Diary of a peri-menopausal warrior Queen

Peri Menopause waits for no one!

Please note: for all things medical, physical or emotional, we recommend you reach out to your medical health practitioner for advice

Back in July, I hit send on a life altering post on my Facebook app.

Two weeks of waking up @4am in a hot sweaty lather in the depths of the jungle of night sweats…
Two weeks of 4am sweaty towel downs to stop myself freezing to death whilst simultaneously
cooking from the inside out…
Two weeks of broken sleep and I’m beginning to feel the pinch of sleep deprivation…
Two weeks of much too regular surprise visits, akin to drive by shootings of some pretty dark thoughts…
Two days of what I now know as ‘flooding’…
Yesterday I woke once again stinky and clammy and remembered my values of LOVE, FUN & FREEDOM.
I lay in my damp, crumpled crash site that is now my regular morning bed, wearing the equivalent of a lady nappy, staring up at my ceiling, smiled and told myself,

That post to Facebook got some 80+ comments/conversations flooding into my feed and messages ranging from:
I have now removed myself to another bedroom to suffer solo. The constant heavy feeling of sadness is the worst – all while trying to smile on the outside (& very recently even dark dark thoughts of suicide have popped up out of nowhere. FFS). My integral efficient work ethic I have always prided myself on is not so efficient of late. My jumbled busy foggy head making mistakes all over the place. It is (& I don’t normally swear on FB) FUCKED!!
I hardly even noticed it. A hot flush here and there and I was done.’

I received lots of stories, mostly of the horror genre, and a few tips and practices that women found worked at relieving their symptoms.
My greatest takeaway?
And so began my search and ultimately what has become my mission to:
Not the road I had even an inkling of taking, but rather one that feels like it chose me, because we really should start the dialogue around peri-menopause and menopause.

By August I posted the following:

“MENOPAUSE…Learning my way out.
My deep dive into all things Menopause has been a fascinating and exciting ADVENTURE! And most of my symptoms have disappeared. So much learnt and still to learn. It’s been absolutely liberating and startling at once. Startling how much I and most women do not know about our own bodies and hormonal health. Startling because, again, how little it is talked about. I knew absolutely nothing about my hormones, my body and my cycle, menopause – peri or otherwise; what is actually happening, the possible symptoms or how I can support myself through it. Therefore I was not aware I’ve probably been experiencing peri-menopause for years now without realising or questioning anything. Instead I was accepting and rolling with whatever happened. I didn’t question my suddenly non existent libido and the roller-coaster-on-crack emotions.”

When I talk to women, not there yet, there is a distinct lack of interest and even denial that it’s happening or will happen. Whatever the reasons for this lack of interest in early intervention; too busy. It won’t happen to me. Ageing…I’m not sure, but on the flip side of it all, with the inevitable march of time and associated ageing comes much experience, learning and wisdom. And with that wisdom much power and freedom beyond anything I’ve previously known. So Menopause, as I now see it, is an opportunity to really step into and embody all of that wisdom, power and freedom and I gotta say, its very cool! In choosing this path I choose to refute the inevitable suffering or assign myself to the invisible scrap heap western society created for women of a certain age. Screw that, thank you very much! Since Menopausally outing myself in July, I’ve learnt a few things that have helped me.

  1. Lifestyle is everything.
    Me time matters – meditation, yoga, breathwork, exercise – make time for your version of it everyday. Build the rest of your life around these things rather than the other way round.
  2. Detoxing your life not just your diet is key.
    Being responsible, in tune and responsive to your Self is empowering. Tune in and listen to your body.
  3. Food is your medicine 100%.Eat broccoli, kale, avocado, nuts and seeds.
  4. Sleep is vitally important.
  5. Laugh.
    Lighten up.
  6. Educate yourself.
    Talk about it – it’s liberating beyond imagining. In some circles Menopause is celebrated and revered. Truly. Embracing radical self responsibility and all of the above is how I was granted access to this golden circle. It’s a whole new, clear and bold world. You want to do all that you can to get yourself here. It’s waiting for you. And you deserve it.

By September I posted the following:

“SEPTEMBER 11: MENOPAUSE…The adventure continues!
Yesterday 2 great things happened.
NUMBER 1.My period arrived without any drama.
That bitch has been MIA for 3 YEARS!
At first I was worried.
Then distressed.
Then resentful.
After 2 years, I didn’t care.
Three years, meh…
But, it turns out I did miss her & I’m very glad she’s home!
This looking after myself and putting me first is MIRACULOUS.
Eat your broccoli ladies.”

Nadene Marsh

Nadene Marsh is a Melbourne based women's health facilitator with a passion for conversations around peri-menopause and menopause.She, along with her colleague Sarah Hennessey, runs Menomorphosis Workshops to open the dialogue around menopause, and to help women navigate a path.