The untold story of menopause: One of the hardest transitions in a woman’s life
Life is filled with transitions. And some can be particularly hard as they challenge us to adapt and change to new and unknown realities. At the same time, transitions can also provide opportunities for new possibilities — ones that we may never have imagined before.
Menopause is a transition that all women eventually go through, but it affects some of us more drastically than others. Some women suffer severe side effects, while others experience a slower and smoother transition.
For me, menopause came unexpectedly when I was 41 years old as part of my cancer treatment. I found it very difficult. The physical and emotional changes were extremely hard for me. I worried that my value of “who I was as a women,” had somehow diminished. I experienced hot flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness, brain fog, memory lapses, mood swings, and other symptoms. And these were only exacerbated every time my cancer medication changed.
Despite so many women experiencing this transition, I find few women will openly discuss it. Many still perceive it as taboo or too private, but that leads to too many women suffering in silence. I felt compelled to write this post and to have this important conversation with you because, once again, I met another women this week who has been suffering alone through this tricky transition.
I want to yell to the world: “NO MORE SILENCE!”
Menopause is a normal life experience that should be discussed openly and candidly. You are not alone and we can support each other in order to experience this transition in a more positive and empowering way.
As a woman, I find that we are not educated or prepared well enough for this enormous change, nor do we know how to deal with the physical and emotional changes that come with it. Menopause often leaves us reevaluating ourselves as women and what our purpose in life is:
- Who am I? (Not in relation to others as mother, wife, daughter or sister, but just me?)
- What do I want from this next stage in my life?
- What do I value most?
Often the timing of menopause corresponds with other changes in our lives, which can be unsettling and lead to more questions of identity. But like all of life’s changes, there are ways to adapt to your “new normal” and to ensure that it is positive.
My hope is that by writing about this topic today that we can remove some stigma and open up a discussion between women — whether you are going through it or have already. If you are comfortable sharing your own experience, as well as advice or tips, please comment below and/or share this post with friends. Or for a more private chat, contact me directly. I can help you learn more about s