I remember telling a friend as she reached her milestone that it was not all downhill from here but midlife is a vantage point. In hindsight, I now realized I hadn’t factored in a number of things such as dealing with empty nest, caring for elderly parents, the added stress brought by the pandemic, among other things.
Recent studies reveal that the pandemic has exacerbated menopausal symptoms, with pandemic associated depression and anxiety in the mix. But what is rather concerning, for me, is that menopause remains a taboo subject. I know this from my own experience.
What to expect and how to deal with disconcerting changes that come with menopause is not often talked about or done so as a joke. Nonetheless, there’s a general consensus among experts that everyone (spouses and children included) need to be on board with, and know how to support a woman going through menopause.
I was so happy when Kathy Garland started the blog Navigating the Change: A Guide for the Menopausal Journey. Because menopause is a natural process, and we need to destigmatize it. Navigating the change with other women; sharing experiences, learning from experts and supporting each other has made all the difference already, for me.
My happiness with this endeavour even saw me pitch a poem, which is part of a work-in-progress, about some of the things I’ve felt acutely during this pandemic. And Kathy graciously accepted that poem.
Before I end, I should mention that I still believe midlife has its benefits. Some of them, for me, are increased creativity and improved confidence to finally write what I want. So, ageing is not all gloom and doom. But the attitude towards menopause needs to change.
Are you or someone close to you going through menopause? How you are dealing with it? Please do share!
p.s. Also linking to Poets and Storytellers United.