At the end of January, my journey through perimenopause ended when I officially reached menopause. On that day, I felt such a split between my personal reaction (celebration!) and how it felt when I chose to share that news (I felt shame, like I’m not supposed to talk about having or not having periods, even though THAT’S WHAT I DO FOR A LIVING.)
If you’re curious to hear more about my thoughts on that sneaky shame response, I talked about it over on Instagram!
But today I want to share with you five of the realities I learned during the time I was in perimenopause.
1) The transition into menopause can last longer than you think and start earlier than you think. The average is 4-7 years, but for me, it was closer to a decade and started when I was in my early 40s. That is not out of the ordinary!
2) What perimenopause feels like changes all the time. Many people will have changes in mood, energy, sleep, libido, physical endurance, body shape, or body temperature well before they ever miss a period. And there might be long stretches that feel pretty normal, but you can swing from normal to “OMG what is happening?” in the space of a few days.
3) Perimenopausal rage is REAL. I won’t ever forget the night I felt so angry that I left my house at midnight and spent an hour driving around town, blasting my most pissed off playlist. I don’t remember WHY I was angry, and I know it wasn’t anything major. But it felt like fire.
4) It gets better. My hot flashes are occasional now, my sleep is improving, and my mood is more stable. Research shows that for most of us, those improvements keep going as we head into our post-menopausal years. I feel liberated and excited to embrace my crone years!
5) Knowledge is a release from fear. Those 10 years weren’t always comfortable. But I wasn’t afraid, because I had the advantage of training that taught me what was happening, and I had acupuncture and Chinese herbs to support me through the most bothersome symptoms.
Thanks to silence around midlife and aging, a lot of people don’t have that knowledge. So many people arrive at my clinic afraid, thinking they’re broken or sick, or that they’ll never feel better again. If this resonates: you aren’t broken. You can and will feel better.
If you or anyone in your life is struggling with perimenopause, I’d be happy to help. I work with women in Austin, TX and the surrounding areas. Book a free call and we can chat and see if it’s a good fit.
Here’s to my crone years, and to yours as well, whether now or in the future. Here’s to power in midlife and redefining what it means to get older. Cheers!