The Reality of Menopause
There is so much that nobody told me, how my life would change when I became full-blown menopausal: besides everything becoming life-changing, for some (like me), the never-ending up and down experiences have been, to some degree, rather traumatizing. And because there isn’t a manual, per say, I thought I’d brave to share just a little of my daily life, since becoming menopausal, more than two years ago now, and much of which has become embarrassing moments.
Sure, there is plenty of information out there, in books and on the internet, on what symptoms to expect: hot flashes, night sweats, loss of libido, mood swings, fatigue, sleep disorder, difficulty concentrating, memory lapses, weight gain, depression, anxiety, irritability, headaches, joint pains...to name a few. I found a list of 34. And though everyone’s experiences differ to a great degree, what we each feel is real enough.
I have spoken to a handful of women that were courageous enough to share with me just what they have actually gone through with their change of life: the overwhelming feeling of desperation and unsettling anxiety, the drowning loneliness—a fading into a realm of non-existence—and even dealing with thoughts of suicide (an unexpected side they would have never believed possible could plague their thoughts).
Reading about menopause and actually living in the skin of menopause is a whole other story. Trying to describe and even attempting to convince someone that you are no longer the same person is, well, far from easy without sounding crazy! Some days we benefit from the company of loved ones, and on other days it is a great irritation—a real struggle to keep from screaming out to be left alone, as you desperately seek solitude and complete silence.
Image Credit: Me and the Sysop (flickr)
For some of us our bad days far outweigh our good days. For me, I often see my life as being over—my days numbered—not much to look forward to. Where I once believed I was an attractive woman I can no longer see beyond my appearing wrinkles and multiplying gray hairs—my youth having disappeared without notice.
The drive to work-out and eat healthy is one-week-on and two-weeks-off. I lose ground just when I start to make some progress. And the sex drive, though it is for sure still there, I cannot bring myself to any longer feel seductive, as I once used to. So I tend to shy-away from fear of being rejected (an imagined symptom, since my hubby, my Lancelot Knight, still loves me and likes me and wants me). His constant re-assurances keep me going, but how long can most men hang in there? I question his love and devotion, yet another symptom. Sigh!
And this is just no way to live!