It’s been a bit longer than I expected in-between posts but I’ve been a bit busy but mostly my HRT stopped functioning properly and I’ve been exhausted, low and generally my-get-up-and go-got-up-and-went. I know I’ve mentioned a few times before that going through the menopause with severe symptoms is a drag but seriously just when you think you have all the checks and balances right along comes nature and whips the rug from under your feet. God knows what caused my latest fugue and fatigue ridden few weeks but I could have well done without them. I did make a change of diet to include a lot more vegetables and surely that’s a good thing? I’ve been a slave to the Atkins diet for a few years now and I know that it is the least healthy diet that I can follow but I got set in a kind of negative mind-set that anything else would just pile on the weight. Anyway, explanations aside, it’s been fantastic rediscovering aubergines, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, mange tout, butternut squash, turnip, pak choi, savoy cabbage, spinach and just about every other veg I can drag off the shelves at Waitrose. It’s been an absolute joy delving through my cookery books and looking at low GI versions of recipe’s that include such an array of wonderful comestibles that have sent my old taste buds into overdrive.
So, I’m going to continue and persevere and wait and see if my mood swings abate and my temper returns to normal but at least for the first time today I feel lighter of spirit and much more amenable to enjoying life. My poor husband has gone through the wringer yet again and God knows how he doesn’t just stick a knife in my neck and be done with it. The trouble is that I don’t recognise the signs that I am going into a bit of a mood meltdown until I am in the thick of it. It’s only when I am rigidly tense, tight, agitated, unreasonable, angry, combatitive with a chest as tight as a drum and a feeling that I am going to have a heart attack do I realise that something has gone very wrong with my diet and medication. It’s a strange combination of being wired to the moon and agitated beyond belief yet at the same time being too exhausted to care enough about functioning at any level above the most basic of requirements. I truly hate this physical condition and long for my body to return to a physical status quo where I am of constant sunny disposition, enjoy a rollicking good laugh, can be relied upon to be in a stable mood and most of all, just cracking on with life like all other ‘normal’ people.
I once had a ‘life coach’ stop by my blog – she had the cheek to spout some obnoxious shite that “all myself and others going through the menopause needed was to embrace and celebrate being a woman, to have a positive attitude, to lie back and wonder at the beauty of being a woman and let nature take its course whilst the sisterhood of positive women sang life enducing songs and quoted storming mantras” or some sugary coated old shite like that. Clearly Madame Life Coach had her head stuck up her arse because no matter how fecking positive myself and my other menopausal friends try to feel, the fact that we have a raging hormonal imbalance of fecking hefty proportions, no amount of fluffy, warm and fuzzy feely type crud makes a blind bit of difference when you feel like ripping a life coach’s head off. If I could have played keepy-uppy with her bonce for an hour or two, I would have done – that might have engendered a bit of warm and fuzzy feeling in my heart and thus as she advocated, allow me to coast effortlessly through life with butterfly wings flapping at my head whilst small birds tweeted “whistle while you work” away in my ears. Oh if only her wisdom had been available to me before. I could have imagined and day dreamed my way through the menopause and sported a benign and love inducing smile for all that happened upon me. Fecking eejit.
Given that I am a student of Psychology, fairly knowledgeable and practiced in the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, I found the life coach’s diatribe on my blog somewhat annoying beyond belief. The last thing I need is some wee numpty who had stumbled onto Neuro Linguistic Programming, (NLP), feeling it is her duty to offer unsolicited “advice” to someone who may just be more qualified in the subject than she possibly is. NLP is a great psychological tool when used by a qualified practitioner but left in the hands of those with limited psychological knowledge and training it is quite simply a loaded gun.
You can always tell a new advocate of NLP – they attain a glazed eye look, behave as though they are on speed and get religion about all things NLP and can’t wait to bore for Britain about their new found belief system. It’s usually these new recruits that believe they have the answer to all of society’s ails and after gaining a certificate from the ‘Walter Mitty and Pollyanna internet school of life coaching skills’ sets up a business to start saving the world. The danger is some of the worst of these ‘Practioners’ offer their misguided services to some truly ill people that need professional help way beyond the limited skills of the Life Coach. Those Life Coach’s that stick to the realms of their remit and help people organise their days, change a negative thought to a positive one and generally bolster a client along can be more like a good friend to someone who just needs a friend to point out the obvious. But like all industries – I won’t call it a profession as you do not need a degree to be a life coach – it is badly regulated and those who overstep the mark and delude themselves that they are ‘psychologists’ are operating in dangerous territory. These are the people that offer unsolicited advice, make assumptions without understanding the whole picture and offer their own brand of advice that relate not a jot to the person they found it necessary to ‘help’. They can do a lot of damage if the client they are dealing with is particularly vulnerable and perhaps not in a robust mental state at that time.
I have come across some really superb positive people in my life and they are the truly inspiring ones. Terrific people that no matter what happens in life they wallow in private and smile in public. After all, it’s not what life throws at you that matters, it’s how you deal with it that counts. No amount of flipping twaddle from some hare-brained half trained monkey who bought a correspondence course off the net can touch the coat tails of the people that truly inspire others because they were born to it and didn’t pick up a few skills and a bit of terminology on the net.
And finally and thankfully, I found a fantastic web site called Menopause Matters run by Doctor Heather Curry who is an absolute genius on the subject. Being a member of that community has been a lifeline when you realise that there are many other women suffering the same if not even worse symptoms than you are. And it is acknowledged that it is a physical depletion of hormones that causes so much grief – not as Pollyanna would have you believe that you are just missing a fecking wee visit to someone who sees the glass as half full and not half empty and has you quoting life affirming tosh 'till your teeth fall out. This marvellous site and the women that provide support on it are commendable and the site gives a virtual punch in the mouth to the daft wee naysayers that think pretending to be a tree or something equally enlightening is the only way to get through life. The menopause is one of the biggest physical changes that can happen to your body - a positive state of mind is a symptom of good physical fitness and medication that works. An holistic approach is certainly the way to go about addressing all areas but get the physical bit sorted then the rest just follows.
Rant over – job done!
P.S. this post started out as the awards that I am going to hand out to those that supported and voted for me in the best of blogs awards as they are long overdue – next post I promise – this rant clearly needed an airing!