I have generally been successful in my life and in my career, so when my menopause started at the age of 47, I just thought I would take it in my stride.
It started with hot flushes. Too busy to dwell on what was happening I blamed the office heating until one, became two, became many. Still, I firmly believed I could handle it, like I had most other things in my life.
Then came the restless legs (put down to my love of long walks), the brain fog and memory loss (having a bad day, distracted by the kids). Once able to recall information and speak eloquently I turned into a stammering deer in the headlights. I was waking feeling flat and uninspired. I would literally have to hoist my legs over the side of the bed and will myself to a standing position.
I knew a bit about the menopause, how it affected OTHER women. My brain however seemed incapable of making the connection to my own experience. Our brains are good at making sure we run away from what they see as a threat, perhaps this was some sort of protection mechanism. The problem was there was nowhere to hide and it wasn’t going away.
Then a friend suggested I keep a record of my symptoms, write them down. Initially my inner voice demanded its excuses be heard…you don’t have time for this...how is this really going to help you? In some way I probably felt that not accepting it meant I didn’t have to face it. Wrong!
When I started to write down my symptoms, it really struck me how many there were and how they were ‘classic’ menopause symptoms. I started to ask myself was I really prepared to just put up with this when I could do something about it. This took me down a path of self-acceptance, a trip to the GP and ultimately a happier me.
If you haven’t done it already, try recording your symptoms. Write them down and then look at your list. What is it telling you? What will your first step to a happier you look like?