1. Nothing can prepare you for the onset of the menopause. One minute you’re dancing on tables, telling everyone 40 is the new 30, and the next you’re a grumpy old bat with aching joints and a middle age spread that means dancing on tables is out of the question and 50 seems like the new Jurassic period.
2. Your mood and weight fluctuate on what seems like an almost hourly basis. You can wake up feeling positive and svelte but by the time you’ve had you’re first coffee, you’ve got a kill list as long as your arm and can’t fit into half of your clothes...mainly the bottom halves!
3. Hot flushes are a thing, and they are not mutually exclusively to night times! They can happen at any given moment, the more embarrassing and inconvenient the better. It’s a joy to behold the sensation of what seems like a tidal wave from Dante’s inferno travelling up your entire body from the soles of your feet, briefly sending lightning strike pains to your nether regions, finally settling with beads of sweat on your top lip and causing the hair at the back of your neck to be matted and damp. Attractive it is not!
4. Any given ache, pain, brain fog, ridiculous idea, irrational rant, mild or severe hysteria etc etc etc will be attributed to the menopause. Yes there are traditional symptoms, and yes they are true - dryness, loss of libido, weight gain, flushes etc however this list is far from exhaustive. Sadly lots of women are misdiagnosed with depression instead of menopause or visa versa. However. if you have a menopause mates gang (I do) then almost everything including impending teenagers’ GCSE grades and the ding on the car bumper will be down to the menopause.
5. Like my good nan and someone famous said ‘this too shall pass’. I can’t wait for it to be over and done, and I really don’t care if the sticky patch I put on my thigh twice a week to keep the symptoms at bay are just masking the issue. At least with the patch/gel/pills, I’m managing to get out of bed in the morning. Are we the snowflakes of the mature female generation? Did women back in the day sail through this crap without a care? Are we less able to manage/cope/keep calm and carry on due to all of the other pressures in our lives? Did my Nan, have a kill list but just grit her teeth and not talk about such vulgar things? Maybe asking too many daft questions is also a symptom of the menopause... .oh no wait 3 year olds ask lots of daft questions too, so can’t be! So number 5, it will end and we will be ok, some of us embracing the next stage of our lives and being all Helen Mirren....some of us not so much. Whichever it is, it’s all good.
P.S. Don’t struggle - talk about this stuff, seek help from your GP, and stick this somewhere prominent if you share your life with anyone, particularly men or anyone else who’s not menopausal! It might just help.
About Sheridan Newman
Fast approaching 50, Sheridan is a fun loving, blonde lady with a gorgeous husband of 24 years and a 16 year old son. She lives in Bristol, surrounded by her menopausal girl gang. She spends her time trying to juggle life as a mum with work and generally maintaining her life and soul of the party status. You can connect with her on Facebook.