel sick and tired from this ride but it just will not stop. I did finally see a good specialist who listened to me and treated my ‘issues’ very sensitively. This is extremely different from the previous awful experience I had. So what I am saying to you is, do not let one bad experience affect others you may have, you may miss something good. Reluctantly I have started HRT, it is early days. The risks are pretty high, something I now have to accept, which brings me nicely onto what this blog is about;

Change, choices and acceptance.

When you really think about it, change happens all of the time. There are unexpected changes, planned changes, unwanted changes, nice changes and just changes! A lot of the time though, change is unwanted or unexpected and this can be very hard. I certainly found that the changes I have faced through this menopause so far are just that, unwanted and unexpected. Usually with change comes choice. I have been taking HRT now for two weeks, a change I did not really want but strongly advised to do due to my age, therefore I had to make a choice. A choice to accept that it will make me feel better but it is risky business. My plan is to live my life in the here and now rather than waste my worries on the future which is unknown anyway!

If someone you love dies, it is a change and you have to make a choice how you deal with this. Making choices isn’t always easy, whether it is what you fancy from the Chinese that evening, to whether or not to start chemo to treat cancer. Obviously some choices are completely different to others, but nevertheless, still a choice to make.

But what if these choices are taken from you, then what? I suppose it then turns into making another choice of how you deal with having no choice at all. It can take true courage to make a choice to change the way you think and feel about your life, especially when it may go against what you believe and what you have worked to achieve.

For me, the hardest change comes with acceptance. Accepting that you are wrong, you are unhappy, you are right or you are simply YOU. Acceptance can take a long time to happen, it can take a long time to accept acceptance. I feel I am accepting parts of me but not everything. Sometimes people accept that they like their body but hate their personality. They like that they are kind but hate how they feel when they are wrong etc. Personally, I dislike my appearance, it has been an ongoing battle for years. But in the last 12 months I have been more self-aware than ever. More aware that I feel I do the right thing, treat people well and more importantly look after my well-being. This is not selfishness, this is self preservation. Of course I still have a mountain to climb and I know this won’t be easy. It has taken a long time to learn the word ‘no’ but I do feel I am nearly there. Sometimes saying no to myself is harder than saying it to anyone else. I understand and accept that yes, I can do too much. But I also accept that this is the way I choose to live my life right now and this may change, either because I want it to or unexpectedly. People say it far too often but it is true…….

“You never know what is around the corner…..”

What I am still working on, is knowing what changes I want and acting on them. For example, losing weight has always been a massive struggle for me, but it is something I want to achieve. So why have I not done it? People say, if it is something you really want, you will do it regardless of what life throws at you. Whilst I agree that when you want something you have to work for it, changes and choices can block your path. What also stops you from doing something is self sabotage.

“Oh, I have lost 3 pounds, go on then I will have that cake….” – Why do we do this? Why do we reward ourselves with the habits and behaviours that we are trying to CHANGE.

Trouble is, in the moment, these changes and choices we make seem like a good idea, even when we know they are a bad idea we still pursue them. We spend so much time causing anxieties for ourselves and punishing ourselves, that we forget we have been in control the whole time.

If you know you are an emotional eater, accept it and change.

If you know you do not have long to live and you want to make the best of your last living days, accept it and change.

If you know you are in the wrong relationship for you, accept it and change.

Not everyone is your friend, wherever you go there is always a snake in the grass, accept it and change.

Whatever it may be that you are unhappy with or want to do differently, accept it and change. Even if it is that you have to change your thought process about something, you have a choice, you can do this. When we reach an age or situation in our lives where we are facing the end of our time on earth, we talk less about what we regret we did do and more about our regrets of what we didn’t do. This is a real shame.

Do you let it destroy you or use it to make you stronger? I know that I am facing/have faced so many changes that I did and did not ask for. I have accepted most of them, I have changed the way I look at them and myself and I am making better choices which make me happier. You should only ever want to change for yourself. Sure you can change to save a relationship or friendship, but if you aren’t being true to yourself then chances are it isn’t going to work anyway.

