Menopause and Me
Written by Becky, Group and Courses Facilitator, The Cellar Trust
I didn’t know, back when I use to mock my mother for making genuine mistakes and having hot flashes, that this was the start of the M word. Nor did I know of any more symptoms. I just knew that we all go through this process. And I certainly didn’t know about ‘the bigger picture’.
I am thankful that I have a lot of understanding people around me at The Cellar Trust who are going through this with me, or who ask questions, like my peers. They have been totally amazing, and I am so grateful we can laugh and cry about it together. Because in going through this I haven’t always been kind to myself (although that is our motto in terms of mental health… and we have to practice what we preach… RIGHT?!)
Yet I find this subject hard to talk about. I know, in my line of work, the power of being able to talk about difficult things. Suicide rates in this country have increased 6% in 20 years between ages of 45-65. In my work, I have to present to groups every day, something people struggling with menopause find difficult. Yet I still feel incompetent right now. I have to explain to groups why I can’t get their names right or pronounce words. I can laugh about it some days, but it is a learning process. Everyone is different but the anxiety around it can be tough.
I am highlighting the menopause, because of how it’s making me feel. Because a lady took her life in Keighley a few years ago. Because her husband is now doing amazing things in terms of peer support and groups. Because the stigma and lack of awareness needs to be addressed. I didn’t know that it extended beyond hot flashes and sleep problems and memory fog. And they feel pretty bad in themselves.
My Mum, who I took the mick out of bless her, thinks I am queen for highlighting this. I feel sad that it wasn’t mentioned back in the day and sorry I had those views back then. Because every day is something out of the ordinary and I am scared because I don’t feel professional. I just know we are NOT alone in this and thankful I am able to share our experiences in a comfortable space like staff peer support and other support networks.
I welcome a menopause policy dearly and with open arms. Albeit I feel I can’t do my job, and the feelings intensify, and I make stupid little mistakes. The feeling of being useless and not worthy. I am combating those feelings everyday with the help of my team who have been so amazing. I just wanted to have my say in this – my first blog. We do understand and can do this together, bless you all xxx and be kind to yourself whatever you are going though, you are never alone.
World Menopause Day is held every year on 18th October, to raise awareness, break the stigma and highlight the support options available for improving health and wellbeing. Awareness on this topic is fundamental and reducing the stigma attached to it is vital so that more people will talk openly about it so it can begin to be normalised and people can get the support they need.
The theme for 2022 is cognition and mood.
The International Menopause Society has a range of resources to support this year’s theme:
- Brain fog and menopause: a healthcare professional’s guide for decision making and counselling on cognition download
- Brain fog and memory difficulties in menopause download
- How employers can engage employees in marking menopause awareness day download