2018 was a fairly shitty year for me.
I hit the wall (again!)
The beginning of the year was average 😉
I’d decided to come of HRT at the end of 2017 to see how my mind and body would react.
It sure reacted! The wheels slowly fell off.
My mental health dived (that’s how the menopause seems to get me). I felt exhausted, depressed and full of anxiety (which isnt something I normally experience)
It seems even though I am technically eight years post menopause age 46 my body still wants ‘dem hormones!
I had a conversation with my great GP and decided to go back on HRT July last year and it definitely ‘took the edge of’ my symptoms.
I still wasn’t feeling great, I had an underlying feeling of depression and apathy.
I knew I needed help! I reached out to a coach who has helped me in the past. We talked about my options and how she could support me back to ‘me’.
It was a huge investment, the most amount of money I have ever spent on myself…. but deep down I knew I had to do something radically different to get me back on track.
We started the deep work, it was tough, painful and I learnt a lot about myself that was uncomforatble. But I felt so loved and supported by my coach that it felt do-able.
I wanted to give up! My brain wanted me to stay stuck in the uncomfortable comfort of depression. I had to fight!
Then in August my seventeen year old son was falsely accused of some very serious allegations made by two girls, one of whom was my daughters best friend. Our world was turned upside down (i cant say much more as this is an ongoing police investigation)
I was thrown into full ‘lioness’ mode – don’t mess with my cubs!
Throughout all this I was still doing the deep coaching with my amazing coach. She supported, guided and loved me through those highly stressful months.
As awful as it was/is it has shown me how resilient I am now. I have grown so much over the last six months.
I’ve learnt how to take a radical stand for myself and my self care. I know my drivers and my weak spots. Every.damn.day I show up for myself. I am no longer a victim and expecting someone to save me. Only I can save myself and that feels so powerful.
My addictive behaviours has lessened. I live more mindfully and intentionally.
I’m back bitches! ha ha
This week is the first time in eight months that I feel like I am ready to get back to work – my work of supporting women through the menopause and midlife changes.
I feel like I’m wearing new glasses and see myself and the world in a different way. I’m also wearing new clothes as I pretty easily shed some weight that has been hanging around over the last few years.
You may be reading this while you feel like crap and think ‘well it’s ok for you’…..
I get it, I really do….. when you feel like crap the last thing you want to hear is someone who is positive and happy.
I’m sharing this because I know how bad life can feel sometimes, I’ve been in that deep dark pit of despair when it feels like there is no escape.
I have escaped!
and so can you….. but doing the ‘self-exploration’ I’ve done isn’t for everyone. I had to hit that wall many times before I was ready.
Before I finally said ‘enough is enough’, I am not prepared to exist like this anymore.
I could do all the HRT, supplements, diet, exercise etc but that does not touch my spirit and soul. That was the work I need to do 🙂
The great thing is that I’m creating courses, workshops and one to one experiences to help woman with these changes.
My belief is that the menopause is much more than ‘fixing symptoms’ (yes i know thats part of the story) it’s about connecting to ourselves, our needs, our wants and desires.
Changing my mindset, creating new beliefs and radically taking a stand for myself has changed my life.
Last year I knew 2019 had to be different to 2018 and I knew I had to do something radcially different from the way I was.
I’m so proud of myself for taking the plunge and ‘digging in’ to the work and trusting someone else to guide me.
Exciting 🙂 xx
Just for a minute
Find some space
Just for a moment stop resisting, fighting, yearning for what was…
The ‘change’, the menopause transition, the terrifying steps towards your ‘autumn years’ cannot be slowed down or stopped.
Yes you can fight it! And you do..
As your body sends you messages that you are unwilling to listen to, you push harder, do more, ignore the signs, mask the messages, quieten your inner voice.
Yes you can take the supplements, change your diet, exercise more, take HRT, try the herbs suggested by your neighbour, read the books, watch the videos….
Nothing wrong with that….but are you just trying to fix yourself because you feel broken?
I know you are desperate to feel better. I’ve been there too
The emotional rollercoaster, the anxiety, depression, the aches and pains, the greying hairs, looser skin, tighter jeans and laughter lines.
You feel untethered, lost and confused. Who am I?
So you read more, listen more….you just want to feel better, to feel like you used to.
You hate menopause! You feel your body is failing you. It’s just not fair damn it!
You want someone, something to fix you. But sister you can only heal yourself.
But you’re too tired, exhausted, wrung out….you can barely function let alone heal yourself right?
