I was about 50 when I started asking myself: “what is happening to my body and my mind?”
I was struggling to sleep well, I always seemed to be confused and not able to concentrate, I had strange pains: it simply wasn’t me. I was actually just starting to experience some of the typical symptoms of perimenopause, which I didn’t know about.
No one had informed me or prepared me. It was as though the problem was supposed to be kept silent. This completely natural occurrence proved very difficult for me to deal with, for several reasons: the physical changes going on and for the stereotypical view that I had subconsciously believed about menopause. The thought of becoming a mature woman and the fact that I wouldn’t be attractive anymore was unbearable. I used to be pleasant all the time, avoiding sharing my feelings and my symptoms with anyone as I was too ashamed to “confess” that I was in menopause.
My work led me to travel often and mix with many people. I’ve always looked after myself and kept fit, snappy, and motivated on the outside but, on the inside, I felt off my memory was having lapses. I had mood swings and I constantly lived with the nightmare of what shirt to wear so that the sweat stains were not seen when the dreaded hot flashes appeared.
Seeing me slowly change into a different person, my husband cornered me one evening and, finally, like a raging river, I told him all my problems, my fears and my insecurities. It was a major step forward. I was finally able to admit to myself first: “Yes, you are in menopause! Something is changing but you have to react! ”
As a result, I got back my combative spirit and tenaciousness and I began to gather information, talking to specialists, and comparing myself with other women. Above all, I realized that I had to start seeing menopause in a different light in order to have a better quality of life.
The average age at which women go through menopause is 50 years, the average life age of a woman is 85; so we spend about 30 years in menopause, 30 years during which we are still mothers, wives, lovers, workers, friends: it is our right to be all these things in the best possible way.
Once I found my balance, thanks to meeting with great professionals, I had the desire to make all the information and suggestions collected available to other women: I was convinced that they could be useful to help change the wrong way to think about and experience menopause. I decided to create an Instagram and Facebook profile; a real challenge because, although I have always been involved in communication, social media do not belong to my generation! But this project allowed me to have new stimuli, to rediscover the desire to do, to discover, to grow and to believe in myself.
Big or small, a new project gives us the opportunity to experiment, to learn, to know. So today, even if I forget my glasses somewhere in the house, if I tell my husband 3 times an hour to call the gardener, or if I go to a room and wonder why I’m there, I don’t think it’s age (or menopause!), but just that my mind is full of new ideas and projects!
It’s tough enough to start experiencing this change (inevitable and not always easily manageable) but I tend to look at it as a phase of opening, opportunities, and of different horizons.