A couple of years ago I began to wake in pools of sweat; not just a bit hot and sweaty, but absolutely bed wet through sweaty. Last year, the palpitations began which led me to many tests at the doctors. As it had been months since my last period there was only one conclusion; “We cant find anything wrong,” the male doctor said, “unfortunately, it’s just your age.” I went home and lamented the loss of youth, said goodbye to fertility, examined grey hair and wrinkles and wept a little.
I felt that the doctor had been a little flippant about this change of my life, and indeed, change is the important word here. At this stage of a woman’s life it is all change. Woman feel a stirring; an unrest. Anxiety, depression and moods can suddenly go on a roller coaster ride. My friend tells me stories of sobbing on the kitchen floor whilst her family stood and watched, unsure of what was happening.
It is important to explain to your family what is going on for you otherwise they will not understand; and even then, with an explanation, they might still struggle. Try to explain what is happening for you on a physical level and emotional level and let them know how you feel. Ask them to try to give you some space when you need it and let them know that you will come out of the other side of this. Explaining to your family how you feel allows you to let go of feeling judged. It stops you from beating yourself up. That internal inner critic that yells at you that you are a bad mother because you just lost your temper and burst into tears can be told to keep quiet. This is not your fault, try to show yourself some kindness.
At this stage many women want to change their lives. Statistics show that menopause can put a strain on marriage with high rates of divorce in people over 50. Sleepless nights, depression and mood swings can all take their toll. Added to this, we may have children that are getting on with their own lives; they have left home and we no longer feel needed. We might find that we have nothing in common with our partners and have stayed together for the sake of the children. Suddenly, where once there were family times focused on the kids, their activities and their care, there is now an abyss.
At this stage many women reflect on their lives and who they have become. They begin to ask questions such as…