In January this year, I turned 39 years old, suddenly aware that next time I’d be 40! I began to think about all of the changes I was experiencing in my body and how I actually felt alone with these because no one had ever told me about what would happen to me as I got older. We talk about puberty and periods, pregnancy and childbirth, being sexually active and the menopause, but what about that in-between bit? The bit where our periods change (for me, I now feel like I’ve been drop-kicked in the vag once a month!), the left boob pain, vaginas drying up, boobs drooping, everything making us cry, bones hurting, teenage spot outbreaks and generally feeling like we’re going bat shit crazy? It’s apparent that this in-between bit happens when we are dealing with so much in our life’s, when we are so busy working, looking after kids, keeping a house, looking after elderly parents, etc. Is the reason we don’t talk about it because we simply don’t have the time? Or is it a deeper issue? Are we afraid to acknowledge we are getting older and we are changing? Or are we embarrassed to share, worried about what others will think? Or is it something else entirely?
I’d also noticed in my counselling work that a lot of women in their late 30s through to their early 50s were coming to see me, and quite often they’d talk about the stresses of life, about their bodies and how they were changing, but mostly they spoke about loneliness. The extreme loneliness that many middle-aged women are experiencing today is a massive issue and it’s caused by many factors, one of those being that no one seems to talk about things anymore, let alone talk in an open, honest and transparent way,
So while I was sitting bored and stewing over this one night, I wrote a Facebook post about how my body was changing as I was approaching 40. There were some lovely comments from many women, laughing and sharing their own stories, but also in agreement, that yes…..we MUST talk about this more, none of us should feel alone with this. I also did a little Googling that night and I think I may have found out what is happening to us all. Have you heard of the Perimenopause? Perimenopause is a pre-menopausal condition, and it appears that no-one talks about this much. If you have symptoms which sound menopausal but you know you’re not menopausal yet, or you simply feel like you’re losing your mind a little, then you may want to Google it too!
If you’d like to, have a read of my Facebook post below and let me know what you think. Warning – it’s very personal and I talk about intimate bodily experiences!
With love, Maria x