Guest Susan Irwin.
Susan contacted me when I wrote an article for YOU magazine about my phobia of driving on the motorway.We began an email exchange and she told me she was writing a book about her breakdown which occurred in the lead up to her menopause. This is a post about how she coped:
The Peri-menopause is that period (excuse the pun) which leads up to the Menopause…. which is when your monthly cycle stops.
It was in this early Peri-menopausal stage when things for me started to go haywire.
Firstly I started to gain weight for no apparent reason, clothes became clip especially on the bust and I started to become anxious…Number 1 rule for myself and others don`t allow anxiety to creep up and get a hold of you!
This was as I know now a clear sign that my body was beginning to change because the more I exercised and the less I ate the more weight I gained. I was also coping with a huge dollop of stress, so combined with the hormonal imbalance I was a ticking time bomb.
Did I listen to my body and slow down, NO I kept going and pushing myself a bit more until one night I couldn`t even get into my bed to sleep as I was overwhelmed with anxiety and trembling.
I had what the Doctor told me had an `emotional breakdown`, through a sea of tears, I could hear my inner voice saying ` surely not me- why? Well why not, I had ignored the signs, didn`t listen to that inner voice and had pushed myself over the edge.
I was offered the usual Anti-Depressants but refused to have them, I said `I wasn`t depressed- just exhausted`.
I had to take charge of this and regain equilibrium in my very being.
Where did you start I hear you cry? Well, what I can tell you is that I had to take a real good look at myself and the life I was leading.
I had been tested to see if I was menopausal but the blood results came back `normal`, there was nothing normal about the way I was feeling. The problem was that I was so fragile I couldn`t even drive the car and to have a conversation with anyone for longer than 5 mins was exhausting, so for a short while I just existed behind closed doors.
I was engulfed in fear, fear of what was happening to me, fear I wouldn’t ever see the light again, fear of being on my own yet too much companionship freaked me out as well, I needed to calm down!!!!! Luckily for me a friend recommended a brilliant hypnotherapist (always get recommendations not just a number out of a book) and after the first session (which my partner drove me to) I felt calmer. Once I became calmer and hence was able to sleep better, I could actually start to be pro-active in my recovery.
I had started to read up about the gateway to Menopause and from the information I was gaining decided that I was lacking in progesterone.
My road to recovery involved far more than a daily dose of progesterone but after one dose I could feel my mood lifting, therefore as the days went on I could start to see the light at the end of the tunnel getting closer.
I have written a book about how I survived this time including tips on sleep/relaxation, work, relationships, beauty products, being creative and even one for the men in our lives. It will double up as a work book, leaving pages after each chapter for the reader to make their own notes; hopefully being cathartic for you….finally I have kept a sense of humour throughout!