Waiting for bedtime – My reaction to my menopause

I refer to this as my ‘menopause photo’ because I felt grey despite all that colour

Being menopausal isn’t fun, it isn’t the making of me and it sure as hell doesn’t present pivotal opportunities from which to launch memorable midlife moments which I will remember on my death bed, one day.

The menopause was marked by a ‘World Menopause Day’ on 18 October. I fully intended to write and publish this blog post in time for that but crashing fatigue, a symptom of the menopause, got the better of me. It seems to be the way these days. I start off with good intentions of being the badass woman that I was and end up counting down the hours until bedtime.

This is the reality of the menopause. It’s bloody hard work and often feels like I am swimming against the tide. The list of symptoms is long and each one is, in itself, a debilitating experience. No doubt there will come a time when I will be able to laugh about it but, for now, I am grumbling my way through it all and having occasional rants. My family, including the cat, may disagree though about the ‘occasional’ but I feel entitled to construct my own reality in this menopausal world. Mind you, there is no mirth in this bubble world of mine.

There is a scene in the TV series, Fleabag, where Kristin Scott Thomas tells Phoebe Waller-Bridge that menopause is the “most wonderful fucking thing in the world” is just plain tosh.

In my hormone raging moments this week, my deranged state has replayed that scene in my head, and it has raised my ire even higher each time. Every non-menopausal woman now thinks that she/they must wait till the menopause years to magically turn into some shiny new thing in their twilight years.

What also gets me is how celebrities hijack the downsides of life, turn it into some ‘ha ha hee hee’ moment and expect everyone else to follow suit. Well, they can sod off with that one. Just showing up to work this week, for me, has been akin to climbing a mountain in a pair of high heels even though all I had to do was roll from bed to the dining table, which is doubling up as my desk.

Recently, I was at The Gong bar on level 52 in the Shard building (where the photo above was taken), Central London. My female friend and I had a corner table with stunning views of London. It was meant to have been one of my few treats of the year. It is an expensive place, you see. I could have fallen asleep though from the crashing fatigue which plagues me. If my friend had clicked her fingers the way hypnotists do, I swear that I would fallen head first onto the table.

So, dear reader, do not believe everything you read or watch. Life-changing moments are spun off by, either very high moments of pure elation or low moments of deep disappointment or sadness. The menopause, by contrast, is neither. It happens to all women, there is nothing special about being menopausal and the experience is purely universal. I fail to see how the menopause can be the most wonderful thing in the world.


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