You might only be in your early 40’s and be wondering if you’re ill, or worse – mad! Trust me, I’ve been there. But there is another explanation for the roller coaster ride that can happen at midlife. Maybe you’re (peri-)menopausal.
Here are 7 signs that you’re on that path whatever the blood test might say!

 

1. You are tired 

TIRED! you are Stop-me-in-my-tracks-and-force-me-to-stop tired. Along with being wide awake in the middle of the night or the early hours of the morning. You start craving afternoon naps and wondering why on earth it is that our culture likes to socialise after 8pm? Your bed becomes both your favourite place (when you can sleep!) and your nemesis when you can’t. Everything has to be filtered through the lens of “do I have the energy for this?” Most often the answer is no. You have to let go – a lot.

Ride the wave…

Learn to give in, to surrender. Rest whenever you can. Get a cleaner if you can afford it and learn to live with the mess if you can’t. Ask for help. Tell your friends how you feel – they might want to be home and in bed by 8pm too!  Be kind to your body, it deserves your love.

 

2. You want to run away 

You want to just pack your bags and walk out from your life and your loved ones. You want everyone to leave you alone and you feel suffocated by their needs. Your body and spirit are demanding that you give your inner world attention but the outer world just keeps bloody shouting!

Ride the wave…

Honour this authentic call to solitude. Prioritise alone time, even when your inner critic is screaming that you’re so selfish. Go for a walk in the woods. Retreat from the world when you get the chance. Hide from the kids for a while.  Give yourself space, even if only for a few minutes. Make plans to leave if you need to, but don’t act on them just yet!

 

3. Rage becomes your companion

It rises up from deep inside you as a roar, a NO, a shout of defiance. Tempers fly and boundaries are tested.  Relationships shatter and your life is burnt to the ground ready for you to re-emerge from the ashes renewed.

Ride the wave…

Anger can be the most challenging emotion for a lot of women. Find space to allow yourself to feel it. Shut the bedroom door and beat the living daylights out of the pillows. Join a women’s group where you can shout and rage and roar together. Find a coach or therapist who can hold your anger with you until you are not afraid of it yourself.  Remember that anger is fire – it will burn away everything that is inauthentic and allow you to rise from the ashes refreshed and renewed; if you let it!

 

4. You cry – A lot

It feels like you are experiencing all the sadness of the world. Its as if your skin has been stripped away and you are exposed, wide open. Grief hits in waves, the loss of your youth and fertility, lost opportunities, loved ones who are no longer with you, loss after loss comes to be witnessed, held and released. Sadness too, oceans of it. All the pains you didn’t get to fully feel comes back for your attention. Unresolved trauma that has lied buried for half a life time now re-emerges as a shaking, sobbing, snotty mess that demands your attention.

Ride the wave…

Let the river flow. Be the pioneer who makes it acceptable to feel our emotions. Model the behaviour you would wish for from our children. Get under the bedclothes, roll into a ball and sob your heart out. Lie on your yoga mat and move very gently until you feel the release. Ask someone to hold you. Invest in lots of boxes of tissues and have them all over the house. As with anger, get some professional help if it feels too overwhelming. This is the toughest journey you might make in your life, you deserve a wise and trusted companion along the way.

 

5. You can see so clearly that it scares you

Jewels Wingfield (amazing woman and menopausal teacher extraordinaire) calls it the ‘Truth Serum’.  You can see where you are inauthentic, where you are over-riding your needs. It’s like being pre-menstrual for months, even years. You know where your husband isn’t pulling his weight, where the kids are taking you for granted, where you are saying yes when you want to say no. Where your life is out of alignment with who you are. It’s scary and exhilarating and almost impossible to embrace but…

Ride the wave…

This ‘clear sight’ is a gift. It is showing you where you are not speaking your truth and which parts of your life that you need to change. Whether it’s home or work, marriage or friendship, the challenge is to find your authentic truth and speak it out loud. If this thought scares the living daylights out of you, start by making yourself heard in a gentle way – make noise, chant, take up singing – find your voice.

 

6. Your awareness widens

Your awareness widens to see beyond your immediate environment and to notice afresh the issues with our world.  The pain, the injustice, the abuse, neglect and terror. The effects of thousands of years of patriarchy. A warrioress is being born inside you – someone who will rise up and fight to create the world you know is possible. Not through fear but through love.

Ride the wave…

Join with other women. Seek out the Red Tent or the Silver Tent in your area. Share the burden with friends who understand. Take action to make a stand for what you believe in. As with point 6, find your voice, your authentic truth and be heard for who you are and what you believe in. Don’t be silenced, together we rise.

 

7. Hot flushes, changes in cycle or not!

And perhaps, just perhaps, you might get the text-book sign of hot flushes. You might also have the GP determine your changing hormonal levels with a simple blood test. Your cycle may become more and more erratic. Or you might not. We are all individuals and every one of us experiences this rite of passage differently. You are the authority on your own experience. Trust yourself. Trust your womb, your heart and your gut. They’re the compass to guide you with grace through these stormy seas!

Ride the wave…

Experiment – try herbal remedies, visit an Ayurvedic practitioner or learn about what is happening to your hormones. Read Christiane Northrup’s ‘Wisdom of the Menopause‘. Talk to other women. Share your experiences. Let’s break the silence. We are the ones we have been waiting for!

 


 

Join me on Facebook for my Menopause Moon Challenge starting tomorrow as I share my daily experience of peri-menopause with all the phases of the moon for a month and encourage you to do the same!

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