“It is in the middle of misery that so much becomes clear.
The one who says nothing good comes of this is not yet listening.”
– Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Peri-menopause (the years leading up to the final menstrual cycle and the following year) and Menopause (one year following your last menstrual cycle) can be a time of great change and confusion with both physical symptoms and emotional tidal waves. These changes are due to the natural progression of your reproductive life, starting with periods and finishing post Menopause, and are due to the changing balance of hormones throughout this process.
For some, the idea of reaching Menopause is frightening, a sign of increasing age and an end to youthfulness. It can be difficult to make this adjustment and see it for what it is, a new beginning – the start of a different and equally powerful phase of life. For others it may be a relief to finally be finished with periods, but the accompanying changes are not so welcome. As Estrogen drops side effects such as night sweats, weight gain, mood swings, hair thinning, dry skin, aching bones and poor sleep can occur. In the Peri-menopause stage both Estrogen and Progesterone can see-saw adding hot flushes to the mix as well as headaches and bloating. It can be very challenging dealing with these changes, especially the mood swings and the effect it can have on close relationships. I am often told by clients that they don’t recognise themselves anymore and don’t know how to explain the changes to loved ones. It can be a frightening time. All change can be difficult and challenging, especially when it feels so unfamiliar and strange, as a client described ‘it feels like I’ve been taken over by an alien and I am out of control of myself’. It can really help to talk this through, to get a better understanding of what is going on and learn how to manage the changes and start to take back control, also to learn to accept what is in the past and embrace the present. Get in touch if this is something that is familiar to you.