Hi Friends, somehow we are a quarter of the way through this new year and you may have decided I must have fallen off the side of the Earth. I have been absent here for a few months, meandering my way through some uncharted territory in my life. I’ve been off on my own, in an unusual headspace, but I feel strongly compelled to share since yesterday’s International Women’s Day.
See, what I’ve been slogging through these past months is completely female. And though it may have been considered taboo to talk about in past generations, it’s high time we bring about a healthy shift because women can feel lost and hopeless where I find myself right now. We gals need to know what to expect because none of us will escape this thing…and not one of us is alone here.
So where am I? I’ve literally been MIA! But maybe not what you are thinking…I’m smack dab in the throes of Menopause is Activated! When I put it like that, it feels more like a superpower haha! What does it even mean? Means I’ve been dealing with a pile of changes I find difficult to navigate on a daily basis. Had my mom’s generation warned me, I feel confident I would have been better equipped. So let’s start that conversation!
Menopause affects each woman uniquely, so I can only tell you what I’m experiencing…that list is long and unpleasant. I’ve got frequent hot flashes that have me peeling off layers at most awkward moments. I find it difficult to concentrate and find myself forgetting important things. My sleep is abruptly interrupted by night sweats, followed by unfounded anxiety that keeps me wide awake and deposits bags under my eyes the next morning. So I guess that’s why another common symptiom is exhaustion. I’m dealing with headaches, irritability, moodiness…pretty much a feeling of perpetual PMS…ugh. The weight gain I’ve read about on the hips, abdomen and thighs…yup, I’ve got that too. I feel like for me, that’s the result of lack of sleep, general depression and the insatiable hunger trigger of this emotional eater.
These are rough enough, but throw them at a gal and expect her to continue juggling the daily grind, while possibly coping with emotions surrounding a shrinking nest and the continuously unexpected with a smile…seriously?!? Guess that’s why they called it a mid-life crises…makes perfect sense to me. Also guessing that’s why valium aka Mother’s Little Helper was so popular back when they wouldn’t talk about it?
So what the heck is a gal supposed to do? It’s easy to see why this is such a difficult time in a woman’s life! Luckily we have the choice of fight or flight here, and I simply refuse to quietly retreat to a corner and allow this to defeat me. So I fight!
I’m grateful to find relief to many of these issues by remaining physically active. I’ve found exercise to be of great help and relief in improving not only the physical changes but the mental and emotional as well. I’ve thrown in some extra heavy doses of yoga and meditation too for a mindful boost…adding in some of that self care reminds me to love myself. Getting outside to breathe deep is priceless too. Sure, I still have moments when it all feels like too much and I succumb to a full-blown tantrum. That’s a great time to just let the emotions come and let it all go!
So there you have it, kind of a laundry list of why I’ve been MIA lately. Not excuses…just taking some time to gently deal with some of the rites of passage associated with the privilege of being a woman.
I’m reminded how blessed I am to have a spouse that understands what I’m going through and picks up the slack without missing a beat. #rockstarhusband!!! He gets me because I tell him how I’m feeling. Communication!!! I’m grateful to not feel alone…exactly why we all need to talk about this.
Have you found yourself MIA? Do you have any wisdom to impart? Or dealing with something you’d like others to weigh in on? Leave a comment, we could all use some help here!