The perimenopause is a transition of your life that can make or break you. I love that in this day and age we are talking about one of the most important times of life for a woman. Now we have permission to talk about how we are feeling and their is help out there. We are not going mad after all!!
My Perimenopause Story
When I went through the perimenopause, to be honest with you it was hell. I really did not understand that my hormones were wreaking havoc with my health. In fact I am almost embarrassed to say I hadn’t even heard the term perimenopause. I knew about menopause but not perimenopause. I had no idea that it would be years of not feeling myself, lacking in energy, feeling anxious and losing my confidence.
I Just Got on With It
I suffered, with heart palpitations, anxiety, agitation and pain in my pelvis. It was the pain between periods that flummoxed me. I could cope with the period pain as I had lived with that for years. But when I started to experience heaviness and pelvic pain during the month, I felt angry about being a woman. My weight went up and down like a roller coaster and I felt out of control.
Floundering with Symptoms that Changed Like the Wind
I was left feeling bereft. As a holistic therapist you would think I would know better. But it was the complexity of change in my body, my unusual emotional state and endless inner chatter of my mind that got me stuck in dealing with this by myself.
Feeling I need some direction I turned to the medical profession, they didn’t have the answers either. I was sent away with yet another appointment for a scan to check out my heart or my ovaries. Yet all came back fine and I was sent on my way. I rarely go to the GP as I have always managed to heal through alternative methods. However, I did find it a help to know that their was nothing sinister going on inside. Although every now and then the worry would hit me with vengeance about the changes I was feeling. I began to realise that this was essentially down to the chemistry in my body.
In the meantime, I coped, got on with life as best I could, accepted that this would pass at some point in the future. I asked my Mum about her experience and she didn’t seem to have any problems and went through the menopause without too much trouble. In hindsight, I think my mum suffered more than she let on, as she didn’t really understand what the perimenopause was either.
As a holistic and spiritual therapist I always turn to natural ways, but even then I felt I was groping in the dark for answers. I tried different diets, spent a fortune on supplements.
I had homeopathy, acupuncture, all of which helped for the short term. What really helped me was making some small changes in my lifestyle. I changed my mindset, I eased up on putting pressure on myself. I managed what I could, when I could. I didn’t push beyond my limits and I took time out. It was the time out that really helped me.
I had regular polarity therapy sessions, which help stabilise and irradicate my feelings of anxiety, hot flushes and pain in my body. I cut out alcohol (not that I drank much anyway, just at social engagements), I reduced anything that I was eating that I realised set off palpitations. Caffeine I didn’t have to give up as I don’t drink caffeine anyway, but I steered clear of anything that over stimulated my system.
At the time I was single and living alone, so it was easier for me in one way but in another way a worry in terms of financially supporting myself. I had to learn to trust, in that all will be well.
Fear can Take Over Your Life
Particularly when you are experiencing such changes within yourself. In fact, fear can be the most debilitating emotion during this time. A fear of losing yourself, not knowing yourself anymore, losing your identity, not being able to cope. A fear that you will lose those around you, that they won’t put up with your mood swings or anger and frustration, confusion, forgetfulness. You may begin to miss trust yourself. I didn’t trust myself for a while and lost confidence in my judgement. Until I was able to re-establish my equilibrium.
I Learned to Have an Adaptable Routine
I used to swim competitively, so I was used to placing my body under a lot of pressure during training sessions. I found I simply could not do that anymore. I gave up swimming for a while because of this.
Until a few years later I started up again and found it more enjoyable not trying push myself, I found my balance as I realised that gentle exercise that flowed was better for me. Any kind of HIIT (high intensity exercise) style training, just simply exhausted my adrenals. Yoga helped keep me stay supple as that is another symptom, stiff muscles and joints.
I found quietness and peacefulness nourished me more than anything else. I regularly practiced meditation during this time (I still do) and created pauses in my day to rest. Even when I was very busy with spa consultancy work, I made sure after a meeting for example, I would take a pause, before going back into a hectic environment of planning and doing.
I Learned the Following Worked for Me
I changed my mindset to allow myself an adaptable routine, where you can honour how you are feeling. My pace of life and work simply did not suit me anymore.
I communicated to those around me what is going on, so they were not left in the dark trying to make you feel better, when that is not what it needed. I needed to be heard and acknowledged for the changes I was going through.
I communicated to those around me what I most need, remembering that my needs were changeable!
I broke up my day with small pauses, to reset and realign my energy.
I continued to invest in my health alternatively through regular therapy sessions. Polarity therapy (for balancing how I felt, helping my mindset and releasing the pain in my body) supported me most, along with nutritional support, meditation, acupuncture, yoga and gentle exercise. Find something that suits you, we are all different.
There help out there, find it as you are not alone.
If in doubt, I got checked out, it alleviated my anxiety and worry.
This is a great book to understand your hormones. The Definitive Guide to Perimenopause and Menopause by Dr Louise Newson
I am post menopause and life is very different in a good way. The anxiety is gone, I am confident, I feel fit and healthy. I wake up feeling stiff in the mornings but I get moving and all is well. There is light at the end of the tunnel. If I had the knowledge about the perimenopause that I do now, my life would have perhaps been easier. I wouldn’t have wasted so much mental energy worrying about what was going on.
But I believe life is not about regrets, but learning about yourself. In hindsight, I learned a lot about my resilience and ability to adapt within myself.
Being a woman is an amazing thing, we have so much depth and the perimenopause is a transitional time of your life, that enables you (if you choose) to reach that depth and emerge as a woman with so much life to give and receive.
What if Perimenopause was a…
– a healthy transition in your life to better physical, mental and emotional health.
– a time of unveiling to find the inner wisdom buried deep within you. A rebalancing of the self and a shift towards heart centred self-care and self-compassion.
– a time to reflect on your own health and the journey life has taken you.
– a time of reflection on where you need to bring more love and care to your health to further transform.
– a time to move your own needs higher up on that list. To re-fill the bucket, to repair the bucket even and recharge the batteries.
– a time to acknowledge what depletes you and practice boundaries and space so that battery charge stays full.
– a time to heal those wounds, to gently soothe the scars and see the wrinkles as the stories and memories that make you who you are but don’t necessarily have to define who you will be.
– a time to come face to face with your inner critic, the self-sabotage and bow and let them leave the room so you can step forward in a new direction where you will shine.
– a time to reach out to those who you want by your side, to support you, seek out the helpers, the healers, the professionals who can guide you in your inner and outer work and be there while you dive deep, dig hard and then plant those new seeds of wisdom.
– a time to seek your own enlightenment, gratitude, compassion and deepest love so you can now fully shine your very brightest and finally be you.
Join Rhi Hepple and me Jane Deacon on the 12th August 2023 for a day to nourish your soul through the perimenopause.