This work I do gives me a birds-eye view of the spectrum of experiences women go through as they move through perimenopause and menopause. Some journey into this strange land and come out on the other side completely unscathed. But then there are the women who watch in horror as their perfectly orchestrated lives unravel into puddles of anger, tears, and rage.
When women begin perimenopause the terrain can be rough and unknown. I recently posted a question in several menopause-support Facebook groups suggesting that our mothers should have a second “talk” with us to give us the lay of the land.
Aside from the fact that many mothers (my own included) never had the first “talk” with us, most of the ladies who commented said they had no idea what was coming!
This craziness of perimenopause is a result of massive hormonal swings. Breasts and uteruses become war zones of fibroid lumps, pain, and tenderness. And then comes bloating, crying, and weight gain. The fog rolls in.
Our nights become black holes of anxiety, panic, insomnia, and palpitations.
Fear and Shame Creep In
We are ashamed of the loss of control. We’re ashamed of our changing bodies. Then, we fear the treatments available for those changes in our bodies. Often, we fear what others will think of us. We fear becoming a “woman of a certain age.” Ultimately, we fear that we will never feel like ourselves again.
From my vantage point, we’ve put men on the moon and I can have a conversation with just about anyone anywhere in the world right on the 13” screen that sits in front of me right now.
Even so, the discussion of menopause is still in the shadows. This makes no sense. I see 15 commercials for erectile dysfunction and Low “T” in a sporting event, but there ain’t nothing for us gals. Except for incontinence pads and antidepressants.
As we come to the end of Menopause Awareness Month, here’s what you need to know, feel, and do. Women over 40 constitute over 62 percent of the U.S. population. And most of us are doing just fine, thank you.
We are not moody, irrational, weak, and invisible. We are seasoned veterans of life and have no reason to feel ashamed of ANYTHING. It’s time to bring all things menopause out of the shadows and shine a big old bright light on them. Doing so takes the power out of fear and shame! So how about it ladies? Let’s talk! To each other, to our workplaces, to our partners…to anyone who will listen. That’s how we will change the narrative about midlife. No more hiding.
Dr. Anna Garrett is a menopause expert and Doctor of Pharmacy. She helps women who are struggling with symptoms of perimenopause and menopause find natural hormone balancing solutions so they can rock their mojo through midlife and beyond. Dr. Anna is the author of Perimenopause: The Savvy Sister’s Guide to Hormone Harmony. Order your copy at www.perimenopausebook.com.
Dr. Anna is available for 1-1 consultation. Find out more at www.drannagarrett.com/lets-talk