I started my journey to menopause in 2010. I was 50 and I figured that it was way past time I started. I figured since I was older it would be quick too. I have absolutely no idea where I got that idea from but somehow that was my plan. I was hoping that once I became a post-menopausal woman the wisdom and grace I see in some older women would finally be mine. I had visions of a simpler life no periods just the deep knowledge that I had come full circle and my health would be good and that field of flowers I saw everywhere online when I looked up pictures of Menopause would soon be mine! You know the pictures I am talking about right like this one. Tip toe through the tulips or in this case some yellow flower.!!!
I will talk in detail in future posts about those years, but I want to start by saying I had not got clue. I am the third youngest of 9 sisters and just for good measure my Mother also had 6 brothers. I did not notice her having too much trouble or, so I thought (More later). Nothing prepared me for the physical wreckage to my body and the almost complete annihilation of my mind. I read a few books, Googled articles asked my friends what it was like the advice typically was “you will be fine”. Seven years later I was not fine not fine at all, eight years later I am finally ready to acknowledge that I might have come out the other end with my mind and a very changed body. There were several times I thought the mind was never coming back and much to my family’s horror they thought the same thing. I am a very organized person and the chaos my mind was thrown into was alarming. I take some responsibility for not knowing more but on hindsight if I had done research that said it would be this bad, I would probably have been sicker with stress and anxiety expecting the worse.
The exhaustion, the hot flashes, the memory loss, the weight gain, the lack of sleep turned me into somebody I did not recognize. I am self-employed, and it is the only way I got through this able to make a living as I was able to work my schedule around the exhaustion, doctors’ visits and days of complete fog, I utterly admire women who have a tough time and make it through and keep their jobs. Since I was my own boss I was gentle with myself as far as time goes. I have often wondered in the past 8 years if women simply do not talk about this because they do not want to be weak and seen as more likely to have poor health than men. We have enough problems with inequality without being penalized for the way our bodies react to the end of our reproductive cycles.