She is whispering to you. Who is she? The inner you, your wisdom, your soul, your essence, your intuition.
You feel stuck, you feel fear! The voice is terrifying, what she wants feels daunting and impossibly selfish.
How can you possibly want more for yourself? To grow, evolve, blossom and shine.
Who are you to demand more from life? To follow your dreams and be happy.
What will they think? What will theysay?
You have to be a great mum, husband, sister, wife, lover, daughter first…..then you’ll have time for yourself.
The truth is that you will always come last if you put others first.
You feel naked, raw and exposed. So, so sensitive.
The illusion is that it’s easier to fight it, ignore it, push against it. Eat and drink those feelings, desires and yearnings away.
Numb your dreams with Netflix and Facebook.
Compare yourself to others so it feels ok to feel stuck. It feels ‘normal’.
The minutes, days and years are ticking by….tick tock, tick tock…
You can’t hide from it, it will always be on your shoulder, you can’t stop it but you CAN decide to start listening.
‘The change’, any change feels scary and we hide from it but have you considered that there is FREEDOM the other side?
Pause, just for a minute.
Listen to your hearts desires because all of the ‘symptoms of menopause’ are just messages.
Mother nature is giving you a loving nudge, when we ignore the nudge it becomes a kick.
Sometimes we need to experience a breakdown, a rock bottom, the jumping off place before we are willing to open our eyes and see what we need to see.
There is no right or wrong, good or bad way.
Can it be as simple as making a decision, for don’t we all have choice?
Is today the day you decide that you are unwilling to live the way you are living? To feel the way you are feeling?
Is right now the time you open your eyes and see yourself? Your beautiful, gorgeous, perfectly imperfect self?
If you feel like giving up; try giving up ignoring your needs, giving up being so hard on yourself, giving up giving up on yourself.
The menopause is a transition from one stage of life to another. The hormonal flux will level out, the emotional rollercoaster will slow down, you won’t feel like this forever.
You won’t EVER feel like you did in your twenties, you are growing into someone new.
That’s exciting. Today could be the start of something incredible if you decide it to be
Sister, please don’t give up on yourself. Hang in there because there is so much more to discover.
I’m not giving up on you, I will be here for you until you can be here for yourself
I’ve read MANY books on menopause. Some are great and some not so much…
I run a support group called Women’s Wisdom on Facebook which you are more than welcome to join by clicking here.
Jane Lewes, who is in this group, approached me to ask if she could talk about the support group she runs for women experiencing vaginal atrophy. You can find a link to that group here. Of course, I agreed because it’s not my area of expertise and I love to share resources to help my community.
Jane is doing AMAZING work at bringing the VA conversation out into the open. For some reason, women get squeamish talking about vaginas. Like menopause its another taboo. We all have one and I think we should all get to know it better. Do you know what your’s look like?
Anyway, not only is Jane doing great work with her support group she has written an excellent book all about her journey. I have to say I’m a little envious of the book as it’s written in just the way I would like to write a book.
She is honest, open and vulnerable about sharing EVERYTHING about the awful journey she has had with VA.
BUT she does it in a way that is easy to read and full of empathy and humour. She has written the book so that you feel you are having a conversation with her. I’ve learned much more about VA and all the different ways it can devastate a woman’s life.
I’m lucky enough not to have suffered from VA during the menopause but I have experienced the side effects of vaginal dryness and use vaginal estrogen, lubricants and am on HRT.
Jane’s book has chapters on understanding your vagina, what vaginal atrophy, treatments, sex and more.
If you are having any issues with your menopausal vagina I URGE you to buy this book – it’s a lifesaver!
Here is more information and details where you can purchase the book
One women’s journey of menopause and vaginal atrophy. Written in collaboration with her daughter in a “tongue in cheek “ way to help break the taboos of Vaginal atrophy. This book is informative, serious, tear-jerking and guaranteed to make you laugh. Through this book you”ll learn the hidden secrets of menopause aimed to help you during your own experiences, informing women, men and health professionals of all ages.
I am often approached by companies asking me to review products on my blog. I turn the majority down as I will only review something that is a ‘good fit’ with me and my philosophies around women’s health.
A couple of weeks ago I was asked if I would review DermaTherapy bedding. Now, this got my attention because I LOVE good quality bedding AND I know how vital getting good quality sleep is for us.
I am blessed because I usually get a solid eight hours a night. My sleep quality and quantity is non-negotiable! I’ve learned the hard way that sacrificing my sleep means my mood is lowered, my energy is crap, I crave high energy foods and I generally feel ‘meh’.
