Hot flashes, mood swings, depression, night sweats, sleepless nights, weight gain…need I go on? These are just a few of the common side-effects of menopause (or per-menopause). It’s enough for any woman to throw her hands in the air and say, “WTF!” It’s enough for any woman to just give in.
I am not here to say that these symptoms (and there are so many more that are so much more serious) aren’t real, annoying, or bring-you-to-your knees. I am here to say, we have to fight back. We have to be stronger than the symptoms. We have to be the ones who figure it out so that we can not only help each other, but help our sisters, daughters, and all the future women. Why? It’s our responsibility. YES..it is.
We are responsible to lift each other up as women. We are responsible to offer help to other women. We are responsible to find a solution that works and share it with other women. We are responsible for each other. I know it sounds a bit “soap boxy,” but I believe it to be true. We have to share our pain, but yet we have to also share our solutions. We can let this phase of life get the best of us or be the best of us. (I know that sounds impossible, but come on we have to try).
I can assure you that as far as my symptoms go, they are pretty tame (compared to what I know others have suffered). But those symptoms are mine and relative to me. And I can sit here and wallow in misery and shrug my shoulders and complain about what to do, or I can dig deep, find my last dregs of energy and research, test, and repeat. I have talked to experts about the symptoms and possible solutions, read studies about all the different options, asked my family and friends about their own experiences. I have also tested out different ways to manage the symptoms. This way I can talk to others about what worked (or didn’t) for me. And I am doing just that. I am sharing my experiences and solutions. I am reaching out to other women who are in this phase of life and sharing. I am talking to younger women to ease their apprehension about menopause. Why? Because I didn’t have anyone share their experiences along with solutions with me. I had people share their complaints, but not that it could be managed.
We have this negativity toward menopause, for a lot of good reason, but it’s not the end of the world. If we begin to look at it as a new beginning for us and a way to be empowered think about just how much better this can be. We can manage it. Yes it might take a lot of trial and error, but we can. But we have to not just complain about it, but share the solutions and positives around this (I promise there are some). We, as women, need to embrace all our stages because honestly the world is watching. We owe it to our younger generation of women to boldly handle this phase and help them to do the same.