Menopause diaries - taking stock


For some women coming to terms with the menopause is like admitting you’re a old dried up hag, or so you’re told. Thank god I didn’t feel like that, in fact it took me a while to have any emotions about it.

By Wendy Turner

I think I was in shock and busy dealing with my symptoms. If anything I would make fun of it and tell everyone. It seemed ridiculous and like a bad joke that I was going through it at such a young age. Anyone that knows me knows I’m an open book and I didn’t feel any different about my menopause. It seems some people feel it’s a taboo subject, embarrassing and better kept to yourself. I don’t understand this at all, it’s completely natural and every women has go through it.

At the start there were the usual questions, “How are you?” “How is it?”. The usual answer was tired, really tired, anxious and bloody hot. It was only after a few months when the closest people to me were brave enough to ask me those dreaded questions,“But how are you really? How do you feel about it all?” that I suddenly started to think about what the menopause really meant.

I can definitely tell you I was angry when the emotions kicked in. I felt cheated. I really wasn’t impressed with the card I’d been dealt by life. I’d just hit my 40s and they were supposed to be some of the best years of my life. Instead I was exhausted and I felt like my personality had been hijacked! And to add insult to injury my husband had a wife that he probably didn’t recognise half the time. I’d only been married a year and I’d only been with my husband three years in total, so I’m sure he felt cheated too. Lucky for me not only did he stick around but he was also supportive. We had to talk, a lot. It really can effect everyone around you. When I first went to my doctors she was very sympathetic as she’d seen how destructive the menopause could be to families, even seen them break up from it.

After a couple of weeks the anger subsided. I tend to pick myself up quite quickly. Unfortunately I was then left with a feeling of sadness, the feeling some women talk about when they first discover they’re on the menopause. It’s the realisation that your womb is no longer open for business. It’s closed down, for good! It’s not uncommon for women to feel like this on the menopause, whether they’ve had children or not. I believe some women even have strange emotions of feeling like they’re not a women anymore. For myself it felt very strange that the choice of having children had been taken away from me, and this was slightly complicated by the fact I hadn’t had any.

If you’ve read my Internet Dating blog you’ll have the info on what lead me to not having children. When I first met laurie for a couple of years we left the possibility of getting pregnant up to fate. Strangely I’d just decided before my menopause started that I was definitely happy just being us and Laurie’s children. I felt older, and there are complications of having a child in your early 40’s. I also didn’t want to put our new relationship through the emotional stress of trying IVF. After all you often don’t get anything at the end of it. This was much to laurie’s relief (laugh), who can blame him he’d already done it twice before and his children were heading off to college and university, so I’m not so sure the thought of nappies again at nearly 50 were too appealing! And as I’m writing this at 45 I feel the same.

So there I was very content that this was my life, having no children and then mother nature confirms it. I really wasn’t happy that it was her decision, why should she have the last word on it! It’s the confirmation that feels odd, not bad, just odd. I guess it’s your brain digesting it, working out how you feel about it. Lucky for me these strange feelings and the continuous looping of information in my brain only lasted a couple of weeks. In the end mother nature had actually helped, the decision of having children had been taken away from me. After all, that’s nature and all the confirmation I needed to realise I was on the right path of life. You really do have to just get on with it, look at all the great things you have around you, and try and work out what the hell you’re going to do about your symptoms!