Night Sweats and Night-time munchies
This wasn’t the case when I was going through the menopause transition and I would wake up drenched in sweat and then start shivering with cold. When the sweats eventually stopped I would have nights where I would be wide awake at 3am and unable to get back to sleep. I finally figured out that if I ate something (usually a small bowl of cereal) I would fall back asleep more easily. This was before I know what I know about nutrition and with hindsight, I realise I had major blood glucose fluctuations and this was what was waking me up.
How to get a better night’s sleep
This means that I have designed through trial and error a ritual that ensures I get the best sleep and feel rested and have allowed my body to repair and recover.
- In bed by 10pm and do a ten-minute heartmath relaxation using my Inner Balance app (more about this in this blog)
- Asleep by 10.30pm (most nights, allowing for rare nights out and not being able to pull away from a box set)
- No caffeine after 2pm (this occasionally slips)
- Calming teas in the afternoon and evening
- Magnesium citrate in the evening to help relaxation
- Oral progesterone before bed
- Cool bedroom (open window and low heating)
- No wifi/phone on airplane mode
- Complete darkness
- Good quality bedding
I LOVE that freshly made bed feeling, so much so that I actually get excited tingles before I hop into a freshly made up bed. Heaven for me is freshly laundered sheets that have been dried outside and still have the lingering aroma of sunshine (and ironed if I’m really keen).
My Mum taught me to always invest in the best quality 100% cotton linen for comfort and durability. I find poly mixes go bobbly after a while and are uncomfortable. For Christmas last year I received a silk pillowcase which is sublime. Cool to the touch, deliciously soft for my skin (stops the face creases ha ha) and stops my hair looking frizzy in the morning.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the DermaTherapy bedding because it isn’t made from cotton (gasp!) but they sounded great so I was willing to give them a go.
I’m going to be honest when I first felt the material it felt a bit synthetic and thin. I washed the bedding before use and it dried really quickly.
Then it was the sleep test! The sheets felt really cool and a little ‘slidey’ but not uncomfortable. They have a silky feel to them and feel soft. I felt they helped regulate my temperature. I like to sleep with a heavy duvet in the colder months, I find the weight comforting 🙂 Sometimes I get a little hot but not with these sheets. The pillowcases feel soft (not as soft as my silk ones but still pleasant to sleep with).
I will have to wait until next summer to test them on those hot nights! and time will tell to see if they go bobbly!
On a side note, I have given one of the pillowcases to my son to use as he has mild acne. It’s important to change pillowcase regularly for those with spot prone skin. I can’t report any changes to his skin as it’s early days but he said he ‘loves it’ and that’s good feedback from an eighteen-year-old.
According to recent statistics, 1 in 3 people in the UK suffers from restless and sleepless nights due to a host of health-related problems, including hot flushes and night sweats. As we spend a third of our lives tucked up in bed, it is increasingly important to ensure that we have the right bedding to aid a restful night’s sleep.
DermaTherapy is a unique therapeutic range of bedding specifically designed to provide relief to those suffering from night sweats and menopausal hot flushes, which can severely affect their quality of sleep. These unique bed linens offer a comfortable way to relieve the discomfort of night sweats and hot flushes by aiding their ability to keep cool and dry at night.
Available in a variety of sizes from cots through to super king size beds, this range of pillowcases, sheets, duvet covers and sleep bags are made using a revolutionary fibre technology, which quickly dissipates heat and moisture away from the skin, evenly distributing it to leave a cleaner, drier and smoother surface, which is soft to the touch.
With fabric as soft as the highest percentile Egyptian cotton and equally luxurious to the touch, the density of the weave in DermaTherapy bedding leaves gaps of less than 100thof a millimetre between the fibres which helps prevent allergens getting trapped in the fabric and protects against bugs and dust mites, which in turn helps to avoid unpleasant allergy related issues. The fabric’s durable, antimicrobial protection also helps maintain freshness, whilst the special ‘soil release’ finish aids in removing oils, creams, blood and other stains.
DermaTherapy bedding offers real hope to those many millions of women, men and children who suffer from hot flushes and night sweats, which in turn affects their sleep and general quality of life. Clinical studies have shown that by simply switching to DermaTherapy bedding, sufferers are able to keep cooler and drier at night, thus alleviating symptoms and aiding a restful night’s sleep.
So, sleep easy with DermaTherapy bedding, the clinically proven and easy solution for a better night’s sleep.
For further information on DermaTherapy please visit www.dermatherapybedding.co.uk