Below is a copy of the email I sent explaining my experience for the menopause. Enjoy!
Disclaimer – Contains swearing and graphic description!
If you are past this stage of your life you may want to save yourself 10 minutes…if you are not yet here then I suggest you read on and prepare yourself!!
I think it is great that the symptoms of the menopause and peri menopause are being discussed more openly on social media.
No one warns us…my Mum never spoke about it. She was just angry a lot and occasionally used to hit my Dad with the poker!!
I already knew about the hot flushes. Before I continue…why the fuck are they now getting called hot FLASHES???? Who decided to change that name…I question whether it was the same person who decided Marathon should become Snickers and Jif should become the ridiculous name of Cif…FFS!
Anyway, back to it. Yes I knew about Hot FLUSHES, night sweats, irritable moods, insomnia, dry fanny, and irregular periods.
It’s all good to be talked about, but I don’t think they quite convey the actual reality…it’s all a bit polite!
What I didn’t expect was crippling morning anxiety, moods so low that just smiling feels like a workout, a level of can’t be arsedness that makes blinking feel like another workout, the self worth of a slug, the don’t give a shit attitude, followed by the opposite of worrying what people will think and the desire to shout Fuck Off to anyone who breaths. As for poor Simon I have literally given him the V sign (in an aggressive manner) when his back is turned a million times!!
I also have the sensitivity of a 5 year old who has been left on her own in the corner of the playground.
One thing that I don’t find mentioned in detail is the horrifically heavy periods. I might be reading an article that may simply state that your periods can be come irregular, turn light or become heavier…I can cope with that I thought!
Well that is not my reality. Just another disclaimer…I can only speak from my experience. I am aware that some lucky buggers sail through menopause, and I am pleased for you…sort of, because it is tinged with a touch of wishful thinking!
My periods have become so heavy I find myself wishing for a touch of vaginal dryness! I did warn you it could get graphic so please don’t go getting offended!
I often have to go out with tea towels as two sanitary pads and a tampon just don’t cut the mustard, as I have been known to bleed down my legs into my new white Russell and Bromley sandals. I have been on top of mountains with black and white leggings on only for them to have turned black, white and red by the time I get back to the car! The fact that it is summer and you don’t even have a coat or sweatshirt to tie around your waist, in a vain attempt to cover up the blood bath makes it worse.
The anxiety you feel in a restaurant when you think your period has finished because you have not bled for 48 hours, only for it to return as your lemon cheesecake is delivered to the table. That bloody awful feeling that you dread getting up to see your embarrassment all over the chair…it’s just shit!
No one talks about the uncertainty of not knowing when your next period will decide to land. I often have one making an attempt for a few days…but it’s too light to class as a period. You can’t really risk going out without inserting a tampon and taking towels with you just in case, as you have been caught very short before…but nothing happens….yet, no where, have I seen anyone talk about the most uncomfortable experience of removing a dry tampon…yes…I can feel you wincing!!!
Should all of this be talked about or should it stay private. A rhetorical question.
All I know is that when I decided to talk about it on a live video on social media, I have never had such an overwhelmingly positive response. I was graphic, I was truthful and women just got it. They got it, because they have experienced it.
I wanted to explain why I had had a break from posting, 2 months on Instagram and 4 weeks on Facebook. I just couldn’t be arsed, I felt shit, I had lost confidence and I just couldn’t be arsed…because of how I was feeling…and I really didn’t give a shit so I just couldn’t be arsed…notice the pattern!
I had so many messages and emails from women thanking me for being so honest. They shared their experiences, openly on the Facebook comments and privately by email.
This shit is real. It is happening to so many women and yet we keep it to ourselves, suffering in silence thinking we are the only one who deals with this ’embarrassing stuff’ and significant change of personality!
Those comments and messages helped me massively. Hearing from other women and them talking about their embarrassing situations where they had bled heavily in public and the real stress and anxiety that creates. It really did help.
So you may or may not agree, but I have seen enough evidence to allow myself to continue to talk openly about it, just like I did with my depression, my bankruptcy, my drinking habits and also when I am so fucking happy I could kiss Simon regardless of how heavy he is breathing!!
This is my reality, my life ,and as always I want to be nothing but honest. I may inspire and motivate you, I might make you laugh, but sometimes I may just make you feel bloody well uncomfortable…it is just how it is.
I for one, am exceptionally grateful that you are here, accepting me, warts and all!