by Linda Smyth September 23, 2021 4 min read
I've experienced and read enough about menopause now to know that at the baseline, there's this constant, underlying feeling of not quite feeling yourself.
my least favourite uncle once told me, mid lecture and in a not complimentary way, that I was a Pollyanna. I didn't know what that meant, and to be honest, didn't really care. My interactions with him were mostly one way lectures about the lack of godliness in my life and subsequently he had lost a place in the 'people I listen to and respect' list.
I did ask Mum though and she confirmed that indeed Pollyanna wasn't entirely complimentary (and also to, as she did, let those "conversations" just roll on off without leaving any nasty residue).
But in hindsight, maybe there was an ounce of truth. I do have a little bit of Pollyanna in me, hopefully not in an annoying or illogically unrealistic way. But I've rolled through the ups and downs of life with fairly rosy glasses on. And so far it's served me pretty well.
When I first spoke to my GP about menopause she asked me if i thought I was depressed. i said no - honestly and emphatically. She agreed. I was having moments of grumpiness, and there was a general feeling of increased anxiety and a weird (but common) inability to make decisions (although I'm sure you'll all be happy to know that after literally A YEAR of deliberating i finally PURCHASED my first pair of golden goose with money saved from all the baby things I've been selling and fucking hallelujah they not only fit perfectly but I LOVE THEM.). If that's not a win I don't know what is.
I've felt bland and blah and unhappy and just blahhhhhhhhh the last few days. And I'm not totally sure but I guess?, I think? that I've actually been in a state of depression. when you can't snap out of feeling a bit shit. Everything is just blahhhhhhh. And you literally have nothing, zero, zilch, nada, negative in the tank.
my, i guess for want of a better term, "acknowledgement point", is that I notice the sunshine but it doesn't make me feel super happy. It's warm and sunny and beautiful and I feel... just kind of neutral. and empty.
which is not normal for me because generally that would make me feel very happy indeed.
SO I think I have been a bit depressed the last few days.
Ughhh, I hate this in black and white because my whole Pollyanna (fuck you Uncle Sermon) life I've avoided depression. but today I am surrendering. menopause, you got me asshole.
I don't have much else to say on the subject except it would appear that somedays menopause sucks the life out of you.
But, I can feel it lifting. thank goodness. there is no way I would have written this two days ago.
It's impossible to say if it helped, or if the fog would have lifted anyway, but my gut feeling is that a little bit of surrender, alongside surrounding yourself with things that you know make you happy, help to pull you out and back to balance.
On the surrendering - I read a really great insta post by @iamleahsimmons who re-framed the negative around having to "let go" of something which you previously valued or was a big part of you, to "letting in" instead. "Letting go" insinuates that you are losing something, kind of the negative side of the equation, whereas "letting in" is a much more open, calm, accepting way of looking at things. I really like it. menopause is inevitable, going through it means your alive. Accept it. Let it let in all this new wisdom and learning. surrender to it and rest when you need to. and stay open to let the light in.
It's similar to my philosophy of focussing on the exciting 'new firsts' which accompany all the potentially sad 'last' times. I think these ways of approaching life - how we're feeling, what's going on around us, what's going on with us physically and emotionally, help enormously to keep us out of the dark and instead, bathing in the lovely, warm, sunny, golden light.
And these are the things I did do over the last few days. I wanted to make a list so that I have something to reference next time. Hopefully, some of these things may help you too. They're simple, mostly free - with the obvious exception of the shopping part ;) and I think combined, are quite effective.
So what's next? haha, LIFE!
I'll share my Mpowder journey once it arrives. I'm really excited about it. It's ridiculously well researched and I love the idea of using things from nature to help this very natural change.
And I now have my list of things which make me happy so that I can do all of them again when this very average feeling of nothingness, ugh, depression, comes back.
Until then, here's to the lyrical genius of Elton John, Kenny Rogers, Linda Ronstadt, Journey, Bob Seagar, Hall & Oates, Little River Band, Neil Diamond, Carly Simon and Chicago. Yup, I AM a '70's baby and I farking love it.
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