Nobody is perfect but we can at least try.

“If you change nothing, nothing can change.”

Much love

Steph Xx




Gynos……At Your Cervix….

Gynos……At Your Cervix….

Hey there, hope everyone is well. Thanks for stopping by.

I haven’t written a blog for a few weeks, I have been quite busy leaving my job and making plans etc. I also auditioned to be in a band! Something I have been wanting to do for quite some time but I haven’t felt the confidence to do so. And I was nervous, so so nervous but after many encouraging comments from friends and family I took the plunge.  I will find out soon if I made it or not 🙂

Anyway, the real reason for my blog today is to share the experience I had during my specialist appointment this week. OH BOY was it an experience. Thing is, when you are waiting for your specialist appointment, you can feel anxious, apprehensive and have high expectations. When these aren’t met it can be very disheartening and stressful.

The ‘specialist’ I saw was a locum gynaecologist. He did not appear to have read my notes before I saw him and the majority of the first part of the consultation was spent answering questions about my ‘diagnosis’, that my GP had already outlined in the letter he sent to the specialist. He appeared to have no prior knowledge as to why I was there. His general manner did not fill me with much confidence, as he seemed very vague with the information he was trying to give me. During the consultation I felt very distressed as he simply did not know what to do with me. I could feel myself being defeated as I have already been through so much and come a long way already.

Then, after what felt like some wasted conversation he told me he wanted to examine me, which lets face it, is never a pleasant experience to go through. The chaperone came in and asked me to undress from the waist down. I did not even know why he even wanted to examine me or what he was meant to be looking for?! Anyway, as I am undressing the chaperone literally stands there and watches me, which was so uncomfortable. I had a towel to cover myself with which was no bigger than a small hand towel, hardly enough to protect my dignity! Then the specialist walked around the pathetic excuse of a curtain, that did not even come all of the way around and said I did not have to take my clothing off just pull them down, this could have been avoided.

Anyway, for reasons that were quite unclear and confusing he then said he had to examine my breasts. So as I am putting my bottoms back on, the chaperone watches me still and then he comes around the curtain. As I stand there utterly embarrassed by the whole situation, I then have to undress my top half in front of them watching me, I was offered no gown to cover myself.

Now, those who know me well will understand that this was a big deal for me because I hate my appearance. I know we all have to learn to love ourselves and whilst I agree I also cannot stop feeling this way, yet. So to have to expose myself in front of strangers, who had no compassion or kind bedside manner left me feeling rather distraught. To some people this may not sound like a big deal. This is not something I have to do often, so I am not used to having people stare at me whilst I undress, I felt like an animal at a zoo. I have already been feeling extremely vulnerable lately and lost a lot of the spark I once had, this experience has left me feeling broken.

The specialist went on to make comments like ‘if you do have what your GP is telling you then it’s not good’, he then went on to say ‘Good luck’ to me as I was leaving. What specialist says good luck to someone who is desperate for answers? At some points he was even looking up my symptoms on the internet, he researched chromosome abnormalities and informed me that I could have an abnormality from birth. After waiting over 8 weeks for this appointment, I feel very disappointed, disheartened and left not knowing which direction is the best one. I believe I am now waiting for a transfer to a different hospital but right now I am just giving up all hope. I cannot see through the clouds.

This week I sparked a discussion with a women’s group on Facebook, regarding the fact that most hospitals have the specialists in one place. Therefore, you may be going for a gynaecology appointment knowing that you cannot have children, yet you are then expected to sit with pregnant women. Some responses I had from other women also informed me that women who may have experienced trauma during pregnancy, such as still birth, are then expected to sit in an open ward with other women who have just had their baby. I am sure I do not have to elaborate any further on how much women and their partners must be psychologically damaged by an experience like that. As much as I appreciate the NHS, words do fail me sometimes.

