Relationships are at the centre of our success, whether that be at work or in our personal lives. They provide support, encouragement and security, and are held in an atmosphere of mutual trust. They
create essential structure in our lives. That is until our Menopause arrives – and all hell breaks loose.
Even today, many people don’t know what the Menopause is and what symptoms herald its arrival. What we all discover is that it changes us – our behaviours, attitudes and emotions.
Our relationship with ourselves is questioned. Even we don’t recognise the person we have become. Our symptoms force us to question who we are and whether we are truly able to continue as we
were or to achieve our previously held ambitions.
Our symptoms affect and challenge those around us and their perception of us, too. At work, in our personal lives, our romantic lives, and if we are seeking a significant other, in our search.
All those around us see, is a considerable change in the person they live or work with. In each instance the initiative resides with us. We have to open the conversation. In doing so we may well need to raise awareness in what the Menopause is, before we look at how we can work through it together. We fear being judged, penalised, rejected – or all of the above, and more.
When the Menopause lasts from on average four to eight years and could see our symptoms vary in type and severity throughout, we are asking for patience for the long and highly unpredictable haul.
We are letting those around us know it won’t be easy. We’re going to need to be prepared to have very different conversations at work to those at home and beyond. In each case, our hope that the
symptoms will subside added to the delay in planning and having the conversations means we’ll also likely be having to deal with assumptions others have made about the causes of our changed physical and emotional state. We’ll be rolling back some prejudice, clarifying rumours.
These are the times to use the skills, experience and knowledge we have. The fog of our symptoms may have obscured them, but we have them aplenty. We can be clear on what we want, how we’re going to navigate the Menopause and how we’re going to continue to develop our relationships during this period when the overriding tendency is to want to bury our self away. That was my personal experience, and the reason I’m now committed to helping women face the Menopause with positivity and optimism. There’s no reason for any of us to deny what is happening to us, and we can all use the strength of our relationships to create an incredible second phase of our life.