Somehow, somewhere deep inside my heart there is still this strength to keep fighting. I am aware I may be at risk of sounding a little ‘overdramatic’, as the menopause is not the end of the world, but I do have other things going on that I have to process and deal with too. Everyday struggles can affect us all in different ways, I know I have said it before but you really just do not know what someone else is going through. I was very lucky to have my sister with me at the appointment to support me and I cannot stress enough how important it is to have someone with you for extra support and reassurance. So please, where possible do not go through challenges alone.

I am usually a very independent woman and would tend to go to appointments on my own but even I need a hand to hold sometimes. There is nothing wrong with accepting that you may need some additional support, whether it be physically, emotionally or financially – although money can cause many issues!

In general menopause news, my symptoms are still in full swing and I feel like shit most days, it is hard. The vitamins are helping though and I shall do a review on those soon. I do hope that anyone else who is experiencing the same are doing ok.

It would just be nice to live a stress free life, but I do not think this is possible. So, instead it is about learning how to ride the waves rather than get swept by them.

I am working on it.

Until next time









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.








The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


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.

Much love














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

Dear diary, menopause is making me cry…

Dear diary, menopause is making me cry…

This may be my most honest blog yet.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to feel. I need to take some time away because I am not processing this well, or as I feel I should be. I was told the news by my GP and I have since carried on as normal. Well, tried to but these symptoms are making damn sure that I cannot forget what is happening to me.

Today has been ok, I have been at work but I have had moments of feeling overwhelmed and dizzy. After work at 8pm I came home and had a long shower to relax. I sat down and thought to myself, I will read some of that book that my lovely housemate (and she really is lovely) bought for me. It’s called;

‘Natural alternatives to HRT’

I have read 10 pages and I am a mess. I have been so OBLIVIOUS to what menopause actually is and rightly so as I am only 26. But after reading what it is and what happens to your body I just feel so overwhelmed. I read the symptoms;

hot flushes, night sweats, irritability, declining libido, osteoporosis, weight gain, vaginal dryness, ageing skin, changes in hair, hair loss, headaches, mood swings, lack of energy and joint pain.

I have most of these symptoms and have done for ages. This really upset me because I have realised that actually I have been living with this for a very long time, way before my actual diagnosis, possibly years. How scary is that? I urge you to see your GP if you notice any hormonal changes, don’t leave it for years like I have. Please.

As I read each symptom I felt my eyes water, next thing I know I am sobbing into my pyjama top, not just a few tears, but literally that sobbing you get when your breathing becomes difficult and you cannot actually stop yourself. But that is ok, it is ok to be upset. It is healthy to be upset. It’s just not nice that’s all.

To go through these changes as a woman is horrible at any age, but when you are so young and having to accept that your skin will age sooner, your breasts will lose elasticity so they will sag younger, experience of hair loss, weight changes and potential bone conditions, well, it can be damaging to your psychological health BIG TIME and this upset me immensely. The menopause is not called the ‘change’ for nothing. Because everything changes. Imagine how damaging this is to your self-esteem and worth. Sometimes, I feel worthless.

However, it is not the book that has upset me, if anything I am learning from it and I recommend others get it to. It is the realisation that no, this is not a dream and this is really happening to me that has caused my tears. Why me?….well I just don’t know. Although I feel I have experienced many of the negatives of the menopause already, I am sure there are more to come. And obviously this fills me with anticipation of the unknown, fear of what could be and tears, lots more tears.

This is such an upsetting time to go through and I wanted to share with you all briefly the reality of the menopause. I cannot even begin to think about the inevitable that I will not be able to conceive naturally. But then I am not at that point in my life yet anyway. I do want to stress though that not every experience is like the one I describe, every woman is different and there are many benefits and positives that come from the menopause. It is also a NATURAL process we go through, so not to be treated like an illness. It is a natural event that as women we all face in our lives.

It is important to look after yourself. Your physical well-being. And in my opinion most importantly your psychological well being. Your mind is more powerful than you will ever give it credit for, so in particular look after your mind! Rest, meditate, start yoga, eat well, drink less of the bad stuff and just feel well.

This is now all I hope for.


Steph x